Outdoor activities in Austin, Texas are found everywhere. We are a very active city and love running, boating on our lakes and biking!

The day has finally arrived for the nation’s oldest kite festival in Zilker Park! This is one of the best events in Austin every year. It’s a great family festival, and one that everyone can enjoy. While the weather is abnormally chilly this year, this windy temps should be prefect for kite flying!

You can fly a kite just for fun, or you can participate in one of the free contests.

Contest categories include:
Highest Angle Kite, 
Steadiest Kite
, Strongest Pulling Kite
, Smallest Kite, 
Most Unusual Kite, 
Largest Kite
, Oldest and Youngest Kite Flier

It truly is such a fun day at Zilker. On top of more kites than you can imagine, they also plenty of concessions. Plan on plenty of your favorite vendors to be out there with your favorite treats. 

Warning: parking is a major issue! This festival always draws a crowd, so plan to ride your bike or take one of the shuttles!

Hashtag your photos #365ThingsAustin for a chance to be featured on our instagram!

Cost: free

When: today, March 1st

Time: 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Zilker Park
2100 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas 78704


Photo Credit: Zilker Kite Festival Facebook Page

There’s a new tool online for anyone looking to explore the great outdoors in Texas. Hipcamp launched officially in Texas yesterday, and their innovative site allows you to browse hundreds of amazing campsites throughout the state with unprecedented ease.

If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time (often during the work-day) exploring Texas Parks and Wildlife’s website, dreaming about the upcoming weekend, and whether the possibility of a last minute trip to Big Bend is somehow in the cards.

Enchanted Rock State Park

Enchanted Rock State Park

Hipcamp makes these explorations even more engaging, with beautiful photos and witty content written by a “tribe” of people who simply love to camp.

The site also makes it easy to search by region or to filter by preferred activity or attribute. Meaning that if you’re looking for a campground “close to Austin; with a waterfall,” you can get there in a few clicks. Yes, that’s a real thing. Check out this description and photo of Colorado Bend State Park on Hipcamp:

Once you find your spot amongst the seven campgrounds, let the wilderness shenanigans begin! Give the reins to a local, and opt for the Gorman Falls Tour which lasts up to two hours and will take you on a 1.5 mile hike to see lush waterfalls and flora. Or be your own guide, and check out the Gorman Falls Trail, a combined 26 miles of mountain biking goodness. Explore further and your options multiply from caving to whitewater rafting along 16 miles of Class I-II rapids on the Colorado River, a great place for beginners. Colorado State Park truly is a mecca for exploration, how will you spend your time here?

Colorado Bend Hipcamp


I’ve already got a long list of new places to explore, and with highs in the upper 70’s this weekend, it might be camping season sooner than you think.


Featured image by Sarah Vaughn, http://instagram.com/ohexplorar

Turns out, too much of a good thing can be awesome. Last month, I was informed that Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa was offering a 48-hour unlimited golf package that included all 4 of their courses. Surely I had misread something, this sounded too good to be true.

Naturally I decided to put unlimited golf to the test and see how many rounds I could squeeze into a 48-hour period. The goal was to squeeze in 72 holes, allowing me to get a round in on each of the four Omni Barton Creek courses. It was definitely the most golf I’ve ever played in a two-day stretch, but after it was all over, I still wanted more!

Having never played any of the Omni Barton Creek courses, I was ecstatic at the challenge that lay before me. I was also a tad nervous, wondering if I was getting in over my head. Ambitious and eager the first tee time of the day was at Crenshaw Cliffside, which I immediately fell in love with. The view of the sunrise over the hill country was spectacular, and proved to be the writing on the walls for a fantastic round of golf.

After the first round, we grabbed a quick lunch at the clubhouse and made the five-minute drive over to the Canyons course. This course proved a little more challenging, but I was still fairing much better than I expected. As a relatively new golfer, I wasn’t sure how my game would hold up against the highly acclaimed Omni Barton Creek courses, but I was able to hold my own.

24 hours of golf down, 24 to go. The weather played games with us the entire 48 hours; we dodged a few rain clouds but didn’t let that hamper our fun. The next morning, we made the 45-minute drive out to Lakeside on the banks of Lake Travis. I’ve had lifetime aspirations of playing a round of golf along a body of water and here it was right in front of my very eyes. I loved this course, the elevation changes, the views; it was suddenly my new favorite. Now tired, and almost out of balls and starting to feel the effects of endless golf, we headed back in to town to take on the last course, Fazio Foothills.

