Wellness & Nature

Get Your Scenic Fix: Discover Austin’s Top 10 Overlooks!

Austin is a city unlike any other in Texas. Known for its vibrant music scene, delicious food, and outdoor spaces, it's a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the Lone Star State.

One of the best ways to take in the beauty of Austin is by visiting its many scenic overlooks. These picturesque spots offer stunning views of the city skyline, rolling hills, and sparkling lakes.

Whether you're a local looking for a new place to explore or a tourist hoping to capture some Instagram-worthy photos, Austin's scenic overlooks are not to be missed.

From the top of these overlooks, you can see the natural beauty of the Texas Hill Country and the urban landscape of downtown Austin. Each overlook offers something unique, from hiking trails and rock formations to picnic areas and historical landmarks.

So grab your camera, pack a picnic, and head to one of Austin's many scenic overlooks. You won't be disappointed by the breathtaking views and tranquil surroundings.

Whether you're looking for a peaceful escape or an adventure-filled day, Austin's scenic overlooks have something for everyone.

1. Covert Park at Mount Bonnell

Covert Park At Mount Bonnell
3800 Mt Bonnell Rd, Austin, TX 78731 (Google Maps)

Covert Park at Mount Bonnell is a must-visit spot for anyone in the area. The 106 steps to the top are well worth the effort, as the panoramic views of Austin and the Colorado River are simply breathtaking.

The park is free to enter and has plenty of space to spread out and enjoy the scenery.

Visitors should wear sturdy shoes and be prepared for a bit of a workout, but the stunning views make it all worthwhile.

Whether you're a local or a tourist, Covert Park at Mount Bonnell is a must-see destination.

2. Pennybacker Bridge Overlook

Pennybacker Bridge Overlook
N Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin, TX 78730 (Google Maps)

Pennybacker Bridge Overlook is a must-see tourist attraction with breathtaking views of the valley. The short hike is easy and definitely worth the effort.

The overlook offers peaceful and scenic views of the skyline and winding river. Visitors should be cautious as there are no safety nets or railings.

Careful footing is necessary when trekking up to the observation area. The parking can be challenging, but the view is worth it.

Visitors are advised to take their trash with them as littering is not allowed. This is a perfect place to take 360 bridge pics and watch the sunset.

3. Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge

Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge
222 West Ave, Austin, TX 78701 (Google Maps)

Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge offers stunning views of Austin's downtown skyline and Lady Bird Lake. The bridge is open to pedestrians and cyclists, making it an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll or a bike ride.

With plenty of benches and seating areas, visitors can take a break and soak in the panoramic views of the city.

The bridge is also a popular spot for live music performances and proposals.

Whether you're a local or a visitor, Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the beauty of Austin.

4. Lou Neff Point

Lou Neff Point
Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail, Austin, TX 78746 (Google Maps)

Lou Neff Point is a must-visit scenic overlook in Austin. With stunning views of the city skyline and Lady Bird Lake, it's a perfect spot to relax and take in the beauty of nature.

The park is well-maintained, and visitors can enjoy sitting on the benches or under the gazebo while admiring the view.

The trail that connects to the point is great for walking, running, or cycling. It's also a popular spot for kayaking and bird watching.

Don't miss the opportunity to see the city from a different perspective at Lou Neff Point.

5. Upper McKinney Falls

Upper Mckinney Falls
Austin, TX 78744 (Google Maps)

Upper McKinney Falls is a beautiful scenic overlook that offers breathtaking views of nature.

Visitors can enjoy a picnic in the shade or go on a hike to explore the area. The water is clean and perfect for a refreshing dip.

There are plenty of parking spots available, so getting there is easy. The park is well-maintained and the staff is friendly and helpful.

It's a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the beauty of nature.

6. Violet Crown Trail

Violet Crown Trail
William Barton Dr, Austin, TX 78746 (Google Maps)

Violet Crown Trail is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts who enjoy hiking, trail running, or mountain biking.

This well-maintained trail offers scenic views of the local forested parkland and neighborhoods. Visitors can park their vehicles near the trailhead and explore the 30-mile multi-use path.

While some parts of the trail may be challenging for beginners, it's a great place to exercise and enjoy nature. Visitors are advised to wear proper shoes and attire and carry enough water for longer hikes.

The trail is sometimes patrolled by park rangers on mountain bikes. Violet Crown Trail is a great option for a nature retreat right in the city.

7. North Capital of Texas Highway Scenic Overlook

North Capital Of Texas Highway Scenic Overlook
N Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin, TX 78746 (Google Maps)

The North Capital of Texas Highway Scenic Overlook offers a picturesque view of the Austin skyline.

It's a great spot to take some stunning photos, especially during sunset. The area has a designated parking spot, making it easy to stop by anytime.

However, the view can be slightly obstructed due to nearby housing development.

Despite this, the overlook remains a popular destination for stargazing and admiring the city lights. If you're in the area, it's definitely worth a visit.

8. Stillhouse Hollow Nature Preserve

Stillhouse Hollow Nature Preserve
7810 Sterling Dr, Austin, TX 78759 (Google Maps)

Stillhouse Hollow Nature Preserve offers a short but beautiful hike through a forested area. The trail is paved and shaded, making it accessible to all ages and abilities.

The highlight of the hike is the observation deck overlooking the creek, which is fed by a spring.

Visitors can spot songbirds and Cardinals along the way.

The preserve is a tranquil oasis in the middle of a residential neighborhood, offering a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

9. Tom Hughes Park

Tom Hughes Park
12714 Hughes Park Rd, Austin, TX 78732 (Google Maps)

Tom Hughes Park is a rugged and primitive lakeside spot that offers stunning panoramic views of Lake Travis.

Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and hiking on various trails with steep inclines. The park is not recommended for seniors or those with weak knees, as the trails are rocky and primitive.

Visitors should wear appropriate footwear and be prepared for a challenging descent to the water.

Despite the rugged terrain, the park offers a secluded and peaceful environment, perfect for those who enjoy a bit of adventure and seclusion.

10. McKinney Falls State Park

Mckinney Falls State Park
5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy, Austin, TX 78744 (Google Maps)

McKinney Falls State Park is a popular tourist attraction for outdoor enthusiasts. The park offers a variety of trails for hiking and biking, as well as fishing opportunities.

Visitors can also take in the stunning views of the falls and the 500+-year-old cypress tree known as "Old Baldy."

The park's facilities, including restrooms and campsites, are well-maintained and clean. Although the park is located in a bustling area, it still manages to provide a peaceful and secluded atmosphere.

McKinney Falls State Park is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves nature and the great outdoors.