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Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge

Bridge and Scenic Lookout
Downtown Austin, Austin
114 Tips and reviews
  • sunsets
  • guano
  • south east side
  • trails
  • biking
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  • Colleen C.
    Colleen CarpenterAugust 17, 2014
    Pretty fun! Beautiful park below with a great view of the bats coming out at dusk. Pretty interesting and you can watch it from a kayak or boat as well!
  • CNN
    CNNMarch 6, 2012
    Home to the largest urban colony of bats in the US! Up to 1.5 million fly from underneath the bridge to forage for food at dusk. Submit photos or video of your SXSW bat encounter to!
  • Phani K.
    Phani KMarch 16, 2012
    The bridge offers bat watching views in august(best) when young pups+mothers exit the bridge during nightly flights. Exit time around 8 to 8:30 pm as long as 30-45 mins. Exit times-Call 416-5700 x3636
  • Kristin I.
    Kristin IgeOctober 4, 2016
    Cool creepy and gross all at once to see 1.5 million bats swarm outs. Wear pants, shoes, and a hat. Left with 10 leg bites and didn't even sit down on the grassy hill. Fleas are not your friend.
  • Nicholle
    NicholleAugust 3, 2013
    It's hard to gauge the exact time the bats will emerge from under the bridge. However, when they do, it's quite a sight. Try to arrive 30mins before sunset. Austinites should see this at least once!
  • Mazanin F.
    Mazanin FJuly 24, 2015
    If you are lucky and you are around this area before sunset, you can see bats flying from under the bridge to some area in the southeast of Austin.
  • Nikon USA
    Nikon USAMarch 12, 2011
    Always consider the background when composing images. If there's something in your view that you don't want in the final photo, you can change your physical position or try changing the focal length.
  • Wael H.
    Wael HazzaziApril 17, 2016
    The bats are really small, try to go to the right end (south side) of the bridge, that's where they will emerge from
  • Saving Places
    Saving PlacesSeptember 16, 2010
    At night, 1.5 million bats blanket the sky above downtown Austin. Don’t miss the Night Wings sculpture at the foot of the Congress Avenue Bridge, their historic digs. –Jason, our Homesick Austinite
  • chris m.
    chris millerMarch 19, 2012
    The bats fly leave the bridge flying east. Best place (other then on boat) is the South East side of the river down on the grassy area by the bike path
  • Austin American-Statesman
    Driving across the Congress Avenue Bridge, you'd never know the world's largest urban bat colony (1.5 million at summer peak) lives under it ... unless you show up at sundown to see them.
  • Ted G.
    Ted GreenApril 18, 2015
    Great place to start your evening, over looking town lake, the sunset and bats. When they leave, wow it's truly amazing, to see so many at one place......
  • Visit Austin
    Visit AustinNovember 4, 2011
    Austin is home to the largest urban bat colony in North America. More than 1.5 million bats fly out near dusk from the Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge. Best viewing dates: April-Oct.
  • VM Foundry
    VM FoundryMarch 11, 2011
    March kicks off bat season in Austin. March-April thousands of mostly female, pregnant Mexican free-tailed bats migrate North to give birth & they stay through the spring, summer, & early fall.
  • Evan[Bu]
    Evan[Bu]July 4, 2011
    Either Burt Reynolds is in town, or thousands of bats are about to tear out from underneath this bridge. Either way, there are a ton of people on this bridge. Look for the vendor selling guano bowls.
  • Kathleen S.
    Kathleen SmithApril 10, 2011
    About a million bats arrive in Austin in Spring and stay until Fall. See them from near the Congress area bridge or take a bat boat tour.
  • Social Distillery
    Social DistilleryNovember 22, 2011
    Because of the near blindness that afflicts the species, bats rely on sonar or echolocation to detect objects around them. If it's raining, they can't hear & won't come out to feed.
  • Molly S.
    Molly ShetterAugust 9, 2012
    Park at the Austin American Statesman and follow the gravel path down to the hill near the river!
  • National Wildlife Federation
    Watch for the largest urban bat colony ( they are Mexican Free-tailed bats) emerge from under the bridge as night falls. It's an incredible sight to see!
  • Sarah G.
    Sarah GutierrezJuly 6, 2013
    Great for bat watching and even better trails! Just try not to "take the scenic route" like I did...
  • Roshan V.
    Roshan VyasAugust 22, 2013
    Come for the view, stay for the bats. Leave with the terror of millions of bats flying overhead.
  • Kaitlin G.