I was pretty certain there would be no topping Lakeside, but they must have saved the best for last, because despite being tired and almost golfed out, I suddenly was rejuvenated and ready for more. This was actually the first of the Omni Barton Courses, making it their trademark course. It offers everything from fantastic views and changes in elevation, to challenging hole layouts and naturally beautiful landscaping.

This package is a true dream for golf lovers. Golf nirvana if you will.

To enjoy the “Unlimited Golf” package guests must stay a minimum of two nights, but with four amazing courses, you may want to give yourself a couple more days in order to play all you can!]. The “Unlimited Golf” package is available every day of the week, pending course availability.

For Reservations call: 512-329-4000


Tonight is the night, the famous Zilker Tree will be lit for the first time of the season..

I am so excited about the Tree Lighting this year as it is also a reminder that the Trail of Lights will be back this year as well. The Trail Of Lights will run December 7th – 21st.

This 155-foot tall “tree” is composed of 39 streamers, each holding 81 multicolored, 25-watt bulbs totaling 3,309 lights. It’s really something to be seen and an absolute icon as you go past the park in December.

The Zilker Tree lighting dates back to December 10th, 1967.

The Zilker Tree will be lit every night from now – December 31st, 6 p.m. – midnight.

Here is a list of some of our other favorite Holiday events happening this year!

When: today, November 30th

Time: 6:00 p.m.

2100 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas 78704


Welp, we all survived Turkey Day. It looks like it’s going to be another beautiful day here in Austin. If you are looking to burn off some of those extra calories you consumed yesterday. The 360 Bridge overlook is a very easy hike, that ends with a great view. It would be perfect to do with out of town guests to give them little taste of Austin.

The 360 bridge (technically Pennybacker Bridge) is one of my favorite places in Austin. Every time I drive over it I think of how lucky we are to live in Austin. I don’t know if it’s the beautiful scenery overlooking Lake Austin (one of my favorite things on planet earth), or just the fact that it’s such an Austin icon. Either way it symbolizes all the things that make me happy to be an Austinite.

The 360 bridge overlook is always a fun little hike. You get some great pictures, a little exercise and a new appreciation for how beautiful our city can be.

You’ll see the cars parked right on the side of 360 as your approach the bridge


For one night only Waller Creek will have a unique light show to showcase the beauty and future transformation of the area.

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 8.50.25 AMDesign_Workshop_Flow
Design_Workshop_FlowScreen Shot 2014-11-13 at 8.50.25 AMDesign_Workshop_Flow

They’ll have five unique installations designed by local architects. You’ll be able to walk along around the area and experience Waller Creek live you never have before!

Stop by local businesses along Waller Creek for drink specials and live music.

Installations on display starting at sunset.

5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Happy Hour at Easy Tiger

7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. DJ Set by Corduroi at Sabine St. Deck

7 p.m. – 1 a.m. Live Music at Empire Control Room & Garage: Quiet Company, Marmalakes, Ruby Jane, Calliope Musicals, Peter Schults of Hello Wheels, Julian Acosta, $5 at the door or free with RSVP here.

Admission: free

When: today, November 13th

Time: 5pm – midnight

Entrance locations to the creek conveniently start on 6th St. just west of Easy Tiger as well as at the edge of the Waller Ballroom on Sabine between 6th St. and 7th St. Maps will be available on site. For more information, please visit the Creek Show website.



I love anything that involves a rooftop — pools, restaurants, bars, and in this case, movies. There’s something unique about being on a rooftop. It’s nice to enjoy the view once in a while. It is sunny and pleasant this morning which I am sure it going to make for a great evening on the rooftop.


The Rooftop Architecture Film Series is a series of documentaries that take a closer look at various architects and their projects.

Tonight’s screening is Tiny, which follows a couple as they try to build a “tiny house.” It will follow them and other couples who have downsized and are challenging the traditional American Dream. An introduction to this film will be given by Professor Dumpster who is currently living in a dumpster for a year as part of the Dumpster Project.

