One of the most glorious benefits of living in or visiting the Hill Country is the consistently spectacular sunsets – in some spots, people gather to clap as the ball of fire slowly descends beyond the horizon.

If that sounds heavenly to you, we want to share with you where to watch the sunset in Austin and which hotspots have the best sunset views.

1. Clap About the Sunset at the Oasis

Our first spot we recommend is The Oasis on Lake Travis. It’s a massive restaurant with several bars, live music, and even a brewery, all nestled on a giant cliff overlooking the lake. They have thousands of square feet of patios and as sunset arrives, people watch it, gasping as its reflection on the water becomes a tiny sliver over the hills, then sinks behind them, welcoming the night.

Then, the clapping commences. It’s kind of lame, but it feels fun in that moment and is where everyone takes their friends or family when they visit. Trust us, any kids present will never forget the majesty of being that high up and clapping in a crowd about nature after the “Sunset Bell” rings, it’s good clean family fun.

Here is the map link for 6550 Comanche Trail to get you to The Oasis.

2. Best Sunset in Austin? Hit Up Mount Bonnell

If you take the winding drive up Bonnell Road, you’ll find parking for Mount Bonnell, the highest point in the entire city. Climb the 102 steps to the top of the mount, and there is a lookout point, but walking along the pathway reveals endless, private feeling lookouts so you and a date can make new memories.

Enjoy the beautiful views in Austin at 775 feet above sea level and enjoy a romantic moment as the sun sinks into tomorrow. Snapshots of the lake, the excessively expensive lakeside estates, and of course, the 360 bridge (or Pennybacker Bridge if you’re a local). But be sure to bring a flashlight (or a fully charged phone to use as your flashlight), because the trail and steps up can get dark really quickly.

Here is the map link to get you to Mount Bonnell.

3. Watch the Sunset After a Glorious Hike

We mentioned that from Mount Bonnell, you can see the 360 Bridge (or the Pennybacker Bridge), but we didn’t mention that it’s home to one of the best sunset spotting spots in Austin.

The Pennybacker Bridge Overlook is a steep trek up what feels like a mountain, but this is Austin, so it’s just kind of a steep hill with limestone that wants to move around beneath your feet. Take hiking shoes.

Like much of Austin, parking is a challenge, so head out early for a spot so you can soak up the final beams of the day and views of the lake, limestone cliffs, a golf course, and the iconic 360 Bridge. This is definitely the spot you want to hit up if you’re taking pictures.

But be warned – the green grassy area on the southwest shore is private property and you WILL get busted if you try to get creative about even walking around over there. Stick to the proper overlook on the northeast side and you’ll be fine.

Here is the map link to get to the Pennybacker Bridge Overlook.

4. Restaurant Row on Lake Austin

On the Colorado River just next to the massive Tom Miller Dam, you can watch the sunset from the lakefront patio at three of Austin’s most iconic restaurants – Hula Hut (Tex Mex), Abel’s on the Lake (American), or Mozart’s Coffee Roasters.

Lady Bird Lake (or “Lake Austin” as locals still call it) is an amazing place to watch the sun sink into the night because of the gorgeous scenery filled with cedar-lined limestone hills. And at restaurant row, the only boat traffic is people taking their watercraft to park at the docks attached to the restaurants, so it’s fairly quiet, aside from restaurant tunes.

Here is the map link for 3825 Lake Austin Boulevard to get you to restaurant row.

5. Sunset in Austin With the Bats

The Congress Avenue bridge in downtown Austin is home to the largest urban bat colony in North America, and folks lovingly just call their home “Congress Bridge.” To catch the famous show of bajillions of bats emerging from under the bridge for a night hunt, visit from March to November at sunset.

Some folks kayak to the area, but we recommend parking and sitting on the grassy hill to catch the show. But don’t try to watch from underneath the bridge or even walk around there, it smells just so utterly terrible because of (duh) all of the bats.

Views of the downtown skyline as the sun slumps over the trees can turn simply neon, and seeing the reflections in all of the buildings of the cotton candy clouds and the fiery end to the day is breathtaking.

Here is the map link to get you to parking for the bat colony show.

6. Dress Up and Go to Austin’s Highest Rooftop Bar

If you want to know where to watch the sunset in Austin where you can be part of the Austin skyline, look no further than the Azul Rooftop Bar + Lounge at the Westin Austin Downtown. You don’t have to dress up because it is Austin after all, but it feels appropriate and makes for a fabulous date night, poolside, overlooking the entire city. You’ll feel like royalty.

Parking in the area can be a bear, so we highly recommend using the valet at the Westin

Here is the map link to the Azul Rooftop Bar in downtown Austin.