When most people think of Austin, they think of live music and good eats.

Austin is a foodie mecca for sure, but for me, I enjoy the mix of green spaces the city has to offer.

During my most recent pilgrimage to Austin, I brought my family to scope out my favorite vantage point of the city: Mount Bonnell.

If you like nature and sunsets, this is a definite must do in Austin.

Covering 5.19 acres, the park offers the best view in town. But to enjoy it, you first have to climb about 100 steps.

The best time to take in the scenery is during the week, as weekends tend to be really crowded and parking is sparse. The free parking during off peak hours is hassle free, and the trail is well maintained and easy to walk. The hike is fairly easy, so people of all ages should be able to walk the stairs to the “summit.”

The rock stairs going up to the lookout point tend to be pretty slippery, so use caution when going up and down.

Also known as Covert Park, it’s located at a prominent point alongside Lake Austin’s portion of the Colorado River. It has been a popular tourist destination since the 1850s. The mount provides a vista for viewing the city of Austin, Lake Austin, the surrounding hill country, the 360 Bridge, and, of course, the sunset.

When you look down, you also get a glimpse of what life is like for the 1 percenters with their fancy houses, complete with boat garages.

Before I make the windy trip up in elevation through suburbia, I make sure to pick up my other Austin staples, Torchy’s Tacos and a P. Terry’s milkshake. Then, I find an outcropping of rock and enjoy the beauty with an impromptu picnic.

There are a couple of stone tables for picnicking, too. So whether you want to enjoy it for 15 minutes to check it off your Austin “To-Do List” or stay awhile, this is a great mini-escape from city life.

Remember to wear some comfortable walking shoes, bring your sunglasses and a camera.

There’s also a killer panoramic picture opportunity of the Austin skyline.

It’s all here, and it’s just a staircase away.

If you go

Mount Bonnell is located at 3800 Mount Bonnell Road in Austin and is about 70 miles away from Killeen.

Contact Vanessa Lynch at vlynch@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7567.

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