It’s officially the holiday season, that wonderful time of year when white lights twinkle on rooftops, gingerbread wafts through kitchens and classic carols provide a magical and memorable soundtrack to our days.
But if you haven’t posted at least some of your adventures to Instagram, did they really even happen? If you’re looking for some popular Austin destinations that double as perfectly Instagrammable backdrops (also perfect for holiday cards), here are five to consider.
Second Street District
For nearly a decade, Austin’s bustling Second Street District has offered a festive Holiday Window Walk, where local boutiques create ornate displays and vie for the title of favorite window. Expect lots of creative ideas — and lots of selfie opportunities — while you peruse the shops. While you’re there, pick up a present or two; Second Street offers a great opportunity to shop local.
This time of year, popular outdoor shopping mall the Domain doubles as a winter-themed wonderland. From the towering Christmas tree adorned with glittering red, green and golden baubles to the proud nutcracker soldiers that protect it, it’s a fun place for a holiday ’gram or two. The tree is in front of Macy’s; additional decor can be found throughout the mall.
Information: 11410 Century Oaks Terrace. 512-873-8099, simon.com/mall/the-domain
The Long Center terrace
Whether you’re heading to Ballet Austin’s "Nutcracker" (which continues through Dec. 23) or simply driving by on your way to do some shopping on South Congress Avenue, the Long Center’s wide terrace is an ideal place to snap a selfie or even formal photos with the city’s sprawling skyline in the background. Extra points if you include the terrace’s towering beams, which are decorated like giant candy canes this time of year.
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Information: 701 W. Riverside Drive. 512-474-5664, thelongcenter.org.
The Zilker Tree
Generations of Austinites have either kicked off or capped their holiday seasons with a spin — and a pic — under the Zilker Holiday Tree, which stands 155 feet tall and comprises more than 3,000 lights that surround one of Austin’s historic moontowers. The lights are on nightly from 6 p.m. to midnight through Jan. 1.
The Kendra Scott flagship store
When the Kendra Scott flagship store opened on South Congress Avenue late last year, it quickly became a favorite of Instagrammers, who were drawn to its bright decor and colorful outdoor mural. During the holidays, the store features a special mural that reads "With Love From ATX" adorned with a pink bench, a pink Christmas tree and presents in Kendra Scott’s signature yellow. In addition to photo-ops and Kendra Scott jewelry, the shop also offers frose, snacks and valet parking.
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Information: 1701 S Congress Ave. 512-792-4581, kendrascott.com/stores/directory/store?StoreID=south%20congress