“Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection.”
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.