Downtown first expanded south in 1910, when the concrete bridge was built across the Colorado River and South Congress Avenue opened to streetcars and pedestrians. To this day, it's the most pedestrian-friendly zone in town. If you have only one afternoon to explore, spend it strolling and window-shopping here. Browse meticulously curated menswear at Stag, and mostly black clothing and accessories straight out of a Tim Burton film at Blackmail. Discover international candies at Big Top, snack on oysters and fried okra at Perla's seafood restaurant, and spot celebrities eating carrot cake French toast at South Congress Café. Mosey over or under "Bat Bridge," where 1 million bats come out at dusk to forage from mid-March to November. If your shoes are comfortable, follow the seven-mile Ladybird Lake Hike and Bike Trail for views of the water and the ever-changing downtown skyline.
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Getting Around Austin
Private cars are the easiest way to move around Austin. CapMetro operates a bus (100-Airport Flyer Inbound) directly from the airport that costs $2.00 and takes about 30 minutes. Parking in downtown Austin is metered. Hours differ depending on the day of the week: Monday through Wednesday are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday and Friday are 8 a.m. to midnight; Saturday is 11 a.m. to midnight; and Sunday is free. Austin features a parking app (http://austintexas.gov/page/parking-spots-downtown) to help determine rates for specific areas in advance. Taxis are available throughout town with a $2.50 flag drop and $0.40 per additional 1/6 mile. Pedicabs pedal around downtown. Rates are negotiated individually with operators. Two bike rental companies are ready to get you pedaling Austin starting at $28.50 per day. (http://www.austinbiketoursandrentals.com/ and http://www.mellowjohnnys.com/products-and-service/rentals/) Capital Metro (CapMetro) operates the city's public transit system and generally operates between 4 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. on weekdays; 5:30 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. on Saturday; 6 a.m. and 12 a.m. on Sunday. CapMetro's website offers extensive ride planning and mobile app options. (http://www.capmetro.org/planner/)
Nearby Airports
  • Austin-Bergstrom International Airport-ABI
Airport Taxis
  • $23
Things to Do and See Near South Congress