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Austin’s most iconic landmarks

Consider these landmarks our Hollywood signs.

Looking up to the sky, the image frames eight of the new, petal-shaped structures that make up the canopy at the Blanton Museum of Art. They're painted white and filled with little holes, giving the impression of a starry sky.

The Blanton Museum of Art’s new Moody Patio is shaded with 15 petal-shaped covers.

Photo courtesy Blanton Museum of Art

Table of Contents

We’ve all been there: someone’s trying to give you directions by describing 10 lefts, 20 rights, and a jumble of cardinal directions. Isn’t it easier to just point out a landmark?

That’s exactly what we’re doing. We have 12 of the most recognizable Austin landmarks — from Pennybacker Bridge to the plethora of moontowers. Not only are these local icons easy to remember, but they’ll also get you where you need to go in a jiffy.

Seaholm Power Plant

Address: 222 West Ave.
Nearby: the Austin Central Library and Lady Bird Lake
The Seaholm Power Plant is highly recognizable due to its iconic art deco architecture, though it hasn’t generated power since 1989. Now, the site is home to offices, residences, restaurants, and sits directly across from the Austin Public Library.

Spectators witness bats flying from the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas.

Nearby city of Round Rock is home to a bat maternity colony.

Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge

Address: 100 S. Congress Ave.
Nearby: The LINE Hotel, YETI Flagship, and Fareground
There’s a reason why Austin is known as Bat City — the bridge is home to ~1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats. You can catch them coming out for a meal at dusk from late spring to early fall.

The flagship Whole Foods

Address: 525 N. Lamar Blvd.
Nearby: Waterloo Records and Book People
This health foods grocer started on the 900 block N. Lamar Blvd. — moving up the block to the current location in 2005 — in Austin well before it went national. The flagship store is known for its rooftop ice skating rink in the wintertime, plus a year-round array of local offerings.

Willie Nelson statue in downtown Austin.

This Willie Nelson statue was unveiled outside of Austin City Limits in 2012. | Photo via ATXtoday team.

Willie Nelson Statue

Address: 310 W. 2nd St.
Nearby: ACL Live at the Moody Theatre, Austin City Hall, and the W Austin
The 8 ft-tall Willie Nelson statue was unveiled at 4:20 p.m. on April 20, 2013.

Zilker Park

Address: 2100 Barton Springs Rd.
Nearby: Barton Springs Pool, Zilker Botanical Garden, and Lady Bird Lake
The crown jewel of Austin’s public spaces, Zilker is Austin’s oldest park and spans more than 350 acres. You can take a virtual tour of the park for yourself.

moonlight tower

Did you know Austin’s moonlight towers are the only surviving examples of these tower lighting systems, which were common across the country in the late 1800s? | Photo by ATXtoday

Moontowers

Address: multiple locations
Precursors to modern street lamps, moontowers were erected all over the country in the late 1800s, but Austin hosts the only ones left standing today. There are 13 moontowers parceled around ATX, including one that becomes a Christmas tree each year in Zilker Park.

UT Tower

Address: 110 Inner Campus Dr.
Nearby: The Drag and the Moody Center
When it opened in 1937, the 307-ft-tall tower only had the Texas Capitol dome to compete with in the Austin skyline. Throughout the year, the tower lights up orange in honor of Longhorn graduations and other university wins.

The capitol building, as seen from the grounds

The State of Texas is the largest employer in the Austin metro area, with a local workforce of more than 63,000 people.

Photo by ATXtoday

Texas State Capitol

Address: 1100 Congress Ave.
Nearby: Waterloo Park, Texas Governor’s Mansion, and Scholz Garten
The Capitol building is made from pink granite sourced from the nearby town of Marble Falls, and the statue on top has a funny-looking face.

Blanton Museum of Art

Address: 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Nearby: Bullock Texas State History Museum, Harry Ransom Center, and UT Tower
The newly renovated art museum spans 189,340 sqft and offers free admission on Tuesdays.

Austin's Free Day of Yoga offers classes on a range of yoga styles. | Photo by Ryan Vestil, @waterloogreenway

Waterloo Greenway will eventually stretch to Waller Creek.

Photo by Ryan Vestil

Waterloo Park

Address: 500 E. 12th St.
Nearby: Texas Capitol and Red River Cultural District
Although it opened in 2021, Waterloo Park has quickly become a beloved spot in Downtown Austin. It’s also not complete yet — phase two, The Confluence, is under construction.

A view of the 360 bridge over Lake Austin.

Pennybacker Bridge is located in northwest Austin.

Photo by Jeff Gunn

Pennybacker Bridge

Address: 4801 Plaza on the Lake
Nearby: Capital of Texas Highway and Ranch Road 2222
The majestic Pennybacker Bridge (aka the 360 Bridge) was only the second bridge in the world built with a cable support system.

The sun sets over houses and the Colorado River from Mount Bonnell.

The sun sets over houses and the Colorado River from Mount Bonnell.

Photo via @jason_kautz

Mount Bonnell

Address: 3800 Mt. Bonnell Rd.
Nearby: Balcones Park, Camp Mabry, and Laguna Gloria
Gaze upon the hills of West Austin and the Colorado River at the top of this popular spot for tourists and locals alike.

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