Attending college in Austin, Texas has its perks. One of those is the wide variety of activities and photo ops around the city. After a long week of classes, you can shop on South Congress, and enjoy live music or colorful murals – just don’t forget to take a photo for Instagram!
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As a third-year student at UT, I was so excited to explore Austin when I first moved here. Today, I still love checking out new spots around the city!
For students new to Austin or those who are looking to find a new photo op, I have put together a list of my favorite Instagram-worthy spots near the University of Texas at Austin.
Best Instagrammable Places Near UT Austin
1. Austin Motel
The Austin Motel is not only a great place to stay but it is notorious for its neon-red sign. This historic motel dates back to 1938, and while it was renovated in 2017, it still retains the feel of a vintage motel. You’ll definitely want to check this spot out next time you’re near South Congress – just don’t forget to take a photo (or a hundred) for Instagram.
2. Greetings From Austin Mural
Address: 1720 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704
One of Austin’s most famous murals, this vibrant mural depicts Austin landmarks like the Congress Avenue Bridge and The University of Texas Tower. The colorful, wall-sized painting depicts a 1940s postcard and is a popular site for photographers, tourists and locals. As one of the most popular photo-ops in town, regardless of how long you’ve been living in Austin, you will certainly want to check this spot off your bucket list.
3. 360 Overlook
Also known as the Pennybacker Bridge Overlook, the 360 Overlook is one of my favorite spots in Austin. From the overlook, you have an excellent view of the bridge’s architecture and the winding Colorado River. If you love to hike, spend time outside, or simply enjoy a good sunset, this beautiful photo-op is not one to miss.
4. I Love You So Much Wall
Located on the side of Jo’s Coffee, this classic mural is another South Congress favorite. Be sure to grab a coffee from Jo’s while you’re there. There are usually plenty of people waiting to take a picture at this mural, especially on the weekends, so you won’t have to worry about not having anyone to take your photo!
5. Tau Ceti
Austin’s tallest public artwork, Tau Ceti, towers over the corner of Brazos and 2nd St. This commissioned mural was completed in November 2018 by Josef Kristofoletti, named after a star in the constellation Cetus. The colorful, multi-dimensional piece climbs 103 feet up a parking structure. Be sure not to miss this stunning photo-op if you’re in the area!
6. Zilker Park
Address: 2207 Lou Neff Rd, Austin, TX 78746
Zilker Park is a notorious spot for locals and tourists alike. Filled with picnic spots, disc golf, sand volleyball, and tons of other activities, Zilker Park has something for everyone. Their seasonal festivals include the Trail of Lights, Austin City Limits Music Festival, and a variety of pop-up events. Whichever events you prefer, you will find plenty of great spots to take photos.
7. Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge
Spanning the width of Lady Bird Lake, the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge is a must-see for both tourists and Austinites. Completed in 2001, the Pfluger Bridge is part of the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail which loops around the lake, encompassing some gorgeous waterfront scenery. Here, you’ll find the perfect spot to take a photo with the downtown skyline as your backdrop!
8. Austin Central Library
Austin Public Library’s main location is a huge, modern space overlooking the Colorado River. Completed in 2017, the newly renovated space spans six floors and boasts a restaurant, rooftop garden, bookstore, gallery and events space. With modern architecture and high-tech amenities, you won’t want to miss this gorgeous photo-op.
9. Allens Boots
Allens Boots is a long-time classic in Austin. This landmark store, first opened in 1977, has more than 4,000 boots on display. They also offer a variety of cowboy hats, clothing & accessories. However, the shop is also well-known from its exterior, boasting a vintage sign and a large red boot. If you’re ever in the market for a new pair of boots – or an Instagram photo-op – Allen’s is the place to be.
10. Texas State Capitol Building
Address: 1100 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
Located in downtown Austin, the Texas State Capitol Building houses the offices and chambers of the Texas Legislature and of the Governor of Texas. The 303 foot dome was modeled after the national Capitol in Washington. Not only is the structure the seat of the government of Texas, but it also boasts lush grounds. The grounds span 22 acres filled with hedges, flowers and plenty of picture-perfect spots.
11. The UT Tower
Last but certainly not least, the UT tower is the defining landmark of the University of Texas at Austin. This 307 foot tower spans 27 floors and is one of the most well-known symbols of not only the university but the city of Austin. The tower shines burnt orange to celebrate academic honors, sports victories, and other special events. If you’re a UT student, you will certainly need at least one photo in front of this symbolic tower before graduation.
Overall, Austin has plenty of great photo ops, and this list is just the start. Even better, these 11 spots are just a short drive away from the UT Austin campus. Next time you’re looking for a photo-op, or just want to explore the city, check out one of these conveniently located, colorful spots.
If you’d like to learn more about Rambler or student living near the University of Texas at Austin, contact our leasing staff, who are more than happy to answer any questions you may have.