Now that school is out, here are 10 staycation ideas in and around Austin this summer

No more teachers, no more books—it's time for summer. Here's a list of places in and around Austin to enjoy the vacation season:

1. Krause Springs


Bring a picnic and swim for the day or campout at this outdoor natural spring. There are covered pavilions, primitive campsites and RV sites with water and electricity hookups. Walk through the butterfly garden or go looking for secret waterfalls created by one of the 32 springs on site. Pets are not allowed. Day-visits cost $5 for children and $8 for adults and overnight camping is $10 for children and $15 for adults. Cash only. Sun.-Sat. 9 a.m.-8 p.m. 404 Krause Spring Road, Spicewood. 830-693-4181. krausesprings.net

2. Zipline over Lake Travis


Boasting the longest zipline in Texas, Lake Travis Zipline Adventures has five ziplines and offers three-hour-long tours. Participants must be 10 years or older and anyone under 18 must have a waiver signed by a parent or guardian. Reservations are required and it costs $118 per person, which includes access to a private beach with swimming, picnic areas and hammocking. Sun.-Sat. 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. 14529 Pocohontas Trail, Leander. 512-614-1996. www.ziplaketravis.com

3. Emma Long Metropolitan Park


Camp out or spend the day on the beachfront at Emma Long park. Picnic tables and day campsites are available all up and down the Colorado River, as well as primitive sites and RV sites with water and electricity hookups. There are hiking and biking trails throughout the park and charcoal grills available for use. Fees are $5 per car Monday through Thursday and $10 per car Friday through Sunday and holidays. Campsite costs range from $10-$25 per day and are in addition to entrance fees. Sun.-Sat. 7 a.m.-10 p.m. 1600 City Park Road, Austin. 512-974-1831. austintexas.gov

4. Tube the San Marcos River


There’s no need to drive all the way to Comal or the Guadalupe for a nice day on the river. Bring your own tube or rent from one of the nearby stores to drift down the crystal clear, 72-degree San Marcos River starting in Sewell Park and ending at the rapids in Rio Vista Park. Lions Club Tube Rental offers shuttle services and has its own river access point. Shuttle tickets are $6 and tube rentals are $12 per tube. Sun.-Sat. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. 601 University Drive, San Marcos

5. Innerspace Caverns


Explore the hidden depths of the earth at Innerspace Caverns in Georgetown. There are tours, gift shops and children’s activities, including mining for gems. They offer hree different tour options ranging in price from $12.95-$100 per person. Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 4200 S. I-35, Georgetown. 512-931-2283. innerspacecavern.com

6. Violet Crown Trail


The Violet Crown Trail is designed to be 30 miles long and constitute the first regional trail system. Currently, two sections have been completed, the first starting in Zilker park and running through the Barton Creek greenbelt to end at the 360 trailhead-about 4 miles total. The second runs from the 360 trailhead underneath Capital of Texas Highway and through Gaines Creek Greenbelt ending on the north side of highway 290. With climbing walls and swimming holes along its length, it is a great way to explore on a summer day. 1336 William Barton Drive, Austin. 512-328-2481. www.violetcrowntrail.com

7. Blue Cat Cafe


Filled with felines and vegan food, the Blue Cat Cafe is the only place in Austin offering the unique experience of dining with cats. Doubling as an adoption agency, the cafe charges an admittance fee for all customers with proceeds funding the shelter. Adoption papers are available on site. Mon.-Thur. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-10 p.m, Sun. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. 95 Navasota St., Austin. 512-766-5003. Bluecatcafe.com

8. The Elephant Room


Spend the evening rediscovering why Austin is the music capital of the world at this classic venue. Featuring live jazz music every night of the week, The Elephant Room is a 21+ full bar and jazz lounge in downtown Austin. There’s free admittance during the week but a small cover on the weekends. Mon.-Fri. 4 p.m.-2 a.m., Sat.-Sun. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. 315 Congress Ave., Austin. 512-473-2279. www.elephantroom.com

