Once in a while we succumb to the urge to leave the busy city behind to spend a night beneath the wide-open sky. National Camping Month is observed in June every year. Be it with friends, family, or even by yourself, camping is the perfect way to reconnect with nature and yourself.
Austinites are lucky: we don’t have to travel more than an hour or so in any direction to arrive at a beautiful spot for enjoying nature’s glory. You’ll discover quiet river bends and Hill Country views that will claim their place in your heart.
Pedernales Falls State Park
The falls are spectacular, but there’s plenty more to explore in this vast swath of grassland, oak woods, and cedar-covered rocky hills in Blanco County between Round Mountain and Dripping Springs.
Blanco State Park
The state park is by the river in the center of town, and you could stay put there to fish or kayak the day away. But the elegant courthouse and the homegrown shops on the town square merit an afternoon of unhurried exploration.
A trip to this beautiful, private 115-acre spot in Spicewood (less than an hour from downtown Austin) has been a Hill Country tradition for decades. There’s a smallish man-made pool and, below it, a delightful natural grotto with waterfalls and beaches. The grounds are always perfectly maintained. There’s a butterfly garden that resonates with peaceful sounds from huge wind chimes.
Inks Lake State Park
The exquisiteness of the park is best appreciated from the water, since the lake is the perfect size for family excursions in kayaks or canoes. The wooded shorelines and waterfowl-filled coves are easily reached from the put-in by the park store. Paddle across to Devil’s Waterhole, where Spring Creek flows into the lake.
While there is no overnight camping, Blue Hole Regional Park is an Austin Summer Must Do. The natural, spring-fed swimming hole is lined with the iconic Cypress Trees located deep in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. The whole family will enjoy swimming in crystal clear water, sunbathing on the grassy swim lawn, and of course, swinging on our famous rope swings.