The Best Places For Scenic Views Of Austin

Mt. Bonnell | © Randall Chancellor/Flickr
Mt. Bonnell | © Randall Chancellor/Flickr
Photo of Aubrey Cofield
9 November 2016

Visitors and locals alike can take in the beauty of Austin from bridges, boardwalks, hills, and more. The most beloved views include those of Lady Bird Lake, downtown Austin, and the Texas State Capitol. Regardless of your preference, the destinations below prove to be the perfect spots in which to capture the scenery of Texas’ capital.

Mount Bonnell

Park, Natural Feature
Map View
Mount Bonnell is Austin’s highest point
© Peter Tsai Photography / Alamy Stock Photo
Mount Bonnell is one of Austin’s historic landmarks, attracting visitors since the 1850s and still offering one of the best views of Austin. There’s a small hiking trail with man-made stairs that lead up to various viewing spots. You can enjoy the scenes of the Colorado River and admire the mansions along the river’s edge. If you look carefully, you may even spot Sandra Bullock’s mansion that she recently sold. The best time to visit is during sunset, but expect crowds.

Bridge (Pennybacker Bridge)

Map View
The views associated with the 360 Bridge are two-fold. Enjoy a scenic drive along the bridge, or head up to the overlook that provides breathtaking scenes of the bridge plus a 360-degree view of Austin. There are several options for overlooks, with some more difficult to access than others, but they all feature beautiful landscapes and cityscapes. Parking is just alongside the bridge, and the hike is fairly short, making it a great option for taking in the surrounding beauty.

The Oasis on Lake Travis

Restaurant, Mexican, American, $$$
Map View
Patio at Oasis | Karen Blaha / Flickr
The Oasis on Lake Travis, a multilevel restaurant, is a lovely way to relish a drink while taking in the picturesque surrounds as nearly all seating provides customers with great scenes of the lake. The most popular time to enjoy a meal is during sunset when the scenery proves to be the most beautiful; therefore, you can spend the day swimming or boating on the lake before heading over to The Oasis to enjoy the sunset and a margarita. While there’s typically a lengthy wait for sunset dining, don’t be afraid to visit during other times of the day because the view is bound to be spectacular at any time.

The Boardwalk at Lady Bird Lake

Park, Hiking Trail
Map View
The Boardwalk Trail at Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Texas, USA.
The Boardwalk Trail at Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Texas, USA. | © Peter Tsai Photography / Alamy Stock Photo
This fairly new walking trail has quickly become an Austin favorite. With seven different viewing areas, you can look at scenes of downtown, kayakers on Lady Bird Lake, and art displayed along the way. The artwork includes 36 bronze western-style belts engraved with the lyrics of well-known Texas singers. The sunset on the boardwalk is perfect for a romantic date or a casual stroll with your dog in tow.

Azul Rooftop Pool

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Azul Rooftop Bar
Azul Rooftop Bar | @ Errich Petersen
At Austin’s downtown Westin hotel, you can swim while taking in the breathtaking views of the city. Open year-round, this rooftop bar and pool offers guests and the public a means to relax and have a drink all the while taking in the sights of Austin. Check the Azul Rooftop page for public pool hours and consider enjoying a sunset or two rooftop-style.

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