9. Zilker Botanical Garden


With 30 acres of flowers, ponds and pathways, Zilker Botanical Garden is a natural gem. Escape the heat in the wooded avenues and be sure to bring a camera, the sights are beautiful. Entrance fees are $1 for children and seniors, $2 for adult Austin residents and $3 for adult non-residents. Fri.-Wed. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Thu. 9 a.m.-8 p.m. 2220 Barton Springs Road, Austin. 512-477-8672. www.zilkergarden.org

10. Austin Ice Cream Festival


Fight the heat with a sweet treat at the 11th Austin Ice Cream Festival, coming August 12 at Fiesta Gardens. The annual event offers samplings of local and national ice creams as well as contests and games. Tickets go on sale June 29. Sun.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. 2101 Jesse E. Segovia St., Austin. 512-974-6797. austinicecreamfestival.com


MOST RECENT

Central Texas Food Bank
Central Texas Food Bank announces distribution sites in March following winter storm

The Central Texas Food Bank is holding food distribution events throughout March for local residents experiencing food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lingering effects from damage caused by Winter Storm Uri.

Courtney Manuel (center), I Live Here I Give Here executive director, and and board chair Kathy Smith-Willman (right) stand with Edward B. Burger, St. David's Foundation executive director, during Amplify Austin Day 2020. (Courtesy Trent Lee Photography)
Here's how to support Central Texas nonprofits during ninth annual Amplify Austin Day on March 4-5

The annual 24-hour giving campaign will begin at 6 p.m. on March 4.

People wait in line to receive a vaccine at an Austin Public Health vaccination site. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas offers COVID-19 vaccinations to school, child care workers

Educators, school staff and child care professionals are qualified to receive coronavirus vaccines effective immediately.

In response to Gov. Greg Abbott's March 2 announcement that Texas' statewide mask mandate and COVID-19-related business restrictions will be lifted as of March 10, the Texas Education Agency released updated public health guidance March 3. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Updated Texas Education Agency guidance allows individual school boards to determine mask policies

"Under this updated guidance, a public school system's current practices on masks may continue unchanged. Local school boards have full authority to determine their local mask policy," the release reads.

H-E-B will continue to require employees to wear face masks until further notice. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
H-E-B to require employees, ask customers to be masked despite upcoming expiration of governor's mandate

H-E-B officials announced their employees and vendors would still be required to be masked while on the job, and customers would be encouraged to wear masks while in stores.

Photo of DSISD headquarters
See the latest school zone options under consideration for Dripping Springs ISD

Adjustments between February and March included making students from The Views at Belterra community eligible to attend Rooster Springs Elementary School.

Snapology is hosting camps in person this summer. (Courtesy Snapology)
2021 Southwest Austin and Dripping Springs summer camp guide: 37 options including virtual and in-person offerings

Our list of camps happening in Austin and Dripping Springs this summer includes options focusing on academics, arts, sports and language.Our list of camps happening in Austin this summer includes options focusing on academics, arts, sports and language.

Photo from inside a movie theater
Alamo Drafthouse files for bankruptcy, closes theaters in downtown Austin and New Braunfels

Most theaters will remain open under an asset purchase agreement to the company's senior lending partners.

Jeanne Cooper (left) and Melissa Greenwell opened C'est Chic in 2009. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Gift shop C'est Chic has been a presence in the Southwest Austin community for more than a decade

C'est Chic owners Melissa Greenwell and Jeanne Cooper met in 1995, when both their children attended Kiker Elementary School, and opened the store in 2009.

Winter Storm Uri ice
Winter storm closures deepen financial woes for Austin’s pandemic-battered restaurant scene

Some restaurants in Austin lost thousands of dollars in lost business due to business closures during Winter Storm Uri.

The 15,000 square-foot building is located on Signal Hill Road. (Nicholas Cicale/Community impact Newspaper)
First look: Upscale wedding venue The Arlo coming to Texas Hill Country

Owners Ron and Lisa McGuire purchased the 9-acre property in 2004. The Arlo opens in March and is booking for the 2021 and 2022 wedding season.

Photo of a SpaceX sign
Elon Musk's SpaceX is coming to Austin

Job postings on the SpaceX website say the company is breaking ground on a "state of the art" manufacturing facility in Ausin.