Austin Park Highlights

If you're going to Austin, don't overlook the beautiful parks in the area for beauty, solitude, and quiet. Although the city has a substantial variety of entertainment and shopping complexes, the parks offer an exceptional change of pace without having to leave the area. There are three distinctive places nearby worth a glimpse, even if it's a short one.

Zilker Park is the first place to visit. This charming park resting on over 300 acres of pristine land is filled with tree-lined walkways and a wonderful skyline vista of Austin. The park is open all year long, and is situated on the bank of Lady Bird Lake. In addition to its beauty, Zilker Park also is home to a selection of special entertainment activities throughout the year, from a kite festival in the spring to outdoor concerts on the hillside throughout the summer to the well-known Austin City Limits Festival each fall.

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

Lastly, make McKinney Park a need to see destination. This big park is an all-natural resource area where individuals hike, bike, fish, and camp. A river, Onion Creek, goes via the middle of the park with a waterfall and natural pool basin at the end, making it fun for the whole family. Wildlife is normal and plentiful here as well, so if you're a naturalist or really like to take pictures, this is definitely a place you want to visit.

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