Admission: $10,  members free

When: today, October 8th

Time: 7:30  p.m.

Jones Center Roof Deck
700 Congress Ave.
Austin, Texas 78701


It is officially Barton Spring Fest Day in Austin. One of the city’s favorite pools gets a day celebrating just how awesome it is! Considering we are in the middle of an Austin heat wave, cooling off in the cool Barton Springs water sounds just about perfect right now.

They have a full day of fun planned including  live music, a lecture series and much more. For those who have not been to Barton Springs this would be an excellent excuse to come see what all the fun is about.

For other fun around Austin check out our weekend Top Picks or try our Rainy Street Checklist.

When: today, August 9th

Time: 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Barton Springs Pool
2201 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas


It’s August so that means movie in the pool season is slowly going to come to an end.

Tonight El Salado Pool is hosting a classic from my childhood, Free Willy.

Movie starts at 8 but they’ll have food trucks from 6 – 8 pm. Greengos, Uncle Louie G’s will be serving up the good stuff.

Entry to event is free but if you show up before the movie you’ll have to pay the drop in fee (adults $5, 17 & under $3).

When: today, August 8th

Time: 8 – 10:30 pm

El Salado Pool
11500 El Salido Parkway
Austin, Texas 78750



Here in Central Texas, we have an extensive number of parks to explore the broad range of Hill Country wildlife and enjoy the state’s natural beauty. Many of these parks are located less than 70 miles from Austin, making them great for a weekend camping trip or a day of hiking. All of the state parks have unique qualities and histories, whether it’s stargazing parties on the mystical Enchanted Rock, hiking the trails in the Lost Pines, or swimming in one of the numerous lakes and rivers we boast here in Central Texas. Discover our favorite top 5 natural and historical wonders Central Texas has to offer.

1. McKinney Falls State Park

mckinney falls

Photo by Lars Ploughmann

Austin’s very own McKinney Falls State Park is located on the southeastern edge of Austin. The park features bald cypress trees and vibrant wildflowers supported by flowing waters from the two creeks. Open for a variety of activities, you can camp, hike, swim, and everything in between at McKinney Falls.

Entrance Fees

Adults: $6
Under 12 years: Free

Hours: Open daily 8 am – 10 pm

2. Bastrop State Park


Photo By TrekTexas

Bastrop State Park is found in the beautiful “Lost Pines” of Central Texas. If you prefer to enjoy nature from inside the car, you can take a scenic drive (read: field trip on wheels) between the Bastrop and Buescher State Parks. This national historical landmark has stone cabins for camping, fishing on the lake, and opportunities for canoeing and golfing.

Entrance Fees

Adults: $4
Under 12 years: Free

Hours: Open daily 8 am – 4:30 pm

3. Lockhart State Park


Photo by Texas Parks and Wildlife

Lockhart State Park, which is tucked away in Caldwell County, has an array of great outdoor activities. Visitors enjoy taking a leisurely hike, fishing in Clear Fork Creek, or picnicking by the creek. Lockhart State Park is home to the only staff-operated, 9-hole golf course in the Texas Park System, so pack your golf clubs!

Entrance Fees

Adults: $3
Under 12 years: Free

Hours: Open daily

4. Inks Lake State Park


Photo by Anne Womer

Discover the beautiful rolling hills of the Texas Hill Country at Inks Lake State Park. Visitors can explore the park by camping and backpacking, plus you can cool off in the lake with water recreational sports. Inks Lake stays at a constant water level all year, so you’ll be able to swim, boat, or scuba dive all year long!

Entrance Fees

Adults: $6
Under 12 years: Free

Hours: Open daily

5. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

enchanted rock

Photo by Texas Parks and Wildlife

Last but certainly not least, a “must-see” state park is Enchanted Rock. There’s a reason this massive pink granite dome is called magical and mystical. Hiking, rock climbing, and picnicking are favorite activities around the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. You can even join in on a Rock Star Party and learn about constellations at one of the best places for stargazing in Central Texas.

Entrance Fees

Adults: $7
Under 12 years: Free
Hours: Open daily 8 am – 10 pm

With all the awesome parks to enjoy the outdoors in Central Texas, you’re guaranteed to have a great time! To read the complete list, visit Realty Austin’s full list of state parks near Austin.