Exploring A Bit Of South Congress

Congress Avenue in downtown Austin is the street that, when heading north on it, takes you smack dab to the Texas State Capitol building. If you head south on Congress across Lady Bird Lake you'll find yourself on South Congress and immediately you'll notice a different feel from the high rise office buildings and hotels of downtown. Over the years the more laid back feel of this area has lead to a tidal wave of development that Austin purists abhor, but many others seem to love. As a result the South Congress (or SoCo) district is a combination of the new and modern, and the older and more classic Austin attractions. In this blog post I'll point out some of the key sights to see on South Congress in photos.

 Your Essential Magnificence is a public art installation by artist James Talbot and it can be found at the corner of South Congress and Live Oak, which is on the south end of the action on South Congress.

Your Essential Magnificence is a public art installation by artist James Talbot and it can be found at the corner of South Congress and Live Oak, which is on the south end of the action on South Congress.

 A couple of blocks south of Your Essential Magnificence at 2008 South Congress you'll find throwback music joint C-Boy's Heart & Soul. The interior is super red with a strong lounge vibe and this red heart of lights behind the bar.

A couple of blocks south of Your Essential Magnificence at 2008 South Congress you'll find throwback music joint C-Boy's Heart & Soul. The interior is super red with a strong lounge vibe and this red heart of lights behind the bar.

 At 1920 South Congress you'll find Magnolia Cafe, with it's very distinctive "Sorry We're Open" neon sign. Magnolia has a very Austin diner vibe and seems to attract a lively crowd at all hours.

At 1920 South Congress you'll find Magnolia Cafe, with it's very distinctive "Sorry We're Open" neon sign. Magnolia has a very Austin diner vibe and seems to attract a lively crowd at all hours.

 Just a few steps up the street from Magnolia at 1822 South Congress you'll find a relatively new entry to the South Congress scene, Torchy's Tacos. Torchy's is a taco lovers dream and while it's new to South Congress its Austin roots go back a decade.

Just a few steps up the street from Magnolia at 1822 South Congress you'll find a relatively new entry to the South Congress scene, Torchy's Tacos. Torchy's is a taco lovers dream and while it's new to South Congress its Austin roots go back a decade.

 Another very recent addition to the South Congress scene is the South Congress Hotel at 1603 South Congress. Here you see the lobby, which has a modern but cozy feel. The ground floor of the hotel is home to several restaurants and shops.

Another very recent addition to the South Congress scene is the South Congress Hotel at 1603 South Congress. Here you see the lobby, which has a modern but cozy feel. The ground floor of the hotel is home to several restaurants and shops.

 More public art on South Congress. This collage by Lance Letscher is on display at South Congress Books as of January 2017. Regardless of what piece you see there this wall often features something of interest to art lovers.

More public art on South Congress. This collage by Lance Letscher is on display at South Congress Books as of January 2017. Regardless of what piece you see there this wall often features something of interest to art lovers.

 The west side of South Congress features a host of interesting shops including the very popular Allens Boots.

The west side of South Congress features a host of interesting shops including the very popular Allens Boots.

 Guero's Taco Bar at 1412 South Congress and it's adjacent open air beer garden offer a throwback alternative to Torchy's modern architecture for taco lovers. The beer garden often features music and lively atmosphere.

Guero's Taco Bar at 1412 South Congress and it's adjacent open air beer garden offer a throwback alternative to Torchy's modern architecture for taco lovers. The beer garden often features music and lively atmosphere.

 While development has cut down on the number of food trucks and trailers on South Congress, popular trailer Hey Cupcake lives at 1511 South Congress.

While development has cut down on the number of food trucks and trailers on South Congress, popular trailer Hey Cupcake lives at 1511 South Congress.

 Fun public art located just behind the Hey Cupcake trailer.

Fun public art located just behind the Hey Cupcake trailer.

 Home Slice Pizza serves NY style pizza out of their takeout location and sit down restaurant which are next to each other at 1415 and 1421 South Congress.

Home Slice Pizza serves NY style pizza out of their takeout location and sit down restaurant which are next to each other at 1415 and 1421 South Congress.

 The front patio at Perla's seafood and oyster bar at 1400 South Congress. Perla's large patio and shade trees are unique in SoCo.

The front patio at Perla's seafood and oyster bar at 1400 South Congress. Perla's large patio and shade trees are unique in SoCo.

 Chances are you'll encounter a street performer (or two) while strolling South Congress.

Chances are you'll encounter a street performer (or two) while strolling South Congress.

 One of the most iconic spots on South Congress is the old school music venue The Continental Club at 1313 South Congress. The Continental Club is part dive, part legendary music venue and the crowd is usually pretty enthusiastic. 

One of the most iconic spots on South Congress is the old school music venue The Continental Club at 1313 South Congress. The Continental Club is part dive, part legendary music venue and the crowd is usually pretty enthusiastic. 

 The Austin Motel is the most classic lodging option on South Congress. It's known as much for its retro neon sign as it is for its vintage vibe. The hotel was sold in 2016 but the new owners have pledged to restore the hotel and maintain its charm.

The Austin Motel is the most classic lodging option on South Congress. It's known as much for its retro neon sign as it is for its vintage vibe. The hotel was sold in 2016 but the new owners have pledged to restore the hotel and maintain its charm.

 Jo's Coffee at 1300 South Congress has hot coffee and good tacos but just as many people come to post in front of the "I love you so much" graffiti on the side of the building.

Jo's Coffee at 1300 South Congress has hot coffee and good tacos but just as many people come to post in front of the "I love you so much" graffiti on the side of the building.

 There's a lot of walking to be done on South Congress so you may just want to indulge your sweet tooth  by enjoying the fun flavors at Amy's Ice Creams at 1301 South Congress. Many people do!

There's a lot of walking to be done on South Congress so you may just want to indulge your sweet tooth  by enjoying the fun flavors at Amy's Ice Creams at 1301 South Congress. Many people do!

 Last, but certainly not least, on this photo journey is yet another place that you can rest your head for the night on South Congress. The Hotel San Jose is located next to Jo's Coffee and offers a modern boutique hotel experience. The greenery and the cozy courtyards definitely set the hotel apart from standard lodging. 

Last, but certainly not least, on this photo journey is yet another place that you can rest your head for the night on South Congress. The Hotel San Jose is located next to Jo's Coffee and offers a modern boutique hotel experience. The greenery and the cozy courtyards definitely set the hotel apart from standard lodging.