Outdoors

Austin's climate and environs are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. With over 18,900 acres of city parks and spectacular natural beauty surrounding the city, the scenic wonders call to those who love adventure. Miles and miles of cycling and running trails, rock climbing, river rafting and kayaking are yours for the choosing.

Lake Travis, the largest lake in the region covering over 18,600 acres, is a prime spot for water skiing, sailing, fishing and swimming. Don't miss the sunset on Lake Travis, especially up on one of The Oasis' five-story restaurant balconies that majestically overlook the lake. It's something to write home about.

Austin's naturally temperate climate and rolling hills makes the area perfect for golfing. Home to Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw, Austin boasts some of the most scenic and challenging golf courses in the nation. There are 26 golf courses in Austin (five municipal, 13 public and seven private club courses). Course designers include Crenshaw, Kite, Arnold Palmer, Tom Fazzio and Robert Trent Jones, Sr. Green fees range from $11.50 to $16 on public courses, and membership initiation fees at country clubs start around $1,500.

Austin has kids' and grownups' leagues for all major sports including soccer, softball, bowling, frisbee (ultimate) and basketball. Also available to the younger set: Little League Baseball and Pee Wee Football.

The YMCA of Austin has five sites, with workout equipment, pools, indoor basketball courts and more.

Austin boasts several golf courses for frisbee golfers, including one in Central Austin that winds along the banks of beautiful Shoal Creek, linking up some of the city's most pleasant greenbelt parkland.

Beginning in downtown Austin and stretching 150 miles west and north into the Hill Country of Central Texas lie the Highland Lakes, a chain of lakes created by seven dams along the Colorado River. Within a short drive of the city – or a full day-trip excursion – Austinites have access to boating, waterskiing, sailing, windsurfing, rowing, canoeing, fishing and swimming in some of Texas' most beautiful surroundings.

The City of Austin alone boasts 14,300 acres of parks. The hills west of the city include more than 7,566 public acres. Here, you can also enjoy hiking, mountain biking and other land-based activities.

Hunting and fishing also are available on private lands near the city.

Closer to home: The Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve, a 227-acre enclave, is just minutes from downtown.

Barton Springs, the famous 1,000 foot-long spring-fed pool – with a year-round water temperature of 68 degrees – is located within the 360-acre Zilker Park on the shores of Lady Bird Lake (formerly Town Lake) in downtown Austin.

Also within the city limits in southeast Austin is the 640-acre McKinney Falls State Park, operated by Texas Parks & Wildlife.

Outdoor Attractions

  • Barton Springs Pool
  • Barton Creek Greenbelt
  • Bat-watching at the Congress Avenue Bridge
  • Hamilton Pool Natural Preserve
  • Ladybird Lake Hike and Bike Trail
  • LBJ Wildflower Center
  • Mansfield Dam
  • McKinney Falls State Park
  • Mayfield Park and Nature Preserve
  • Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve
  • Zilker Botanical Gardens
  • Nearly 50 Golf Courses

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Austin-Bergstrom International Airport has nonstop service to over 40 domestic and international destinations.