Connect with us

Adventure Travel

Outdoor Activities in Austin, Texas: Adventure City Guide

Find out what the best Outdoor Activities in Austin, Texas are with our latest Adventure City Guide. Including biking, rowing and swimming in Austin.

Published

on

Are you looking for an insider’s adventure travel guide for the best outdoor activities in Austin, Texas?

As part of our Adventure City Guide series, Carri Uranga from CarriUranga.com shares with you her expert insider tips on the top adventure and outdoor activities to do in Austin; including how to get there and costs.

Austin, Texas from Lady Bird Lake

Why visit Austin for adventure?

Often, when people think of Texas images of cowboys, guns and George W. Bush come to mind. They may not realize Austin, considered by many to be an oasis within the vast state offers not only a vibrant music scene as South by Southwest (called simply “South by” by locals) conference has become one of the most important music, film and interactive festivals in the world, but there’s also quite an extensive list of outdoor activities to be had in the Lone Star State.

Outdoor Activities in Austin, Texas

Town Lake Trail

In the heart of the city just South of downtown surrounding Lady Bird Lake.

The Town Lake Trail offers a scenic 10-mile loop for runners, cyclists and walkers of all shapes and sizes – athletes training for triathlons to groups of stroller Mom’s (or Dad’s). There’s plenty of water stops along the way to combat that Texas heat; even a few that are specifically designated for your pooch.  Parts of the trail are shaded and you’re never far from the city should you decide to stop off and have a refreshing beverage of some sort. Part of the trail is paved while some is gravel therefore rollerblading is not recommended.

Bike rentals can be found on the northeast side of the lake at Waller Creek Boat House which is where you can also get info regarding kayak and stand up paddleboard rentals.

If you are interested in rowing lessons contact Austin Rowing Club while Texas Rowing Center is open at 6am daily and also has canoe, kayak and SUP rentals.

Morning Rowing

Insider’s tips:

From March – October about a million bats call downtown Austin home underneath the Congress Street Bridge which connects downtown to the vibrant nightlife of SoCo (short for South Congress). A real treat is to watch the bats emerge at dusk from a kayak on the lake!

Parking for the Town Lake Trail can be found under the MoPac Bridge close to Austin High School.

Parks of Austin

The most popular park in Austin is Kilker Park and for good reason. This 350-acre park is host to Austin City Limits music festival in October as well as a plethora of activities. The Town Lake Trail goes through the park, therefore running and cycling already mentioned are favorite activities, but since the park offers wide-open spaces you’ll also find Frisbee tossing, kite flying and pick-up soccer games. Close by is Barton Springs – a man-made recreational swimming pool fed by the fourth largest spring in Texas. The water is clear and warm with temperatures staying between 68-72 all year.

Bike rentals can also be found on this side of the lake at Barton Springs Bike Rental or better yet, Austin Bike Tours and Rentals will actually deliver a bike right to your door complete with locks, helmets and maps!

Another man-made, but natural spring fed pool is the Deep Eddy Pool also close to Zilker Park.

Insider’s tip: Deep Eddy offers a few lanes if you are looking to actually swim laps.

Less crowded than Town Lake and Zilker, Pease Park just northwest of downtown is popular with University of Texas students as well as disc golf enthusiasts again due to the big open spaces. There’s also a walking path, volleyball and basketball courts and plenty of picnic spots with grills.

Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin

Mount Bonnell

About a 10 minute drive northwest of downtown and 780 feet above sea level is Mount Bonnell – offering incredible views of the surrounding hills and Lake Austin.

A short, but steep jaunt up limestone stairs make for an excellent place to watch the sunset. While the walk isn’t quite long enough to make for an all out hike, there are plenty of winding roads, hills and beautiful houses to look at if you want to make Mt. Bonnell a beginning and ending point for a longer run or walk. Parking is available at the base of the hill.

Regardless of your opinions of Lance Armstrong, his plush downtown store Mellow Johnny’s is an excellent resource for events, rides and gear. There’s also a coffee shop inside complete with snacks and Wi-Fi.

