Places to See the Sunset in Austin, Texas


Austin, the capital city of Texas, lies on the banks of the Colorado River, where the flat eastern prairie ends and the hill country begins. The lakes and bluffs that surround the city make for excellent sunset viewing.

The Oasis at Lake Travis

  • The Oasis at Travis bills itself the "Sunset Capital of Texas." Perched on a hill overlooking Lake Travis, this upscale restaurant is perfectly positioned to capture the light at dusk through its plate-glass windows. The four-story facility seats up to 2500 people and offers several banquet rooms for private events; it also offers live music on the weekend. While you're watching the sunset, enjoy the varied menu featuring Tex-Mex favorites such as enchiladas and fajitas with burgers, steak and seafood.

Mount Bonnell Viewing Platform

  • Mount Bonnell, also known as Covert Park, overlooks Lake Austin to the west and is considered the highest point in the city of Austin proper. The park features a viewing platform at the top of a long wooden staircase. Climb the steps and you'll find yourself facing an expansive lake vista perfect for viewing the sunset. You can take a picnic up to the pavilion, but keep in mind you'll have lots of company that also wish to take in the view.

Congress Street Bridge

  • Every night at sunset, dense clouds of bats leave their roost under the Congress Avenue Bridge and launch themselves into the darkening sky to hunt. The bridge plays host to the largest urban colony of bats in the world -- over a million total -- and understandably, they've become a major tourist attraction. Crowds gather every evening and line the sidewalks on the bridge to watch the spectacle. The bats are migratory and absent in the winter, so if you want to see their flight across Lady Bird Lake, try the summer months.

Lone Star Riverboat

  • The Austin Chronicle calls the Lone Star Riverboat the "best place to watch the sunset." The boat cruises Lady Bird Lake daily from April through October; cruises last about an hour. Lady Bird Lake is adjacent to the Congress Street Bridge and its famous bat colony, affording passengers another view of the winged mammals' nightly flight as the sun sinks into the waters of the lake. Buy your tickets in advance.

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