Spring is beginning to show itself on many a limb here in Austin and, thanks to with fine weather, these are excellent days to be on foot. The Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) has hosted free downtown walking tours for years, and they begin in March after taking a winter break. It’s a way to tell city history by looking at buildings and learning about the personalities behind the facades.

In times past, people could simply show up at the rendezvous point at a designated hour and get a tour. This season, the CVB institutes a reservation system so that interested folks can sign up ahead of time. Also new this year, the tours are led by certified members of the Austin Tour Guide Association, including yours truly.

The Congress Avenue/Sixth Street walk covers innkeepers, merchants, bankers, architects, surveyors, builders, governors, ranchers, presidents, and restaurateurs who’ve played leading roles in the Capital City’s development. Eras include the Republic period, early statehood, Civil War and Reconstruction, later statehood, and contemporary times. As a geographer, I also generously sprinkle in tidbits about trees, flowers, topography, and climate. Plus, guests get enticements about my Texpert Tour offerings. The 90-minute stroll starts on the statehouse south steps and concludes at the Visitor Center on Old Pecan Street.

Please join me for fun, elucidation, and good exercise on the Main Street of Texas.

-HR

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