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Outdoor Fun In Austin, Texas

Jul 12, 2008
Austin, Texas, is known for a lot of things. It's the Live Music Capital of the World, the home of the UT Longhorns, and the capitol seat of the Lone Star State. To those who live and play here full time, it's also widely regarded as one of the most active cities in the country. From hiking and biking to swimming, boating or just soaking up the hot Texas sunshine, Austin offers residents and visitors alike a seemingly endless array of options for fun in the sun. Here are just a few to get you started:

Lady Bird Lake
Formerly called Town Lake, this man-made lake in the heart of downtown Austin is a Mecca for the city's outdoor enthusiasts. The rowing dock rents canoes, paddle boats and kayaks out by the hour, and the temperate lake waters provide a welcome respite from the mid-day heat. If boating isn't your thing, check out the Hike and Bike Trail, which circles the lake in a three-to-four mile loop (depending on the route you choose). Day and night, all year long, you'll see Austinites of all ages and fitness levels working their way around the trail--pushing baby strollers, walking their dogs, or just catching up with friends.

Zilker Park
A stone's throw from Lady Bird Lake lies one of the nation's largest inner-city parks--at 351 acres, Zilker Park is Austin's grassy playground, soccer fields, sand volleyball courts, and even a miniature train, the Zilker Zephyr. The park offers several cultural attractions as well, including the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum, the Zilker Botanical Gardens, and the Austin Nature and Science Center not to mention the famous Austin City Limits music festival each September. What started as a 35-acre deed in 1918 has evolved into one of the true treasures of Austin. Regardless of the time of year, visitors to Zilker Park will likely see lively soccer, kickball and ultimate frisbee games, colorful kites flying, and drowsy folks napping under shade trees.

The Veloway
If cycling or skating is your activity of choice, The Veloway is one Austin attraction you won't want to miss. Off-limits to runners or cars, this 3.1 mile loop of paved, winding road through South Austin's hill country provides a safe haven for cyclists and skaters alike.

Barton Springs Pool
Austin boasts a wealth of lakes, rivers and swimming holes, but none is quite as beloved and well known as Barton Springs Pool. Surrounded by Zilker Park, Barton Springs Pool is a spring-fed, 900-foot oasis in the hot summer sun. The chilly, 68 degree water is a cherished refuge from the 100-plus degree heat June through September, but the pool is open year-round. In addition to man-made aspects like diving boards, Barton Springs Pool is perhaps most famous for its natural rock bottom. While entrance to the pool costs about $3 per person during the day, you can swim for free after 9:00 p.m. highlight of many Austinites' summer evenings.

Everyone knows Austin is a great place to let loose after hours and dance the night away, but locals know the city offers residents and visitors alike just as many options for daytime diversions. No matter what kind of outdoor activity strikes your fancy, Austin truly offers something for everyone.
About the Author
Ki is a realtor / broker in Austin Texas. His site has a search of of the Austin MLS along with information about Austin Homes and neighborhoods. He also provides updated statistics on his blog covering Austin Texas real estate.
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