The Best of Outdoors Austin

Every month here at we try to introduce you to cool towns across the country that would fulfill any outdoor lover’s wish list. This month, it’s Austin, Texas:

Founded: 1835

Population: 790,390

Size: 272 square miles  

Activities: Biking, camping, hiking, and scenic touring

Why you should go: Not only does Austin have an abundance of outdoor activities, it also is a very cosmopolitan city which is filled with its own unique culture, restaurants, bars, and a great music scene. Little Fact: Austin is a technology mecca, and is in the esteemed position of being within the top 10 most well-read cities in the United States.

When you should go: To avoid high heat and humidity travel to Austin is the most comfortable during the months of September through May. You may want to take into consideration Austin’s music festivals, which are at various times of the year, including the famed South by Southwest (SXSW) show.

Must-see/do: Go hiking and biking at Walnut Creek Park, Zilker Botanical Gardens, Tanglewood Park, and various greenbelts throughout Austin. Check out these great hiking and biking maps. Take a stroll through Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center or the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve, take a dip in Barton Springs Pool, or kayak/canoe in Town Lake.

Off the beaten path: About 20 minutes west of the city is the Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve, which has hiking, waterfalls, rugged cliffs, and a beach. Another less known spot is Mount Bonnell—you can hike to this highest peak in Austin (at 785 feet above sea level) for a spectacular view of the city.

For more info on hiking and biking in Austin, check out our FalconGuides books.