    Kaitlin GAugust 23, 2011
    The world's largest urban bat colony lives under this bridge! Be sure to get there before sunset.
  • Let's Go
    Let's GoApril 4, 2011
    Just before dusk, head here to join thousands of others to watch the massive swarm of Mexican free-tail bats emerge from their roosts to feed on the night’s mosquitoes. Read more
  • Himmad K.
    Himmad KhanJune 30, 2013
    When on the bridge, get as close as you can over the water for the best view
  • IntelWiMAX
    IntelWiMAXSeptember 27, 2010
    Did you know the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge is home to the world's largest urban bat colony? You're in a WiMAX hotspot, so hop online and learn more!
  • Carla M.
    Carla MOctober 29, 2012
    I cannot think of a better name for this bridge that is home to hundreds of bats !! Ann Richards was one of the biggest old bats I've ever known!!!!
  • Stephanie W.
    Stephanie WallsJanuary 11, 2015
    A great place to watch the sun set, while waiting for the bats to take flight.
  • Carrie O.
    Carrie OgulnickJune 10, 2013
    Get there 30 min before dusk. Super cool to see!
  • Travaasa Austin
    Travaasa AustinSeptember 20, 2011
    1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats depart nightly at sunset, April through October, from beneath the bridge.
  • Julius T.
    Julius TarngOctober 22, 2015
    Hang out here waiting for bats. It'll probably be real dark when they come out buts it's a cool 15 minutes.
  • Dora
    DoraJuly 21, 2010
    Arrive early to find a spot on the grass, because the bats draw quite a crowd most nights. Powered by
  • Nick K.
    Nick KinlingApril 15, 2013
    Beware of the man in the bat hat. He is soliciting buttons and will harass you if you don't buy one.
  • Bret S.
    Bret SandersJuly 20, 2013
    Get there early to get the best spot on the bridge
  • Rebecca L.
    Rebecca LeeOctober 13, 2011
    Go at sunset and watch the bats! Beware, they're stinky, though!
  • Carlos R.
    Carlos RossJuly 19, 2013
    Have plenty of charge on your phone if you want to take video!
  • William H.
    William HendersonMay 26, 2014
    Everyone is excited for the bats to come out!!!
  • Chevrolet
    ChevroletSeptember 20, 2010
    Originally built in 1875 for $80,000, it's now home to an estimated 1.5 million Mexican Free-tailed bats underneath. Showtime is daily at dusk.
  • Jennifer 8. L.
    Jennifer 8. LeeMarch 15, 2010
    Watch the bats fly out from under the bridge around dusk. Peak period is August. Grassy knoll or bridge are best vantage points.
  • Dilara Sultan
    Dilara SultanNovember 5, 2011
    On the right side of the bridge (facing north) is good.... seeing from a boat even better! Read more
  • Adam R.
    Adam RogersAugust 19, 2013
    Beware of the deaf guy passing out buttons, he expects your money. I politely told him I didn't want one, he flipped me off and motioned for me to leave. Amusingly, he avoided our side of the bridge.
  • Darlene H.
    Darlene HornMarch 4, 2012
    Watch the bats take off at desk -- largest in the world. Be sure to wear a hat!
  • Dustin S.
    Dustin SchirerSeptember 20, 2014
    Had good luck in the south east side of the bridge. Find a street lamp to stand under to help illuminate the creepy flying mice.
  • CultureMap Austin
    CultureMap AustinJuly 15, 2011
    What you're seeing is over a million and a half Mexican free-tailed bats emerging to feast on their dinner of insects.
  • Gautham B.
    Gautham BJune 5, 2011
    Watch the bats rise from under the bridge .. From the lake itself... Rent a canoe or a kayak
  • Steve M.
    Steve McDanielSeptember 23, 2016
    if the bats don't come out right after dusk - don't wait around as you can't see them after dark
  • Maigh X.
    Maigh XMarch 12, 2012
    If you're going to watch from UNDER the bridge on the lawn, bring an umbrella.
  • Tim T.
    Tim TalbotMarch 20, 2016
    Watched the bats during a lightning storm at sunset. Absolutely incredible
  • Margey
    MargeyApril 11, 2013
    Absolutely worth seeing this phenomena!! Nature at it's finest.
  • Ryan G.
    Ryan GallagherMay 6, 2016
    Great place to look down on the Colorado river.
  • Tatum V.
    Tatum VayavanandaJuly 7, 2010
    The guide says warm, dry August days around sunset are the best time for bats.
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