Friday, June 9, 2023


Austin’s Congress Street always worth a look

Gibson Street Artisan Market. Click on photo to enlarge.  (Julianne G. Crane)

There is always much to see on Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas, there are plenty of reasons to venture downtown for both funky and family activities.

On a recent visit in early December, we started in the ‘Keep Austin Wierd’ SoCo Neighborhood on south Congress Avenue because of its abundance of unique shops and eateries–including the (top) Gibson Street Artisan Market, (1318 S. Congress Ave.) one of two artisan-ONLY markets in the entire city. Open Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Crossing Town Lake in downtown Austin. (Julianne G. Crane)

According to an item on “All the artists are local, so the prices are good- as is the selection and product quality. Available regularly is a variety of jewelry, sewn goods, leather goods, and furniture. This is so Austin. You can adopt a dog; grab a crepe, burger or taco; and shop a variety of quality handcrafts all in one place.”

We drove north on Congress Avenue, crossing over the Town Lake Bike and Hike Trail toward the State Capitol Building.  The must-see Capitol building is modeled after the nation’s Capitol in Washington, D.C., and sits on 26 acres in the heart of the historic Capitol District. 

Old Bakery (Julianne G. Crane)

Less than a block from the Capitol is the historic Old Bakery and Emporium, (right) an Austin landmark bearing an official Texas Historical Commission medallion.

While it no longer serves food, it operates as a gift shop with unique gifts, Visitor Information Center, art gallery exhibiting local artists 50-or-better and houses a small museum, the Lundberg-Maerki Historical Collection.

To learn more about getting around Downtown Austin, click here.

Photos by Julianne G. Crane. (Click on photos to enlarge.) To read more by Julianne G. Crane, go to

Julianne G. Crane
Julianne G. Crane
Julianne G. Crane writes about the RVing and camping lifestyles for print and online sites. She was been hooked on RVing from her first rig in the mid-1980s. Between 2000-2008, she was a writer for The Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, Wash. One of her popular columns was Wheel Life about RVing in the Pacific Northwest. In 2008, Crane started publishing RV Wheel She and her husband, Jimmy Smith, keep a homebase in southern Oregon, while they continue to explore North America in their 21-foot 2021 Escape travel trailer. Over the years they have owned every type of RV except a big class A. “Our needs change and thankfully, there’s an RV out there that fits every lifestyle.”


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