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11 of the Best Parks in Austin: Get Outside Today

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There’s more to Austin than just its quirky attitude, mouthwatering barbecue, and growing tech community. Our state capitol is home to bounding stretches of gorgeous nature and you’ll be able to find the best parks in Austin if you keep reading! Find natural pools, parks, and greenbelt trails scattered all over the city’s major neighborhoods, making them easily accessible no matter where you live. 

Best Parks Austin

Zilker Park

Possibly the most popular park in Austin, Zilker Park is centrally located and offers 350 acres of grassy space. Just a short walking distance from the downtown metro area, Zilker Park features three picnic sights, a disc golf course, Barton Springs natural Pool, ZIlker Botanical Gardens, and so much more. It is also the sight of the annual Austin City Limits festival and many other seasonal festivals making it one of, if not the, best parks in the city!

Best Parks Austin

Auditorium Shores

With breathtaking views of Lady Bird Lake and the downtown skyline, Auditorium Shores Park is a great place to chill out and soak in the sun. Take your bike along the Hike and Bike trail or bring your pup for a game of Frisbee! Often a sight for live music, small festivals, and other popup events Auditorium Shores are a must-visit. Don’t forget to check out the Stevie Ray Vaughan Memorial statue before you head out.

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Butler Metro Park

Formerly known as Town Lake Metro Park, Butler Park offers plenty of community space featuring a small playground, trails, and picnic tables. Butler Park is great for biking, walking, golf, or packing a picnic with your friends! Butler Pitch and Putt, Dougherty Art Center, Doug Sahm Hill, Alliance Children’s Garden, are also part of Butler Park. It’s also easily accessible from the Long Performing Arts Center and Palmer Events Center.

Mueller Lake Park

Located near the Mueller Central information center, Mueller Lake Park features a 6.5-acre lake, an open-air amphitheater, stage, interactive playground, picnic areas, walking trails perfect for taking a jog. Bring your pups out for a little fresh air, play games, or pack a picnic for a refreshing lunch outdoors. Observe the ever-changing public art that surrounds this park as well!

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Waterloo Park

Enjoy exploring this revitalized green space featuring the Hill Country Gardens and 1.5 miles of walking trails. Waterloo Park is a peaceful space where neighboring Austin locals can gather to play games, picnic, or chill out and enjoy a good book. Just a short walk away is Austin’s famous Moody Amphitheater where large acts come through regularly and illuminate the surrounding space with live music.

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Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Metro Park

South Austin is a hub of tons of natural landscapes. Nestled right off the Colorado River and Riverside neighborhood, Roy G. Metro Park offers tons of space for any of your favorite outdoor activities. Easily access the river waterfront and check out the Secret Beach for optimal lounging in Austin’s perpetual warm weather.

Best Parks Austin

Red Bud Isle Park

Along the west side of the Colorado River, Red Bud Isle Park is an oasis for dogs to roam off-leash! Enjoy 13-acres of island land where you can hike, walk, or bike around the island. Take your dogs for a playful adventure where they can roam free! You can also bring kayaks or canoes and paddle in the surrounding river.

Best Parks Austin

Pease District Park

Austin’s newest natural attraction is the Pease District Park within the Kingsbury Commons. Enjoy beautiful limestone bluffs and learn about the culture and history of Austin’s natural landscape just by taking a walk in the park. Have fun trying to identify different flora and fauna within the park grounds and learn more about the Pease Park Conservancy mission.

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McKinney Falls State Park

Near the Austin city limits, McKinney Falls State Park showcases the flowing waters of Onion Creek. Take some time to yourself at one of the best parks in Austin and take in the peaceful sound of flowing water as you walk through McKinney Falls Park. Wander into ruins of early Texas homesteads that explore our natural history. The park is open to the public with just a $6 fee. Park access is free to kids 12 and under.

Walks In Austin

Mayfield Park and Reserve

Take in the history of Austin’s nature preserves when you visit Mayfield Park and Reserve. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Mayfield Park features 2 acres of beautiful gardens, elongated palm trees, roaming peacocks, and peaceful aquatic botany. Surrounding the park are more access points to 21 acres of walking and jogging trails! Kindly mind the wildlife while you observe from afar.

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Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve

Dividing Texas prairies and the Hill Country, Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve offers 227-acres of natural landscape that habitat various wildlife. All trails are open from sunrise to sunset offering you whole days to enjoy our sunshine all year! Check out the Creative Research Center nearby while you’re at one of the best parks in Austin.

MON-FRI | 7:30AM-7:30PM

SAT-SUN | 8AM-3PM

📍805 N Capital of Texas Hwy Austin, TX 78746

Before You Go

Don’t forget to save or bookmark this guide. Reference back when you’re looking for some fresh air and exploring the best parks in Austin!

If you’re looking for more events and things to do in Austin check out the UNATION website. There’s something there for everyone!  If you want to follow the Stuff to Do in Austin adventures, be sure to follow us on InstagramTwitterTikTok, and Facebook!
Hailey Way

Hailey Way

An alum of University of Washington's Journalism program, Hailey's cultural beats include technology, style, and the arts. Writing eventually transitioned into editing content for SEO best practices in balance with brand storytelling. As a digital marketing strategist, she wears many hats consulting clients in B2B/B2C small business, e-commerce, film, cosmetology, and lifestyle brands. Since 2018 Hailey has been a contributing style editor for Gabriel & Co. New York. She currently resides in Austin, where she enjoys thrifting, exploring local businesses, pop up events, and nature.

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