My Favorite Outdoor Summer Activities in Austin

It’s summertime, and the living should be easy. But as much as we’d like to be packing the hillsides of Barton Springs Pool and sharing blankets—and jugs of micheladas—at Blues on the Green this summer, COVID-19 has other plans for us.

Just because shelter-in-place orders have altered our normal routines doesn’t mean that we can’t still soak up the sun and fun of a laid-back Austin summer. Here are my go-to summer activities that will keep you occupied and socially distant—just make sure you plan ahead and double-check any listings or websites for last-minute changes or closures. 

Image from @thetrailfoundation via @hikeaustin on Instagram

Hit the Water at Lady Bird Lake

Let’s be real—our couches have been seeing way too much of us lately. But the surefire cure for that is some quality time on Lady Bird Lake. The crown jewel of downtown Austin offers a ton of fun activity, from kayaking and paddle boarding to canoeing or tubing.

The 10-mile hike and bike trail is also a great way to get some much-needed exercise, and because it’s one-way only right now (clockwise), you won’t have to worry about oncoming joggers breathing on you. If your priority is chilling rather than cutting calories, pull up a seat on the banks of the lake and take in a gorgeous Austin summer sunset—with a picnic of course.

Image via @heybrittanychristine on Instagram

Watch the Bats on the South Congress Ave Bridge

Maybe you’ve put it off because of the pre-COVID crowds or because it’s a tourist trap, or maybe you’ve been meaning to go back for ages. Regardless, there’s nothing like the delight of seeing 1.5 million Mexican-tailed bats make their haphazard flight at dusk every night this summer. If it seems too crowded on top of the bridge, try the roomy green space below on the Butler Hike and Bike Trail.

Image via @taraleighjohnston on Instagram

Take a Mural Tour 

Here in our beloved city of Austin, we’re known for so many things—our live music, our breakfast tacos, and . . . our murals? That’s right. The “I Love You So Much” wall at Jo’s Coffee on South Congress is an iconic staple, but it’s not the only colorful mural that draws tourists and locals alike. This summer, grab your quaranteam and hit the streets for an impromptu photography field day.

Bring your pets, try jump shots or funny poses, wear your cowboy boots with your bathing suit. Basically, do whatever it takes to make it a super fun and, of course, Instagram-worthy outing. And hey, maybe it’ll be the start of a new summer tradition! Some of my favorites include:

  • “Greetings From Austin” postcard on S 1st
  • “Willie for President” on South Congress
  • “You’re My Butter Half” on East MLK
  • “Greetings from Austin” on S 1st and Annie St
  • “Hi, How Are You” on Guadalupe and 21st
  • “Hello Darlin'” on S. Congress and E. Riverside Dr.
Image via @sawyeratx on Instagram

Drinking on Patios

Last but certainly not least, my favorite outdoor activity: drinking on patios. Whether it’s at home or at a safe distance from your restaurant patio neighbors, a good drink always seems to make everything better. It lets you press pause, enjoy good company (or some alone time) and just relax for a hot second. I’m outdoorsy, I drink on patios.

An Austin Interior Designer Who Gets Your Style

Now that we’re spending more time in our homes than ever, it’s important that they look fine and fly. If you’re ready to tackle the inside or outside of your home’s design this summer, I’m here to help give your space a dream makeover that’ll keep you inspired throughout the pandemic and beyond. Reach out today to get started on a collaboration, and let’s get your space rockin’.


J.Fisher Interiors’ studio is located in east Austin. To schedule your consultation appointment, please fill out the contact form or call us at 512.954.0904. We would love to hear from you!

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