Top Four Things to Do in Austin, TX

Austin has something for everyone of any age; from parks and trails to museums and theaters, there’s no shortage of attractions and activities. Whether you’re new to the area, a life-long resident, or visiting for a week or two, you’ll find something to enjoy in and around Austin. The team at MAXIM Hair Restoration has compiled a list of the top four things to do in Austin, Texas, to help point you in the right direction.

Lady Bird Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail and Boardwalk

4551482983_d5b6bf11c5.jpgImage via Flickr by Gary J Wood

Located at the First Street Bridge at Lady Bird Lake, you’ll find the Ann and Roy Butler hike-and-bike trail with a boardwalk to enjoy. This 10-mile stretch of trails border Lady Bird Lake, offering an oasis for cyclists, runners, and walkers alike. Between West Cesar Chavez Street and West Riverside Drive, you can cross Lady Bird Lake via the Ann and Roy Butler pedestrian bridge. You’ll pass by skyscrapers, ball fields, neighborhoods, and cultural attractions as you wander along the water’s edge.

The 7,250-foot Boardwalk at Lady Bird Lake offers more than 300 piers, 13,000 LED lights to brighten your path, 2,200 pre-cast concrete deck planks, and 1.3 million pounds of structural steel. All of this is used to create viewing areas, including an ADA-accessible pier and a new restroom. You can also enjoy the beautiful displays at the Boardwalk for Art in Public Places, a Cultural Arts Division of the Economic Development Department program that commissioned artist Ken Little.

You can visit the Boardwalk from 5 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week. Parking is available in many places around the trail. Fishing is not allowed on the main trail, but you can cast off from any rest areas. You can get to the Boardwalk via several access points for a day of hiking, fishing, or fun in the sun.

Bullock Texas State History Museum

To experience innovative films, ever-changing exhibits, and unique events and programs, check out the Bullock Texas State History Museum located at 1800 Congress Ave. in Austin. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with various exhibitions, IMAX film series and programs, and events and programs available. The four current exhibits include Texas History Galleries, Texas Oil and Gas, Becoming Texas, and Austin City Limits Theater. Coming soon is an exhibit titled Mental Health: Mind Matters Exhibition.

The IMAX film series and programs have current offerings from Texas Focus, Reel Women in Film, B Movies and Bad History, Viva Cinema, and Francophone Film Series. The Summer Family Film Series includes “Magnificent Homespun Brown” and “I Can Be President, A Kid’s Eye View.” You can also view current feature films, such as “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” at the IMAX. The Bullox Museum Texas Spirit Theater is also open and showing “Shipwrecked” and “The Star of Destiny.”

Austin Aquarium

The Austin Aquarium offers you and your family an interactive experience with marine life, mammals, birds, and reptiles Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday until 8 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can purchase an annual pass to visit as much as you want throughout the year or a daily pass for a single visit. At the Austin Aquarium, you can experience animal encounters, participate in the morning rounds, view mermaids, and get a princess makeover.

Animal encounters range from feeding the fish to spending time with a sloth, kinkajou, or lemur. You can also feed the octopus, stingray, otter, sharks, and more. Morning-round participants may assist with water quality, feeding, prepping meals, or helping maintain the filtration system. It’s a great way to experience a day in the life of an aquarium staff member. Austin Aquarium also has its own mermaid who performs both at the aquarium and is available for private bookings outside of the aquarium. A princess makeover includes hair, makeup, dress, and being named Austin Aquarium’s princess for the day.

You can even book your next birthday party at the Austin Aquarium for a special per guest fee, with a mermaid visit, face painting, mammal, or sloth interactions as possible add-ons for a unique birthday. Visit the aquarium today at 13530 N. Highway 183, #101 in Austin.

McKinney Falls State Park

Quite possibly, one of the most beautiful sights in Austin is the McKinney Falls State Park, offering views of rugged beauty as Onion Creek flows over the limestone edge into the pools below. You can also explore the remains of an ancient rock shelter and early Texas homestead at McKinney Falls State Park. With camping, hiking, mountain biking, geocaching, and picnicking available, there’s no shortage of activities at McKinney Falls.

You can stay in one of 81 campsites with electricity and water or rent one of the six cabins, newly remodeled for your convenience. The park offers more than nine miles of trails, including the Onion Creek Hike and Bike Trail with a hard surface for bikes or strollers, offering 2.8 miles of exercise and scenic views. Fish from the shore in Williamson or Onion creeks, and, as long as you stay onshore, you don’t even need a fishing license in a Texas state park.

McKinney Falls State Park is located at 5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy. in Austin, with hours from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. There is a $6 per adult daily fee and free admission for children ages 12 and younger. The park regularly reaches full capacity, so reservations are highly recommended for daily park use and camping. You can reserve passes and camping sites online.

There it is. The MAXIM Hair Restoration team has touched on the numerous activities, events, places to visit, and more in Austin, Texas, with these top four picks. If you have something you’d like to add, reach out to us at 802-370-3227 or fill out our convenient online contact us form. We love exploring and enjoying the Austin area and look forward to checking out your favorite things to do.

