4 of Austin’s Great Family Photo Ops – and a fun idea

If you’re like us, when family comes to town, you do three things: hang out together, eat and take pictures.

We love it when friends and family come to see us in Austin, and we always try to scope out a little something new to enjoy with them.

We’ve toured the Texas State Capitol  and enjoyed day trips to hill country hot spots.  We’ve taken our guests to wine tastings, shopping at the Domain, pedicures, and movies.

But since the weather is so nice most of the year, and since the scenery is so splendid, we have grown pretty fond of enjoying outdoor fun with our out-of-town company.

River Place Nature Trail

For most of our guests, the chance to hike a beautiful, shady trail alongside a flowing clear water creek is a pure-dee treat.

This was the first trail we hiked when we moved to Austin.  Even the drive down to the trailhead is amazing, winding down, and down further, through residential neighborhoods where the homes are more palacial the closer you get to the starting point.

Take your time, or jog along the path if you want, but plan on stopping for pictures.  It’s just gorgeous.

River Place Nature Trail

Bluebonnets on 1431

If your out-of-town guests are staying for a few days when the bluebonnets are blooming, fill the crock pot with a good soup recipe, color-coordinate your clothes, open the sun roof and head west on 1431 to Flat Creek Estate for lunch and delicious Texas wine.

There are several tiny side roads that will allow you to meander into fields of bluebonnets close enough to get some really memory-making photos. Prepare to enjoy a big ol’ Texas w-o-w.  We were speechless simpletons when we happened onto this little meadow of bluebonnets.


Flat Creek does a very nice wine tasting.  (More on that later.)  Our daughter, Aly, had her bridal portraits taken here last February.  (More on that later, too.)

Mount Bonnell

Mount Bonnell is always on the list of things to do in Austin, and for good reason.

Climbers enjoy the fresh cedar-scented air while winding their way up the 102 steps to a stunning view of the Colorado River.

Here you can offer your guests another big ol’ Texas-sized, “w-o-w,” followed by, “ahhhh.” Next, it’s time to say, “Cheese!” as you pose, and pose, and pose again.  It’s a lovely spot.

If you go on a fall afternoon, maybe it will be cool enough to enjoy a cup of coffee and dessert at Mozart’s when you’re done. It’s situated on Lake Austin, just up the road a little, is open late and has a guest-pleasing dessert case.

Everyone can rationalize dessert after they’ve accomplished a hike 785 feet above sea level, right??

Mount Bonnell

Pennybacker Bridge

Our family just loves the Pennybacker Bridge on Hwy 360 (Capital of Texas Highway).

Morning, noon or even under the moonlight, it’s a short and easy climb, where, at the top of the overlook, you will be rewarded with a gentle breeze and a terrific view of the river.

Check out Austin Country Club, just on the other side of the water, with its own 57 slip marina. The 2016 WGC-Dell Match Play was hosted here in March, which, if you’re a golfer, you are very well aware.  lol

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Here’s a fun idea for what to do with your own photo op-portunities.

When our friends Tom and Kenda were celebrating a big birthday week together, their daughters secretly emailed ALL their friends, asking for a Happy Birthday photo.  They planned to assemble them in a scrapbook for their parents’ big day.  How sweet is that?!

So, Hubby and I had our picture taken on a breezy day at our favorite Austin photo op spot, holding a homemade poster that said, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TOM & KENDA!

Foran's bday poster

Wouldn’t it be fun to send birthday greetings like this all year long,

ESPECIALLY to the kids?

I polled the college students at work and found out that 100% of them like to know their parents are having fun!

So, the next time one of the kids (or your step-brother in Seattle) is having a birthday, surprise him with a picture that is uniquely made just for him – complete with a loving caption, like, “We celebrated your birthday in a big way, and we love you BIG.”

Or maybe something slightly less corny. lol

Do you have some favorite photo ops & spots?  I’d love to see!

Encouraging adventurous photo op-portunities,


P.S.: Happy birthday, Kent Farmer! Across the miles, we’re all smiles – wishing you a fabulous birthday!

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Hi, there! My name is Brenda McDearmon. I created this blog for the sole purpose of encouraging a life filled with everyday intentional adventure, whether that's trying a new restaurant, enjoying a day trip in the Texas Hill Country, or being adventurously inspired in a spiritual way. Thanks so much for stopping by! Be sure and sign up to receive my weekly newsletter. It's one of my favorite ways to connect with my readers! Your devoted encourager, Brenda

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