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Zilker Metropolitan Park, Austin's Jewel

A walk in the park with museums, miniature train, spring-fed swimming pool and more
Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 4.3 miles
Duration: Full day
Family Friendly

Overview :  Historic Zilker Park is Austin's jewel of a nature center covering 358 acres. Features include a 3-acre spring-fed swimming pool,... more »

Tips:  Tips: Austin's weather is unpredictable-except for summer when it is HOT. Austin has an average of 111 days when temperatures are... more »

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Points of Interest

Meet some of Texas' critters, including live invertebrates, reptiles, mammals, amphibians and birds-including raptors--at the Austin Nature and Science Center. ANSC provides loving care to the animals, many of which were injured or orphaned and unable to live in the wild.

Don't miss the Dino Pit, where children learn how paleontologists find and ... More

Get lost in the lush gardens of Zilker Botanical Gardens. Spring brings vibrant Texas bluebonnets and Texas Mountain Laurels dripping with clusters of purple flowers that smell exactly like grape Kool-Aid.

Each season has its glory and the Austin Area Garden Council, made up of 31 clubs representing 1,500 members, has carefully orchestrated... More

Kick back and let the engineer do all the work on your 25-minute tour of Zilker Park alongside Barton Creek and Town Lake on the Zilker Zephyr. Although only about 4 feet (1.2 meters) high, the cars on this miniature train are big enough for a child and adult. Moving at a leisurely pace allows you to keep an eye out for turtles basking under the... More

Once considered sacred and used for purification rituals by the Tonkawa Native American tribe, Barton Springs Pool now serves as Cooling Off Central in Austin. Take a dip in this natural limestone spring-fed pool which is a refreshing 68F (20C)and relax afterwards on the grass slopes surrounding the pool.

Keep an eye out for the Barton Springs... More

A museum that breaks the “Shhh! Don't Touch!” rule by encouraging visitors to fully engage with the treasured works of art on display. The museum is the home of a collection by 20th century American sculptor Charles Umlauf and other contemporary sculptors.

Outside in the gardens, visitors are encouraged to interact with the sculptures and thanks... More

Once upon a time three renowned Austin writers met every afternoon at Barton Springs to create what has been dubbed "Austin's first literary salon." Roy Bedichek, J. Frank Dobie and Walter Prescott Webb met every afternoon, weather permitting, on a rock at the edge of the Barton Springs Pool that Bedichek christened "Philosophers' Rock".

... More