1. Lady Bird Lake
This beautiful lake is Austin’s playground, and boasts great views of the city skyline from the boardwalk on its east side, as well as from the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge. The more athletically inclined can also enjoy the ten mile hike and bike trail that surrounds the lake. If snapping some pics out on the water are more your thing, you can rent out a canoe or stand up paddleboard from the many shops found along the shore. If you can, catch the annual Austin City Limits Music Festival. You won’t be disappointed.
2. Mount Bonnell
Austin is also known as the “City of the Violet Crown” for the colorful glow across its surrounding hills just after sunset, and Mount Bonnell is the perfect place to take that shot. So pack a picnic and make your way up to the 775-foot limestone outcrop for an unforgettable view. Pro tip: Try and go after a storm for the most dramatic view of the sky.
3. Texas State Capital
An icon of the Austin city skyline, the Texas State Capital is the sixth largest capital building in the United States. It’s open daily and has free guided tours. There are special theme tours such as Heroes of the Texas Revolution on weekdays at 2:15pm and Women in Texas History, weekdays at 11:15am. Don’t forget to snap a photo of the interior of its large central dome, and the stunning night view of its north side skylights.
4. Congress Avenue Bat Bridge
Austin is also home to the largest urban bat colony in North America. During the spring and summer, over 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats migrate to the city. Their nightly exodus from under the Congress Avenue Bridge is a spectacle not to be missed.
5. Franklin Barbecue
In a city known for their excellent barbecue spreads, Franklin Barbecue is a stand-out. You need to come early, and I’m talking before 9am, to ensure you make it to the counter before they sell out. The wait is usually around four hours. But, trust me; the brisket alone makes it worth the wait. So pack a couple of tailgating chairs, a six pack of local beer, and get comfortable.
6. Torchy’s Tacos
Tacos, especially breakfast tacos are an Austin staple. Torchy’s is a local favorite that happens to serve their breakfast tacos all day. Make sure you check out their brisket tacos as well like The Wrangler or Crossroads. For maximum ‘gramming, their most scenic location is the retro-style building off South Congress Avenue.
7. Banger’s Sausage House
What’s better than a mimosa? What about an enormous mimosa consisting of a liter of Champaign and freshly squeezed orange juice. Well Banger’s Sausage house has you covered in that department with their legendary Manmosa. Grab one and enjoy the laid back atmosphere and live music. Their scenic open air patio is a choice Instagram spot. If that isn’t enough for your followers, order one of their home made sausages for a great food shot.
8. Jacob’s Well
Make sure to pack your waterproof case for this one. Located about 45 minutes outside Austin, Jacob’s Well features a dramatic, steep drop off that is instantly recognizable. Why not take a dip while you’re there? The spring is open to swimmer starting May 1.
9. Barton Springs Pool
Another of Austin’s aquatic hotspots, Barton Springs Pool is one of the best places to escape the omnipresent Texas heat. The three acre pool is fed by an underground spring and stays a comfortable 68-70 degrees all year round. It’s also a great people watching spot that attracts Austinites from all walks of life.
10. Barton Creek Greenbelt
Reckoned as one of the best hiking trails in Texas, the Barton Creek Greenbelt is found in south central Austin. It covers 12.85 miles and features stunning swimming holes like Sculpture Falls and Twin Falls. There are also mountain biking and rock climbing locations for the more adventurous Instagrammers.
11. “I Love You So Much” Mural
Found outside Jo’s Coffee on a popular corner of South Congress Avenue, this iconic landmark is one of many scenic murals found around Austin. There’s usually a line of people waiting to get their picture taken here.
Austin is a must-see destination for anyone visiting the great state of Texas. While hardly exhaustive, I hope this list gives you a great starting off point for discovering new places to take pictures in Austin. There are so many great hidden gems here; I hope you enjoy uncovering your own. Happy travels!
While hardly exhaustive, I hope this list gives you a great starting off point for discovering new places to take pictures in Austin - or check out this list for more gram-worthy local spots!