Downtown Austin truly has a sprinkle of everything, with shops, bars and restaurants lining downtown’s bustling streets. Make your way to the nearby Auditorium Shores, an urban park on the shores of Lady Bird Lake with stunning views of the skyline. Explore the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail on two wheels or by foot, and don’t miss the view from the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge or the Long Center at sunset!
2. EAST AUSTIN
Venture to the east side of the city for an eclectic experience, where the old meets the new in one of Austin’s fastest-growing neighborhoods! While hip boutiques, inventive eateries and coffee shops are popping up like bluebonnets at springtime, you don’t have to look far to see the rich history and culture around every corner. Spots like the Victory Grill, one of the African American juke joints of the 1940s that brought big-name blues and R&B performers to Austin, are what make East Austin truly special.
3. SOUTH CONGRESS
South Congress Avenue is one of our most-loved routes for good reason! Just south of Lady Bird Lake lies the iconic stretch of “SoCo” lined with Austin favorites, such as Home Slice Pizza, Jo’s Coffee, Allen’s Boots and other can’t-miss shops and restaurants. Stroll the avenue for photo ops in front of street art like the “I love you so much” mural and the “Greetings from Austin” mural nearby on 1st Street. At sunset, head to Congress Bridge to watch the bats take flight at sunset.
4. ZILKER PARK
Zilker Park is known as the “jewel in the heart of Austin,” and once you visit, you’ll easily understand why. With unbeatable views of the Austin skyline, a natural spring-fed pool, the Zilker Botanical Gardens and more, it’s practically impossible to have an authentic city experience without putting this spot on your list of places to take photos in Austin. In early October, be sure to snag tickets for ACL (aka the Austin City Limits Music Festival) hosted here. A weekend of incredible live music, food trucks and perfect Texas fall weather? Say less.
5. MOUNT BONNELL
Sweeping Hill Country views await with a short hike up Mt. Bonnell, the highest point in Austin. After your 102-stair climb, you’re rewarded with a panoramic photo op featuring the winding Colorado River and the 360 Bridge, also known as the Pennybacker Bridge. Relax at the top with a picnic lunch, and on your way back to the city, pay a visit to Mayfield Park to say hello to the roaming peacocks!
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