This is my second spring in Austin and I’m in love! Here’s my top ten list of activities to enjoy this season:

1.) Get on Lady Bird Lake  – there are several places that rent kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, bicycling-boat-contraptions, and even a giant swan boat to enjoy this gorgeous city from the water.

Get close to the shores for some fantastic bird encounters: herons, egrets, cormorants, swans, coots, and more! And you can’t miss the sunbathing turtles on fallen tree limbs and rocks that crest just above the water.

2.) Visit the farmers market or farm stand  – fresh, local fruits and veggies are in full swing in the springtime and the farmers market gives you a wide selection and friendly service.

The rockstars over at Edible Austin have a great list of local farmers markets from Austin to San Antonio so you won’t miss out on this week’s goodies!

Not sure what to do with your market haul? Pay a visit to the Austin Food Blogger Alliance and see what other locals are doing with seasonal offerings. Still stumped? Take a class at Central Market’s Cooking School – I’ve got my eye on Delightful Summer Dishes and the Summer Tarts workshop
3.) Get your culture on! Shakespeare in the Park will offer free shows of As You Like It during the month of May.
4.) Explore a new park  – using the database at you can check out a new-to-you park to hike, take the dog for a walk, meet a friend for a picnic, or explore the wildflowers.
We recently explored Great Hills Park off Jollyville Road near the Arboretum, pictured at left. In some places the trees are a full canopy overhead and your feet enjoy a pressure stimulation of the rootlets that run across the pathway.
What’s your favorite park? Tell me about it in the comments!

5.) Go for a train ride through Hill Country  – okay, I’m biased! I love volunteering with the Austin Steam Train Association (ASTA), and I can’t get enough of these vintage train cars strung together and driven from Cedar Park to Burnet.

Families and couples alike enjoy this unique view of Hill Country while riding in passenger cars from the 1920s to sleeping cars from the 1950s. Step back in time and get a feel for what it would be like to leave your shoes in the designated cubby for a polishing overnight, see how tiny the showers used to be, and enjoy the friendly attendants and train crew, all volunteers with a love of preserving the past!

Watch the passion my coworkers have for running this train in this vimeo video from last year.

6.) Get out and smell the roses – as an aromatherapist I am very familiar with the therapeutic benefits of the rose, here are some of them:

  • Helpful for emotional trauma – Rose is a wonderful aroma to use with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, grief, and anxiety.
  • Insomnia – some people find Rose helps to calm the mind and make relaxation possible after a stressful day.
  • Skin benefits – the nurturing properties of Rose are great for skin, especially mature skin. I love Rose hydrosol, the aromatic water from steam distillation of the petals, straight from the fridge and spritzed on the face and décolletage before moisturizer and sunscreen.
  • Hormone balance – I turn to Rose Otto essential oil when I am working with a client experiencing a hormonal balance. I’ve used it with clients to support their goals for fertility support, certain types of menstrual cycle imbalances, physical and emotional wellness in the postpartum period, menopause, and post-menopause.

Schedule a 30 minute consultation to explore the aromatic Rose and other plants used in holistic aromatherapy!

7.) Enjoy a meal on the farm – for a wonderfully romantic evening make a reservation at Eden East soon! After you arrive, stroll through the farm to see what’s growing, and what will be on your plate shortly. The runner ducks are as close as you’ll get to spotting a penguin in Austin and are happy to lead you down the garden paths to meet the chickens, say hello to the flowers, and get green with envy at the bouquets of Swiss chard and fennel growing.

Eden East is vegetarian friendly but you should request any dietary preferences in advance.

8.) Enjoy the sunset  – Central Texas boasts stunning skies and sunsets can be breathtaking. 

Whether you’re enjoying the sunset in a parking lot, pictured right, or from a higher vantage point these longer days and shorter nights are building up to the summer solstice on June 21st.

Cool sunset viewing spots:

  • Mount Bonnell
  • Lake Travis
  • Congress Street Bridge downtown

9. Grow your own greens  – it’s not too late to start a summer garden! Crops planted in May should be warm-weather hardy like sweet potatoes, tomatoes, melons, and peppers (hot and bell).

Need some help getting started? Here’s some great local resources:

  • Sustainable Food Center – offers classes, resource lists, and information. 
  • The Natural Gardener – worth the drive out on Old Bee Caves Road, this garden center is a great place to stock up on organic plants to grow in your windowsill, community garden plot, or the backyard.

10.) Take a SUP Yoga class on Quarry Lake – yoga on the water? Yes ma’am! Pure Austin gym has Sunday morning standup paddleboard yoga classes open to members and non-members during the warm months. This quiet lake is the perfect place to try out SUP for the first time or to attempt your first headstand on a board. Whatever your fitness level you’ll enjoy the friendly instructors and the best non-mat yoga class in town! $20 non-member, or go with a member as a guest for $10.

Now it’s your turn! Tell me, what are your favorite things to do in Austin this time of year? Post in the comments about your must-do or must-see activities and places. Or let me know after our next session together – I always enjoy hearing what my clients are up to to stay healthy, enjoy this beautiful city, and spend time with people they love.