Austin, Texas has one of the world’s largest bat colonies living in the heart of downtown – under the Congress Avenue Bridge. Every night during the summer months, millions of bats come out from under the bridge and fly off into the night. This spectacle is celebrated at the Austin Bat Festival, a two-day event held in the true spirit of south Austin. It features live music, bat viewing and education areas, good food and plenty of family-friendly fun.
The Congress Avenue Bridge spans Town Lake in downtown Austin and is home to the largest urban bat colony in North America. The colony is estimated at 1.5 million Mexican free-tail bats. Each night from mid-March to November, the bats emerge from under the bridge at dusk to blanket the sky as they head out to forage for food. This event has become one of the most spectacular and unusual tourist attractions in Texas. The most spectacular bat flights are during hot, dry August nights, when multiple columns of bats emerge. There are several points from which to view the event, and an information kiosk is located on the north bank of the river, just east of the bridge. Capital Cruises Bat Watching Tours Capital Cruises Austin is home of the Largest Electric Paddle Wheel Boat in the Country and the now famous Sunset Bat Watching excursion. This tour fills up nearly every night during bat season some times a few days in advance. Prices are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $5 for kids. You need to arrive about 30 minutes before sunset for this one and buying tickets in advance is frequently required.