With 300 days of sunshine a year, Austin is a great place to run. I’ll admit the summers are hot, but my most enjoyable runs are in the mornings and evenings, it’s bearably blissful. Yet, winter, spring, and fall is my favorite time to run. These seasons are mild with lovely low temperatures, a dash of sunshine, and there is no snow. Even the rare freezes still get me out the door. Some days are sunny and 75 degrees.
As the capital and a university town, everything is central and beautifully laid out around the gorgeous lady bird lake. Without hitting a traffic light, you can leave downtown, be running on a wide open trail and land in the expansive Zilker Park.
This running guide will help you choose where and how to run in Austin. Enjoy all the sightrunning, races and routes that Austin has to offer!
- Austin Sightrunning Tours
- Austin Running Groups
- Austin Running Routes
- Austin Running Races
- My Favourite Things in Austin
Austin Sightrunning Tours
Sight running tours are one of the best ways for active visitors and running enthusiasts of all levels to enjoy and see the best of Austin. A running guide accommodates to your pace and provides a great route of must-see sights and hidden gems with fun facts and great conversation.
Austin Running Groups
The online MeetUp app has one of my favorite running groups. They meet up for a weekly short hill run on Wednesday’s and a slow long run on Saturdays.
My favorite, however, is The Wildflower Runners group on Facebook. They do an awesome road/trail combinations on Saturdays. It’s called 7@7 referring to 7 miles at 7 am, but distances vary from 6 to 10 miles.
The Austin Runners Club is a great resource of everything running in Austin. They offer a “chip medal” if you complete 5 events in a calendar year from a selection of 5, 10, 15 km courses and half and full marathons.
Austin Running Routes
Austin has some amazing trail runs right in the heart of the city, and with some easy short drives from downtown.
Of course, the most iconic run is the Lady Bird Lake trail. Its total distance is 10 miles all the way around, with bridge options for 3, 5 and 8-mile loops. I’ve seen Dennis Quaid striding around here!
For the trail enthusiast, I’d suggest hitting the green belt trails, the Velvet Crown is still growing, and gives you miles of fun in a trail atmosphere, along the snaking aquifer (fancy word for creek!).
Austin Running Races
My favorite race is the 3M half marathon, run in January, the weather is fine and clear and around 50 degrees. The course is a one-way, so you run to your target, no looping or doubling back. It starts 13.1 miles north of downtown, runs through some famous neighborhoods before dropping into the world famous “40 acres”, the University of Texas.
My favorite is the 15-mile Perdanales State Park trail run. The course is a trail runners dream. Undulating single tracks and fire trails through thickly wooded creek beds and wide-reaching views along cliff top escarpments. The “green belt” trails are easily accessible from downtown hotels, as well as the Slaughter Creek trail systems.
For a further drive out of town, the Bastrop Community offer a Wildflower trail run in May which showcases a county not so downtown Austin!
My Favorite Things in Austin
Barton Springs Pool – It is an iconic 200-meter long earth-made swimming pool. It’s a constant 68 degrees Fahrenheit, never changes. So warm in winter, and cool in summer. It’s a training base for all the Tri-athlete enthusiasts in Austin. It’s free all winter, and free from 5-8am in the summer. Only $4 other hours.
Uncle Billy’s – is my favorite beer and BBQ option. I’m a vegetarian, but still, go there for the veggie burger, and brilliantly on-site brewed beers.
Hideout Cafe on Congress – great coffee, and a writer’s atmosphere. Upstairs, they have nightly comedy/improv. A fun and creative way to spend an evening.
Fallout Comedy Theatre – there are many great comedy clubs in Austin, but this one is open more nights than the others, so if you’re in town on a “school night”, you’ll still get to enjoy some!
Driskill Hotel – Austin’s oldest, and most “Texan” feeling hotel. The main bar sends you back to the pastoral by one era that made Austin wealthy, and because it was built in 1886, still holds the old world charm you think of when you visit Texas.
City Manger of Go! Running Tours in Austin