11 Spots to Sip in the Sunset in Austin

Megan Aune

Since the start of 2020, it’s seemed like the world has done nothing but change, and the first few weeks of 2021 have been no different. Kim Kardashian announced that she was filing for divorce from Kanye West, Olivia Rodrigo dropped “drivers license”, the first female Vice President was inaugurated–and throughout it all, the majority of the population has been trapped inside by the unwelcome remnant of 2020, COVID-19.

But what’s one thing that stayed constant through all the ups and downs, that hasn’t dulled or diminished even if we didn’t always come out of our homes to see it? If you said the sunset, you’re our lucky winner! Your prize, you ask? This list of the best ATX locations to take in that multicolored masterpiece of mother nature, in the hopes you never miss out on another one again. You’ll want to add these gems to your Austin things to do list – You’re welcome. 

Covert Park at Mount Bonnell

At 775 feet, Mount Bonnell is generally considered to be the highest point in Austin. Nothing quite sets off that panoramic view of the skyline, lake, and rolling hills of ATX like the vibrant background of a good sunset. (Pro-tip: bring a date and some food for a romantic picnic!)

The Oasis on Lake Travis 

If its reputation as the Sunset Capital of Texas isn’t convincing enough, you can ALSO get some pretty amazing tacos at this gargantuan Tex-Mex restaurant. Perched on a cliff 450 above Lake Travis, patrons of The Oasis can dig into a piece of Chocolate Caramel Crunch Cheesecake (ugh, I’m already jealous) as they wait for the Sunset Bell to begin soaking in the view. 

Hula Hut

Since you’re already in the mood for some lakeside Tex-Mex, why not add in an islandic atmosphere and the Hula Hut’s distinct “surfer twist”? Order one of the restaurant’s signature Hu-La-La cocktails and take a seat on the patio to watch the colors change and refract off Lake Austin as the sun sinks behind West Lake Hills. And once you’re done, drop by Mozart’s for dessert! 

Congress Avenue Bridge

This one is a classic. Whether you want to stand on the bridge itself, lounge on a nearby grassy hill, or go on the water in one of the kayaks, canoes, or paddleboards available for rent, the Congress Avenue Bridge provides an up-close look of the ATX skyline along with the sunset. And make sure to stick around for the double feature! Between the months of March and November, anyone enjoying the sunset here can turn to the east to watch the cloud of bats emerge from their colony beneath the bridge. 

Pennybacker Bridge Overlook

If you’re up for a bit of a challenge, the view atop the Pennybacker Bridge Overlook Trail is DEFINITELY worth the trek. It’s a bit of a steep climb, but if I can make it in my sandals (a poor choice which I would not recommend), I 100% believe in you. Make sure you arrive a bit early to find a parking spot and leave time to get to the lookout point before sunset (to see both the bridge and the sunset, take the trail across the street from the parking), and sit back to enjoy one of the best views in Austin as the sun paints the sky. 

Lights on UT Tower to be turned off for construction

The UT Tower

If you’re located in more Central Austin, head over to the UT Tower west observation deck to get a great view of this sunset. This is one that’s more uncommon, so it’ll most likely be a less crowded alternative. Be sure to make an appointment to get to the top, however. Enjoy this view of the sunset and the city, while also observing the bustling college campus.

Tillery Kitchen and Bar

Tillery Kitchen and Bar is another great place to catch the gorgeous Austin sunset. Here, you can grab a delicious bite to eat, or a nice relaxing drink, while you watch the sunset. Check out their Mediterranean cuisine, which paired with a sunset, will make you feel like you’re in another world. At least, not Texas.

The Long Center

A great place to watch the sunset with a view of the skyline is at The Long Center. The large, grassy hill that is located here makes the perfect viewing place. Come with a blanket and some food, and you have the perfect romantic picnic. Alternatively, bring a frisbee or some card games and have a fun night with friends. Either way, you’ll enjoy the beautiful Austin skyline to pair with the gorgeous sunset.

Austin Sunset

Azul

If you’re looking for a nice place to get drinks and watch the sun go down, check out the Westin Hotel’s rooftop bar, Azul. This sleek place will make you feel straight out of a movie. It’s a great place to stop by to begin a night out with friends. Azul also offers some snack options to munch on, while you sit amongst the skyscrapers and watch the sunset.

Austin Sunset Boat

On The Water

What better place to watch the sunset than on the water itself? Check out Sail Austin’s Sunset Sail, located in the Lake Travis area. The trip lasts 2 1/2 hours of a gorgeous Austin sunset. Book it with a group of friends, or for you and your significant other. This is a great alternative if you want to watch the sunset without the hustle and bustle of a restaurant.

Zilker Park

Located in the heart of Austin, watch the sunset from Zilker Park. Here, you can even set up a sunset party with a large group of friends. Bring blankets, tables, food, whatever you’d like to watch from this iconic location. Be sure to bring a frisbee or volleyball, as they have courts provided for entertainment.

Austin Sunset FAQ’s

Q: What time is sunset in Austin in November? A: Around 5:30 pm.

Q: What time does the sunset in Austin in September? A: Around 7:30 pm.

Q: What time is sunset in Austin in July? A: Around 8:30 pm.

Q: What time does the sunset in Austin in April? A: Around 7:50 pm.

Conclusion

No matter where you choose, watching the gorgeous Austin sunset is a great way to reflect on this amazing city and all it has to offer.