The Austin Metro area gives first-time visitors a striking impression with its rolling hills lush greenery and no tumbleweeds in sight. That natural beauty is yet another reason for the city’s appeal – and it has nurtured an active outdoor lifestyle for residents with plenty of beautiful places to swim jog cycle boat play golf and much more.

The city’s natural surroundings invite residents to take part in a vast range of outdoor lifestyle and sports activities – and they certainly do thanks to about 300 days of sunshine per year normal average daily temperatures of about 65 degrees (and about 95 degrees in the hottest months of July and August) and an average annual rainfall of 33.78 inches. Of course there’s a saying in Texas that if you don’t like the weather just wait a minute. It might be hot one day and freezing the next but it’s just a part of the charming dichotomy that residents have learned to love – or at least tolerate.

Love parks? Well you’ve come to the right place. Austin Texas is truly “a city within a park” with more than 15,000 acres of parkland that include more than 220 parks and 24 greenbelts plus a number of nearby state parks. The city itself has more than 32 miles of inner city trails including the 10-mile hike & bike trail around Lady Bird Lake which is busy with walkers runners and cyclists nearly every hour of every day.

Like to swim? There are 47 public pools throughout the city that keep residents “in the swim” while Lake Austin on the west side of town and nearby Lake Travis offer even more aquatic activities to add to the outdoor lifestyle. Don’t miss Austin’s jewel – Barton Springs a natural spring that stays a refreshingly cool 68 degrees year-round. Hamilton Pool is another favorite as are Deep Eddy and other local swimming holes.

As the home to golf legends such as Ben Crenshaw Tom Kite and the late Harvey Penick it’s not surprising that golf is big here too. Avid golfers will feel right at home in Austin with its six municipal courses and a host of private links and country clubs including a number of world-class courses designed by Arnold Palmer Jack Nicklaus and others. Central Texas has also been the host to several tournaments on the PGA Champions Tour including the 2012 AT&T Championship in San Antonio in October.

Prefer spectator sports? The area is home to several professional sports clubs including Round Rock Express Triple-A baseball; Austin Toros basketball– an NBA Development League (D-League) team;  and the Texas Stars minor league hockey team. 2012 also marks the first year that Austin will be the host to exciting Formula One racing at the brand-new Circuit Of The Americas track and racing facility located in southeast Austin near Austin Bergstrom International Airport. Austin will be the new home for multiple racing events including an agreement to host the prestigious Formula 1 United States Grand Prix from 2012 through 2021.

Of course there’s no question that the University of Texas Longhorns are high on the list of most popular sports events here and there’s also a host of top NCAA college athletic events throughout the school year including UT’s football team baseball team basketball team and men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball teams.