How to Enjoy the Outdoors in Austin

How to Enjoy the Outdoors in Austin

  • Katie Jackson

There’s hardly a better way to unwind after a strenuous work week than by recharging your batteries out in nature. Fortunately, Austin residents have plenty of ways to do just that. From the glorious green space of Zilker Park to the adventures of the Austin Zoo, Austin is the perfect place to enjoy the sunshine.

Explore Zilker Park

Zilker Park — unsurprisingly located in the central neighborhood of Zilker — is famously known as the “jewel in the heart of Austin.” Located on the Colorado River, this incredible expanse of 351 acres is beloved by locals and visitors alike as an oasis within the city. Even when the park is crowded, you can find a place to sit on a blanket or bench and revel in the sights and sounds of the community. 

Don’t miss one of the most notable highlights of Zilker Park: Barton Springs Municipal Pool, a federally protected habitat fed by bubbling springs. The three-acre pool maintains a temperature of a delightful 70 degrees year-round and is an excellent place to get your feet wet on a hot day. Unlike other pools near Austin (more on these later), Barton Springs Pool requires no reservations, so you can enjoy the great outdoors whenever your heart desires.

Besides its vast lawns, Zilker Park also has top-notch facilities for basketball, disc golf, tennis, volleyball, and more. Designated trails and footpaths wind throughout the park into the surrounding areas, perfect for a day of exploration. When you’re on the search for Austin real estate, be sure not to miss beautiful Zilker Park and all that it has to offer.

Find beauty at the Zilker Botanical Garden

Photo courtesy of Zilker Botanical Garden’s Instagram

The Zilker Botanical Garden occupies 28 acres within Zilker Park. This one-of-a-kind, world-class botanical garden features heritage live oaks set into a hillside, the Taniguchi Japanese Garden, the Mabel Davis Rose Garden, and much more.

Towering trees and dense bushes seclude the grounds from the busy atmosphere of the surrounding park. With so many flora and fauna self-contained, you will feel like you fell down a rabbit hole of serenity and beauty. The botanical garden also offers unique family-friendly events you don’t want to miss, such as “Music in the Garden” evenings and sound bath yoga classes. You and your family can experience the magic of this gorgeous garden and appreciate the wonders of nature.

Swim in the lakes and springs near Austin

Visitors looking into Austin real estate are often surprised that a state as seemingly landlocked as Texas could have so many terrific bodies of water nearby. It’s a good thing, though, because Texas sure can get warm.

A few miles east of Zilker Park, Lady Bird Lake offers an incredible waterway where visitors can enjoy an afternoon full of aquatic fun, such as paddle boarding, boating, fishing for bass, and renting kayaks or canoes at Rowing Dock. Because motorized boats are outlawed, the lake is ideal for families to paddle around under the sun. Lady Bird Lake is also a hiker’s paradise, featuring miles of trails that invite those with a heart for adventure.

If you love the lake life, look into Lake Austin, Lake Travis, Krause Springs, and Dripping Springs. Each destination is a short drive from Austin and is a great place to swim, boat, fish, or camp. Pack your things and embark on an adventurous day trip. Truly, Austin has an incredible variety of waterfront adventures in store.

Experience the Austin Zoo

Zoos bring out the kid in anyone, and the Austin Zoo is the perfect spot to get up close and personal with some fantastic creatures. This non-profit rescue organization is approximately a 30-minute drive from Austin and cares for over 100 species, including native wildlife, primates, reptiles, and big cats. From the Galapagos tortoise and bobcat to the blue and gold macaw, the zoo promises some amazing sights and sounds of these beloved animals. This exciting family-friendly establishment also features exhibits dedicated to children’s learning and hosts special events for Halloween and Christmas festivities. Be sure to ride the miniature train that takes passengers on a 20-minute ride around the Texas Hill Country.

Drink and dine al fresco

Photo courtesy of Tamale House East

Already dubbed the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin also makes a strong case for being the outdoor dining capital of the U.S. You can hardly walk three blocks without passing a porch or patio full of mesmerizing dishes.

The city represents a vast variety of excellent cuisines, with concentrations in barbecue spots, Mexican eateries, and craft beer. Along East 6th Street, you can enjoy natural wine sold by the bottle out on the patio at LoLo, the perfect spot for an evening out with friends. Head to Tamale House East for exceptional, made-from-scratch Mexican cuisine on a charming outdoor patio. Speaking of East 6th Street, this historic district is a go-to spot to hear live jazz music filling the air as you enjoy a night out exploring the wonders of Austin.

What’s next?

With so many amazing outdoor activities in store, it’s no wonder why the Austin real estate market is highly sought-after. There’s no time like the present to start planning for adventure in your new community.

Ready to get started in Austin?

Be proactive in your house-hunting mission by teaming up with experienced local luxury Realtor® Katie Jackson. As an Austinite herself, Katie has witnessed firsthand the city’s evolution into a tech hub with a small-town feel, and her knowledge of the Austin real estate market is unmatched. Katie has what it takes to connect you with properties that astound at every turn.

Clients describe Katie as tenacious, detail-oriented, and loyal. With Katie by your side, you’ll get local expertise, market insight, and a commitment to success at every point of your real estate journey. Are you ready to take the next step forward toward luxury homeownership? Contact Katie today to get a head start on making your dream of living in Austin a reality.


Katie’s knowledge of the Austin real estate market is unparalleled. Fluent in Spanish and well-traveled, Katie espouses all the traits of a successful real estate agent. She provides a unique and very local perspective on all areas of Real Estate.

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