Top Seven Cool Outdoor Activities in Tampa, FL

With beautiful weather year-round and abundant waterways, Tampa Bay, Florida, is a great place to enjoy the outdoors. You can fish, bike, kayak, golf, or hang out on the beach, to name a few outdoor activities. Here are the top seven cool outdoor activities in Tampa, Florida.

ZooTampa

50462847718_b7cfd5f6d0.jpg
Image via Flickr by Limping Frog Productions | CC 2.0

ZooTampa ranks among the most popular zoos in the entire region, welcoming over one million visitors a year. After modest beginnings, the zoo grew from 24 to 56 acres and now features natural animal habitats within a tropical garden environment. In addition to the well-done exhibits, ZooTampa also features up-close animal encounters, popular educational programs, fascinating seasonal events, and entertaining recreational conveniences. This all adds up to one of the country’s most family-friendly zoos. Located at 1101 W. Sligh Ave. in Tampa, Florida, you can enjoy ZooTampa from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.

Pier 60

Pier 60 sits in the heart of one of the best beaches in the U.S., Clearwater Beach, and offers many family-friendly activities. You can fish from the pier, head out to the numerous playground areas with the kiddos, play in the sugar-white soft sand, and soak up the gorgeous beach views. With lifeguards throughout, calm ocean waves, giant beach slides, and many other activities, everyone is sure to enjoy the water. Also, there’s a daily Clearwater Beach Sunset Festival from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., with street performers, local vendors, and crafters selling their wares with live music. You’ll find Pier 60 at 7 Causeway Blvd. in Clearwater.

Caladesi Island State Park

A short distance from Clearwater Beach, Florida, awaits an entirely different beach adventure. While Pier 60 is bound to be busy, this area can almost be a private beach, especially during the week. You can either drive to Honeymoon Island and take a ferry to Caladesi Island or walk north from Clearwater Beach, a long journey but easy enough to follow.

Caladesi Island State Park is an offshore island in Dunedin, Florida, open from 8 a.m. to sunset each day. There’s a $6 per boat docking fee to enjoy the untouched, natural delights of the island, such as the old-growth slash pines and massive oaks or the mangroves.

Fort De Soto

Natural beauty is the allure here, and you can enjoy it from the beach or kayaking on the water. Find yourself immersed in the beauty of nature with nothing but natural views in every direction. At the park, you will find one of the most diverse ecological systems with a wealth of plants, birds, animals, and sea life. Fort De Soto is the largest park in the Pinellas County Park System, comprised of five interconnected islands or keys for 1,136 acres of mangroves, beach plants, wetlands, and hardwoods.

Approximately 2.7 million people visit Fort De Soto in Florida each year, making it a popular destination in the Tampa, Florida, area. You can visit Fort De Soto at 3500 Pinellas Bayway S. in Tierra Verde from 7 a.m. to sunset. A $5 per vehicle fee for beach parking is waived if you arrive via bicycle or have a disabled parking permit.

Sunken Gardens

Found in nearby St. Petersburg, Florida, at 1825 4th St. N., Sunken Gardens is a botanical wonder smack dab in a busy city. The oldest living museum in St. Petersburg, this century-old garden houses some of the oldest tropical plants around. With more than 50,000 different flowers and tropical plants, wondrous demonstration gardens, and cascading waterfalls, you can unwind as you take it all in and walk along the winding paths.

Plan your day with a garden tour or participate in one of their horticultural programs. Guests are asked to respect the animals’ living space, stay on the paths at all times, and refrain from touching any of the structures or plants to keep Sunken Gardens natural and inviting to its native population. You can visit from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, with a fee of $15 per adult, $12 per senior age 62 and over, and $6 per child between two and 17 years of age. 

Bok Tower Gardens

Often touted as a must-see Florida attraction, Bok Tower Gardens is situated between Tampa and Orlando and sits among the hills of citrus trees. Featuring the 20-room Pinewood Estate Mediterranean-style mansion, 2.5-acre Hammock Hollow children’s garden, almost 50 acres of Olmsted gardens, the neo-gothic Singing Tower carillon, and the 205-foot art deco, these gardens have enchanted millions of visitors over the years.

Bok Tower Gardens are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., 365 days a year, opening at 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving and Christmas days. Admission is $16 for adults, $5 for children ages five to 12, and $5 for dogs, with free admission for children under five. Visit Bok Tower Gardens at 1151 Tower Blvd. in Lake Wales today for a tranquil, beautiful way to spend a day outdoors.

Ballast Point Park and Pier

Ballast Point Park and Pier are in South Tampa, Florida, in a tranquil community. Ships used to unload their ballast to enter the harbor here. It is home to shade trees, picnic tables, an extensive playground area, and a fabulous splash park for the young ones. One of the best qualities of the park is the fantastic views of Davis Islands and the downtown skyline. The park is also home to a long pier extending out into the bay with a bait shop nearby if you are interested in giving the fishing a go.

You can visit Ballast Point Park at 5300 Interbay Blvd. from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Shelters are available on a first-come, first-served basis, although the Gazebo at Ballast can be reserved for special occasions in advance.The MAXIM Hair Restoration team in Florida hopes you find time to enjoy one of these seven cool outdoor activities in and around Tampa, Florida. If we missed your favorite, reach out to us at (802) 370-3227 or our convenient online contact us form. We’d love to check out your favorite outdoor activities around Tampa, Florida, and add them to our list.