Botany 2005 - Local Tours

Learning From Plants
Austin, Texas
August 13 - 17, 2005
Local Tour Descriptions


LT-1 Have a Capitol Day

A Capitol idea for an outing – an insider’s view of the capitol of the great Lone Star State. Enjoy a look into where our Texas legislature meets, and learn the history of our government and about some of the famous and infamous Texas politicians who have walked these hallowed halls.

Our tour offers a stop at the State Capitol Building and Visitors Center. The State Capitol Building, which was completed in 1888, is currently the third building to serve as the Capitol. It was constructed of red granite taken from Granite Mountain near Marble Falls, Texas and modeled after the classical style of our Nation’s Capitol. The height of the dome is 309 feet, over seven feet higher than the United States Capitol. We will also drive by The Governor’s Mansion. This is one of the oldest buildings in the complex, completed in 1856, and one of the oldest in the city.

The history of the Ransom Center officially began in 1957, when the U.T. Vice President and Provost Harry Huntt Ransom founded the Humanities Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin. Today its major emphasis is on the study of culture of the United States, Great Britain and France. The Center’s collections contain some 30 million leaves of manuscripts, over one million rare books, five million photographs, photographic equipment and 100,000 works of art. Highlights include the Gutenberg Bible (circa 1455) the world’s first photograph (circa 1826), important paintings by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. The Center is used extensively for research by scholars from around the world and offers ever-changing exhibitions and events.

For lunch-on-your-own, we will head to Congress Avenue, crossing the river to legendary Hill’s Café for a Texas lunch under 100 year-old oak trees. Open since 1947, the atmosphere is only matched by the great home cooking! The Musician’s Museum is an extra treat, almost as good as dessert!

LT-2 Texas Legends & Lore

Yes, everything really is bigger in Texas - if you don't believe it, just asks a Texan. We begin with the Story of Texas, The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. A most magnificent museum honoring the memory of one of Texas’ legendary politicians, Bob Bullock, as well as paying tribute to the deep love he had for his home state!

This museum exemplifies the bigger than life persona of Texas and Texans. There are a variety of fun and whimsical displays that depict Texas Valor, Vision, Pride, Perseverance, Swagger and Showmanship!

We will experience the Texas Spirit Theatre located on the second floor which is a multimedia event entitled “The Star of Destiny”. Your guests will feel the fury of the hurricane that rocked the Gulf Coast, experience the heat of the explosions that flattened the entire city and their hearts will rumble with the lightening and thunder from the Texas prairie lands. The ghost of Texas’ history leads you through a one-of-a-kind adventure.

The museum is also home to the best lil’ kitchen in the Lone Star State, The Story of Texas Café, where tasty snacks and mighty fine lunches are the fare.

What bigger Texas Legend than the late President Lyndon Baines Johnson? The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum on the University of Texas Campus houses Johnson’s desire to “show the facts, not just the joy and triumphs, but the sorrow and failures too”. This incredible facility is one of eleven Presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. Displays include the landmark Civil Rights Programs, the war in Vietnam and many other historical events which took place during the Johnson administration.

LT-3 Shop 'til you Drop!

If shopping is your bag, then this tour is as good as it gets! Our first stop, Prime Outlets at San Marcos, offers more – more brands, more selection and more value! The Center’s inviting landscaping and hacienda-style architecture make shopping in the more than 115 most famous name-brand outlets a buyer’s bliss! Enjoy lunch on your own at one of the 15 restaurants in the center. With names such as Guess, Tommy Hilfiger, SAS Shoes, Coach, Dooney and Bourke, Gap and Samsonite to name just a few, a day of sensational shopping is a sure thing! Whether shoes, clothing, the perfect wedding gift or a treasure, you’re sure to find it here!

For a very different kind of shopping experience, we move on to Gruene, (pronounced “Green”) a turn-of-the-century cotton farming community located on the banks of the Guadalupe River. This quintessential Texas town offers an assortment of antique and specialty shops, restaurants and even its own wine tasting venue. Enjoy a slower pace and investigate a treasure trove of wares at your fingertips. Stop in to visit Gruene Hall, the oldest dance hall in Texas, having had many country-singing stars and legends perform there over the years.  Willie Nelson, George Strait, Jerry Jeff Walker, Lyle Lovett are some of the well-known singers who’ve played here.  A complete list of the singers is displayed inside the Hall which is still the best place to scoot a boot!


Questions About Botany Meetings should be directed to: BSA Meetings Manager:
Johanne Stogran
Botanical Society of America Meetings Office
2813 Blossom Ave
Columbus, OH 43231
Tele: (614) 899-9356 - Fax: (614) 895-7866 - E-mail:
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