“Excuse me, sir? This is a private tour.”
“This is the Texas State Capitol; I’m free to follow any tour I want.”
“Yeah, free to follow any other tour.”
Sass courtesy of my older sister Kerry. We were in Austin for the weekend because her husband had just graduated as a Texas State Trooper and she wanted to show off Texas’ capital city to the fam since we all drove in for the ceremony.
But my brother in law’s family is preeeeetty big, so although you can take a free Texas state Capitol tour (really: you just show up and join the next tour leaving—more on that here), we didn’t feel like it would be fair to the general public to just roll up with about 35 people and expect to be accommodated.
So we called ahead.
My dad has voted in every election basically since being born, so when Mike Schofield decided to run for the Texas House of Representatives, he came to our house to talk to my dad for a few hours to go over things that were important to voters in the district. So we only thought it fair to call in a favor.
Schofield was kind enough to set up a private tour for my extended family, but upon hearing just how large the group was going to be, his aide couldn’t help but blurt, “Wait…so how many of these people are actually in his district?”
Like 3 of the 35 okay, but if you just shut up and give us this tour those 3 will be voting for your boss again so CHILLAX.
Our chipper guide Erin greeted us in the atrium (p. sure her name was Erin. If not, she really looked like one) and took us on a roughly 30 minute tour, but random people kept butting into our tour and with 35 people already trying to hear just one guide, you can’t have any interlopers. Hence the convo above.
If you aren’t convinced that Texas really is the greatest state in the Union, you will be after you see its Capitol building. Matthew McConaughey even narrates the film in the visitor’s center.
Quick Tips for your free Texas State Capitol Tour:
- Call ahead if you have a big group. You can go through your state rep as well.
- Park at 1201 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, Texas 78701. More info here.
- Plan to spend about an hour or so wandering the Capitol and grounds after your tour, since it’s really just the highlights.
- Keep your eyes OPEN for Pancake, the first puppy of Texas. The first reader who spots her gets a prize.
After your free Texas State Capitol tour, consider driving up to Lake Travis to check out the Oasis. It’s a mini-town of restaurants and shops right on the edge of the lake with a killer view of the Texas sunset. 10/10 would recommend mostly for the view and not as much for the food. We went the night before for my brother in law’s trooper graduation.
Have you been to Austin?
I hadn’t been in over ten years and am kicking myself for missing out. I’m heading back soon.
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