“Keep Austin Weird” is the city’s motto. Although the slogan was derived from commercialism after a radio talk-show hosts comments, the city has embraced their “weirdness” and continues to offer visitors (and locals) plenty of unique entertainment that can only be found in Austin.
Take, for instance, the bat bridge. No, it’s not the road Batman takes to get to his cave. This is the Congress Avenue Bridge over Lady Bird Lake. The largest urban bat colony calls the underside of this bridge home. From late Spring to late Summer, bats emerge in black floating sheets and cover the night skies of downtown Austin. Although it has become a hot tourist attraction, many locals enjoy the evening bat viewings as well. There are many great spots around the bridge to congregate for a viewing. Along with a few area restaurants, The Austin-American Statesman offers a public viewing area. The more serious bat watches might also opt for an evening boat cruise offered by Lone Star Riverboat or Capital Cruises. For more information and approximate bat viewing times, call the Bat Hotline at 416-5700 ext. 3636.
Another weird outing for visitors to Austin would be a luncheon at the South Austin Trailer Park Eatery on South First Street. This place makes eating in a trailer park cool. Managed by Torchy’s Tacos, this trailer park features inexpensive taco munching in very unique environment. So, go down and hang out with the trailer park trash… you’ll enjoy every minute of it!
Weird Art in Austin
Aside from music, Austin in also known for its public art displays. The Grotto Wall at Sparky Park on Grooms Street is one such place. The grotto is a huge walk-through structure made of stone, steel, mirror balls, masonry, petrified wood, fossils, seashells, ceramic and found objects contributed by neighborhood residents. The Cathedral of Junk is another Austin gem. It stands unassumingly in the backyard of a small house on Lareina Drive. And, it really IS made out of junk. From car parts and discarded yard equipment to lamps, silverware and toilet seats, this cathedral is a junkyard gone wild. If that’s even possible.
Many Austin residents express their “weirdness” through yard art fixtures and even elaborate car art displays. So, when you’re driving through Austin, do not be alarmed. Things kinds of things are “normal” here. Enjoy!