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Lady Bird Lake

200 S Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX 78704

Daily 5 am - 10 pm


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Explore Lady Bird Lake in Downtown Austin, Texas.

Located in the heart of Austin, Lady Bird Lake is one of the city’s most beloved amenities for obvious reasons. The “lake,” which is actually part of the Colorado River and formerly known as Town Lake, offers residents and tourists park access, picnic spots, views of wildlife (two swans call the lake home), and miles of trails for hiking, biking, and running. While swimming is not permitted, several shops in the park offer kayak, canoe, and paddleboard rentals. So consider this lake visit a make-your-own adventure that’s fun and largely free for the whole family.

Sitting adjacent to the lake is another famous Austin highlight – Zilker Park, the site of, among many other popular events, the annual Austin City Limits Festival. Stroll – or ride – around the lake, and look for sunbathing turtles lining the water’s banks, before settling down in the grass at Zilker for a picnic and incredible views of the city’s skyline. 

Know before you go:

Visiting – and enjoying – Lady Bird Lake can be as short or as long as you and your family desire. There are several access points to the trails from Downtown, but we’re partial to Butler Shores entrance across from Zach Theatre because of the options it offers. Looking to stroll leisurely along the lake loop? This is the perfect entry point. Move west and you can reach Zilker or enter the Barton Creek Greenbelt for more serious hiking (still kid-friendly, but not great for strollers). Head east and you can visit the boardwalk over the water and numerous other park sites. Park access is 100% free. 

Currently, the trails – and Zilker – are open, but city officials are asking visitors to take social distancing seriously. Like most outdoor areas of the city, Lady Bird Lake is incredibly dog-friendly. The south side of the lake, known as Auditorium Shores, even features a popular dog park, however according to the city website, toxic algae that can be deadly to dogs has been detected in Lady Bird Lake as recently as August 4, so keep your four-legged friends and kids out of the water until the temperature drops and the algae dies off. 

Looking to rent some kayaks or try your hand at stand up paddleboarding? Capital Cruises has all that and more to rent. Plus, according to the website, the rental shop is currently open – though we recommend calling in advance to confirm.



Good for All Ages Biking Hiking Picnic Boating Kayak River views Scenic Walk
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