Bat Watching

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Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78704, USA

Thinking of Austin evokes strong images of delicious Latin American cuisine and live music venues. But there's another aspect of the city that's equally as captivating - its love of Mexican Free-Tailed Bats. You can't just take a tour of this city without booking a night tour featuring bat-watching against the backdrop of the melting sun! This city is home to the largest urban bat colony which emerges from the shadows at sunset and congregates over the famous Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge. If you don't see this spectacle when you visit Austin, you'll miss out on a lot!

Batwatch Against The Sunset In Our Night Tour!

How to Get There 

You can bat-watch on Congress Ave., Austin, Texas, but reaching there might be a problem because you have to arrive 30 minutes before sunset so you don't miss out on the emergence of black beauties from under the Congress Avenue Bridge! As the bat-viewing season entices a lot of tourists from all over the world, navigating your way to Congress Ave might be tricky.

It's recommended that you book a Scenic Night Tour that will save you the hassle of navigating and also take you to other points of interest such as the Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk, Doug Sahm Hill, Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge, and more! 

Paid parking is available for those who have made it to the bat-watching spot on time by car. You can park at the Austin American-Statesman building located at 305 S. Congress Ave, or take the stairs down to the Congress Avenue and Barton Springs Road intersection.

Best Time to Visit

The perfect time to watch the bats is anywhere from 7:30 to 9:45 p.m., against the backdrop of the sky dipped in twilight! The nocturnal bats emerge after the sun has set and it might take them longer than 30 minutes to completely swallow the bridge in their ghostly darkness. Be sure to visit in the batwatching season, from around mid-March to early November, or from late spring to early fall!


If you're in Austin, be sure to grab a margarita and head to the vantage point of Statesman Bat Observation Center to witness the incredible sight of thousands of black beauties taking flight against the backdrop of a gorgeous sunset. It's an experience you won't soon forget! If you want to take your bat-viewing experience to the next level, consider booking a Capital Cruises Boat Tour where you can also bat-watch on one of its special excursions!

There's also a popular Austin Bat Fest that spotlights the black beauties emerging from the underbelly of Congress Avenue Bridge, featuring live music, arts & crafts, food & drinks, and much more!


If you're planning a visit to Austin, Texas, there's one attraction you simply cannot miss - the Austin Bats. Spanning across Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin, the Congress Avenue Bridge is home to North America's largest urban bat colony, famously dubbed the Congress Avenue Bridge Bats. This colony is evaluated to consist of a staggering 1.5 million Mexican Free-Tail bats.

From around mid-March to early November, these nocturnal beauties put on a truly unforgettable show each night as they emerge from under the bridge in a ghostly shroud, soaring off into the sky in search of food. The sight of these bats taking flight is truly spectacular and unlike anything else you'll see in Austin. It's a natural phenomenon that attracts visitors from all over the world, and it's easy to see why.

If you're lucky enough to be in Austin during the bat season, make sure to head down to the Congress Avenue Bridge at sunset to witness this incredible sight for yourself. It's a truly magical experience that will stay with you long after your trip is over!


In the late 1970s, a renovation of the Congress Avenue Bridge reshaped the structure into the perfect bat habitat, attracting a large colony of migrating Mexican Free-Tailed bats. Fast forward to the present day, and the bat population in Austin has grown significantly, with locals embracing the winged creatures as beloved neighbors. Tourists from all over the world book bat-watching tours to see this spooky spectacle! Not only do these bats help to control the city's bug population, but they also put on a spectacular show each evening as they take flight from under the bridge.