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Zilker Park

Perched on the banks of a beautiful lake, this centrally located park is an idyllic spot to relax in thermal springs or hike along extensive trails. 

Zilker Metropolitan Park is Austin’s main recreational park and is located directly across Lady Bird Lake from downtown. There are enough activities here to entertain you and your family for a whole day. 

You can easily spend a half-day exploring the area. Start by getting your bearings on the the Zilker Zephyr, a miniature train that runs through the park. Hiking and bike riding trails are scenic and mostly flat. They extend for about seven miles (11 kilometers) through the park and along Lady Bird Lake, the 470-acre (190-hectare) lake that runs through Austin’s center. Rent a family-size canoe from Zilker Park Boat Rentals. The hourly charges aren’t cheap but it is a fun activity for an hour or two and no reservation is necessary. Take a dip in Barton Springs Pool, fed by underground springs with a year-round temperature of 68 degrees (20 degrees Celsius). According to local legend, actor Robert Redford took swimming lessons here as a kid. There’s a small entry fee, but the pool is huge and a great place to escape the heat.

There are many attractions and live entertainment to keep you busy year-round. The Zilker Holiday Tree is a particularly special sight during the holiday season. This 155-foot (47-meter) "tree" is actually a collection of 39 streamers holding more than 3,000 multicolored light bulbs. This stunning spectacle has been an Austin tradition for decades. 

The Austin City Limits music festival is held in the park, usually in October, and features more than 100 national and international acts. You can hear everything from contemporary pop and rock to Texas blues and swing. The Zilker Hillside Theatre stages plays as well as the Zilker Summer Musical. There's also the Zilker Park Kite Festival, held on the first Sunday in March, which has been entertaining families since 1929. 

Zilker Metropolitan Park is about a half an hour walk from downtown. There isn’t much food available in the park grounds, so bring a packed lunch.


Guide to Exploring around Zilker Park


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Zilker Park

See all 2,221 properties near Zilker Park
Omni Austin Hotel CA $178
Omni Austin Hotel

Omni Austin Hotel

700 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Downtown Austin, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Paramount Theater and O. Henry House Museum. Downtown Station is 7 minutes by foot and Plaza Saltillo Station is 19 minutes.

    Fairmont Austin CA $231
    Fairmont Austin

    Fairmont Austin

    101 Red River St, Austin, TX
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      This spa hotel is located in Austin (Downtown Austin), close to Austin Convention Center, Sixth Street and Paramount Theater. Also nearby are Moody Theater and Lady Bird Lake. Downtown Station is 6 minutes by foot and Plaza Saltillo Station is 17 minutes.

      Hyatt Regency Austin CA $170
      Hyatt Regency Austin

      Hyatt Regency Austin

      208 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Downtown Austin, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Long Center for the Performing Arts and Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge. Stevie Ray Vaughan Statue and Texas State Capitol are also within 2 mi (3 km). Downtown Station is 19 minutes by foot and Austin Station is 26 minutes.

        The LINE Austin CA $199
        The LINE Austin

        The LINE Austin

        111 East Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, TX
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Downtown Austin, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Lady Bird Lake and Austin Convention Center. Sixth Street and Moody Theater are also within 10 minutes. Downtown Station is 8 minutes by foot and Plaza Saltillo Station is 23 minutes.

          The Driskill - in the Unbound Collection by Hyatt CA $209
          The Driskill - in the Unbound Collection by Hyatt

          The Driskill - in the Unbound Collection by Hyatt

          604 Brazos Street, Austin, TX
             
            4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Downtown Austin, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Lady Bird Lake, Texas State Capitol and South Congress Avenue. Blanton Museum of Art and Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum are also within 1 mi (2 km). Downtown Station is 7 minutes by foot and Plaza Saltillo Station is 19 minutes.

            Extended Stay America Austin - Downtown - Town Lake CA $113
            Extended Stay America Austin - Downtown - Town Lake

            Extended Stay America Austin - Downtown - Town Lake

            507 S. First St., Austin, TX
               
              2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in South Congress, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Long Center for the Performing Arts, Lady Bird Lake and South Congress Avenue. Austin Convention Center and Sixth Street are also within 1 mile (2 km). Downtown Station is 21 minutes by foot and Austin Station is 23 minutes.

              Amazing Skyline View, Walk to Barton Springs, Close to Everything, Free Parking!
              Amazing Skyline View, Walk to Barton Springs, Close to Everything, Free Parking!

              Amazing Skyline View, Walk to Barton Springs, Close to Everything, Free Parking!

              1214 Barton Hills Dr, Austin, TX
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Barton Hills, this condo is within 1 mi (2 km) of Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum and Barton Springs Pool. Zilker Park and Zilker Botanical Garden are also within 2 miles (3 km).

                The Guild Downtown | Seaholm CA $147
                The Guild Downtown | Seaholm

                The Guild Downtown | Seaholm

                111 Sandra Muraida Way, Austin, TX
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Downtown Austin, this aparthotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Governor's Mansion, Zilker Park and Zilker Botanical Garden. Texas State Capitol and Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum are also within 3 mi (5 km). Austin Station is 7 minutes by foot and Downtown Station is 23 minutes.