Austin is bursting with history. From the bright minds who lead the way to Texas Independence, to the beloved writers who shaped our childhoods, the city of Austin loves to honor and commemorate its movers and shakers. Even with all of Austin’s growth and development, historic Victorian gems sparkle throughout the city. You absolutely must visit these ten historical landmarks in Austin. Who knows, you might even learn a thing or two.
1. The Texas State Cemetery
The tranquil grounds at the Texas State Cemetery house the gravestones for Texas governors, congressmen, and other lawmakers. The paved road running through the cemetery is Texas State Highway 165 and, at only .51 miles long, is the shortest highway in in Texas.
2. William Sidney Porter House
William Sidney Porter, also known as O. Henry, lived in this quaint home in the late 1800s. In addition to the museum, the house is also the site of the annual O. Henry pun off. Every May, quick-witted poetry fans line up to celebrate the author's life and spout out as many puns as they can.
3. Susanna Dickinson Museum
This historic home and museum pays tribute to Susanna Dickinson, the only survivor of the battle of the Alamo. Santa Anna spared her life because she had a child in her arms, and sent her to spread the news of the battle. Instead of scaring the Texas army and encouraging them to flee, her message sparked their victory at the Battle of San Jacinto.
4. Bremond Block
Eleven historic homes line Austin's downtown streets from Guadalupe St. to San Antonio St. These Victorian houses belonged to the Bremond family in the mid 1800s, and they still stand proud today.
5. The Goodman Building
This yellow structure sits right next to the Texas State Capital and once was a grocery store in the 1880s. Today, a hidden cocktail bar called the Cloak Room makes its home in the basement.
6. The Clay Pit Indian Restaurant
The site of this delicious Indian restaurant was once a feed store in the 1800s. In addition to the delicious curry, The Clay Pit is said to have some Victorian era ghosts lingering around at night.
7. The Buford Tower
Built in 1930 as the fire department's practice tower, the Buford Tower sits at 201 West Cesar Chavez Street. Chiming bells welcome every hour, and 9/11 memorial services are held here every year.
8. Neill-Cochran House
The Neill-Cochran House stands as a time capsule for days gone by. Visitors can tour the home and gawk at the lavishly decorated rooms.
9. Güero's Taco Bar
This South Congress tex mex restaurant is known for its tangy margaritas, but many people don't know that the building stood even in the 1800s. While doing construction on this delectable restaurant, workers found coins dating back a hundred years.
10. Treaty Oak
This majestic tree on Baylor Street is where Stephen F. Austin signed a peace treaty with the Comanche Indians, thus creating Austin. It was once considered "the most perfect specimen of a North American tree.”
Have you visited any of these historical landmarks in Austin? Which one is your favorite?