The city of Austin is a magical place. From the marvelous adventures you can experience around Rainey Street, to the long trek down the trails on the Green Belt. All of these are what makes the city of Austin an amazing place.
But as a full-time resident or even a tourist, you’re probably wondering where you can go to and explore to get a good view of Austin if your time is limited. So here are five places that you need to go to!
Where do we Start?
If you’re anything like me, you’re probably wondering where you can go, to either take a date or simply take an amazing photo! So Let’s begin our list with my favorite place of all.
1- Mt Bonnell
Mount Bonnell is known for being one of the tallest points in the city of Austin with an elevation of 775ft from sea level. (Click HERE to get directions to this spot) What makes this place such a mesmerizing place is the fact that you have a clear view of the Colorado river and even the city skyline. Depending on what you plan on doing there, be taking an amazing photo or trying to spend time with your significant other you will have no doubt that you chose the right place.
Word to the wise. Best times to go are either early in the morning as the sun rises, or in the evening as the sun goes down. Not only will you have the best lighting for amazing photos, you will also notice that the sun sets above the water. Be mindful that this area is a natural place, so if you plan on hiking during the summer, you will encounter mosquitoes. So bringing bug repellent is suggested. Lastly, if you go explore the area during spring, be prepared to experience above normal levels of cedar in the air.
2- Lookout Point
Lookout Point is a hidden gem. (Click HERE for GPS directions) Despite that it is so close to the city, not many people seem to know about this place. Lookout Point is a place with trails that lead to Lady Bird lake, and during spring after a substantial rain the creek below will flow and make this area feel and look as its own natural habitat. What makes this place unique, asides not being popular, is that it has a great view to the city! While most people go down to Zilker park to watch the fireworks during July the 4th, a few select group of ATX Experts will congregate here and watch them.
The number issue that you will encounter if you plan on going to look out point, is that there is no parking designated for these trails. Which means that you will have to walk a few blocks from the residential area just behind the entrance to the trails. Because of that, the neighbors have set up a strict crime stoppers group that will call the police if your car is still parked on the streets after the sun sets. With that in mind, this is a place that you will want to go to in the morning! Based on the location, you will notice the sunrise right behind the city skyline!
3- Auditorium Shores – Town Lake Metro Park
Although this place is well known among tourists and locals alike, it would be a crime to leave this place out of the list. This park never sleeps. Whether you visit early in the morning or at midnight, you will always find people here. It is a great place to make friends and an even better place to go for a run since the trails run alongside Lady Bird lake for miles. The park is located right off the bridge on 1st Street, and has plenty of parking areas which makes it easy to go explore the area for hours without having to worry about parking tickets! Not only that but if you’re an animal lover, you will find this place to be an amazing place to take your fur babies as well! (Click HERE for GPS directions)
4- Pace Bend
Pace Bend is located just on the outskirts of Austin. To enter the park, there is a fee of $10, cash. The park has a few spots where you can park and set up tents, and even have a small bonfire! An ideal place to take the family or just hang out with friends! Because of the natural landscape of the area, there are cliffs as tall as 50ft+ where you can jump from into the water! Be mindful that going back up will not be an easy task since there are no stairs. There are also several areas with cliffs that much lower and perfect for kids (still supervise them, though) and those who are afraid of heights. (Click HERE for GPS directions)
5- Penny Backer Bridge (360 Bridge)
The Penny Back bridge is perhaps one of the monuments in the city of Austin that everyone seems to know. Not only does the bridge connect the city from East Austin to North Austin, it also provides with a great view if you dare climb to the to of the cliff. Although the hike up is not difficult, you may struggle the most finding parking since this place is often traveled by tourists and residents alike. From the bridge, you can see the skyline of the city far in the horizon. The best time to visit the area is during the evening since the sun sets over the water on the Colorado river. (Click HERE for GPS directions)