5 Outdoor activities for Austinites

It’s March, but in the live music capital of the world, it might as well be mid-summer. If you’re thinking about stepping off campus for some well-deserved sunshine, here are five awesome outdoor activities.

Bats on Congress Avenue Bridge

Dubbed the largest urban bat colony in North America, nearly 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats fly out from under the Congress Avenue Bridge every summer night. Bring a folding chair, a friend and your beverage of choice to witness these winged mammals form smoke-like clusters in the air and devour pests in the process.

Exploring Mount Bonnell

One of Austin’s cherished hilly vantage points, Mount Bonnell can be enjoyed in many ways. A 2014 Buzzfeed article suggests, “Hike up to Mount Bonnell and make out.” If you’re interested in a more appropriate day outdoors, hiking up to Mount Bonnell and watching the sunset solo is just as fulfilling.

People-Watching at Lady Bird Hike & Bike Trail

If running or crossfit training doesn’t intrigue you, people-watching and walking around the entirety of Lady Bird Hike & Bike Trail might. Whether you see a flock of ducks or a jogger wearing gold nylon short-shorts — it happens more often than you think — Austin’s favorite  hike and bike trail is a perfect place to encounter humanity, quirks and all.

Encounter the Arts Outside

Located adjacent to Zilker Park, Umlauf sculpture garden and museum blurs the line between art and nature. Admission is $1 with student I.D. and walk-ins are welcome Tuesday through Sunday. Exhibitions vary depending on the museum schedule, but artwork of various traditions is nestled in the vegetation of the garden.

Paddle or Peddle on Town Lake

Pick from one of Austin’s several water sports rental shops for a good time on the water. Wakeboarding, kayaking, water biking, canoeing and swan pedal-boating are ways to experience Lady Bird Lake up close and personal. If you’re feeling extra “bohemian Austinite,” bring your yoga practice to the wakeboard and take pictures for Instagram before inevitably capsizing.