Whether you’re looking for a place to play with the kiddos or to decompress with some off-screen time, Austin features ~400 parks and recreational spots for you to enjoy.
Ready to plan your trip to the park? Grab your shades and trusty water bottle — here are some of Bat City’s best.
Bull Creek District Park, 6701 Lakewood Dr.
This 48-acre park is split by a stream often used for swimming and fishing. Hikers can access the Bull Creek Greenbelt, a two-mile out-and-back trail.
McKinney Falls State Park, 5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy.
The only state park in Travis County, McKinney Falls is a go-to spot for local hikers, bikers, and campers. The property was once owned by Thomas McKinney, an early Austinite who financed a substantial portion of the Texas Revolution — learn more from our guide to the state park.
Barton Creek Greenbelt, Multiple locations
The Greenbelt is one of Austin’s most cherished attractions and stretches ~7 miles through south Austin. The natural area offers several swimming holes, including Twin Falls and Sculpture Falls, perfect for a post-hike dip.
Onion Creek Metropolitan Park, 8652 Nuckols Crossing Rd.
Explore 517 acres of trails, pavilions, and play fields at this southeast Austin park. Parts of this park are bordered by Onion Creek and the Onion Creek Greenbelt, a 250-acre natural area.
Mayfield Park, 3505 W. 35th St.
Step out of Austin and into a tropical world at Mayfield Park, where peacocks and herons wander through verdant gardens. This picturesque spot boasts an early 1900s cottage and maintained gardens, which are commonly used as a wedding venue.
Waterloo Park, 500 E. 12th St.
You’ll want to check out this park’s calendar before planning your visit. The Downtown gem hosts several family-friendly events, including the upcoming Morning Glories childhood education programs, Ghost Line X light and sound experience, and Waterloo Green Days series celebrating Earth Month.
Alliance Children’s Garden, 1000 Barton Springs Rd.
This one-of-a-kind playground contains climbing walls, a sand pit, a splash pad, interactive music features, and tunnels. As an added bonus, it’s nestled right off of Barton Springs Road with gorgeous views of the Austin skyline.
Mueller Lake Park, 4550 Mueller Blvd.
Located across the street from Thinkery, one of Austin’s best children’s museums, this 30-acre park contains an open-air amphitheater, picnic area, and interactive playscape. Follow the trails long enough, and you’ll eventually end up at the neighborhood’s brand new Skate Park and Pump Track.
Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park, 12138 N. Lamar Blvd.
This North Austin park boasts 293 acres of hiking, swimming, and sports facilities. Bring the kids for the park’s castle-like playground, and bring the pup for a run around the off-leash dog area.
Pease District Park, 1100 Kingsbury St.
Kids will love exploring this park’s newly renovated Kingsbury Commons, complete with a sculptural two-story Treehouse. This is a common spot for Austin festivals, including the upcoming Squirrel Fest, which takes place on Saturday, April 15.
Zilker Metropolitan Park, 2207 Lou Neff Rd.
Zilker is so much more than a dog park, but it’s also one of the best places in the city to let your pup socialize and roam free. On any given day, expect to see hundreds of furry friends running around the park’s central field, which is equipped with dog-friendly water fountains.
Red Bud Isle, 3401 Redbud Trail
Dogs can run off-least on the entirety of this 13-acre island on Lady Bird Lake. Access the island via car or via the water, but make sure to check on the status of the lake’s blue-green algae, which can be toxic to dogs when blooming.
Barkin’ Springs, 2105 Andrew Zilker Rd.
This free dog beach downstream of Barton Springs Pool is a hot spot on a hot day. Again, make sure to check the status of the lake’s algae before letting your pup take a dip.
Mary Moore Searight Metropolitan Park, 907 W. Slaughter Ln.
Access this park’s off-leash dog park — which contains a one-mile trail — off of South 1st Street. You can also bring your pups on-leash on the rest of the park, which has several options for hiking, biking, and play.
Auditorium Shores, 900 W. Riverside Dr.
Pups roam off-leash under the skyline at this lakeside dog park. Pro tip: Walk between this spot and Zilker Park along the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail to hit up two dog parks in one.
Looking for more? Check out our guide to dog-friendly spots in ATX.
Givens District Park, 3811 E. 12th St.
In addition to a swimming pool, tennis courts, and basketball courts, this park has an indoor recreation center with a full-size gym, weight room, and kitchen. Soccer and softball players can also enjoy the multipurpose field and softball field on the 40-acre property.
Pan American Neighborhood Park, 2100 E. 3rd St.
Play tennis or catch a baseball game at this east side park. The space also has a colorful, mural-covered outdoor stage for live performances.
Dick Nichols Park, 8011 Beckett Rd.
Pickleball fans rejoice: this South Austin park is home to a public pickleball court, plus two tennis courts that can be adapted into pickleball courts. The 152-acre park also has a swimming pool, playground, and walking trails.
Balcones District Park, 12017 Amherst Dr.
Basketball, volleyball, tennis, and swimming are all on the table at Balcones Park. The scenic trails at this park also pass by a waterfall and creek.
Longview Neighborhood Park, 7609 Longview Rd.
Practice your backhand at this park’s pickleball courts. The 20-acre property also contains a history cemetery, baseball fields, and trails that wind around the Stephenson Nature Preserve.
Ready to visit these local parks but don’t know where to start? We’ve created this handy map so you can find all of these featured parks.