Located in the heart of Austin with 351 acres along the banks of Lady Bird Lake, Zilker Park is the place that captures the spirit of the city. Not only does it host some of our most popular outdoor festivals and concerts (think ACL, Blues on the Green, the annual Kite Festival and Trail of Lights) but it also provides an outdoor amphitheater for community arts organizations such as the Austin Summer Musical and Austin Shakespeare. There are areas for picnics; a miniature train; playgrounds; canoe, kayak and stand-up paddle rentals; soccer fields and a disc golf course within the park. But perhaps the most popular attraction within Zilker Park is Barton Springs, a three-acre, spring-fed public pool that hovers between 68 and 70 degrees. On a scorching day, post up on the springs' grassy area to sunbathe and people watch—and, of course, do a cannonball off the diving board.
One of the greatest things about Austin is our perpetually sunny weather, allowing visitors and natives alike to experience some of the best outdoor activities in town. One of these activities? Strolling through the best Austin parks and gardens. With rolling hills, several lakes, the Greenbelt and plenty of designated space for public parks, there are plenty of places to commune with nature and art, whether you’re looking to challenge yourself with one of the best hikes in Austin or to explore an up-and-coming neighborhood. From the heights of Mount Bonnell and the shores of Lake Austin to wildflowers stretching as far as the eye can see, these are the best Austin parks and gardens to explore and enjoy in the city.