South Congress Avenue embodies all for which Austin is best-known: live music, unique shopping, stylish bars and mouthwatering cuisine. There’s no lack of things to do here, but if you need a place to start, today’s list has you covered.

First Thursdays on South Congress

On the first Thursday of each month, South Congress Street transforms into a massive block party. The entire event stretches along South Congress Avenue from Barton Springs Road to Elizabeth Street.  Select stores offer special late-night hours, and live music fills the air. The South Congress Hotel spearheads the event with performances from local musicians and exclusive drink specials.

Yard Dog Art Gallery

Get a taste of Texan culture by browsing the contemporary folk art and local artisan crafts on display at Yard Dog Art Gallery. The Gallery is currently open Saturday afternoons from noon to 5pm, and additional visits can be scheduled by appointment. Guests may also opt to purchase certain works on display, making Yard Dog the perfect chance to find a little piece of Austin to take home with you.

Lucy in Disguise

Every day is Halloween at Lucy in Disguise: a massive costume store featuring everything from vintage clothing to masks, wigs, and props. Covering 8,000 square feet, the shop has been catering to the South Congress District since 1984. Lucy is currently open for in-store shopping, Monday through Saturday from 11 AM to 7 PM and Sundays from noon to 6 PM.

Arlyn Studios

This 7,000 square foot facility is housed within the historic Austin Opera House. The top-tier studio space has hosted such A-list guests as Les Paul, Neil Young and Willie Nelson. Aside from serving as a professional recording space, Arlyn includes a venue perfect for hosting large and small scale private events. In the past, the studio has served as a premiere facility for high profile events such as Austin City Limits and SXSW.

South Congress Hotel

The South Congress Hotel provides the perfect, trendy base of operations for your downtown exploration. Featuring a casual lobby bar, stylish café and upscale Japanese dining, South Congress Hotel features 83 boutique accommodations. Bring along your furry companions for the fun—pets are welcome at South Congress Hotel for no additional charge.


What is your favorite South Congress staple? Let us know in the comments!