3 Things You Might Not Know About Austin’s Famous Driskill Hotel

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Since first opening its doors in 1886, The Driskill Hotel located in downtown Austin has been the quintessential picture of western opulence and Texas pride. While the hotel is a well-known landmark on 6th Street, there are a few things about its history, and the building itself, that are lesser known. Below are three things you might not know about one of Austin’s most famous landmarks.

1. It Was the Setting for a Famous Texas Duo’s First Date

Lady Bird and President Johnson Photo by Yoichi Okamoto

Photo: Facebook/Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum by Yoichi Okamoto

In 1934, a dashing and charismatic Lyndon Baines Johnson met Claudia Taylor or “Lady Bird” for breakfast at what formerly was The Driskill’s dining room. At the time, Johnson’s political aspirations were only faraway dreams, but his whirlwind courtship of the girl from the woods of east Texas hinted at the tenacious spirit he would become so well known for. In an article published in Texas Monthly in 2013, Madelyn Herzog noted that the couples’ first date began at the hotel, but morphed into a “…day-long car ride and ended with a marriage proposal from Johnson.”

The couple visited the Driskill many times over the course of their marriage, and today the LBJ Suite is dedicated in their honor.

2. Some Believe an Uninvited Guest Likes to Visit the Hotel

The Driskill Hotel's historic ballroom. Photo Courtesy of the Driskill Hotel

Photo Courtesy: The Driskill Hotel

According to, the Driskill is one of the most active places for “unexplained phenomenon” in the Austin area. Stories of young brides putting a tragic end to their separate honeymoons and a small child meeting an untimely demise have given fodder to tales of ghostly sightings. Whether or not the stories are true can only be determined with your own stay at the luxurious hotel.

3. The Hotel Served as the State’s Capitol Building for a Time

Driskill Hotel Stained Glass Ceiling
Photo: Facebook/The Driskill

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