The title of this blog post, Where to Have Fun Outdoors in Austin” is a bit misleading as you can have fun outdoors in Austin pretty much anywhere you go. Personally, my idea of being outdoors is getting brunch on a patio, but for many people out there, diving into nature is one of their favorite things. For that reason, I have compiled some of my favorite places to begrudgingly go outdoors in Austin, as well as those of my more adventurous friends!
Where to Swim in Austin
Swimming is one of the outdoor activities I can really get behind. While Austin might not have been near the ocean, it never felt landlocked with so many places to dip your toes. My all-time favorite outdoor activity in Austin is going to Barton Springs. I like the paid side (the pool), where the bottom is leveled + there is a nice grassy lawn to lay on. But, you can also hang out on the “free” side, bring your own cooler + get rowdy with friends. If that is what you’re after, I also recommend Hippie Hollow.
Another fun thing you can do is float on the river. You can float on any of the “big three” rivers in Austin. I personally enjoyed the Comal more than San Marcos. It is a super fun group activity + can take as long as you want it to.
Speaking of floating, grab yours + head to Lake Travis or Lake Austin for a day of fun! While a bit further of a trek, Lake Travis is an awesome place to rent a party barge + enjoy your time on the water. Depending on the water level, your driver may even have some cool spots to take you for cliff jumping.
Where to Hike in Austin
The Greenbelt is another place to hike closer to downtown. It has a variety of different areas you can explore depending on your skill level + time commitment. Bonus points, it is close enough to Barton Springs that you can take a dip after!
While not exactly a hike, the boardwalk around Lady Bird Lake offers wonderful views + a great trail for walking. Its is one of the not-so-hidden gems of ATX.
Where to Do Sports Outdoors in Austin
If you’re looking to do something a little more chill than a hike, try getting sporty! The expansive Zilker Park has tons of room to play soccer with friends or enjoy some outdoor yoga. They also have rentable volleyball courts + a disc golf course if you’re looking for more structured play!
If you want something more water-related, you can kayak or paddleboard on Lady Bird Lake. With skyscrapers on one side, it is so cool to get your outdoor time in while in the middle of such a big + busy city.
Visiting Austin + looking for things to do? I have a whole slew of ideas for you! Check out all my Austin content.