Boasting 900 miles of bike lanes and paths by 2020 Austin has far surpassed the typical Texas stereotypes. Adventures by day, live music by night and delicious Mexican food in between, it’s no wonder Austin continues to top the “best of” and “most livable cities” lists.  Best time to visit is October through May to avoid the extreme heat.

mtbonnell

Bio:

In 2006 Carri and Chris sold their house in Vermont, most of their possessions, gave away a car and traveled in Central & South America for 1 year, hiking, biking, surfing, eating and drinking their way through this amazing and beautiful land. It was during this journey Carri decided to get certified to teach Yoga.

Her passion for Yoga and travel has led her around the world teaching in Peru, Italy, South Africa and working as a volunteer at Ibiza Yoga. She now leads her own Yoga Teacher Training courses with Drishti Yoga International in Mexico, India, Peru and Italy. Find out where Carri will be next on her blog, CarriUranga.comDrishti Yoga site, and on Twitter.

Continue Reading
14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Kristy of Family Visa

    August 7, 2013 at 1:47 AM

    I’ve never been to Austin Texas but if ever I will go there I will try rowing because it looks fun to do although I am not good on paddling. Maybe I can do this together with my friends who are more active in doing physical activities such as this one.

    • Carri Uranga

      August 9, 2013 at 1:14 PM

      I’d like to try rowing myself Kristy! It looks so peaceful and serene especially early morning when the lake is quiet. Almost could be like a moving meditation. I’ve rowed a lot in gyms and have done lots of kayaking & canoeing. It’s surprising how much leg power rowing takes. Everyone assumes arms, but remember this formula – legs, body, arms…repeat!

  2. Darla

    August 7, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    Looks like a great place to go for a run! I’ve never been to Austin myself but I’ve had a couple of friends absolutely rave about it. The lakes and parks looks really beautiful and I would love to go for a swim in that spring fed pool!

    • Carri Uranga

      August 9, 2013 at 1:18 PM

      This post doesn’t even reflect all the other great aspects of Austin Darla! In addition to the great running, the parks, lakes and natural pools the music scene is awesome and don’t even get me started on the food…that’s a whole ‘nother story!

  3. Eric

    August 7, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    What Carri says is making me miss the beautiful city of Austin! I spent 2 years living there, and hope to eventually return someday. The Texas hill country in general is fantastic, and Austin is a gem right in the middle.

    • Carri Uranga

      August 9, 2013 at 1:25 PM

      No doubt Eric! I’m so lucky my Mom lives there now so I get to visit twice a year. There’s so many cool things to do just outside of Austin too…Wimberley, Fredericksburg, Frio River, Kerrville…sounds like a great motorcycle road trip to me, but that’s probably too tame for Ride Adventures, eh?!

  4. Jemma

    August 9, 2013 at 3:55 AM

    I often go on vacation in order to relax. Now this inspires me to be more active and adventurous next time. 😉 The Pease Park is my favorite because sometimes we really need time to be away from the city. Thanks for sharing some tips here.

    • Carri Uranga

      August 9, 2013 at 1:33 PM

      I stay pretty active on vacation Jemma, but it’s my hobby so it comes natural for me…plus I eat and drink a lot too! 🙂 Ever heard of that phrase “Guy-et”? That’s me, but even when I go for a quick 25 minute run I feel fantastic! These parks I mention are all like little Oasis within the city…speaking of Oasis…that’s a great place overlooking Lake Travis, but that’s not exactly adventure so it didn’t make the cut. That will have to go on the eating & drinking list 😉

  5. Marian

    August 12, 2013 at 8:34 AM

    Nice post, awesome pictures, Never thought Austin will be this beautiful.. I love Kayaking…

  6. Austin Texas | Kevin

    August 12, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    Glad you enjoyed Austin. Sure, it gets hot during the summer, but it sounds like you beat the heat. There are really some great outdoor activities to do and it sounds like you hit some of the better ones.

  7. flipnomad

    August 14, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    I’ve never been to Austin and this post makes me want to visit. Looks like a nice city.

  8. April

    May 6, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    Wow! I love this plave. I am a fan of outdoor adventure and my husband and I used to travel to different cities and just explore everything especially under the sun but we’ve never been here in Austin, Texas and we can’t wait to check out this place. We can maybe bring our 2 kids here too to enjoy the place and the adventure. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Carri

    March 8, 2015 at 2:00 PM

    @FlipNomad, Marian & April – Hope you get there one day! I’ve been able to get there about twice a year these last couple years…always a fun time!

