- Kristin Finan American-Statesman Staff
Sure, you love Austin and enjoy showing it off on your Instagram and Facebook feeds.
But if you’re getting tired of all your usual downtown and skyline shots, maybe it’s time to step out of your comfort zone.
Here are 10 ideas for places you can snap a fabulous selfie outside of downtown Austin. And while you’re there, take the time to explore and have some fun, too.
Pennybacker Bridge (aka the Austin 360 Bridge) is located along the Capital of Texas Highway and runs above Lake Austin. It’s photographed frequently, and with good reason — this local landmark offers stunning views. If you choose to make the 10-minute hike up to the bridge overlook, be warned that it’s a steep climb. Be careful, and wear comfortable shoes.
Mueller Lake Park
Come to snap some photos in this picturesque North Austin park, then stay for the numerous activities within walking distance. From fishing in the lake to playing at the Thinkery to taking in a flick at the Alamo Drafthouse Mueller, there’s probably something for everyone in your group.
Always dreamed of having a peacock in the background of your selfie? Don’t miss Mayfield Park, where nearly two dozen peafowl regularly roam the grounds, located off 35th Street in West Austin. Don’t get too close when you take your photos, of course — peacocks need space, too.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Whether you take in the panoramic views from atop the observation tower or snap an action shot from one of the clusters of swings along the Arboretum Trail, the Wildflower Center is brimming with photo ops for the whole family. Not surprisingly, in spring it’s also an excellent place to take easy (and beautiful) wildflower photos.
McKinney Falls State Park
Show Instagram what a nature lover you are with some shots at McKinney Falls State Park, located just 20 minutes from downtown Austin, where wildlife, waterfalls and natural wonders abound. While you’re here, carve out some time to unplug, too, by taking a hike or enjoying a picnic.
Austin’s shopping enthusiasts rejoiced when the Domain opened in North Austin, and over the past few years, it’s only gotten better. Photo ops abound, from the colorful steps inside the new Erin Condren flagship store to the famous cupcake ATM at Sprinkles.
For good drinks, good food and good views, it doesn’t get more iconic than the Oasis, the Lake Travis restaurant that’s also been dubbed “sunset capital of Texas.” Grab a spot on one of the tiered outdoor decks, sip a margarita and watch the sun sink down. It’s so stunning you might even forget to snap that selfie.
Covert Park at Mount Bonnell
Yes, you may be out of breath by the time you climb the stairs to the top of this 775-foot-high overlook, but it’s worth it for the gorgeous views it affords of blue-green Lake Austin below.
Up for a little road trip? Why not head 45 minutes down the highway for an afternoon at Gruene Hall, which was built in 1878 and is considered Texas’ oldest continually operating (and most famous) dance hall. Whether you take a photo out front or inside on the dance floor, you’re sure to make Texas-size memories.
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Climbing to the top of this hulking granite dome is a rite of passage for any true Texan, as is snapping a photo at the top. Just be sure you hit the road early, as the park, located near Fredericksburg, will close once it reaches capacity (as it often does).