Contributed by Veronica Castelo
There's a reason Austin is often ranked one of the fittest cities in the country. From cycling to stand-up paddle boarding, water-biking to leisurely canoe-paddling - Austin offers an abundance of outdoor activities. And with 300 days of sunshine and an average temperature of 68 degrees, being active in Austin comes naturally.
A trip to Austin wouldn't be complete without walking or running along Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail. Located in the heart of the city, this 10-mile off-road trail is Austin's crown jewel. Here, city officials and luminaries jog alongside locals - it's hard not to fall in love with the lush scenery and gorgeous skyline views.
While at the lake, you can also kayak, canoe or try your luck at stand-up paddle boarding. Stand up paddle boarding is the fastest growing water sport in the world and has become a must-do for active Austinites. The latest twist? Try stand-up paddle-board yoga from SUP ATX. For something a little more leisurely, kayak, canoe, sailboat and paddleboard rentals are available at various spots along the trail.
Looking to cool off? Don't miss Austin's beloved Barton Springs Pool - a natural spring-fed watering hole that's 3 acres in size and a constant 68-degrees. If you prefer marked lanes, head to Deep Eddy. It's the oldest swimming pool in Texas with a shallow area perfect for the kids. During summer months, check out Splash Party Movie Nights - where family-friendly movies like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Disney's Tangled are screened.
A ride on the Zilker Zephyr is another fun activity for the kids. This miniature train takes you and your family on a tour of Barton Creek and Lady Bird Lake. Make sure to wave at all the locals you see along your trip. We love that!
If you want a true tour of the city consider hopping on a segway. SegCity Segway Tours offer guided trips from Sixth Street to the State Capitol with several stops along the way. You'll learn interesting facts about Austin including the story behind the hundreds of bats that fly out of Congress Avenue Bridge each night - another outdoor family friendly activity unique to Austin and worth exploring from late spring to early fall. Best of all - the bats are free to experience!
Whether it's a boat cruise on Lake Austin, a stroll along Lady Bird Lake, or a SegCity Tour, make sure "fun outdoors" makes it on your Austin itinerary.
For more ideas of exploring Austin's outdoors, check out Roots Rated Austin.
For places to camp in the Austin area, visit hipcamp.com