  10. Tara

    March 9, 2015 at 2:22 PM

    So we are thinking of heading down to Austin from Vermont for the music festival in the fall. Are there campgrounds in and around Austin? Great post. Makes me want to head down there now and get away from the snow and ice…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Adventure Travel

Popular vs. Underrated Destinations:How To Avoid The Crowd?

Published

on

The biggest dilemma you have to face as an enthusiastic holidaymaker is whether to embrace popular destinations or to find lesser known regions for your vacations. Popular destinations have the advantage that they are experienced with tourists. You can be sure that you will find someone speaking your language and that hotel receptions will be open 24/7. But they are likely to be crowded to the point where it can be impossible to find a free spot on the beach or to walk down that famous avenue you’ve read about in your guidebook. Underrated destinations, in comparison, offer freedom of movement and peacefulness that you associate with a quiet pace of life. But they may not have all the necessary facilities to welcome tourists. You may struggle to find someone who speaks your language or even to get a decent hotel room, let alone direct flights to get there. In short, what’s the best answer to this dilemma?

Popular destinations with a twist

When you pick a destination that is familiar to the tourist industry, it’s both a blessing and a curse, as the available facilities and attractions are likely to attract hundreds if not thousands of same-minded tourists. However, these destinations are popular for a reason, so it would be a pity to avoid visiting marvels of the world just because you want to stay away from the crowd. Dubai, for example, receives every year a growing number of tourists, with estimations for 2020 to top 20 million. Needless to say, you’ll need to find things to do in Dubai that avoid the main entrance to their attraction area. But, looking for concierge services in famous cities like Dubai, Paris or Hong Kong can get you access to a privileged network to avoid tourists.

Visiting Dubai without the tourists

The perfect mix: Destinations that are about to get trendy

There are some destinations that are getting the necessary infrastructure to welcome tourists without having yet become popular. They are destinations in the making, areas that are about to go big and that you can visit while they’re not yet famous. The rising stars of the holiday industry are places such as José Ignacio in Uruguay – where you can meet the likes of Shakira among other celebrities – and Sofia in Bulgaria, which is Europe’s cheapest city destination. In those places, you can enjoy quality visits, beautiful landscapes, and architectures, without forgetting the exquisite hotel services too.

Beautiful and underrated destinations offer peace

Finally, there are places that simply don’t attract tourists for a reason or another. They are not specifically growing in popularity, but they remain hidden gems across the world. You will need to plan your holiday in advance, as some of these areas provide minimal comfort, such as the Basque Country which is a humble and quirky location. The Canary Islands, while being a highly popular spot in summer, is almost deserted in spring. There, you don’t need to worry about holiday attractions.

The charm of the forgotten destinations

In short, picking the best destinations for you demands a little bit of logistics juggle at first. Nobody likes a crowded place, so you can avoid other tourists either by choosing a different tile in a popular area or by working directly with a privileged service. If you are not keen on a famous destination, visit rising holiday stars or forgotten jewels. You’ll have fewer tourists but still a lot of fun!

Continue Reading

Adventure Travel

Five Of The Best Ways To Soak Up Scotland

Published

on

Rugged scenery, historic landmarks and a rich heritage – Scotland is a fantastic place to explore. With walking routes dotted between quaint cosy pubs, cities full with culture, and miles of beaches and scenic drives, there’s really no excuse not to embrace the tartan. Here are some of the best ways you can explore and soak up Scotland’s rich heritage.

Tour famous film locations

Scotland’s landscape is stunning, so no wonder its dramatic scenery has been captured on the big screen. Explore the picturesque film locations, such as Glen Coe for James Bond’s Skyfall moments. Visit Gairloch for the Billy Connolly classic, What We Did On Our Holiday where you can see views of the Isle of Skye from the expansive Red Point beach. Explore the Glenfinnan Viaduct in Lochaber for the iconic arched bridge that the Hogwarts Express chugs down in Harry potter.

