Austin, known for its brisket is ranked at the top for the best cities to live in the USA. Austin has a great weather and is praised for all the rivers, mountains and trees around it. This makes Austin’s climate amazing which is why it attracts so many tourists around the world. So, here are 10 outdoor places you must visit while you are visiting Austin, Texas.
Before I get onto this list, I would like to remind you that Austin has tons of neat outdoor activities which is what is going to be covered in this article. The indoor activities will be covered in another article.
1) Lake Travis Zip Lines
The Lake Travis Zip Lines features 5 zip lines. The length of the zip lines range from 250 feet to over 2800 feet! Several of them are over the lake which gives you a great view of some of Austin’s best scenery! You are also allowed to stay on their private island after the zipline for as long as you like until they close. The private island has hammocks you can rest on, outdoor games and you can swim there!
2) Larry Bird Lake
The Larry Bird Lake is a nice lake that flows through downtown Austin. You can rent stand- up paddle boards, kayaks, canoes and much more so you can enjoy the scenery of downtown Austin while you are enjoying the lake. They also have a bike/hike trail which is actually the best place to bike/hike in downtown Austin. It also has been reported as a great place for fishing. According to many tourists, it is a great destination for fishing largemouth bass, sunfish and carp.
3) Zilker Park
Many consider Zilker Park as “Austin’s most-loved park”. In this 351 acre park, you can find tons of outdoor activities to bring memories of your summer vacation. They have volleyball courts, picnic tables, gardens and much more. However, the most popular attraction is the Barton Springs Pool which is a spring-fed pool. This pool is 1000 foot long and is located within the channel of Barton Creek and utilizes water from Main Barton Spring!
This video highlights what to expect at Zilker Park
4) Lake Travis Waterloo Adventures
This is one of the most unique summer activities in Austin! The Waterloo Adventure is a floating water park with tons of course challenges. To complete the 600 foot obstacle course, you will need to get through a bunch of climbing walls, monkey bars, slides, hurdles, balance beams, bridges and much more! Just like the zipline, when you are done with the adventure, you will have unlimited access to the private beach where you can rest in hammocks or play beach games.
This Video Gives You A Walkthrough Of What To Expect At Waterloo Waterpark
5) Cambridge Bridge Bats
Viewing the Congress Bridge Bats is Austin’s most popular attraction. Every night, around 1.5 million bats will appear in the sky. They live inside of the Congress Bridge. Most people would stand close to the bridge but you can also ride a cruise or kayak to the bridge. Typically, right before dusk, you will see the bats flying out to catch mosquitoes to feed their families. Unfortunately, it is not a guarantee that the bats will come out when you can see them because they might come out later at dark but you won’t be able to see them too well.
6) Texas State Tubes
Floating on the Guadalupe and San Marcos rivers are a great way to spend a relaxing day in the water. However, it can be a little dangerous just bringing your own tube and floating all day. That is why joining a tour from Texas State Tubers makes it a lot safer and simpler. They provide transportation from Austin to the rivers down and back.
7) Mckinney Falls State Park
Mckinney Falls State Park is a 641-acre state park at the confluence of Onion Creek and Williamson Creek. It features over 80 campsites and includes RV sites and hike in sites. This park offers some great views, hikes and a great place to swim. You also would have a good time mountain biking. It also isn’t nearly as crowded as the Barton Creek. It is a state park so the entrance fee should be around 5 bucks. If you would like to go camping, this park is for you.
8) Mike's Bike and Tours
What can be better than biking in Austin? However, you may get lost. This is when you look for Mike. His crew offers a large variety of great tours to choose from. Some tours are on Austin’s mountain bike trails and some involve exploring the city. This is available all year round making it a perfect outdoor activity for tourists.
9) Lunch/ Dinner Cruise
What’s better than having a ride in the rivers of Austin while enjoying the view? Enjoying the view while eating food- on a cruise! Both Capital Cruises and Lone Star Riverboat are available. The Capital Cruises has cruises that can hold from 2 - 8 people. So, if you would like to do something special at night with only your family, you should consider this. These companies can also carry large parties from 30 - 140 so if you would like a cruise for a big family reunion or if you are hosting a big party, this is for you!
10) Circuit of the Amerca’s COTA Karting
Circuit of the Americas is now offering a Karting experience! The Karts can go up to 55mph and the track features 15 turns. This is a great way to experience the vibe of real racers down at the track. They also have zip lining which is a plus but I personally recommend saving that excitement on the Travis Lake Zipline.
The reason why Austin is known as one of the best cities to live in inside of the United States is because of how well balanced the city is with its landform. It is surrounded by mountains and rivers which is why it attracts so any tourists- especially during the summer, which is why there are so many outdoor activities available.
However, there is just as much to do in the indoors as there is in the outdoors. So, here is a poll. Should my next article be about indoor attractions in Austin, Texas? Also, I would love to hear your thoughts as well as your recommendations on what to write next so feel free to leave a comment.
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on July 16, 2019:
The activities that you've described sound enjoyable. Austin looks like an attractive place. I'm always interested in communities located near mountains and rivers.
Liz Westwood from UK on July 15, 2019:
This is a great guide to outdoor activities with helpful information and interesting photos and videos. The water park sounds great.