In Austin/ Country Kids/ Family/ Texas/ Travel Destinations/ USA

Austin, Texas : Town Lake Trail

austin town lake trail via one tiny leap

Our USA road trip route looks a little ridiculous to the naked eye – you see we are zigzagging from the East Coast into central Texas, and then back out to the coast. Why did we do this? To come to Austin. I’ve been dreaming about this part of the country for years, with its stunning countryside, super creative and vibrant city life and all the renowned food trucks – it’s a bit like Brighton, but on a much bigger scale.

We stayed at a fairly central and pleasant airbnb, and on our first day there C and I had a day out on our own, which meant driving in the US on my own for the first time.

After getting lost a few times, we parked at Whole Foods (free for 3 hours) and started walking along the town lake trail, aimlessly looking for a playground for C. I was immediately overwhelmed with how beautiful it was. It felt like we were deep in the woods, surround by a plethora of wildlife as well as by city folk being healthy – dozens of joggers, mums jogging with buggies (and heroes with double buggies), cyclists and dog walkers. It felt wonderful exploring the woods, and we easily forgot we were in the middle of a big American city.

When I looked in my google maps, I realised the playground was just by Barton Springs, of which I had heard so much about, so we made our way there, without realising that we were on the wrong side of the river, without a bridge close enough to get us to the pool! We walked around in circles for about an hour and half, with no lunch, no buggy and no car under the hot Texas sun…

Finally we spotted a dog walker and asked her for directions, which were basically to backtrack our steps for about half an hour and we’d be there. I convinced the very grumpy and tired 3 year old (but who behaved like a champ!) that there’d be this mystical playground at the end of the long, windy road, and off we went… Uffff! We did it, we reached Zilker Park and the our oasis: Barton Springs!

We were welcomed by a simple café, a very cute train ride, an amazing playground and the springs themselves – hurrah!! We had a blast on the Austin miniature train ride (which is a bargain at $3/adult + $2/child) and played for quite a long time on the playground. Knowing we had to walk all the way back to the car, I persuaded C with the idea of ice-cream at the end of the yellow brick (dirt) road – it worked, and voilá we arrived back at the safe haven of Whole Foods, where we purchased a delicious ice-cream and made our way home…

As you can imagine we became well versed in the riverbank trail and were able to show Rob how amazing it was. A few days later we spent an afternoon at Barton Springs, its cold clear water a natural pool, complete with jumping board and lifeguards – an inner city treat. Austin is full of green spaces and large parks, and we felt like it had all the qualities of the perfect city. Nothing compares to the luxury of having the countryside in the city – these Texas sure are lucky.

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Linking up with the fantastic:
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Wander Mum

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  • Coombe Mill (Fiona)

    What a beautiful spot to while away an afternoon, your travels look more and more inspiring with every post! I’m liking the little railway, it reminds me of the one here at Coombe Mill and the photo of your son from behind is magical.I’m already look forward to seeing where you will visit next. Thank you for sharing your world travels on Country Kids

    • one tiny leap

      Thank you Fiona! It was my favourite city yet 🙂 I think you’ll like when we start going into National Parks in a month or so 😉 xx

      • Coombe Mill (Fiona)

        Now that sounds right up my street!

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  • This looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ve heard such lovely things about Austin, but much more on the city itself and its quirky side. I never realised it was so green as well. Glad you found the pool at the end of such a long wander (and the train/ice-cream more importantly!) Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

  • Long time ago, I did an internship on Austin and spent there about three months. I went to the “lake” many times (my boss had a sail boat). For a 4th of July, we were invited to canoe on the lake. Oh, it was such a great day! Another place that I loved is Barton Springs.

  • Wander Mum

    I’ve heard great things about Austin and now I know why. A great place to visit in the centre of a city. A big well done to your son for sticking it out and walking all that way…I’m not sure my daughter would have been so patient! Thanks for linking to #citytripping x