South Congress Avenue, Austin

Update your wardrobe, slurp down oysters, and nab novel curios along the Capital City’s hippest byway.
South Congress Avenue, Austin
Stag, 1423 S. Congress Ave.
Photograph by Adam Voorhes

1. Congress Avenue Bridge Bats

Holy bats, man! The largest urban bat colony in North America hangs out between the concrete crevices under the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge. The best time to see them fly is during the late-summer months, when more than a million Mexican free-tailed bats stream out every night at sunset to feast on 20,000 pounds of insects. Get the best view of this one-of-a-kind show from the bridge or park your car in the lot of the Austin American-Statesman building and take a front-row seat on the grassy hill next to it. 512-327-9721

2. Perla’s Seafood and Oyster Bar

Chefs at Perla’s get the most refreshing results using the simplest ingredients. Sit on the shaded deck overlooking the hustle and bustle and order an icy platter of briny oysters, which are flown in daily. (If you’re feeling flush, try the worth-every-cent California Kumamotos.) Pescatarians will appreciate offerings like seared sea scallops or fried Gulf prawns, while those more carnivorously inclined will savor the oak-grilled hanger steak, a menu staple. For the best of both worlds, go for the crispy soft-shell crab BLT. 1400 S. Congress Ave., 512-291-7300,

3. More Home Slice

Since opening in 2005, the original Home Slice has routinely had lines longer than the tube chutes at Schlitterbahn. Tired of turning away enthusiasts of their New York-style pies, the owners built this to-go operation next door. With an oven capable of cranking out 24 pizzas every eight minutes, More Home Slice is quick to satisfy. Take a large order home or grab a quick slice and watch the dough slingers do their thing from one of the eight bar seats inside. 1421 S. Congress Ave., 512-444-7437,

4. Stag

The five owners of this

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