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There's a decent choice of restaurants and hotels near Zilker Park. We recommend strolling south along Barton Springs Road or, if you don't mind walking 30 minutes, head over the bridge to Downtown Austin for a generous spread of pubs and fashionable restaurants. Either way it's worth wearing comfy shoes so you can scout out that perfect meal or pint.
Hot summer day? Swing by this laidback eatery where a patio is shaded by a grove of pecan trees. Diners enjoy favorites like the tortilla-fried queso catfish and tacos, as live music regularly fills the air.
The kitchen never closes at this 24-hour cafe where you can get breakfast any time of the day or night. It's not all pancakes, though. House specials include spinach lasagna, pasta Caspian and the house stir fry.
A wood-smoked grill gives the meat and veggies an aromatic flavor at this Italian restaurant. The outside area is tree-shaded, while the stylish decor continues indoors for an upmarket dining experience. Enjoy some olive oil tasting, served with house-made bread, before a dish such as the seared scallops with saffron and asparagus, or the spaghetti carbonara.
Lady Bird Lake
Work those abs with some stand-up paddleboarding. Or just go traditional in a canoe. This scenic lake is a hive of activity, surrounded by a ten-mile trail for joggers, cyclists and general athletic folk.
Barton Spring Pool
This spring-fed pool makes for a refreshing dip on warm days. Of course, you will be battling for room with half the city but then again entry is only $4.
Zilker Botanical Garden
Waterfalls and streams babble as visitors explore the gardens filled with flora including roses and Japanese-inspired greenery. All for $2 entry (cash only).
Like to pedal? Austin has a bike sharing scheme with 40 stations spread about the place. Pay $8 for 24 hours of whizzing along the city's 35 miles of bikeways and off-street paths such as the Lance Armstrong Bikeway.
As you can imagine, traffic can get pretty bad for large events and festivals. So it's worth researching your other options. Sometimes a shuttle bus will run from Republic Square in Downtown Austin. If staying close by, consider walking or cycling; there are lots of bike racks across the park.
It really depends on the event, as the concessions are temporary. If you're there for Austin City Limits, their site has an up-to-date list of the food options, which are usually pretty good, covering all the favorites from ice cream to pizza and burgers.
Yep, courtesy of the City of Austin, you can surf away free of charge in and around Zilker Park.
Technically yes but, be warned, spaces will quickly fill up depending on the size of the event. Some residential roads might even be blocked off.
It'll be specific to the event so check your ticket.
The park is 351 acres in size, meaning there's a fair potential for arriving late, half-way through your favorite song. Here's a map for planning your route. If coming in a big group, you might want to have a designated meeting spot.
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Zilker Metropolitan Park is #6 of 310 things to do in Austin