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Congress Avenue Bridge (South Congress Bridge)
Congress Avenue Bridge (South Congress Bridge)

Congress Avenue Bridge (South Congress Bridge)

Free admission
100 Congress Ave, Austin, Texas

The Basics

You can witness Austin’s beloved flying residents from various locations, including the eastern walkway of Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge, the grassy hillside at the base of the bridge, or from Lady Bird Lake in a rented kayak, canoe, or paddle board. Bat-watching tours take various forms—enjoy a guided cycling tour around the lake before arriving at the bridge in time for bat viewing, paddle to the bridge on a kayak tour, or see the bats as part of a GPS-led scavenger hunt through the Texas capital.

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Congress Avenue Bat Bridge Kayak Tour in Austin
Congress Avenue Bat Bridge Kayak Tour in Austin
star-4.5
$55.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
BAT
Great and adventurous way to see the bats! Much better vantage point and Connor was awesome! He told us a lot about the city, more so than other tour guides we did around the city! Highly recommend!
mmmvolta, Oct 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Austin

star-4
Good Paddle! :-)
Michael_J, Oct 2021
Congress Avenue Bat Bridge Kayak Tour in Austin
Very enjoyable and we had good weather. The bats did not disappoint. The guide was informative and professional. The one suggestion I have is to identify the correct arrival-end time. My Viator reservation stated "6-8 pm," when in fact, it was actually a 6:30 start time. My buddy and I were there all by ourselves at 5:55 pm, the original staff left a couple minutes before 6, and then the guide arrived ~6:15...
star-5
Travis was a great guide....
Allison_M, Oct 2021
Congress Avenue Bat Bridge Kayak Tour in Austin
Travis was a great guide. The bats were incredible and the kayaking so peaceful. An absolute must in Austin
star-4
My friend and I really...
Selena_F, Sep 2021
Congress Avenue Bat Bridge Kayak Tour in Austin
My friend and I really enjoyed kayaking on Lady Bird lake. The views of the city were nice and seeing the bats was so cool!
star-5
fun!
Ashley_H, Sep 2021
Congress Avenue Bat Bridge Kayak Tour in Austin
We used this tour as a team building event and we all enjoyed it! Spectacular views, learned some very cool facts about Austin and watching the bats fly was icing on the cake. Thank you!
star-5
Scenic bike ride full of history and pictures of bats.
3isenuf2017, Oct 2019
Congress Avenue Bats Bike Tour in Austin
Mike did a great job of explaining the bike ride before we started and giving a history of the city and scenic sites along with a great explination of the bats.
star-5
Super fun tour, don’t miss!
Ali20814, Jun 2019
Congress Avenue Bats Bike Tour in Austin
This is an ideal tour! It’s active at a mellow pace, gives you a great sense of the city’s layout, and shows a local perspective that’s hard to get otherwise. Mark is a fantastic guide. Funny and knowledgeable. Perfect way to learn about Austin and see the crazy bat action!! Don’t miss this one.
star-5
A must while in Austin!
Erica_W, Sep 2021
Congress Avenue Bat Bridge Kayak Tour in Austin
We had a wonderful experience kayaking! Champagne our tour guide was Soul of a really interesting facts and he presented it in a way that had my friend and I cracking up in our kayak. I would 100% do this to tour again!! 10 stars ⭐️
star-5
Travis was great
Matthew_R, Sep 2021
Congress Avenue Bat Bridge Kayak Tour in Austin
Travis was an amazing tour guide. Very knowledgeable and helpful. Handled the changes with the incoming storm well and helped us see history
star-5
Lots of fun and amazing...
David_B, Aug 2021
Congress Avenue Bat Bridge Kayak Tour in Austin
Lots of fun and amazing views! We got to see thousands of bats fly out of the bridge and the amazing Austin skyline.
star-5
Coming again
Laura_, Aug 2021
Congress Avenue Bat Bridge Kayak Tour in Austin
Travis was awesome! First time in a kayak and I had a great experience! The city lights and bats looked wonderful from our view!
star-5
Amazing tour and Mike was a great...
Duncan C, Oct 2017
Congress Avenue Bats Bike Tour in Austin
Amazing tour and Mike was a great tour guide. The bats came as advertised though a little tough to see at times. Good way to get to know Austin.
star-5
Awesome views of the city
Sarah_M, Jul 2021
Congress Avenue Bat Bridge Kayak Tour in Austin
We had a wonderful time on this tour. Our tour guide, Travis, was very knowledgeable and shared great insights of Austin and the history of bats. We recommend this tour to anyone visiting the Austin area. The views are gorgeous at night. Great summer activity for families.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • The Congress Bridge bats are a must-see for animal lovers and first-time visitors to Austin.

  • The bats’ dramatic appearance usually lasts between 45 and 60 minutes.

  • A typical bat tour lasts two to three hours, depending on the option chosen.

  • The public walkway along Congress Avenue Bridge is wheelchair accessible.

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How to Get There

The Congress Avenue Bridge is located roughly one mile (1.6 kilometers) from downtown Austin. The easiest way to get there is on foot or by road. Parking is available near the Austin American-Statesman office, Auditorium Shores, and along East Riverside Drive.

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When to Get There

The Austin bats can be seen between March and November, with their numbers peaking in summer. The mammals begin to emerge about 20 minutes before sundown; due to the spectacle’s popularity, it’s a good idea to show up an hour or so before sunset to stake out a spot on the bridge.

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Austin Bat Trivia

The free-tailed bat colony that lives beneath South Congress Bridge was once feared, but today the bats are appreciated for keeping the city’s bug population under control. Each night, the colony consumes 20,000 to 30,000 pounds (9,072 to 13,608 kilograms) of insects. This particular species gets its name from its long tail, which measures about a third of the length of its body. The bats often fly up to two miles (3.2 kilometers) high and are among the fastest mammals in the world.

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