The Very Best Way to See the Austin Bats

Austin Bats

Last week marked a first for me.

I get all over Austin – showing houses, touring neighborhoods, and trying out all the latest places to eat.  I know this city.

But, even though I’ve lived in Austin for over a decade, I’ve never seen the Bats.

Every year, from March to November, the largest colony of Bats in the world live under the Congress Avenue Bridge .  Just after the sun sets, 1.5 million Mexican Free-Tail bats fly out for the night.  They will eat approximately 20,000 pounds of bugs every night.  Of course they tend to ignore all the mosquitoes in my backyard.

This all changed last Wednesday when I was invited on a Lone Star Riverboat Cruise for a motivational talk from our performance coach.

First of all let me say that there are three ways to view the Austin Bats.  You can sit on the lawn near the Austin American Statesman, stand on the Bat Bridge (Congress bridge), or see the bats from the water.

All the most dramatic photos I’ve seen have always been from the water.  I’m glad my first experience was on a boat.

Our tour left from the Lone Star Dock which is behind the Hyatt Hotel down on the banks of the lake at 6:00 sharp.  I found free parking (my twitter followers know I hate to pay for parking in Austin) and found free parking on the street near the hike and bike trail.

We headed down the lake towards I-35, snapping incredible views of the downtown skyline, hike and bike path, and people in boats enjoying an evening on the water.

Around dusk, we stopped in a great spot, with an incredible view of the bats emerging from the underside of the bridge.  The video above just doesn’t do it justice.  It was amazing, and I hope you get the chance to experience it.


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