Best Picnic Spots in Austin
Sitting outside on a sunny day having a picnic is the perfect way to spend the afternoon. With over 16,000 acres of parks, greenbelts and trails, Austin has no shortage of outdoor space perfect for enjoying the outdoors. We have created this handy guide to some of the best picnic spots in Austin!
2100 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704
Hours: 5 am – 10 pm
Zilker Metropolitan Park is considered “Austin’s most-loved park.” This 351-acre park is home to a variety of recreation opportunities and special events for individuals and families. Enjoy a ride on the Zilker Zephyr miniature train or paddling a canoe on Lady Bird Lake. Play on the large multi-age playscape, hike and bike trails and large full-service picnic areas, six of which are reservable.
Lady Bird Lake
West Riverside Drive, Austin, TX
Pack a picnic and bring the family out to kayak Lady Bird Lake. Good bank access is available at Town Lake Metropolitan Park at Auditorium Shores and Town Lake Metropolitan Park at Festival Beach. Shoreline access is also available at Red Bud Island in the upper end of the reservoir near Tom Miller Dam. The Austin hike and bike trail circles almost the entire lower two thirds of the reservoir offering access to the bank.
Mansfield Dam Park
4370 Mansfield Dam Park Rd. Austin, TX 78732
Hours: 8 am – dark, boat ramp open 24 hours a day
Mansfield Dam Park is located on the main body of Lake Travis and serves as one of the primary access points for boaters. Set back from the water’s edge, a central recreation area offers picnic sites, a playground, chess tables, and a panoramic view of the Lake Travis basin. The park offers picnic tables with barbecue grills, including several with covered shelters, tucked amid the canopies of native trees. Picnic sites and lake access are easily reachable by strolling along the hike and bike trails.
Emma Long Metropolitan Park
1706 City Park Rd, Austin, TX 78730
Hours: 7 am – 10 pm
Name Austin’s largest city park, the Emma Long Metropolitan Park offers a variety of recreation opportunities. Facilities include restrooms with showers, a day use picnic area, and basketball and volleyball courts. One mile of Lake Austin’s shoreline is located within the park, featuring water recreation activities such as waterskiing, sailing and fishing.
3505 W 35th St, Austin, TX 78703
Hours: 5 am – 10 pm
Mayfield Park and Preserve is an island of restful respite located in the middle of Austin featuring two acres of colorful gardens, a historic cottage, brilliant peacocks and delicate water lilies, all blending in beautiful harmony. A lazy lunch surrounded by such natural beauty is a perfect way to spend the afternoon.
McKinney Falls State Park
5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy, Austin, TX 78744
Hours: 8 am – 10 pm
At McKinney Falls State Park you can camp, hike, mountain or road bike, geocache, go bouldering, and picnic. You can also fish and swim in Onion Creek. It’s a great place to relax, picnic and enjoy the nature.
Texas State Capitol
1100 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
The Texas Capitol is surrounded by approximately 22 acres scattered with statues and monuments. In addition to a perfect picturesque backdrop, the Capitol Grounds offer plenty of lush grass & paths for a picnic or a stroll.
Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center
4801 La Crosse Ave, Austin, TX 78739
Hours: 9 am – 5 pm
Located approximately 25 minutes south of downtown, the center has two picnic areas available to visitors on a first come, first serve basis. After picnicking, walk off your meal exploring the expansive trails followed by a visit to the observation tower for a panoramic view of the grounds. The center also offers tree swings in the Texas Arboretum, turtles and fish in ponds, the Little House for kids’ crafts, and a Visitors Gallery.
Covert Park at Mount Bonnell
3800 Mt Bonnell Rd, Austin, TX 78731
Hours: 5 am – 10 pm
The mount provides a vista for viewing the city of Austin, Lake Austin, and the surrounding hills. It is best place in Austin for a view of the surrounding cityscape and hill country. Enjoy a nice hike up to the top to the perfect picnic spot.
Mueller Lake Park
4550 Mueller Blvd, Austin, TX 78723
Mueller’s park system features approximately 140 acres of parks, trails and open space. You can enjoy the water, ducks, walking/jogging trail, food trucks, areas to sit down and have a picnic, or just sit and enjoy the scenery.