outdoor activities Austin

The 7 Best Outdoor Activities In Austin

Once you’ve had your fill of the city’s superb food and drink scene and finished exploring its cultural hotspots, be sure to dive into some outdoor activities in Austin.

There’s some brilliant things to do outside here, whether you’re into scenic day trips, thrill-seeking tours or family-friendly events. Take note of these seven unmissable activities that are popular with both locals and visitors alike.

Best Outdoor Activities In Austin

1. Palmetto State Park

What exactly is it? Experience a little piece of the tropics just an hour outside of Austin. With many sources of water to explore (including the San Marcos River), the park is also a haven for a wide variety of animals and plants. Meander through the flat trails that cut through the forest with algae-covered swamps beneath the palmettos. If you don’t feel like walking, you can rent a canoe or kayak to take on the murky swamps.

How long does it take? You can easily spend the whole day here exploring the lush tropics.

How much does it cost? General admission- $3 per day, per person 13 and older.

2. Lake Travis Zipline Adventures

What exactly is it? Lake Travis Zipline Adventures is a locally owned and operated business- The longest and fastest zipline in Texas! The tour offers 5 Ziplines, the last three lines are the Longest and Fastest Ziplines in Texas.

How long does it take? 90 minutes to 3 hours.

How much does it cost? Their 3-hour guided zipline tour of 5 lines is $125.00 plus tax.

3. Inner Space Cavern

What exactly is it? One of the best-preserved caves in Texas, hidden for over 10,000 years! They provide three tours;

Adventure tour- You will be lead on a paved and lit trail to see the largest and most decorated rooms and formations. It lasts about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15-minutes. Monday- Thursday tickets are $20.95 Adult & $14.95 Child. Friday- Sunday & Holidays tickets are $21.95 Adult & $15.95 Child.

Hidden passage tour-  You will be provided with a flashlight in order to explore delicate formations on a rugged, intimate tour of the cave. Your guide will lead you through this newly opened section of the cave on an undeveloped trail; closed-toed shoes are mandatory. The tour lasts 1 and a half hours. Monday- Thursday tickets are $25.95 Adult & $17.95 Child. Friday- Sunday & Holidays tickets are $26.95 Adult & $18.95 Child.

Wild cave tour-  This tour takes you deep underground into a complex maze of passages and chambers, where you will enjoy the natural beauty created by rock and water over thousands of years. Led by experienced staff, you will enjoy 3 to 4 hours of hiking, crawling, climbing, and squeezing through tight spots to view beautiful formations and large decorated rooms. This tour is physically demanding but does not require previous experience. A signed waiver is required. The tickets are $100.

How long does it take? Tours range from 1 hour to 4 hours, depending on the level of intensity you want.

How much does it cost? Tickets start at $20.95 and go all the way up to $100.

4. Pioneer Farms

What exactly is it? Step back into the mid-1800s with this living history museum. There are six themed historic areas that are open for walking tours, ranging from an 1841 Tonkawa Encampment to an 1899 Sprinkle Corner rural village. In each area, you can step back in time and experience Texas history first-hand. They also have weekly workshops some include: Introduction To Bladesmithing, Ghost Tours, Blacksmithing Fundamentals, and many more!

How long does it take? On average people spend 1-2 hours here.

How much does it cost? Adults $8, Youth (3-17) $6, seniors (65 and over) $6, children 2 and under are free.

5. Austin Water Bikes

What exactly is it? Explore the beautiful Lady Bird Lake area by bike, and not just any bike, one that goes on the water!

How long does it take? People on average spend 60-90 minutes.

How much does it cost? $17 an hour.

6. Schlitterbahn Waterpark – New Braunfels

What exactly is it? Just a 45-minute drive from Austin, visitors to New Braunfels can ride a continuous wave on the Boogie Bahn, fly high on the Sky Coaster, tube on the Torrent wave river, and get rocketed uphill on the Master Blaster Water Coaster. Perfect day out for kids of all ages! You can also reserve private cabanas from deluxe to luxury, whatever suits your budget.

How long does it take? 2-3 hours.

How much does it cost? All Ages Single Day Ticket ranges from $31.99 – $45.99.

outdoor activities Austin


7. Watch the Sunset at Mt. Bonnell

What exactly is it? Located in Covert Park, Mount Bonnell is considered the highest point in Austin at 775 feet. Ascend the 106 stone stairs to the summit to take in sweeping panoramic views of the lake, downtown, and the western hills of Austin.

How long does it take? The average time spent exploring the summit is about 30 minutes.

How much does it cost? Free!

outdoor activities Austin

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Siobhan McKenny