Austin is known as the Live Music Capital of the World. But it’s also come to be known as the least affordable city in Texas. Thankfully, I found a way to take in some of that live music magic and squeeze in some exploring time for really cheap!
When the pandemic started and events started getting cancelled, the ones I missed the most were concerts. My husband and I have an agreement that I get to go to all the concerts I want to go to if he gets to go to all the hunting trips he wants to go on. It’s a deal that works well in our relationship. But as 2020 rolled on into 2021 and we approached the year mark since my last show, I started to really miss live music. I decided that if the Austin City Limits Music Festival took place in 2021, I was going to be there.
As soon as it was confirmed that ACL was happening, I started trying to figure out where we would stay so I could have that lined out as soon as tickets went on sale. Since I wanted to get tickets for a full weekend, which weren’t going to be cheap, I knew I needed to find ways to save money on the trip to Austin. Luckily there’s a fantastic state park only 25 minutes from Zilker Park, where ACL takes place. Camping and music festivals go hand in hand, right? And since we’re RV owners, it seemed to make the most sense for our pocket books.
MCKINNEY FALLS STATE PARK
Known for its swimming holes and easy hiking trails, McKinney Falls State Park is just outside of Austin. Only 13 miles from the state capitol building near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. This park has 81 campsites with water and electric hookups that accommodate tent or RV camping. The price per night for campsites are $20 to $24. For $86 per night you can rent one of 6 limited use cabins.
Inside the park you will find several miles of easy to moderate hiking and biking trails that are perfect for any skill level. It wasn’t hard to squeeze in some time for a little exploring here. The Onion Creek Hike and Bike Trail is an easy 2.8 mile loop with a nice even walking surface. We didn’t head to Zilker Park for ACL until after 2pm each day, so that gave us all morning to take it slow and enjoy the park.
McKinney Falls State Park holds a spot on the Tribe’s Favorite Swimming Holes. And if it would have been warmer the weekend we were there we would have definitely made time for a quick dip in one of the park’s two natural pools. Instead we just sat and rested a little after our hike while we enjoyed the sound of the small waterfalls that give this park its name.