Austin Texas beaches are one of the area’s most popular and beloved attractions, perfect for those looking to relax on a white sand shore near turquoise waters that remind you of exotic places.
During the warmer months of the year, hundreds of people go to the pools, waterfalls, and rivers near Austin, Texas to cool off and have fun with their friends and families.
Beaches are not just found near oceans and seas, but also on the mainland near forests and limestone.
Many beaches near Austin Texas can be found inland near rivers, water reservoirs, and lakes, in surprising places where you least expect them.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money travelling to far away places to relax and get a tan.
We carefully chose the most spectacular Austin beaches in Texas so that you can easily pick the one you like most and spend a memorable day near the water.
The best Austin Texas beaches for you
1. Barton Springs Pool
There is no better place to go if you are looking for beaches near Austin Tx than Barton Springs Pool, located in the city center.
Native American tribes considered this place to be sacred.
During purification rituals, they would use the waters here to cleanse their bodies and souls.
Today, the swimming hole is full of tourists and locals. It is one of the best swimming holes in Texas. The water is 18 feet deep at the most.
This is the perfect place to go if you want to get a tan, cool off in the spring waters, and have a picnic with your family or friends in the picnic areas.
The water in this pool comes from a natural spring.
The temperature of the water is always between 67 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Barton Springs Pool is now part of Zilker Park. This park has a lot of things to do outside.
If you want to go to the pool, plan to spend some extra time in the park so you can explore everything it has to offer.
Entrance fee at Barton Springs Pool
To swim in this swimming hole, adults have to pay $9 for a day pass.
Kids between 12 and 17 years old will only have to pay $5.
Visitors who are younger than 4 years old only have to pay $4 for a day pass.
It is a good idea to book your visit in advance because the park gets very crowded during hot summer days.
Austin: Kayaking Tour through Downtown to Barton Springs is a different way to get to Barton Springs from Austin Downtown.
You will meet your guide in downtown Austin. They will help you get comfortable with your kayak, paddle, and life vest. Then you will start your kayaking adventure!
From the water, you will see the Congress Avenue Bridge.
You will then enter the waters of Lady Bird Lake and kayak down to Barton Springs.
The tour lasts about 2 hours and offers a new way to discover Austin and Barton Springs.
For more details about Barton Springs, please read the full article.
2. Bob Wentz Park
Located on Lake Travis, Bob Wentz Park is known among beach lovers for its sandy peninsula called “The Point”.
The park is a 30-minute drive from downtown Austin, making it the perfect place to go for the weekend if you want to relax and cool off.
If you love water sports, this is the perfect place for you.
The lake is very pretty and it is great for windsurfing and sailing.
Its crystal clear waters with good visibility are perfect for scuba diving, The Point being one of the very few places in Texas where scuba diving can be practiced.
Head to one of the most vibrant Austin Texas beaches for some action, relaxation, and fun!
Around the beach, you can find barbeque grills, a pavilion with running water, picnic tables, and electrical outlets.
The water is very clear and you can see well underwater.
This makes it a good place to go scuba diving. The Point is one of the only places in Texas where people can go scuba diving.
The fee is 5 USD per person for adults, while kids under 12 can enter free of charge!
Bear in mind that during weekends the place gets really crowded so book in advance or go there early in the morning when the parks open.
Sandy Creek Park is a beautiful park that is perfect for walks in nature, fishing, swimming, bird watching and camping.
It is a few steps away from this beach on the shore of Lake Travis.
After a few hours on the beach, a relaxing walk inside Sandy Creek Park is quite advisable.
3. Secret Beach
This place is called “hidden” because it is not easy to find. Some of you might have trouble finding it on Google maps.
If you want to build sand castles, collect shells or make rock towers, this is the right place to go. Kids will be busy the whole day.
This beach is in Roy Guerrero Park. It is a good place to relax, party, and play.
From Austin Downtown, there is only 15 minutes drive to the beach, followed by a 10-minute walk on a marked trail that starts from the parking lot.
The beach is surrounded by trees and provides access to the shallow waters of the Colorado River.
Swimming is not allowed on the Colorado River, so I think you have to know that before you go.
You might find dogs that are not on a leash, so watch your kids if they are afraid of dogs.
The park is free to enter, but you’ll have to walk back to the parking lot if you need to use the restroom.
The place is quite exposed to the sun so make sure you bring suncream and an umbrella to protect yourself from the hot sun.
