Austin Park Highlights

If you're going to Austin, don't overlook the beautiful parks in the region for splendor, solitude, and quiet. Even though the city has a large assortment of entertainment and shopping complexes, the parks offer a fantastic change of pace without having to leave the region. There are three unique places close by worth a glimpse, even if it's a quick one.

Zilker Park is the first place to stop. This charming park set on over 300 acres of pristine land is filled with tree-lined walkways and a fantastic skyline vista of Austin. The park is open all year long, and sets on the bank of Lady Bird Lake. In addition to its attractiveness, Zilker Park also hosts an assortment of special entertainment activities throughout the year, from a kite festival in the spring to outdoor concerts on the hillside for the duration of the summer to the famous Austin City Limits Festival each fall.

Situated next door to Zilker Park is Barton Springs Pool. This natural spring-fed pool stays at a continual 68 degrees all year, making it a refreshing cool spot to break away from the hot summer sun. The pool area is enclosed by trees and meadows, and stays occupied virtually year-round. The region has a "beach-like" feel, with tanners, Frisbee players, and readers all intermingled in and around the pool. It is also not uncommon to see some of Austin's courageous souls out throughout the winter months to take a dip.

Finally, make McKinney Park a have to see vacation spot. This massive park is an all-natural resource area where people hike, bike, fish, and camp. A river, Onion Creek, runs through the middle of the park with a waterfall and natural pool basin at the end, creating fun for the entire family. Wildlife is normal and abundant here as well, so if you're a naturalist or love to take pictures, this is definitely a place you want to visit.

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