9. Austin May be a Blue Dot in a State of Red but it’s Still the Capital of Texas, with all that implies

Texas State Capitol with Goddess of Liberty

Or, to quote the National Geographic, Austin is “a blueberry in at the tomato soup of red-state politics.” Texas is big, and even in the 1880s when it was building its capitol, it wanted to make a statement that would command national attention. At 302.64 feet, the Texas Capitol is taller than the US Capitol in Washington D.C. But, alas, five other states proceeded to build taller than Texas. Beautiful as it is, the Italian Renaissance building has had more than its share of catastrophes, including fires, floods, and pollution. When the enormous, battered, galvanized iron and zinc Goddess of Liberty statue was removed for cleaning in 1983, she proved too heavy to be hoisted back up. She now lives at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. A replica has taken her place.