Get Your Greens: The 6 Best Parks in Austin

Put on a pair of walking shoes and visit one of the city's glorious green spaces

April 30, 2024 6:56 am
buildings/skyline, park grass
Auditorium Shores at Town Lake Metropolitan Park
Kayla Hui

Many major metropolitan areas and cities lack green space, but that’s not the case with Austin. As the 10th largest city in the United States, Austin is home to a whopping 495 diverse parks, balancing greenery with the city’s rapid urban growth. Here, you’ll find everything from vibrant community parks with acres of green spaces to state parks with miles of trails for hiking and running. So if you’re up for an adventure, put on a pair of walking shoes and visit one of our favorite parks in Austin. 

Auditorium Shores at Town Lake Metropolitan Park 

Nestled in the heart of downtown Austin, Auditorium Shores boasts a large green space overlooking the city. The open land is great for throwing a frisbee, playing Spikeball, or catching some rays. But if you’re up for something more active, hike or run along Town Lake’s hike and bike trail—which traverses the park. With limited parking, get there early to secure a spot. 

900 W Riverside Dr

Covert Park at Mount Bonnell

Outdoor adventures await at Covert Park at Mount Bonnell. Standing at 781 feet, Mount Bonnell is one of Austin’s highest points, overlooking the skyline and Lake Austin. Pro tip: bring good walking shoes, as you will be ascending 102 stairs. But don’t fret — once you’re at the top, you can rest at the pavilion or soak in some picturesque views before making the journey down. 

3800 Mt Bonnell Rd

blue flowers
Bluebonnets at McKinney Falls State Park
Kayla Hui

McKinney Falls State Park

Located 13 miles from the state capitol, this dog- and family-friendly park is the perfect spot to spend an afternoon or weekend. Hike or bike nearly nine miles of trail, take a dip in Onion Creek or get together with friends for a grilling session. If you’re in town during spring, visit the Bluebonnet field for some Insta-worthy shots. Admission to the park is $6 daily for adults, and children 12 years or younger can visit for free. 

5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy

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Mueller Lake Park 

This park is home to a 6.5-acre lake, loop trail, open-air amphitheater stage and public art. It’s large enough to accommodate joggers, families, dogs and a public farmers’ market that occurs every Sunday. There’s also a half-paved, half-gravel trail that runs for 2.6 miles for anyone looking to get some outdoor exercise. 

4550 Mueller Blvd

Pease District Park

Spanning 84 acres, this Central Austin park is frequented by University of Texas at Austin students. If you want to shoot some hoops, consider Pease District Park for your next game, as it boasts a high school-sized basketball court with two rims. But if basketball isn’t your thing, take a stroll and admire the art installations. Among them is Malin, an impressive troll sculpture crafted out of 80% recyclable materials by Thomas Dambo.

1100 Kingsbury Street

skyline/buildings, lake/body of water, trees
View from Zilker Park
Kayla Hui

Zilker Park

One of Austin’s most popular parks, Zilker reigns supreme for its 351 acres of greenery along Lady Bird Lake. You’ll find people walking their furry friends, playing soccer or vibing at some of the more popular music festivals and concerts like ACL or Blues on the Green. Not to mention, there’s an 18-hole disc golf course with new baskets.

Austin, Texas, 78746

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