The 360 Bridge (also known as the Pennybacker Bridge) was built in 1982 and connects the North and South portions of the Capital of Texas Highway over Lake Austin. Located in the heart of the Hill Country, the 360 Bridge is without a doubt the best place to experience a sunset within Austin.
There are multiple ways to get the full view of this impressive structure. On the South side there is a boat dock, granting you easy access to the Lake. If boating isn’t your thing, there is also a park that doubles as a popular fishing spot. However, if you want to get the best view possible of not only the bridge but of the surrounding area, you will need to venture over to the North Side.
On both the East and West side of the 360 Highway there are short hiking trails that will take you to landings that rise up higher than the bridge. The West side is the more popular of the two as it gives you not only a great view of the bridge, but on a clear day you can see all the way to downtown. There is also a fantastic old tree clinging on to the edge of the cliff to give you photographers out there a nice prop to use. This is also one of the most popular destinations in Austin for engagement and wedding photos.
The East Side is the more difficult of the two climbs, and puts you up higher than the West Side. For those willing to fight against some light brush, some amazing angles of the bridge can be found on this side. And if you aren’t afraid of climbing down the side of a mountain in low light, the sunset shots with the bridge can’t be beat.
While the 360 Bridge is a bit off the beaten path for those visiting downtown Austin, it is well worth the trip to get a firsthand look at the beauty of the city.