September 27, 2023


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The place to Watch and Park  » Manner Weblog

8 min read

Austin’s acquired so much to brag about – the music, meals, tradition… However nothing’s as distinctive as the town’s unofficial mascots residing beneath the Congress Avenue Bridge. If you wish to catch one of the best views of their spectacular sundown flight, strive an Austin Bats Tour. Decide your viewpoint on or close to the bridge, and we’ll provide help to find a parking spot nearby.  

Did You Know? Austin is residence to the largest city bat colony in North America. The Congress Avenue Bridge throughout the Colorado River is their bat cave, not less than because the 80s. The Mexican Free-Tailed bats migrate and nest within the metropolis for not less than 7-8 months, and their flight at sunset is sort of a spectacle that pulls locals and vacationers. It won’t sound like a lot, however give it a shot the following time you discover downtown Austin.  

So, the place are you able to get one of the best views of the Austin bats flight? Let’s take a look at the choices and in addition discover a low-cost parking spot close by: 

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What’s the Austin Bats Tour? 

Yearly, from late spring to early fall, Mexican Free-Tailed bats nesting beneath Austin’s Congress Avenue bridge placed on a pure spectacle at sundown. Watching the bat colony fly east from beneath the bridge is among the distinctive issues to do in Austin.  

The bats migrate from Mexico in spring and nest beneath the concrete arch bridge in downtown Austin. The darkish areas beneath the bridge are excellent nests; younger bat pups are born and nursed right here. June is the birthing season, and when the colony returns to Mexico by fall, their numbers can attain as excessive as 1.5 million!  

Hundreds of tourists come to watch the Austin bats yearly – the hotter months are the busiest. The colony takes flight simply because the solar units, leaving pups behind till they’re able to fly. They fly east over Girl Chook Lake to hunt bugs and small pests.  

Cameras on the prepared – the darkish silhouettes towards the Austin skyline is a must have shot! And there are a couple of locations to catch a front-row seat – together with Austin Bat Excursions on a ship. They take you on a sundown cruise down the Colorado River earlier than anchoring proper beneath the bridge at sundown to look at the bats.  

Austin bats tour boats

What months are you able to see the bats in Austin?  

The bats are in Austin from spring to fall; you’ll see them from late March till November. However the numbers are highest throughout July and August – proper after the birthing season in June.  

What’s the greatest time to see the bats in Austin? 

July-August is one of the best time to look at the Congress Avenue Bridge bats in Austin. The colony takes flight each evening by seven. 

At what time do the bats come out in Austin? 

From April to October, guests and locals begin lining up on and across the Congress Avenue bridge simply earlier than sundown. You’ll normally see the bats in flight between 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm – there’s loads of time for a 10-minute stopover throughout a downtown Austin Tour. However in case you are watching from the bridge, get there early for a great spot proper on the middle, and don’t overlook to face east.  

How can I watch the Austin bats? 

The bats nesting beneath the Congress Avenue Bridge fly east over Girl Chook Lake. So, the sidewalk on the bridge’s east aspect is a well-liked viewing spot. It’s a fast stroll from downtown Austin inns and points of interest just like the Conference Heart and Sixth Road. So, arrive earlier than sundown if you’d like one of the best spots.  

Already watched the Austin bats from the bridge? Attempt a ship tour or the Statesman Bat Commentary Heart beneath the bridge for a special perspective.  

Austin Bats Tour Boats 

Tour corporations like Lone Star Riverboat and Capital Cruises arrange Austin bat-watching excursions, beginning late March to October. The check-in docks are alongside the lake and normally begin with a river cruise throughout sundown. The boats arrive beneath the bridge by nightfall because the bats begin flying out. You’ll get to see them with the sky, the bridge, and the town skyline within the background. The boats might also have high-powered crimson lights that can assist you see the nesting bats – don’t fear, the sunshine doesn’t trouble them. You may as well study extra in regards to the bats out of your tour information.  


How lengthy is the bat cruise in Austin? 

Austin bats tour boats set out by sundown, and the guided cruises final about an hour. 

