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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.