Austin Park Highlights

If you're going to Austin, don't forget about the beautiful parks in the region for splendor, solitude, and quiet. Despite the fact that the city has a huge variety of entertainment and shopping complexes, the parks offer a fantastic change of pace without having to leave the region. There are three special places close by worth a look, even if it's a quick one.

Zilker Park is the first place to see. This picturesque park resting on over 300 acres of pristine land is filled with tree-lined walkways and an amazing skyline vista of Austin. The park is open all year long, and rests on the bank of Lady Bird Lake. In addition to its attractiveness, Zilker Park also is home to a selection of special entertainment events throughout the year, from a kite festival in the spring to outdoor concerts on the countryside during the summer to the famous Austin City Limits Festival each fall.

Right next door to Zilker Park is Barton Springs Pool. This natural spring-fed pool stays at a continuous 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 sunbathers, Frisbee throwing, and readers all intermingled in and around the pool. It is also not unusual to see some of Austin's adventurous souls out throughout the winter months to take a dip.

Finally, make McKinney Park a need to see vacation spot. This big park is an all-natural resource area where people 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 entertainment for the whole family. Wildlife is natural and abundant here as well, so if you're a naturalist or love to take pictures, this is certainly a place you want to visit.

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