Statesman Bat Commentary Heart 

The grassy hill is beneath the Congress Avenue Bridge – on the southeast aspect. You may take the steps from the nook of Barton Springs Highway and Congress Avenue. It’s open to the general public and free – however has paid parking.  

Butler Hike & Bike Path 

The path runs alongside the downtown waterfront space close to Congress Avenue Bridge, and there are a number of good spots for bat-watching. Simply ensure you aren’t blocking the trail for joggers and cyclists. Additionally, you should be on the bridge’s east aspect to see the bats.  

Watch from the Lake 

Don’t need to pay for an Austin Bats Tour by boat? Attempt kayaking or paddleboarding within the lake as a substitute. You may as well hire out canoes and water bikes.  

Austin bat tour on the Lady Bird Lake paddleboard

When is the Austin Bat Fest? 

Bat watching is now a preferred attraction in Austin. The town now organizes an annual Austin Bat Fest in mid-August to have a good time its seasonal friends. August is peak bat-watching time proper after the birthing season beneath the Congress Avenue Bridge. The one-day pageant is taken into account the “largest bat-viewing get together of the yr,” with dwell music, arts and crafts, child’s actions, food and drinks distributors, and even a bat costume contest.  

Austin Bats Tour Parking 

Austin is a car-friendly metropolis, and also you’ll discover loads of parking within the downtown space the place the bat tour boats dock. Nevertheless, downtown Austin is all the time busy as the town’s hottest points of interest are inside strolling distance of the Girl Chook lakefront. So, in the event you don’t need to threat a last-minute parking spot hunt, try an Austin parking app or web site to pre-book your spot.  

July and August are the most well-liked months for the Austin bats tour. So, in case you are planning to go to the Congress Avenue Bridge, Statesman Bat Commentary Heart, or go on a ship tour at the moment, ensure you have sufficient time earlier than sundown to park the automotive.  

Is there parking at Statesman Bat Commentary Heart? 

Paid parking is offered on the on-site lot and different areas close by. However parking at Statesman Bat Commentary Heart shall be restricted; you’ll should arrive early for a assured spot.  

You may as well strive different paid parking heaps close to the Congress Avenue Bridge, resembling: 

  • Aviation Division TXDOT lot on E Riverside Drive, east of Congress Avenue 
  • Palmer Occasions Heart Storage at Auditorium Shores at City Lake 
  • One Texas Heart Lot at 505 Barton Springs Highway 

Lodges on each side of the river additionally provide paid parking spots. However drive-up parking charges at these storage areas might be costly as demand rises. Nevertheless, in the event you pre-book your spot, it’s simple to search out cheaper charges on-line. 

night view of downtown austin

The right way to discover low-cost parking close to Congress Avenue Bridge? 

Congress Avenue Bridge is in downtown Austin and simply accessible from a number of garages/parking heaps round Congress Avenue and East/West Cesar Chavez Road. You’ll additionally discover metered and free avenue parking close by.  

Pre-booking a parking spot is the certain shot to low-cost parking in Austin, particularly close to Congress Avenue Bridge throughout the bat-watching season. Remember the fact that downtown Austin additionally has a number of occasion venues and points of interest just like the sixth Road leisure district.  

The right way to Discover Simple Parking in Austin: Finest spots close to prime locations 

Try apps like to ebook your Austin Bats Tour parking spot close to Congress Avenue Bridge. If you’re not taking the tour and need to spend solely 10-Quarter-hour on the bridge, you can even pay for a metered avenue parking spot with the app. Search the neighborhood for obtainable spots, enter your license plate quantity, and feed the meter for the time you want.  

Discover out extra about easy methods to pay for Austin avenue parking utilizing the app right here.  

For the most affordable charges at top-rated downtown Austin parking garages and plenty, take a look at these offers on 

Parking Lot Title/Location  Parking Charge  E book a Spot 
Hampton Inn and Suites – 200 San Jacinto Blvd  $5/Hour  E book Parking 
2021 Guadalupe Road Parking  $6/Hour  E book Parking 

Additionally See: The right way to E book Metropolis Parking on A Step-by-Step Information


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