Updated: Apr 16
We wanted the perfect outing in Austin Texas and with so much to do and see where does one even start? Might I suggest Zilker Park. This was one of my favorite Austin stops and with 350 acres to spare, this park has it all and something for everyone.
The Sports Enthusiast – If you love being active and the outdoors, this is your holy grail. Lady Bird Hike and Bike Trail is the ideal place for walking, jogging, running, or biking. This trail is a 10 mile loop around Lady Bird Lake and Zilker Park and has some of the most amazing Austin scenery that helps you forget you are actually being active.
We rode our bikes around this beautiful trail and although it is pretty busy, because lets face it everyone loves this trail, you won’t find a better downtown spot to get moving and see some amazing downtown scenery. Not to mention the sand volleyball courts and a nine-hole disc golf course to add to the list of activities.
If water sports is more of your thing you are in luck because there are tons of opportunities to play in the water from paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing, or making laps in Barton Springs pool. Don’t forget to check Groupon for some deals on rentals.
Sun Lovers – Barton Springs Pool is a natural spring-fed pool located in the park with a year-round average “supposed” temperature of 68-70 degrees. Let me just say on a warm January day I put this theory to the test and I’m not quite sure I agree with that statement because the water was COLD! With that being said, it so so worth the plunge because this is such a fun and unique experience with a great view of the city. You will see year-round swimmers here and it is an ideal location for that.
The pool itself measures three acres in size, and is fed from underground springs. Lounging in the sun around this amazing pool and taking in the view is a great way to load up on your vitamin D. We went in the off season and it’s free admission during those months!
The Kids and Kids at heart – Enjoy a ride on the Zilker Zephyr a miniature railway that carries passengers on a tour around the park. This is a really fun experience for all ages, but it only carries you a short distance so you don’t get the true beauty of the park like the trails, but still composed of exhilarating views. The tickets for the train rides can go quickly, especially on the weekends, so purchase your tickets then go play on the large playground while you wait for the next train ride.
The Nature Lover – Austin Nature and Science Center offers a wide variety of programs and exhibits for children and adults of all ages. There are plenty of things to do and see including wildlife exhibits and a Dino Pit. Zilker Botanical Gardens includes the Taniguchi Oriental Garden and the Austin Area Garden Center.
Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum is beautiful and unique way to enjoy a museum experience. This is the largest “touchable” sculpture collection in Texas with over 200 sculptures and artworks. Each season the pieces are rearranged throughout the garden and museum. This allows the viewer to experience each piece in a new perspective.
The Dog Lovers – If you have a dog or just love dogs then you must go hang out in Zilker park. A large grassy area filled people and their furry friends playing frisbee, flying kites, or just enjoying the sunshine made me wish we had a dog to join the fun.
Theatre and Music – Zilker Hillside Theatre hosts concerts of all types of music. Not to mention, the theatre is the site of the Zilker Summer Musical and Shakespeare in the Park. This park is also home to many events such as the famous Austin City Limits Music Festival and the annual Zilker Park Kite Festival to name a few.
Zilker Park is a day trip in itself and you can spend an entire day here doing whatever it is you enjoy. There is always something exciting to do in Zilker.
The city of Austin has some of the best food to ever touch your taste buds. From BBQ to Tacos, or my personal favorite Gourdough’s Donuts, this city has some amazing food. Luck may have it right down the road from Zilker Park is the first Chuy’s location.
So after all that activity the park has to offer, we took on the next activity of eating lots of chips, salsa, and my favorite the creamy jalapeño dip. If you are a Chuy’s fan such as myself or just love Mexican food this is a must stop after a park day.
I mentioned earlier I wanted this to be the perfect day in Austin so you know what that means….more Gourdough’s Donuts. We ended the day with a Mama’s Cake Donut a Yellow Cake Batter Filling With Chocolate Fudge Icing.
Gourdoughs is AMAZING and I promise you will be back for more because choosing just one of their specialty donuts is not enough. This place is our Austin favorite and and after eating at The Public House which is their restaurant location where they serve hamburgers on donut buns, we seriously have considered moving to Austin.
With a combination of Zilker Park and some Austin food you are in for the perfect day in Austin Texas.