When visiting Austin, Texas, you will find that there are plenty of things to see and do during your visit. There are attractions and activities to suit everyone, and you can enjoy a new experience every day. One popular attraction in this city is Mayfield Park, which was formerly known as the Mayfield-Gutsch Estate. The park is located on 36th Street, Austin, and is adjacent to the Austin Museum of Art. The owners of the house and grounds left the property to the City of Austin for use as a public park when they died. Since 1994, Mayfield Park has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Here are 10 reasons that you should visit Mayfield Park while you are in Austin.
1. Visit the Historic Cottage
The main feature of the park is the historic cottage. The cottage was built in the 1870s, and there is an ongoing community project to restore this historic building. It was bought by Allison Mayfield, the former Texas Secretary of State, back in 1909. The house passed to Allison’s daughter in 1922. She was married to professor Milton Gutsch of the University of Texas, hence the original name of the park. While they lived in the cottage, they extended it extensively. People visiting Mayfield Park can visit the cottage and learn more about its history. If you want to learn about the history of the park, there is also a sign explaining its history at the park’s entrance.
2. Admire the Cottage Gardens
There are two acres of cottage gardens to enjoy on your visit to Mayfield Park. These boast an array of beautiful flowers and an ever-changing landscape that differs depending on the season of your visit. The botanical gardens also feature pretty waterlily ponds. You can fill a morning or an afternoon simply wandering around the gardens enjoying the sights and the aromas.
3. See the Beautiful Peacocks
Mayfield Park is home to many peacocks, which many people consider some of the most beautiful birds in the world. In fact, the park is now famous for its peacocks, and they feature on the marketing and promotional materials for the park. The peacocks strut proudly and magnificently around the grounds amongst the visitors. However, visitors are asked not to feed the peacocks during their visit to the park.
4. Enjoy the Outdoors
If you prefer spending time outdoors than visiting indoor attractions, then this is the venue for you. It is a fantastic place to admire your beautiful surroundings. The setting ranges from landscaped lawns to wildflowers, and then from wooded areas to open spaces. It is a great way to get some fresh air and enjoy a natural environment within urban surroundings. Therefore, there is plenty to admire about this outdoor setting.
5. Walk the Trails
The area surrounding the park is the Mayfield Preserve, and this is a great space to explore as it covers 21 acres of natural habitat. There are multiple trails to enjoy, each of which has something different to offer. The trails are not too challenging or long, so they are easily accessible to most people, including children. You should have enough time during your visit to walk several of the trails if you wish, and this will allow you to see different areas of the preserve. This is the ideal activity for those who prefer to do something active on a day out.
6. Go Wildlife Spotting
Mayfield Preserve is also home to many species of wildlife, so it is a fantastic place to visit if you are a nature lover and you enjoy watching wildlife in their natural habitat. Similarly, there are many excellent spots for birdwatching around both the park and the preserve. If you are a fan of birdwatching and wildlife spotting, you should bring along your binoculars.
7. Take Along a Picnic
If you want to make the most of your visit to Mayfield Park and spend a full day there, then you should bring along a picnic. This will keep the cost of your day out to a minimum and means that you do not need to leave the park to grab a bite to eat. There are plenty of benches around the park where you can sit down to eat your picnic, admire the setting, and people watch for a while. Alternatively, take along a picnic blanket and find yourself a quiet spot where you can enjoy your lunch.
8. A Free Activity
Another reason you should consider visiting Mayfield Park is that it is completely free for the public to visit. Therefore, it is a good choice of activity to add to your itinerary if you have only a limited budget and need to fill your time in the area with free or cheap activities. There is enough to see and do at this attraction for you to spend the full day there with no costs other than travel.
9. Enjoy an Outdoor Event
Mayfield Park hosts many outdoor events throughout the year, such as concerts and plays. Most of these take place during the warmer months. Prior to visiting the area, you should check out the events schedule at Mayfield Park. If you are lucky, they will be hosting an event at the time of your visit. It is also worth noting that it is possible to hire various parts of Mayfield Park for private events, such as a wedding.
10. Relax in a Peaceful Environment
One reason why this venue attracts both tourists and locals is that it is a peaceful and relaxing environment. If you are finding the hustle and bustle of the urban areas of Austin stressful, then this is somewhere that you can visit that is quiet and calm. It takes you away from the stresses and strains of daily life and allows you to relax in pretty surroundings.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn