McKinney Falls State Park

#17 in Best Things To Do in Austin
McKinney Falls State Park picture
ShengYing Lin/Getty Images

Key Info

5808 McKinney Falls Parkway

Details

Parks and Gardens, Recreation Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
3.8scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 3.0Atmosphere

Onion Creek winds through McKinney Falls State Park, providing cool respite for campers hoping to escape the hot Texas sun. In addition to the creek, nearly 9 miles of trails take hikers and bikers around the park’s limestone formations and wooded areas. After an active day, visitors at McKinney Falls can wind down at one of the park’s 81 campsites or six cabins.  

According to recent overnight guests at the park, many of the camping spots include raised tent pads to ease setup and protect the area’s vegetation. Past visitors recommend checking out both the upper and lower falls. Travelers also suggest planning your trip to coincide with the wet season (May to late September), as the river can nearly dry up during the dry season.

The gate for McKinney Falls State Park is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, while the park office is open from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Saturday through Thursday and until 6:30 p.m. on Friday. The fee for adults is $6 daily, while children 12 years old and younger get in for free. Campsites at McKinney Falls State Park start at $20 per night and don’t include the daily fee. The park sits about 10 miles southeast of Austin and is not accessible via public transit. Be sure to check out the McKinney Falls State Park’s website to learn more about planning a trip there.

See all Hotels in Austin »

More Best Things To Do in Austin

State Capitol
Mount Bonnell
Type
Time to Spend
1 of 20
#1 State Capitol

Standing stoically in the heart of central Austin is Texas's legislative center, the State Capitol. Opened in 1888, this pink-granite landmark stands 14 feet taller than the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Much of the capitol, including the 218-foot rotunda, the chamber of the Hall of Representatives and the governor's receiving room, still look the same as they did when the capitol opened.

The structure underwent a large-scale restoration starting in the 1980s, including replacing the zinc statue of the Goddess of Liberty that sits atop the dome with an aluminum one. The restoration also included a 667,000-square-foot underground extension that was completed in 1993 to accommodate how much the state government had grown. Many visitors say it's the most impressive state legislative building they've ever seen, but they also warn it can be crowded at times. If you want to learn a bit of Texas history without having to pay an entrance fee, you can't beat a visit to the capitol building, according to past travelers.

Read more
Dave Wilson, WebArtz Photography /Getty Images
See full list of Best Things To Do in Austin »

Explore More of Austin

Recommended

The 15 Best Charleston Tours

See everything this historic South Carolina city has to offer on one of these guided excursions.

John RodwanJune 19, 2019

The 5 Best Kauai Helicopter Tours

See the Garden Island's far-reaching beauty from the air.

Holly JohnsonJune 14, 2019

The 6 Best Las Vegas Helicopter Tours

Get a thrilling look at the lights and sights of Sin City and its surroundings with one of these tours.

Holly JohnsonJune 13, 2019

20 Road Trip Essentials for Your Vacation

These road trip must-haves can help you save money, travel more comfortably and ensure you stay safe on the open road.

Holly JohnsonJune 13, 2019

13 Top Charlottesville Wineries to Visit

Sip a glass of Virginia's signature viognier as the sun sets over the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Gwen PratesiJune 12, 2019

The 16 Best Seattle Tours

Explore the Emerald City's natural beauty and urban offerings with these guided excursions.

Lyn MettlerJune 12, 2019

The 24 Best London Tours

Whether it's your first time in London or you're a repeat visitor, you'll experience a side of the city you've never seen with these tours.

Kim Foley MacKinnonJune 6, 2019

The 21 Best Paris Tours

Enhance your visit to the City of Love with one of these top tours.

Claire LawtonJune 5, 2019

The 20 Best New York City Tours

These guided tours help make the most of your time in the Big Apple.

John RodwanJune 4, 2019

The 24 Best Rome Tours

Enjoy the efficiency of an organized tour led by experts who bring Rome's history to life.

Kyle McCarthyMay 31, 2019