With the dawn of the smartphone, a good camera is always within reach.
That’s great for us Texans, because we’re always exploring around here, or daytripping, or just snapchatting a cute filtered pic to the kids.
If you’re headed to Austin soon, check out these beautiful places to take photos. Your Instagram followers will thank you.
People Come to Visit
No matter where we’ve lived, it’s always a treat when someone comes to visit.
When we lived in Austin, lots of friends and family came to see us. It was fun to talk about where we would take our guests, but we always tried to scope out a little something new to enjoy with them.
We’ve toured the Texas State Capitol and enjoyed many day trips to hill country hot spots. We’ve also taken our guests to wine tastings, shopping at the Domain, pedicures, and movies.
Outdoor Fun and Beauty
But since the weather is so nice in Austin for the majority of every year, and since the scenery is so splendid pretty much anywhere you go, we grew pretty fond of enjoying outdoor fun with our out-of-town company.
Here are a few of the places we found that are not only fun to explore, but double as beautiful places to take photos.
River Place Nature Trail
So many people visit Austin to attend a convention or recharge with a quick weekend getaway. Next time you’re there, take some time to get off the beaten path and place yourself on a trail or two. The chance to hike a scenic, shady trail alongside a flowing clear water creek is a rare escape from a busy week.
This was the first trail we hiked when we moved to Austin. Even the drive to get to the trailhead is amazing, winding down, and down further, through residential neighborhoods where the homes are more palatial the closer you get to the starting point.
Take your time, or jog along the path if you want, but plan on stopping for lots of pictures.
It’s just gorgeous.
Bluebonnets on 1431
If you live in the Austin area and have out-of-town guests 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 if you can find a field of blue like this one. We were speechless simpletons when we happened onto this little meadow of Texas’ best.
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.
This is where you’ll utter that 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. Mount Bonnell is a lovely spot to view the river, gawk at the riverside homes, and take photos of your group’s shadows at the overlook.
If you happen to be hiking in the cool temperatures of a fall afternoon, plan for a cup of coffee and dessert at Mozart’s when you’re done. This is a coffee shop of epic proportions, situated on Lake Austin, just up the road a little from Mount Bonnell.
Everyone can rationalize dessert after they’ve accomplished an ambitious 785 feet hike above sea level, right?
When we lived in Austin, we loved taking guests to 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 probably very well aware.
Fun Idea for the Pics
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!
This photo is slightly out of focus and has a very vintage quality, which turned out to be an added touch.
These are old friends, after all.
Snap Chat to the Kids
I polled the college students who work where I do, and guess what? All of them – that’s 100% – like to know their parents are having fun together, out and about.
All of these scenic Austin photo ops are perfect places to use the Snap Chat app to send pics to the kids. Like maybe a whole bunch of ’em. Show those honyocks that you can have fun when they’re not around.
Text Them to the Relatives
Do you have a step-brother in Seattle who just happens to be having a birthday while you’re exploring scenic Austin photo ops? Great!
Do you know someone who has a birthday coming up soon? Surprise him or her with a fun picture at one of these beautiful Austin spots. Add a sweet caption, like, “We celebrated your birthday in a big way, and we love you BIG.“
Or maybe something slightly less corny.
Beautiful Places to Take Photos Elsewhere
Where are some of your own favorite photo ops & picture spots?
Encouraging intentional Texas adventure on a hike, or on a climb,
Other posts you might enjoy:
How to Plan the Perfect Texas Day Trip
Fredericksburg is Known for Orchards and Vineyards
Where to Find Berries in Texas
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