And, of course, a lot of sand toys for your kids because there is nothing more interesting and fun than to build sand castles together!
If you want to find out more information about Secret Beach please read our article “Your complete guide for Secret Beach in Austin Texas”.
4. Russell Park Beach
Located about 50 minutes drive from Austin Downtown, Russel Park Beach from the western shore of Lake Georgetown is one of the best Austin Texas Beaches.
The park is popular among tourists and locals for its wide range of outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and camping.
Depending on what you like to do, you can go sunbathing or fishing in these waters. Smallmouth bass, white bass, and flathead catfish are all fish that you might be able to catch.
The pebble beach is large and has clean water with low currents, which is perfect for swimming.
Paddleboarding and kayaking are also available in the area if you want to combine some physical effort with relaxation.
Russell Park is quiet during the week, so from Monday to Friday is a good time to explore it, but it gets quite crowded during the weekends when everybody rushes to cool off and have fun.
Overnight camping is possible in the area but don’t expect to 5-star accommodation; some primitive campsites are available inside the park.
Bring with you bedding or sleeping beds are you might need them if you want to spend the night in the area.
There are restrooms and showers inside the park; you don’t have to pay if you want to use them.
Russell Park is open all year long, and you don’t have to pay to get in. But there is a $5 fee for each car that comes in, per day.
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5. Emma Long Park Beach
Undoubtedly, one of the most famous beaches in Austin Texas is located in Emma Long Park, formerly known as City Park.
Many people who live nearby come here to relax and have fun together. They might come on weekends or for special celebrations.
The park is next to Lake Austin and has really pretty views of the area and the city of Austin.
The park is a 25-minute drive from downtown Austin. It has lots of facilities that many locals like.
Walk your feet on the sand, take your kids and build sand castles or go for a dive in the shallow waters of the area for a memorable weekend.
You can spend the day in nature by renting a canoe or kayak from the kiosk near the water.
When you’re ready for a break from the sun and water, put on your hiking boots and follow one of the hiking trails.
You can rent a bike to ride on the trails in the park. You can also bring a sleeping bag and stay overnight in the park.
Premium campsites inside the park, but the affordable prices quickly fill the campsite.
To enter Emma Long Park, you must pay $5 per car on weekdays (Monday to Thursday). On holidays and weekends, you need to pay $10 per car.
6. Lake Pflugerville Beach
One of the most beautiful beaches near Austin Texas is on Lake Pflugerville, about 30 minutes drive from Austin.
This man-made reservoir has a sandy beach and lots of hiking trails. It’s perfect for a family getaway where you can hike, swim and go fishing.
The reservoir was originally built to provide drinking water for the people who lived nearby.
But now it has become a popular place for people to visit and swim. People also come here to tan.
The pebble beach and the roped-off swimming area are the main attractions, accessible for young and adults.
The playground is a fun place for little kids to play. And the whole family can have lunch together in the picnic pavilion.
Water sports lovers are also welcomed here as you can go kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing and paddleboarding on the reservoir waters.
You can bring your own equipment or rent it directly from the cabana near the reservoir.
The good news is that you don’t have to pay to get in, and lots of people come here to spend time near the water.
Because the beach is not sandy, bring some water shoes to protect your feet when entering the water.
7. Pedernales Falls Beach
The Pedernales Falls Beach is a popular beach near Austin, Texas. I
t takes about 50 minutes to drive there from downtown. People like to go there to do outdoor activities and swim.
The state park has 5,215 acres. You can go hiking, biking, camping, and swimming there.
The beach is rocky, so don’t expect to build sand castles here, but it is a great place to relax and perfect your tan.
The waters of Pedernales River are perfect for swimming, floating on a giant tube, or simply cooling off.
The shores have rocks and the water has carved out bays and pockets over the years.
These are places where the little ones can splash and have fun without being in danger from the river currents.
When you get tired of swimming, rent a kayak or a canoe and admire the limestone cliffs from the water, as you will have a different view of the place.
If you have some extra time, take your hiking boots and try an easy, 30-minute hike to the Twin Falls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the area.
You will get deeper into the woodlands, following the trails hidden between the trees, and get to a secluded grotto where 2 smaller waterfalls form a small pool.
Entering Pedernales Falls Beach is not free of charge; you will have to pay 6 USD per person for adults, while kids under 12 years old enter for free.
Please read the full article here for more details about Pedernales Falls.
