Austin Things To Do Guide

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Congress Bridge Bats
Address : 220 South Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 78704
Phone : (___)-___-____
Currently Rated : 4 by 158 customer(s)
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About the Austin Congres Bridge Bats
The Congress Avenue Bridge spans Town Lake in downtown Austin and is home to the largest urban bat colony in North America.  The colony is estimated at 1.5 million Mexican free-tail bats.   Each night from mid-March to November, the Austin bats emerge from under the bridge at dusk to blanket the sky as they head out to forage for food.  This event has become one of the most spectacular and unusual tourist attractions in Texas.  The most spectacular bat flights are during hot, dry August nights, when multiple columns of bats emerge.  There are several points from which to view the event, and an information kiosk is located on the north bank of the river, just east of the bridge.


Austin Bats Fly from Mid March to Early November


Cool Ways to View the Austin Bats


1. Capital Cruises Bat Watching Tours
Capital Cruises Austin is home of the Largest Electric Paddle Wheel Boat in the Country and the now famous Sunset Bat Watching excursion. This tour fills up nearly every night during bat season some times a few days in advance. Use this link to Capital Cruises Bat Watching and Sightseeing Tours for more info.  Prices are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $5 for kids. You need to arrive about 30 minutes before sunset for this one and buying tickets in advance is frequently required. This tour sells out almost every night during the summer, so we recommend you buy tickets in advance.

2. Kayak Bat Watching Tours from Live Love Paddle
In the heat of the summer, watching the bats from a Live Love Paddle kayak tour is the way to go as the cool water of the river beneath you can really beats standing on the bridge. Plus the view of downtown at sunset can make for some spectacular photos to post on Facebook and is nearly as amazing as the bats themselves. 
Tours start at 1602 East Riverside Drive on Lady Bird Lake where you kayak up the lake to see the bats emerge.  The minimum weight on bat-watching tours is 30 lbs and maximum weight is 275 lbs. Tours start just before dusk so times vary with the season.  Prices are $45 per person (tax included) and tandem boats are available. These tours fill up, we highly recommend you make a reservation.

3. Bat City Bridge Tour  from Gliding Revolution
The Bat City Bridge Tour by Gliding Revolution is the perfect way to learn about Austins history and enjoy the Congress Avenue Bridge bats from the Congress Avenue Bridge. The tour includes
historical information about Austin with a focus on the State Capital of Texas grounds, 6th Street, and Congress Avenue. On this tour, we'll venture over to see the Congress Avenue Bridge bats. These famous Mexican free-tailed bats depart from the Congress Avenue Bridge at sunset every night and create a plume of bats that looks like smoke. This tour runs daily at 5:30 pm March to October and is $73 per person, it sells out quickly, so we highly recommend you make a reservation.

Where to Eat while Visiting Austin's Bat Bridge


1. Zax Restaurant and Bar
Zax is a casual, upscale restaurant and bar located just south of downtown that caters to a range of clientele.  The ambiance of the dining room, with bright light, warm wood floors and vaulted wood ceiling, reminds one of a secluded lodge in the heart of the city.  Zax caters to all dining styles - with quaint indoor seating areas, an outdoor patio, and a copper bar that seats up to 20.  They're locally owned and operated.  Visit Zax Video City Guide listing to see a video review, pictures, and more.  We should mention there is no direct bat viewing from the restaurant but they do have free convenient customer parking about a block away from the bats. Remember the bats emerge at dusk and you may want to book a reservation at Zax to make sure you time it right to work in viewing the bats.