Watch The Sunrise At Mount Bonnell
The sun rises early in the summer, and so will you if you want to experience this beautiful site. Grab a cup of coffee and hike the long staircase up to the top of Mount Bonnell. The dazzling view of the sun rising up over the Colorado River will be well worth the early morning workout.
Explore The Greenbelt
The Barton Creek Greenbelt is an Austin gem that is popular for swimming, hiking, biking, and rock climbing. There are several access points to the Greenbelt and each is best suited to different activities. If you want easy access to a great swimming hole, try the Gus Fruh trail.
Discover Secret Beach
Secret Beach isn’t much of a secret, but it’s still a great secluded getaway from the city. Swimming isn’t allowed here anymore, but relaxing in the sand definitely is. You can access Secret Beach by taking a short hike from a nearby park. Find full directions here.
Kayak on Lady Bird Lake
Kayaking on Lady Bird Lake is a rite of passage in Austin. Several places at Zilker Park and along Lady Bird Lake rent out kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddle boards by the hour or for the day. Be prepared to get a little wet when you’re out on the water, and remember to look down and see the fish swimming below you.
Jog Around Zilker
Zilker Park is a great access point for the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail. The trail is part of a 10-mile loop that runs along Lady Bird Lake and offers both experienced runners and casual walkers a scenic view of the city. The stretch of trail that run through Zilker Park has plenty of shady trees and is dog-friendly.
Spend A Weekend At Lake Travis
Lake Travis is a great weekend destination just outside of Austin. Take in scenic lake views, sample the local cuisine, go for a swim, or even scuba dive around the lake. There are several boutique hotels, cabins, and campsites in the area so you can set the tone for your weekend getaway.
Visit Krause Springs
Take a short trip out of Austin to find this underrated paradise. The grounds feature a beautiful, natural swimming hole with a waterfall, a pool, a garden, campsites, and showers. Krause Springs is privately owned, but visitors can swim and camp for a fee.
Swim At Hamilton Pool
This swimming hole in Dripping Springs was formed when the roof of an underground river fell in many centuries ago. What remains is one of Austin’s favorite natural pools featuring a 50-foot waterfall and cold, refreshing water to escape the summer heat. Reservations are required to visit Hamilton Pool.
Attend A Music Festival
Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World, so there’s always some great musical acts to catch. Austin hosts several outdoor concerts throughout the summer, and some are even free. Be sure to check out Blues on the Green, 2ND Street Soundcheck, and Bat Fest.
Camp At McKinney Falls State Park
McKinney Falls is perfect for a camping weekend or a day trip. Located just outside of Austin, this state park has campsites for tents and RVs, cabins, great swimming holes, and hiking trails. Some activities are closed due to recent rains, so check the website before heading out.
Watch A Show At Zilker Hillside Theater
Every summer, Austinites can watch a free musical in the park on the Zilker Hillside Theatre stage. For example, Shrek: The Musical ran July 8 through August 13 in 2016. Performances were Thursday through Sunday only.
Umlauf Sculpture Garden
The summer weather is perfect for a stroll through Umlauf Sculpture Garden. The garden contains sculptures crafted by artist Charles Umlauf set in a serene landscape of native Texas plants. When you’re done, check out the other exhibits in the museum building.
Zip Line Over Austin
Take a tour of Austin’s natural beauty from way up high. Thrill seekers can zip line over treetops and lake shores at several locations around Austin, including Spicewood and Lake Travis. Zip line prices usually include a couple of hours of zip lining, light hiking, and recreation in some of Austin’s most beautiful outdoor settings.
Take A Flyboard Lesson
If you’re looking for a summer adventure, try flyboarding. A flyboard is like a jetpack for your feet. Water jets strapped to the rider’s feet send the rider flying up into the air. Experienced riders can dive underwater and flip in the air. There are a few businesses in Austin that offer lessons and fly time over Lake Austin and Lake Travis.
Ice Skate At Chaparral Ice
If you’re considering hopping on a plane to Antarctica to escape the triple digit temperatures, Chaparral Ice is for you and will save you the hassle. The skate center has public ice skating hours every day. Admission and skate rental is inexpensive so you can put that passport away.
Visit The Congress Bridge Bats
The bats of Congress Bridge are beloved residents of Austin. Every evening around sundown, hundreds of bats stream out from under the bridge to welcome in the night. Thousands of Austinites and visitors head out to the bridge to watch the colony take flight every year. You can view the bats from the top of the bridge or down below in the observation area.
Watch Movies at Deep Eddy Pool
Deep Eddy Pool takes the outdoor movie night to a new level. Movie night guests can watch new blockbusters and flashback favorites while swimming in a historic pool.