When you’re longing to put your toes in the sand, go for a swim, and let the kids splash & picnic, head over to Emma Long Metropolitan Park for a perfectly lovely play day. Read all about our experience, get the details about this Austin park…

Emma Long Metropolitan Park is a large municipal park on the shores of Lake Austin, and it’s a great place to spend a day with the family. It’s open 7 days a week and includes a long stretch of lake lined with oak and juniper trees, offers boat access, plenty of room for swimming, a small sandy beach area for kids to play, lots of picnic tables and grills, bathrooms, and hiking trails, too.

We arrived early, and we were so glad we did because it quickly began to fill up. Families brought picnics and food for grilling with plans to spend the whole day in the shade of the big trees. (On weekends, you can definitely expect a crowd.)

IMG_2997We had such a great time. Our kids loved sitting on the long docks, watching the boats go by. We enjoyed the small beach area — playing in the sand and splashing in the roped-off shallow waters. We took the kayak out, watched swans swim by, and had a really relaxing day out.

What to know if you go:

  • Open 7 days a week, 365 days a year from 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • The park entrance fee is $5 on Monday – Thursday and $10 on Fridays – Sundays and holidays. NO CASH is accepted, so be sure to bring a credit card with you.
  • The park is dog-friendly, as long as the pups stay on their leash and are kept out of the swimming area.
  • As with any parks, look out for fire ants and burrs. Wearing flip flops or water shoes is a great idea.
  • If you choose to kayak, take note that the boats down the lake make for some bumpy waters. If you’re looking for a smooth, easy kayak spot for the kids, you might do better downtown at Lady Bird Lake.
  • Emma Long is a popular spot for camping. Click here for info about camping fees and reservations.

Emma Long park is located at 1706 City Park Road. For more information about the park, you can visit the City of Austin website or call 512-346-1831.

Austin History – Who Was Emma Long?
For years, this park was simply named City Park. In 1984, the Austin City Council renamed the park after Emma Long, a former Austin City Council Member. Long was the first woman to serve on the council of a large city in Texas. She also served as the first woman Mayor Pro Tem from 1967-1969.

Have a great time!