Austin‘s Zilker neighborhood is known for its beautiful scenery and laid-back vibes, not to mention the killer Austin music scene. It’s no wonder that this area is getting buzz from residents and tourists. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry. Culture Trip rounded up the top ten things to do and see in nature-loving Zilker.
This is a given. If you’re in the Zilker area, you are bound to step foot into Zilker Park. It’s home to many events and festivals, such as the Zilker Park Kite Festival and Austin City Limits Festival. There’s something to do for everyone in the 351-acre park. Whether you want to golf, play volleyball, swim, or just want to relax and read a book, Zilker Park is a top pick for residents and tourists.
For just a small fee (depending on your age, when you go, and what time you go), you can swim at one of Austin’s hottest spots. Barton Springs Pool is open year-round and has an average temperature of 70 degrees, making it the perfect place to cool off from Texas summers. This man-made pool is about 3 acres and has a diving board for attendees who want to do more than just swim.
Right next to Barton Springs Pool, over a fence, is Barking Springs. This dog-friendly park is intended for dog owners to take their dogs for a refreshing dip. Water flows from the Barton Springs Pool and allows all dogs and dog-lovers to enjoy the great weather.
With a variety of gardens, including the Taniguchi Japanese Garden, a Rose Garden, a Cactus Garden, and many others, the Zilker Botanical Garden is an Austinite favorite and a must-see for tourists. Admission is only $3, or $2 for residents. There’s also a Butterfly Trail where you can enjoy the beautiful Austin scenery in the company of butterflies.
Just outside of Zilker Park are a variety of restaurants for you to choose from. If you go on Barton Springs Road, you are bound to find a restaurant worth trying. Whether you go to Chuy’s Tex-Mex or you just want to grab a beverage from Juiceland, you will leave full and satisfied.
Deep Eddy Pool is the oldest swimming pool in Texas and is still a popular swimming hole for Austinites. It’s considered a historic landmark of Texas, having been in operation since the 1920s. During the summer, the pool hosts Splash Party Movie Nights where they play movies on an inflatable movie screen.
This outdoor sculpture garden is right by Zilker Park. American sculptor Charles Umlauf donated 168 of his sculptures to Austin and, of course, Austin built a museum to display his art. The museum’s exhibits change throughout the year, displaying work of other contemporary sculptors. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday and is closed on Mondays.
Bordering Lady Bird Lake is ten miles of trails for you to stroll on or bike around. It’s a great way to get exercise and to appreciate Austin’s beauty. The Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail is one of the oldest urban Texas paths and is the longest trail designed for runners and bikers.
Kayaking on Lady Bird Lake
Since Austin prohibits operation of most motorized watercraft on Lady Bird Lake, it makes it the perfect place for fun recreational activities such as kayaking! Whether you want to canoe, kayak, or paddle board, Lady Bird Lake is the perfect place. You even get the perfect view of Austin’s skyline.
Concerts and Festivals
Zilker Park is also home to several music events. Of course everyone knows about Austin City Limits every October. But during the summer you can also enjoy Blues on the Green, a free live music event. Other events and festivals hosted in Zilker Park includes the Zilker Kite Festival and winter’s seasonal Trail of Lights.