So, you’re in Austin for the weekend and all your friends and family want to hear what you’re up to.
There’s no time to call or text each one of them, but what else can you do? Well, as the saying goes, if you don’t have a photo, it didn’t happen.
Check out places like Ai Weiwei’s bike installation just a few blocks away, and snap a photo with the more than 1,200 bikes to share with your friends and family back home.
While ONA attendees have tight schedules for the three-day conference, everyone needs to take a breather at some point. Instagram is full of travel selfies and people documenting their adventures in new places. Hashtags connect places and people, weaving together individual photos and videos to create stories.
Take a break from sessions and stretch your legs, there are plenty of places within walking distance of the hotel. The electric scooters popping up everywhere make it easy to visit spots around Austin for the perfect Instagram photos. Just don’t Instagram and drive.
The ONA Newsroom wanted to provide some suggestions for highly Instagrammed spaces in town and we present this unordered list of spots near the conference. Don’t forget to tag your photos and share your favorite spots with other attendees.
If you find a hidden gem or think there’s an amazing place we missed, let us know by tweeting to @ONANewsroom. We’ll be updating this list as the conference goes on to include more.
Built in 1874, this nationally registered historic place is built of limestone. The intricate stained glass windows and large wooden doors provide a nice backdrop for a selfie.
Located at: 203 E 10th St, Austin, TX 78701
This pool is three acres in size and maintains a 68-70 degree temperature year around. The pool ranges from zero to 18 feet and the grass hill nearby provides sunbathing spots in between swimming. There’s even a patch of sand to sink your toes in or embrace your inner child and build a sand castle. It’s open daily 5 a.m.-10 p.m., but there’s an admission fee from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
Located at: 2201 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704
A community park that is the only one of its kind in the United States. Park hours are from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. daily. It is a private park that welcomes artistic contributions, but only if you register in advance. Those midnight #ONA tags might land you in a bit of trouble.
Located at: 1101 Baylor St, Austin, TX 78703
Get your photo with Bigfoot, King Kong and other over-sized wax sculptures. Admission to the museum is $12 but you can pop into the gift shop free of charge and find oddities.
Located at: 412 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
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“Forever Bicycles” (2014) by artist Ai Weiwei features over 1200 bicycles in reference to the role of the bicycle Weiwei observed during his childhood in China as both a key form of transportation and status symbol to those fortunate enough to possess one. The influence of Marcel Duchamp’s “readymades” is apparent in Weiwei’s work as the artist renders these every day objects into a single, towering sculpture that considers what it means to enjoy the freedom of movement, or conversely, the limitation (as so often considered in Weiwei’s work regarding the refugee crisis). “Forever Bicycles” has experienced several formations during installations in other countries, Taiwan, England and Canada. The work was installed at its present location in Austin, TX in 2017 and is on long-term loan to @contemporaryatx #aiweiwei #publicart #art #texas #austin #bike @aiww
With 1,254 bikes, this large installation is part of the Contemporary Austin’s Museum Without Walls program. It’s just a few blocks from JW Marriott and the conference, making it a great spot for an afternoon break between sessions. There’s also a view of the Colorado River, and colored lights illuminate the bicycles after dark.
Stop in front of the building and snap a photo of the architecture. Or, go on a free, 30-minute tour and get photos inside. Either way, this 130-year-old building is a historic Austin landmark.
Located at: 1100 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
“Vibrancy” sculpture by Craig Hein
Ten feet tall and full of colors, this is one guitar better to pose with instead of play with. Catch it during the day for a selfie in your sunglasses, or stop by at night for a darker backdrop.
The building’s green doors are a great photo op, but inside features an art gallery and consignment shop. Unique photos are waiting to be captured all over here. Don’t be surprised upon arrival, despite its name there are no baked goods to be found.
Located at: 1006 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
Doug Sahm Hill Summit
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Learning all about music prodigy Doug Sahm on an Austin hill named after him. Interesting guy! Played loads of instruments and was pivotal in bringing rock’n’roll and ‘Tex-Mex’ music to Texas. It’s also a pretty good spot to learn about Texas geography. 🌍 🎶 . . . #texas #austin #dougsahm #rocknroll #music #texmex #travel #america #sunset #unitedstates
This spiral park design is best seen from above (#dronefie), but there’s a Texas state map visible at the top of the hill. Take a quick walk or scooter ride across the bridges and visit this park when you need a bit of fresh air.
Located at: Doug Sahm Hill Path, Austin, TX 78704
This famous bridge is known for the bats that appear at dusk. Wind down after the day’s conference events and stand with dozens of other people to watch the bats take flight.
Located at: Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
This is the main building at the University of Texas, better known as The Tower. Visit at night to see it illuminated or stop by during the day and see the entire campus.
Located at: 110 Inner Campus Drive, Austin, TX 78705