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.

Best Hiking Trails in Dallas, TX

We love getting out to enjoy nature, and what better way to soak in the sunshine and greenery than by hiking one of Dallas’s many trails in the great State of Texas. With a variety of paths ranging from dirt trails wending their way through natural preserves to urban pedestrian highways, Dallas, TX, has a trail for any age and level of expertise. Check out our list of the best hiking trails Dallas, Texas, has to offer. 

Cedar Ridge Preserve

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Image via Flickr by Sonnia Hill | CC 2.0

Cedar Ridge Preserve features multiple trails that interconnect and loop through a designated ecological sanctuary. Unlike traditional parks, a preserve seeks to protect and restore a natural area, making a hike through the preserve full of untouched ecological beauty. Cedar Ridge’s Cattail Pond Trail is a scenic 2.4-mile loop around the lake with more remote trails branching off from access points at different points along the trail. One of the trail’s highlights is an observation tower with views of Grand Prairie and Joe Pool Lake. 

The Cedar Brake Trail, also located within the preserve, offers a 2.7-mile loop with changing elevations that are considered easy to traverse. For a challenging and lengthy hike, try the outer loop trail at the preserve. The 5.4-mile trail features wooden steps and beautiful scenery in the tranquility of the natural environment surrounding you.

Dogwood Canyon Audobon Center

With three miles of trails ranging in difficulty, the Dogwood Canyon Audobon Center offers three distinct trail loops through oak and wild growth. The Canyon Floor trail offers an easy hike, perfect for a relaxing jog or moms with strollers. It also offers plenty of birdwatching and wildlife viewing opportunities. For a more challenging hike, try the Dogwood Trail, a moderate 1.1-mile trek across the canyon and beside the meandering creek. Take the West Loop Trail for the most difficult hike, which climbs 150 feet in elevation for extensive views of the canyon from above. 

The Dogwood Canyon Audobon Center also offers paid guided hikes for trail enthusiasts of all ages. Your naturalist guide will offer an interpretive walk based on your interest in groups of up to 25 people with room for additions. 

Oak Cliff Nature Preserve

Nestled in 121 acres of preservation land, Oak Cliff Nature Preserve features eight miles of trails. With gravel trails populated by vegetation and wildlife, this escape from the city gives hikers the chance to travel on several trail loops through lush green pathways carved in the middle of Dallas’s urban center. Maintained by the Texas Land Conservancy, Oak Cliff Nature Preserve offers a protective sanctuary to many species of wildlife you can often view from the trails. 

Trinity River Audobon Center

Purchase admission to access seven trails all under a mile at the Trinity River Audobon Center. Trails include a primitive forest and pond trek or a longer trail through the center’s wetlands. Bring your binoculars for spectacular birdwatching opportunities throughout the preserve. You can also enjoy the pollinator garden and nature center when you’re ready to take a break from the trail. 

Spring Creek Nature Area

With views of the creek and a winding trek through dense woods, the Spring Creek Nature Trail offers a 4.5-mile loop for hikers. The paved trail provides an easy surface for running, jogging, and pushing a stroller with park and picnic benches where you can stop and take a rest. 

Spring Creek also connects to other trails like Renner and Central. Although it’s located close to a major highway system, the trail offers a tranquil place to exercise and enjoy nature. An extension now continues the trail even further to the north to connect with The George Bush Freeway and Alma Drive. To access trail parking, head to the paved lot located at Central/Renner Road. 

L.B. Houston Nature Trail

A trek through L.B. Houston Park offers a more rustic walk considered easy enough for beginners with the length to please seasoned hikers. Located in parts of the Elm Fork and L. B. Houston Greenbelt, most of the 10-mile trail loops through the forest with the occasional section winding beside the Trinity River. The trail offers several loops if you choose to shorten your walk. Mountain bikers also use the trail so be prepared to enjoy watching them whir past as you share the road. 

Fish Creek Trail 

This paved trail offers 7.3 miles of hiking trail between the suburbs of Arlington and Grand Prairie. Unlike other suburban trials through neighborhoods and retail areas, this trek follows a more secluded path with areas of dense vegetation that make you feel more like you’re in a preserve. Fish Creek Trail also connects to recreational areas, schools, and parks. 

Trinity Skyline Trail

For an urban trail experience, the Trinity Skyline Trail runs through the Dallas floodway. Offering city views, the trail winds for over 10 miles beside the river, under and over city bridges. Walkers and joggers share the paved surface with bikers on this popular trail with views of downtown. You can join the trail at multiple points, but trailheads like East 8th Street, the Continental Avenue Bridge, and South Riverfront Boulevard offer paved parking lots. 

Trinity Strand Trail

Another track winding through the city, Trinity Strand Trail, is part of an ongoing restoration project to create a recreational space out of the original watercourse of the Trinity River. The first completed phase features 2. 5 miles of paved trail through the Dallas Design District. Another phase of the trail will open and continue through the Medical District. The urban trail passes by restaurants and shops in some areas while meandering through quiet pockets of nature in others. 

Huck Finn Trail

Located within the Prairie Creek Greenbelt, this trail offers an easy hike through greenery to several scenic areas, including a cascading waterfall. With quaint pedestrian bridges and a gravel and dirt track, this trip is a fun trek through nature for all ages. Located in neighboring Richardson, this neighborhood park features acres of preserved land once home to the oldest schoolhouse in the area. Huck Finn Trail offers a shaded walk all year with colorful changing leaves in the fall and vibrant wildflowers in the springtime. We just shared our favorite hiking trails in the Dallas, Texas, area. Did we miss one of your preferred green spaces? Contact us so we can update our list! We’d love to hear from you.