Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Ball Aluminum Cup. The content and opinions expressed here are my 100% own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog!
I love me a good picnic. And I’m lucky to live in Austin where we have so many incredible areas for picnics! That’s exactly why I’ve partnered up with Ball Aluminum Cup to share with you all the best picnic spots in Austin, Texas.
Ball Aluminum Cups are a one-time use, infinitely recyclable aluminum cup that is sturdy but also lightweight enough to bring in your picnic basket. The picnic really starts when you recycle the new Ball Aluminum Cup. That way the recycled aluminum can be turned into a new infinitely recyclable cup to keep great parties going and going.
Let me tell you too, these aluminum cups keep drinks cold for so long, even on a hot summer day! It’s just a few of the reasons why Ball Aluminum Cups are one of my picnic basket essentials.
What to Pack for a Picnic
So here’s a little pro tip: I keep my picnic basket stored away with everything packed and ready to picnic at a moment’s notice. That being said, here are some of the items that stay in the picnic basket:
- Ball Aluminum Cups – They’ll keep your drinks icy cold! And they are really easy to clean up – just throw them in the recycling bin after your picnic. (Check them out on Amazon here!)
- Picnic blanket, obviously!
- Cloth napkins – Again, remember the three R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle. Cutting down on wasteful one-time use napkins is an easy switch that Mother Earth will love you for!
- Wooden plates and biodegradable bamboo utensils – I really love these and these!
- Collapsible water bowl for the dogs
- Corkscrew and bottle opener
- Bluetooth speaker
- A rechargeable personal fan – Which works wonders at keeping the bugs away!
- Sunscreen and bug spray
- A Frisbee and a deck of trivia cards
Best Parks for Picnics in Austin
- Auditorium Shores
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
- Laguna Gloria
- Mayfield Park
- Mount Bonnell
- Mueller Lake Park
- Pease District Park
- Texas State Capital
- Zilker Park
Zilker Park is to Austin, what Central Park is to New York City. As home to Austin City Limits Festival, Blues on the Green, and other events such as the Kite Festival, Zilker is the heart of this city.
The park is 350 acres with plenty of room to spread out or host a group picnic with friends. A picnic at Zilker Park includes a beautiful view of the skyline as you sit in the shade. My favorite picnic spot in this Austin spot is near the rocks, towards the top of a small ridge.
Tip: Zilker Park is off-leash so be alert for any pups who might approach your picnic for a snack.
Website | 2207 Lou Neff Rd, Austin, TX 78746
Texas State Capital
The shady, perfectly manicured grounds at the Texas State Capital in Downtown Austin make for one fine picnic area. The area is great for family picnics, and you might even be able to sneak in a bit of a history lesson.
Website | 1100 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
Pease District Park
Running along Shoal Creek, just west of Downtown Austin, Pease District Park offers miles of trails for walking and biking. Along the trail, you’ll find multiple shady spots with table and grills, perfect for a picnic.
Additionally, there is an off-leash section for dogs and their owners, playgrounds, basketball and volleyball courts as well as restrooms. Pease District Park is rarely visited by tourists (one of the reasons I love picnicking here so much!)
Website | 1100 Kingsbury St, Austin, TX 78703
Mueller Lake Park
Mueller Lake Park is such a special place to have a picnic. I love it here! The park features a 6.5 acre lake, amphitheater, interactive playground, a peninsula just for picnics (pictured above) and loop trail for walking or running. On Sundays there is a massive farmer’s market. My tip is to take your picnic basket and shop all the local food and drinks before walking around the lake and finding a nice and shaded picnic spot.
Website | 4550 Mueller Blvd, Austin, TX 78723
Take a quick hike up Mount Bonnell and have a fun picnic at the highest point in at Austin. At a whopping 775 feet, Mount Bonnell (located inside Covert Park) offers jaw-dropping views of the Colorado River and Austin’s 360 Bridge.
Website | 3800 Mount Bonnell Rd; Austin, Texas 78731
Mayfield Park is a tranquil, yet historic oasis filled with lush gardens, peacocks, and multiple koi fish ponds. Situated on 21 acres, Mayfield Park has plenty of shaded areas and picnic tables, along with multiple running and walking trails.
Website | 3505 W 35th St, Austin, TX 78703
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
When you picnic at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower, you’ll be surrounded by native trees and plants. There are several areas in this South Austin park that make great, and somewhat hidden spots to picnic. Make sure to check out the events at the Wildflower Center as there is always something fun (like Tuesday Twilights!) going on.
Website | 4801 La Crosse Ave, Austin, TX 78739
Laguna Gloria at The Contemporary Austin
Laguna Gloria is an Italian-style villa that sits on the shores of Lake Austin. The house built in 1916, was the former residence of Clara Driscoll. Today, it’s one of the best spots for a picnic in Austin! Along with water views, you’ll find art sculptures and meticulously manicured lush gardens.
Website | 3505 W 35th St, Austin, TX 78703
Auditorium Shores is one of my favorite spots for a picnic. Note that there is a dog-friendly section of the area that is not great for picnics, but towards Congress Bridge, there is a huge and wide open grassy area that has the most stunning views of downtown (see above for proof!).
Website | 900 W Riverside Dr, Austin, TX 78704
Where’s Your Favorite Spot to Picnic?
I hope you found this guide to the best picnic spots in Austin helpful, and if you did please make sure to share it with a friend! Looking for more great things to do in Austin? Visit my travel guide here!