Enjoy an afternoon at Zilker Park. Austin is lucky to have lots of land set aside for recreational opportunities. Zilker park is a 351 acre park right in the midst of the city and is a great spot to have a picnic, take a walk, play a game or ride the miniature train that circles the park.
This is also the site of the annual Austin City Music festival in September which is another must see in Austin.
Zilker Metropolitan Park is considered "Austin's most loved park," and I would have loved to have had more time to explore it's 321 acres. The park, planned in part by the National Park Service, is home to a variety of recreation opportunities including:
The Zilker Zephyr miniature train
Canoeing on Town Lake
A large multi-age playscape
Hiking and bicycle trails
Large full-service picnic areas
Disc golf course
Fields for soccer, rugby and multi-use
Zilker Botanical Gardens
Austin Nature and Science Center
The Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum
Zilker Hillside Theatre
And much more.
Perhaps Zkilker Park is most noted for the famous Barton Springs Pool, a very inviting natural spring-fed pool with a year-round average temperature of 68 degrees.
For the kids...or just to act like a kid, take the mini Zilker Zypher train ride through Zilker Park. It's a leisurely 3-mile ride that passes under Barton Springs Road.
The Zilker Park train station is found on the south side of Barton Springs Road near the entrance to Barton Springs Pool.
Zilker Metropolitan Park is considered "Austin's most loved park." This 351 acre park is home to a variety of recreation opportunities and special events for the individual or the whole family.
Enjoy a ride on the Zilker Zephyr miniature train or paddling a canoe down Barton Creek. Play on the large multi-age playscape, hike and bike trails and large full-service picnic areas. For the swimmer, Zilker Park offers Barton Springs Pool, a natural spring-fed pool with a year-round average temperature of 68 degrees. The park is home to the Zilker Botanical Gardens, which includes the Taniguchi Oriental Garden and the Austin Area Garden Center
Austin's Town Lake has a number of nice parks, and this is the best. It offers a fine view of the city skyline, hiking/jogging trails, and activities for the kids. Look for the statue of the late, great Texas blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan, near the edge of Town Lake.
ACL ROCKS! If you can make it to Austin for either ACL (Sept.) or SXSW (March), you'll have a wonderful oppurtunity to see some great up and coming bands. This year I got to see Modest Mouse, The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, Ryan Adams, Sheryl Crow, Howie Day, The Pixies, G. Love and Special Sauce, Endochine, Cake, and the list goes on and on. There were at least 130 bands, so you couldn't miss out! And the awsome thing about it, I volunteered this year, so I got in free and was behind the scenes for most of it. So bascially I got to see the bands up close and be back stage, plus get drinks for free and not pay $4 for beer. YEAH! :)
Zilker Park is home to so many local attractions, including the Zilker Botanical Gardens, Barton Springs Pool, and the Umlauf Sculpture Garden. Be on the lookout for one of many community events and concerts in the park. The Austin City Limits Festival (ACL) take place at Zilker in September. The Trail of Lights (a mile of holiday light displays!) takes place in December. The Kite Festival takes place in March. That's just a few of the events that occur at Zilker Park, and they're all a blast. You can also go canoeing, kayaking, running, walking, frisbee tossing, etc. in the area. It's really a gem of a place in the middle of the city. It's one of the most important aspects of Austin, in my opinion. Austin seriously would not be the same without the 358 acres which constitutes Zilker Park.
If there's an epicenter to outdoor recreation in Austin, it's Zilker Park, just south of the Colorado River about half a mile west of Congress Ave. The park itself is a pleasant 8 acre (3ha) slot of green, lined with hiking and biking trails and home to a botanical garden, sculpture garden and museum. It's also the city's access point to Barton Springs natural swimming pool, the Barton Creek Greenbelt and the 60 acre (25ha) Zilker Nature Preserve. Inside the park, the Austin Nature Center has exhibitions of native mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians that have been injured and nursed back to health at the center.