Top Outdoor Activities in Austin, Texas

We all know Austin as a forward-thinking and chilled-out city. Even with over 1 million population; this metropolis retains the peace and charm of a countryside. On the whole, it is an entertaining and lively city that will never let you get bored. For example, the moment you step on the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS); you would see live music performances almost everywhere to delight you. Hence, Austin is also referred to as “the music capital of the world.” 

Besides, there is a lot more entertaining stuff to explore, enjoy and get amazed in Austin. The city has many parks, lakes, hiking tracks and the list is endless. We have gathered a few outdoor activities that you can enjoy while visiting Austin, Texas. Excited? Have a look! 

1. Hiking

Top Outdoor Activities in Austin, Texas

Austin is known as one of the 10 top fittest cities throughout the US, and there is a legit reason for it! This city offers a lot of opportunities to stay fit either through biking, walking and hiking. Special tracks and trails are designed for making the experience smooth and enjoyable. 

All you need is a bottle of water to stay hydrated, an extra dose of energy, and you are all good for your hiking venture. It won’t be possible to list down all the hiking trails below, but here are a few popular ones to try out:

  • Barton Green Greenbelt
  • McKinney Falls State Park
  • Mayfield Nature Preserve
  • Southern Walnut Creek 
  • Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trial

2. Go To A Festival or Event

Top Outdoor Activities in Austin, Texas

Austin is a city of lively people! A long list of events and fun festivals take place throughout the year. Especially, if you happen to visit Texas in springs, there is a lot more to enjoy there and the weather is also comparatively pleasant than the rest of year. You can either go there with your friends or family because mostly these events have a suitable environment for everybody. Some of the fun happenings are:

  • Austin City Limits Music Festival
  • Austin Film Festival
  • Round Rock Express
  • Moonlight Margarita Run
  •  SXSW
  • Texas Book Festival
  • Free Day of Yoga
  • Austin Pond and Garden Tour
  • Bat Fest
  • Austin Reggae Festival  

3. Swimming 

Top Outdoor Activities in Austin, Texas

The temperature in the city is mostly warm most of the time, and swimming is a great way to beat the heat off! Moreover, it is also believed that swimming is the fastest way to lose the whole body fat because all the parts are involved in the process. Which means it’s a two in one activity that offers healthy benefits and fun experience too! Luckily, Austin has many lakes and pools to entertain you. A few are named here:

  • Blue Hole
  • Jacob’s Well Natural Area
  • Krause Springs
  • Barton Springs Pool
  • Deep Eddy Pool
  • Barton Creek Greenbelt

4. Mounting to the Top of Mount Bonnell

If you ever wished to reach to the top of a mountain, then your dream can come true by climbing on Mount Bonnell! It is a Historical Landmark of Texas and the oldest tourist attraction. Mount Bonnell is 775 feet tall, making it one of Austin’s highest points. The view from the top is literally breath-taking and definitely worth the climbing effort. You can enjoy far-reaching views of the beautiful city Austin and surrounding nature. 

Quick tip: It is suggested to head up for mounting before sunrise for an undisturbed view because Mount Bonnell becomes crowded at sunset. Since it’s a famous outing point in Austin, so you may not be able to do your business without distractions. 

5. Visit Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park

In the North of Austin, Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park is situated. It has several outdoor activities that you can enjoy with your friends and family, including swimming pool, playground that has equipment for adults and kids too and other sports facilities. The park is dog friendly, which means no family member will miss out this fun time. In addition to all this, it is facilitated with 15 miles of trails that are best suited for walking, jogging and biking as well. You can also use the area for picnic as there are a lot of barbecue pits and picnic tables for the purpose. However, you have to book a shelter picnic area beforehand to reserve your spot.

6.Bat-watching At Congress Avenue Bridge

Some sceneries are bound to leave you in awe, and bat-watching at Congress Avenue Bridge is one of them. You can witness more than 1.4 million free tail Mexican bats, from spring season to early fall. It is your choice to either enjoy the scene from the bridge or while boating in the water. Especially if you have kids, they will surely be happy with the whole experience and remember it for ages. 

7. Texas State Capitol Tour

Top Outdoor Activities in Austin, Texas

The next outdoor activity is for those who are interested in learning about Texas history and legislative sessions. While exploring the building, you can pick up a brochure and learn about it yourself. However, another option is to hire a guide for the purpose. These specialists can give you a complete tour while explaining you about the history and other useful information. Hence, it can be a fun learning tour.

8. Feed Animals at the Austin Zoo

Top Outdoor Activities in Austin, Texas

Austin Zoo aims to care animals that are either rescued or rehabilitated. It is a non-profit organization, and also a hub of some domestic animals who were not lucky enough to make it to your homes. Besides, you can learn about more than 100 Species, like Capuchin monkeys, lions, hybrid wolves and Galápagos tortoises, etc. The fun part? The management allows you to buy food for some animals (like llamas, goats, deer) and feed them yourself. So, even if you are not allowed to keep a pet at home, you can still enjoy the moments by visiting the place. 

9. Spend Time at Austin Aquarium

Top Outdoor Activities in Austin, Texas

After feeding animals, you can also enjoy spending quality time with aquatic animals in the Austin Aquarium. You can meet a wide variety of wild animals there as well. From parakeets to sharks and kangaroos to lemurs; thousands of species are present there to get admired.

10. Commend Heritage at Blanton Museum of Art

Visiting museums has its own significance. You get to see and learn new amazing things like never before. If you are looking for one such place in Austin, then Blanton Museum of Art is a must-visit site. It is situated at the University of Texas and has a huge collection of contemporary pieces (over 19,000). The museum includes:

  • Encyclopedic prints and drawing collections
  • Contemporary and modern American art
  • European paintings
  • Latin American art and a lot more!

11. Enjoy a Movie at the Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In

Top Outdoor Activities in Austin, Texas

Imagine enjoying a movie, under the sky, with your partner in the calmness of night. Even the imagination is so soothing and romantic. Isn’t it? Well, Austin offers you the opportunity to live these dreamy moments in the drive-in theatres. There are around 3 such places across the city. Moreover, the choice of shows varies from art to indie and classic to an ‘Oldie but Goldie’ one. More than 40 cars are not allowed at a time, so it is less distracting and crowded. You can also order popcorn and candies during that time to enjoy the moments to their fullest.


This list of outdoor activities was compiled keeping in mind that different people have different preferences. In short, either you are history lover, animal admirer, fitness enthusiast, adventurous, daring, nature lover, swimmer or trekker; there is something for everyone in Austin. All you need to do is, explore this beautiful city and get the most out of it!