The 5 best adventures in Austin Texas for Spring break
The secret seems to be out of the bag, with POTUS showing up for SXSW (South by Southwest) the annual music festival in town all eyes seem to be on Austin. One of the leading places to move to in the country with a growing economy and booming housing market Austin is a great choice for the adventurous traveler who wants a mix of outdoor adventure and a culturally diverse nightlife! We compiled a list of central Texas adventures that can’t be missed for you granola types…….
1 Kayak or Stand up Paddle Lady Bird Lake (aka. town lake)– Town lake is the heart of the city while technically part of the colorado river this mostly constant level lake is also fed by Barton springs. Although you aren’t supposed to swim in town lake there are numerous opportunities to see the city from the water or just enjoy and nice paddle. You can rent kayaks or SUP boards from several locations along the banks of the river. Check out Texas Rowing Dock or Texas Rowing Center. If peace and quiet is your style paddle west to red bud isle just below the dam. If you enjoy being around a few more folks and want to see barton spring head south up the river inlet between Mopac bridge (loop 1) and Lamar bridge. When you can’t paddle anymore get out on the right and walk up to see barton springs pool where millions of gallons of fresh water flow every day!
2 Swim at Hamilton Pool– This natural pool grotto is 45 min drive or so outside of Austin past the town of Bee Cave. A 15 min hike leads you from the parking lot to this cliff lined swimming hole, plan to arrive early to avoid the crowds and be sure to pay attention to park rules as the ranger stop by frequently. For a bonus take the extra time to hike down to the Pedernales river.
3 Rock climb on the Greenbelt- Austin and the Texas hill country have an amazing amount of climbable limestone cliffs. Several areas of the Greenbelt (a city owned green space that literally run through town) have been developed as sport climbing areas. Gus Fruh and Seismic wall being the most popular. All is takes is a 35 meter rope and a few quick draws…. Assuming you know the “ropes”. If not hire a local guide service that can provide instruction, gear, training and a day of fun with pictures and memories most Austin visitors will be jealous of! You can see our Greenbelt prices here.
4 Mountain bike City Park– Yes this is bad advice, well sort of. City park is a municipally owned trail that caters to mountain bikers and enduro riders (think motorbikes). I say this is bad advice because the trails are very technical and hard- it isn’t really a beginner area but it is a ton of fun and a great place to challenge yourself if you mountain bike a lot or want a serious challenge! If not Austin has a variety of less spicy trails, try Slaughter creek for a moderate but pretty good ride. Bicycle Sport Shop and Mellow Johnny’s both rent full suspension bikes, just don’t forget to ask for a helmet with that rental.
5 Hike Mount Bonnell– this isn’t a super long hike but you can get some extra miles by driving a short distance to Bull Creek and hiking there as well. Mount Bonnell is the highest point in Austin and has GREAT views of the city and of Lake Austin (different lake than town lake). This short but steep hike leads to an observation point with nearly 360 degrees views of the Texas hill country- from here it is easy to see why Austin is an a great place for an adventurous but in “town” spring break trip.