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Hop Aboard an Art & Architecture Tour for a Look Inside Austin’s Modern and Historic Buildings

Explore the city via an air-conditioned tour that highlights Austin's oldest and newest architecture

Neill-Cochran House Museum (photo by Holly Cowart)

Whether you’re looking for a new way to explore the city or hosting guests from out-of-town on a sightseeing adventure, AO Tours provides a wonderful new way to travel around Austin and learn about our capital city’s most iconic buildings. On the Art & Architecture Tour, a friendly tour captain will guide a small group around Austin in a comfortable, air-conditioned Mercedes tour bus. You’ll gather downtown at the Austin Visitor Center, then cruise around the city noting both modern and historic buildings while taking several stops at some interesting and most recognizable destinations.

Taking in the views on the AO Art & Architecture Tour (photo by Holly Cowart)

Truly a fun experience for locals and tourists alike, you can expect to learn many interesting tidbits of information about Austin’s unique and varied approach to design throughout the decades. The tour, which lasts approximately two and a half hours, provides the opportunity to step on and off the vehicle at several stops, while also offering plenty of drive-by views of classic Austin landmarks that you can see from the comfort of your seat.

Blanton Museum of Art (photo by Holly Cowart)

Highlights of the AO Art & Architecture Tour

Downtown – View a mix of architectural styles including Gothic, Greek Revival and Moderne. You’ll see some of the best public artwork in the city, including Tau Ceti, the tallest mural in Austin.

Interior of The Driskill Hotel (photo by Holly Cowart)
The Capitol Mall (photo by Holly Cowart)

Seaholm District – Swing through this unique area to see the butterfly bridge, the Jenga-like tower of the Independent, Kempelen’s Robotic Owls, and the former City of Austin power plant that the district is named after. Thereafter, you’ll have the chance to pop into the remarkable Central Library where you can take the elevator up to the rooftop for sweeping views of the city and Lady Bird Lake.

Block 185 “sailboat building” (photo by Holly Cowart)

Judges Hill – Drive through this historic area near the UT Campus, and enjoy a stop in the lovely, historic Neill-Cochran House where you can meet the museum’s curator for a short tour of this Greek Revival mansion.

Interior of the Neill-Cochran House Museum (photo by Holly Cowart)

RELATED: Neill-Cochran House Museum Offers A Glimpse Into Austin’s Past

Hyde Park – Travel through the charming neighborhood of Hyde Park to appreciate a mix of architecture including Victorian, Queen Anne, Tudor Revivals, and American Craftsman bungalow. Following the drive, you will have the chance to walk into the Elisabet Ney Museum to view the works of this renowned sculptor in her former home.

Works of Elisabet Ney (photo by Holly Cowart)
Littlefield Home (photo by Holly Cowart)

RELATED: Elisabet Ney Was Decades Ahead of Her Time

Explore the city even further

In addition to the Architecture Tour, AO Tours provides a variety of other unique sightseeing options — perfect for anyone getting to know Austin. Another panoramic tour allows you to see highlights of the city in a glass top convertible. You can also try an Offbeat Austin Tour in which guides share the myths, legends, and tales of the figures who made Austin such a proudly weird locale. If you’d like to go further than city limits, you can also opt for a tour of the Hill Country. View the variety of tours and be sure to book your trip in advance.

Fun with the AO Tour Guide (photo by Holly Cowart)

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