Inspiring the ideal Austin staycation

Mac students share their favorite warm weather spots


Photo courtesy of Maggie Coulborn

Many McCallum students enjoy visiting Lake Austin to enjoy nature and stay cool as the weather warms up.

If you find yourself stuck at home or enjoying a staycation this spring, check out the list below for some fun ideas to make the most out of your time in your home town: 

If you’re looking to spend some time outside before the summer heat rolls in, McKinney Falls or the Barton Creek Greenbelt are great choices. There are good spots for swimming, picnics and scenic walks. Junior Naomi Pearson especially enjoys the isolation of nature. 

“You can swim and they have a lot of trails so you can find spots away from other people,” Pearson said. “It’s really fun to explore the outdoors.” 

Similarly, the popular Austin spot: Barton Springs is a classic go-to for countless Austinites when the temperature starts to rise. The reliably refreshing spring-fed pool is cold year round, and with a small entrance fee you can enjoy it too. Several people also choose to go to the free “Barking springs” adjacent to the pool where dogs and humans alike can enjoy the water. Freshman Julia Ross is one of many McCallum students that loves swimming at Barton when it gets hot outside.

You can swim and they have a lot of trails, so you can find spots away from other people. It’s really fun to explore the outdoors.

— junior Naomi Pearson

“I like Barton because it’s spring fed and more natural there are a lot of grassy areas,” Ross said. 

If you want to swim in a bigger space, Lake Austin is a well-loved place to enjoy several outdoor activities. Just 15 minutes from McCallum, Lake Austin is a great place to stay active and enjoy the natural wonders of Austin, Texas. Paddleboarding, kayaking, canoeing and renting boats are just a few of the popular spring and summer activities offered on Lake Austin. 

Sophomores Chloe Lewcock and Isa Perez love to paddle board on lake Austin. 

“It’s a good opportunity to hang out with friends on the water when it’s not too hot,” Lewcock said. 

When it gets too hot to be outside, Austin has several indoor activities to participate in. Austin has hundreds of museums to choose from, including the Blanton Art Museum and Wander Space. Wander space is an interactive and immersive art exhibit located in North Austin. Senior Imani Davis has spent many hot days inside the exhibit. 

“It’s a really unique experience,” Davis said. “They have a bunch of different rooms with different art you can see and touch.” 

It’s a good opportunity to hang out with friends on the water when it’s not too hot.

— sophomore Chloe Lewcock

If you’re into hiking or swimming but you’re still looking to get some Vitamin D, check out the shops and food on South Congress. So-Co is home to popular stores like Allen’s Boots, Madwell and Outdoor Voices. If you start to get hungry from all of that retail therapy, you can stop by classic Austin eats such as Homeslice, Amy’s Ice Cream and Jo’s Coffee for a quick bite. Junior Danielle Todd-Harris says that So-Co is one of her favorite places to hang out in Austin.

“I like that [there] are clean spaces to hang out with friends and family!” Todd-Harris said.

Austin is a unique city with many activities to do. Whether it’s swimming or going to an art museum, there are plenty of options for the next time you get bored at home or want to explore.