By rail

Take the leisurely route around Scotland and travel by train. It’s a much needed break from walking routes, with stunning views from the window that look out across the ever-changing landscape. Scotland’s rail routes connect its seven cities with stops in many towns and villages across country, so you’ll find it easy to delve into the West Highlands from Glasgow, traveling through the scenic Fort William, or roll past the battlefields of Robert the Bruce through Dumfries.

Walk, trek, stroll

Discover all the wonderful wildlife and nature on foot. Trek through the rugged countryside for unbelievable sights of the towering mountains, shimmering lochs, golden beaches and lush farmland. Find Lochan Urr in Glen Etive for a spot of paradise, stroll along Applecross Bay, or scale new heights for stunning views of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. For longer routes head to Fort William and Glen Coe for miles of green countryside.

Castle to castle

You’ll find castles on top of, near enough, every rolling hill in Scotland. From pretty fairy tale castles to robust medieval fortresses, you can visit the most spectacular buildings all around Scotland. Enjoy strolling around the floral gardens looking up at the enchanting French design of Dunrobin Castle, on the northern coast near Dornoch. Explore Culzean Castle for dramatic scenes, or, Kilchurn near Dalmally in Argyll to gaze over the Loch Awe. Visit the royal stronghold, Fyvie Castle near Turriff for rich decor and 13th century furnishings. For something completely different, head to Kelburn Castle in Ayrshire for a colourful mural of unusual cartoons.

Cruise the Scottish waters

Take a look at Scotland from a different point of view by travelling Scotland’s shores on a boat cruise around the islands. Visit the Isle of Skye, Stornoway, Port Ellen, Montrose and the picturesque Holy Loch Port. For something even more adventurous, canoe in the lochs and rivers around Fort William.

Sound good? There’s so much to see in Scotland that you’re bound to be mesmerised!

Continue Reading

Adventure Travel

Top things to do in Cleveland

Published

on

Cleveland, Ohio may not be a well-known city like the Big Apple or the sunny beach cities of California, yet there is still much to do in this small but very vibrant city. If you have been planning on heading out to this wonderful city, then you’re in luck as there are numerous activities, attraction, and reservations that will be sure to educate as well as entertain the family.

Here is a small list of places and activities for the family and visitors to enjoy.

Why We Rock: Top Things to do in Cleveland

 

# 1 Hard Rock Rocksino

The Hard Rock Rocksino offers people a Las Vegas-esque kind of vibe and feel for the citizens and tourist of Ohio. If you love games, racing, elegant cuisine and just an overall fantastic night out on the town, the Hard Rock Rocksino is the place for you.

 

# 2 Outdoor Activities

If you are someone who isn’t too much into the nightlife and the whole city feel then Ohio still has you covered. Ohio indeed is one of the most aesthetically pleasing states to see and visit. Boasting and offering its residents and visitors sights and environments such as the Cuyahoga River in Lake Erie where people can go kayaking to The Townpath Trail where people can go jogging, hiking or horseback riding.

If you are an outdoor’ kind of person than this is the place for you. Beautiful atmosphere, surrounded by nature and overall a sight that is awe-inspiring to look at – what more could an outdoors person as for?

 

# 3 Education – Family friendly Orientated Places

Now, ask yourself what type of family trip it would be if you just visit and didn’t walk away learning something new and different? Well, in Ohio there are a plethora of places where you can take the family for an educational trip for the day.

There is the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo which boasts a wide array of animals from all around the world. There really is nothing more splendid for kids to see the animals that they love to imitate in person.

If the Zoo were fascinating and intriguing then the next destination, Greater Cleveland Aquarium would be sure to be as equally entertaining as the Zoo. When Visiting the Greater Cleveland Aquarium enter into an under that is akin to the Atlantis. Experience the aquatic lifeforms in such proximity.

Lastly, Ohio offers its residents and visitors many museums. There is the International Women’s Air and Space Museum which educates the populace about the story of aviation and how much women had their part in history. And let’s not forget the famous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Final Thoughts

If you are deciding to visit this fantastic state, then be prepared for a wonderful visit and many cultural aspects that will be learned and offered. Make this trip a trip to remember with these places in mind.

Continue Reading

Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

Trending