Take to the Water on Lady Bird Lake
It might be a part of the Colorado River, but everyone calls the body of water bisecting Austin Lady Bird Lake, a man-made reservoir created in 1960. On hot summer days, scores or walkers and joggers line the lakeside paths through nearby Zilker Park, but you can also take to the water by canoe, kayak, water bike, or stand-up paddle board. You can't swim in the water, but the left fork (heading west) in the river will take you to Barton Springs Pool, a popular Austin hangout, and you can splash in the water to your heart's—and body temperature's—delight.
By Liv Combe, AFAR Contributor
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Find Your Zen: Running in Town Lake
Austin's most recognized and popular recreational areas, Town Lake at Lady Bird Lake, is a runner's dream come true. This 10-mile hike-and-bike trail; a lush, urban path that meanders along the water's edge and passes by skyscrapers, neighborhoods, ball fields and cultural attractions. Start your run in the early morning and watch the sun rise as a pack of runners (training for an upcoming race) zooms by you while completing their workouts. If a lunchtime run is what's in store, share the trail with runners that prefer fresh air and nature as their nourishment during their lunch break. If an after-work run suits your schedule best, watch as Austin's dynamic and young professionals leave their desks and tie on a pair of "runners" to take on the trails (and for a little eye candy) to de-stress and stay in shape. Austin isn't called one of the healthiest cities in the US for nothing. Whatever the time that you explore this beautiful trail, you will thank yourself for doing it! Use the map below to find completed, current and future TTF projects, Trail routes, spoke Trails and user amenities like drinking water fountains and restrooms as well as parking lots.
By Vania Lanas, AFAR Local Expert
Lady Bird Lake
One of Austin's most redeeming, natural features is a placid river named "Lady Bird Lake" that separates South Austin from the rest of North Austin. Get on the lake early in the morning for some kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, or even sculling. There's also a well-groomed trail that runs along side of it for you to jog/walk/ride. And afterwards, once you've taken it all in, there are dozens of great local restaurants within walking and biking distance. Get there early before it gets crowded and/or hot.
SUP Austin Style
When you're in Austin, you'll want to make sure that you get out on and in the water at the beautiful Lady Bird Lake in the heart of town. Head down to the Comancho Center and soak up the best view of Austin, from aboard your very own stand up paddle board. The absolute best way to do this is with the phenomenal crew at The Expedition School, founded by Austin native and global outdoor facilitator Kimery Duda. They were the first to bring SUP to the state of Texas and the rental/lesson fee goes to support local community initiatives and volunteer programs. Giddy (S)UP. There's no better way to soak up your Austin experience than with this team on Lady Bird Lake.
By Bronwen Gregory, AFAR Local Expert
200 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704, USA
Sun - Sat 5am - 10pm