Picture Perfect: The Best Photo Ops Austin Has to Offer
Austin is such a photogenic city; it makes it tough to take a bad picture. These are some of my favorite places to play photographer.
Mount Bonnell: Upon ascending the hundred or so stairs to the top of Mount Bonnell, you’ll understand why it’s a top destination for both locals and tourists. At 785 feet, it’s the highest point within the city limits. Standing at the top offers a one of a kind view in all directions from downtown to the 360 bridge.
University of Texas Tower: The tower on its own always makes for an amazing photograph; it’s pretty much the icon of the University. The real treat though, is to go on a ‘Tower Tour,' and to take in the view from the top of the tower. Tower tours offer a complete 360 view of the city. ProTip: Go on the last tour of the day. They start right before sunset, so you get to witness a magnificent show as the colors change and the sun fades into the horizon. Tours are $6.00. Always check the schedule and be sure to make a reservation.
360 Bridge Overlook: The 360 Bridge, or Pennybacker Bridge, is as much part of Austin as the Capitol. There have been countless photos taken from the overlook, it often appears in Facebook profile pictures, it’s even one of the artifacts in my Austin Snow globe. You can climb up the extremely mild hike to get a first class view of the bridge with views all the way to downtown. While you’re in the area, I’d also recommend crossing the bridge and going over to the boat launch as you can get some pretty sweet angels from right underneath the bridge.
Barton Springs: One of the things that I enjoy most about Barton Springs is it draws patrons of all walks of life. It’s like a freeze frame of Austin where, even though the faces change throughout the years, everyone is still going there for the same reasons: to enjoy the laid back freedom you feel while hanging out there. I always catch myself snapping photos of the gorgeous springs but also of others as they frolic in the waters or alongside the pool.
Baylor Street Art Wall: Often called “graffiti park,” “art wall,” “castle hill,” or “the Foundation,” this is the place to go for street art in Austin. This property was once slated to be condos; the foundation was poured, but things never moved forward from there. Eventually, local artists used the blank concrete foundation as their canvas. Now it’s constantly changing, and you'll often find new works or old favorites covered up from visit to visit. This place really is a two-for-one photo op because you can explore all the graffiti, and then climb to the top to discover a breathtaking view of downtown. I can sit at the top for hours while taking in the beauty of the city. It’s truly a unique Austin treasure.
Doug Sahm Hill: This hill located at Butler Park next to the Long Center provides a postcard view of the city’s skyline. Also, in the concrete at the top of the hill, there's a huge map of Texas carved into the ground with many city's names listed along with their distances to Austin.