Best Picnic Spots in Austin

Lush green park with checkered blanket, wicker basket, and assorted food and drinks spread out. Austin skyline in the backgroundLush green park with checkered blanket, wicker basket, and assorted food and drinks spread out. Austin skyline in the background
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Austin, Texas, is an urban oasis brimming with natural beauty and outdoor delights. When you yearn for al fresco dining amidst lush landscapes, the city’s parks offer ideal destinations. Whether you’re sitting under the sprawling canopy downtown or embracing the tranquility of an off-beaten path, embracing Austin’s picnic-friendly spots is a quintessential experience.

Zilker Park

Zilker Metropolitan Park is a premier destination for picnics in Austin. You’ll find ample picnic tables and generous shade for a comfortable dining experience outdoors. It’s not just about the food; the park’s beauty enhances your picnic with its lush greenery.

Engage in a game of frisbee or set up a volleyball net to add some fun to your day. The spacious areas allow for various activities, ensuring your picnic at Zilker Park remains a memorable one.

Barton Springs Pool

Equipped with your picnic blanket and ready for a day of relaxation, Barton Springs Pool is your go-to haven. This natural pool boasts consistently cool waters around 68-74 degrees, making it perfect for a refreshing swim with a gorgeous view. Unfold your picnic setup on the surrounding grassy slopes and bask in the sun or shade of tall trees.

At this beloved Austin gem, you can oscillate between picnicking and dipping in the invigorating water. Remember, it’s a popular spot where locals often swim to unwind or socialize. Occasionally, the vicinity hosts concerts, allowing you to experience live music in a stunning setting—just check the schedule in advance.

Mount Bonnell

At Mount Bonnell, a serene picnic spot overlooks the Colorado River, surrounded by lush greenery and towering cliffs

Perched atop Covert Park, Mount Bonnell is a landmark that provides you with a gorgeous view of Austin, TX. An easy hiking experience leads you up 106 steps to the pinnacle, where you’re rewarded with a sweeping city view.

At 775 feet, this storied hill is considered one of Austin’s most beautiful vistas. While here, unwind at one of the several picnic tables, which are perfect spots for savoring the picturesque backdrop of Lake Austin.

Mayfield Park and Preserve

In the heart of Austin, you’ll find the serene Mayfield Park and Preserve, renowned for its free-roaming peacocks and well-maintained gardens. The park offers a tranquil escape with lush greenery and ponds that create a habitat for diverse wildlife. Numerous reviews highlight the preserve’s peaceful atmosphere, making it a perfect spot for picnicking and leisurely strolls.

Your visit to Mayfield Park allows you to enjoy an afternoon surrounded by natural beauty. Engage with the vibrant peacocks, explore the colorful gardens, and take in the calming sounds of nature. Mayfield Park isn’t just a getaway; it’s a memorable experience marked by the wonders of wildlife and greenery.

Lady Bird Lake

A spread of food and drinks arranged on a checkered blanket by the tranquil waters of Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Texas

Lady Bird Lake offers a variety of water activities that you can enjoy, including kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddleboarding. Paddling across the serene waters provides a unique city perspective and a tranquil escape from the urban rush. For a truly captivating experience, enjoy the lake without getting wet on a canoe, where you can also bring snacks for a delightful floating picnic.

The Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail encircles the lake, spanning over 10 miles. It’s perfect for experiencing Lady Bird Lake’s natural beauty on foot or bicycle. The trail connects to landmarks like Auditorium Shores and Shoal Creek, providing a comprehensive tour of the area’s picturesque settings. While on the trail, you’re likely to find peaceful spots for a rest or a scenic photo opportunity.

Mueller Lake Park

Mueller Lake Park offers a variety of picnic spots for you to enjoy. You’ll find numerous picnic tables shaded by mature trees, perfect for a family outing. Located at 4550 Mueller Boulevard, it’s a scenic spot that’s easily accessible and ideal for a relaxing break.

The park boasts not just picturesque views but also a playground to keep your child engaged, while the trails invite you to take a leisurely stroll. Don’t miss out on the chance to visit Thinkery, the innovative children’s museum close by, to add an educational twist to your day.

Emma Long Metropolitan Park

A picnic blanket spread under a shady oak tree, with a wicker basket, sandwiches, and a thermos. The park's lake and rolling hills in the background

At Emma Long Metropolitan Park, you’ll discover a scenic lakeside haven perfect for picnics. Positioned on 1600 City Park Rd, this vast park offers a variety of amenities including grill stations and picnic tables, making it a prime spot for an outdoor meal with a view.

Enjoy a refreshing swim in the designated beach area or engage in some friendly competition at the sand volleyball courts. With its serene lakefront and abundant greenery, Emma Long Park provides an idyllic backdrop for your picnic adventures. Learn more about Emma Long Metropolitan Park.

McKinney Falls State Park

A picnic blanket spread out on green grass, surrounded by towering trees and a flowing river, with a basket of food and drinks laid out

Your outdoor adventure awaits at McKinney Falls State Park, a natural haven where Onion Creek offers picturesque spots for swimming and fishing. Lace up for a satisfying nature walk along the miles of hiking trails, providing both tranquil escapes and opportunities to witness the park’s rugged beauty.

This park is an ideal place for camping under the stars. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful retreat or looking to restore your connection with nature, McKinney Falls is the quintessential outdoor destination in Austin.

Commons Ford Ranch Metropolitan Park

A picnic blanket spread under a large oak tree, with a wicker basket, fruit, sandwiches, and a thermos. A serene lake in the background, surrounded by lush greenery and wildflowers

Commons Ford Ranch Metropolitan Park offers a serene escape from the city’s bustle where you can relax with a picnic lunch by Lake Austin’s peaceful shores. You’ll find picturesque settings amid the Texas wildflowers, providing the perfect backdrop for a day outdoors.

For an active day in nature, the park boasts well-maintained hiking trails through the greenbelt, allowing you to explore the native beauty of this cherished park. Whatever your pace, Commons Ford Ranch Metropolitan Park promises a beautiful experience in the heart of Texas.

Pease District Park

Pease District Park, stretching along the serenity of Shoal Creek, invites you to indulge in its array of amenities and natural delights. With its volleyball courts, you can engage in friendly matches under the shade of towering trees. As you venture along the trails, the peaceful babble of the creek accompanies you, offering a tranquil background for your picnic setup.

Bordered by Lou Neff Rd, the park provides a verdant escape within the city. Shaded areas dot the landscape, perfect for laying down your picnic blanket. Whether you’re seeking an active day out or a lazy afternoon, Pease District Park embraces your leisure needs with open arms.

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