8. Hamilton Pool Preserve
This exotic destination located in the heart of the state of Texas is one of the most incredible attractions in the state.
Hamilton Pool Preserve is breathtaking, with turquoise waters covered by limestone, reminding me about the Mexican cenotes and exotic destinations.
This stunning water hole surrounded by lush vegetation can be reached after a 40-minute drive from Austin city center, being the perfect location for a day trip.
Leave your car in the parking place at the park entrance and then prepare for a short hike to the falls.
Get some comfy footwear, not flip-flops, as there are a few rocky sections, and it will be easier to hike with comfy shoes.
After this short hike, you will be transposed into a completely new world, an exotic world where the centerpiece is the 50-foot waterfall that plunges into a beautiful pool from the limestone cliffs.
There is also a small pebble beach where you can lay down your towel and enjoy the Texan sun on a summer day.
Hamilton Pool Preserve is not just about swimming and sunbathing, the place is also an excellent location for hiking.
Entrance fee and tours
We strongly encourage you to take a guided tour to explore the area and learn new things about its history, geology, and native wildlife.
Such an exotic place like this cannot go unnoticed for a long time, so people rush here to admire the view and spend quality time with their beloved ones.
If you want to secure your seat on the rocky shores, make a reservation a few weeks before.
The entrance to the park costs 12 USD per vehicle, and the fee must be paid in advance; there is also an 8 USD per person to be paid on arrival.
For kids under 12, the entrance is free of charge.
Please read the full article here for more details about Hamilton Pool Preserve.
9. West Lake Beach
This family-friendly beach definitely worth every dollar paid as an entrance fee because of its magical views and excellent facilities around the area.
You will find here a large area dedicated to picnics, a roped-off swimming zone right in the beautiful waters of Lake Austin.
There is no lifeguard here, so you swim at your own risk, but with a lifevest, even the beginners can try the lake’s waters.
Besides the water activities available in the area, you can also find a volleyball court close to the swimming area and a volleyball net put into the water.
The beach is extremely beautiful and popular among locals who like to celebrate special events here.
So that is why we recommend you call before going to ensure that the beach is not reserved for any private event or special party.
You can go fishing here if you bring your own fishing poles and a horseshoe pit, but bring your stakes and horseshoes as you cannot rent them from here.
The entrance fee to this privately owned park is 8 USD per adult and 5 USD for children under 11 years old.
10. McKinney Falls State Park
One of the most accessible Austin Texas beaches, located about 15 minutes from downtown, is McKinney Falls State Park.
It is a beautiful place to go if you want to cool off on a hot summer day, swim in a waterfall pool, and perfect your tan.
The pool, with its deep and shallow waters, is perfect for everybody, and there is even a place deep enough where you can jump from the cliffs.
The park offers a wide list of outdoor activities, including biking, hiking, and camping and many tourists and locals consider it the best state park near Austin.
On your expeditions inside the park, always keep an eye on wildlife as armadillos, deer, and an impressive number of colorful birds call this park their home.
Take the camera with you and take a shot of the “Old Baby”, a 500 years old cypress tree located on the Texas public land.
Multiple beaches can be found inside McKinney Falls State park, most covered with soft pebbles and located right on the river bank.
To enter the park, you need to pay an entrance fee for adults, as kids under 12 years can enter for free.
11. Milton Reimers Ranch Park
Located on the banks of Pedernales River, about 40 minutes from Austin downtown, Milton Reimers Ranch Park is the place where the wilderness meets the crystal waters.
The beach along the river is about 3 or 4 miles long and has deep and shallow sections, perfect for everybody.
The nicest beach in the area starts at Milton Reimers Ranch Park and is famous for its water activities and outdoor adventures like rock climbing and mountain biking.
In this area, you will find one of the best hiking trails in the state, so get your hiking boots and book some time to explore the area.
You can hike and explore the Central Texas landscape of roaring rivers, limestone cliffs, and incredible Hill Country scenery.
You can even see the stars and the galaxy from the astronomical observatory located inside the park, you need a prior reservation.
There is an entrance fee to the park in the amount of 5 USD per adult, while kids 12 and under can enter free of charge.
You can bring your furry friends with you as long as they are kept on a leash.
What to pack for a day on the beaches close to Austin Texas
Most of these beaches don’t have shops located close to the beach, so if you forget something home, you don’t have a shop at your hand to buy what you forgot to take.
That is why I prepared this packing list of your day at Austin beach:
- A cooler with cold drinks
- Sunscreen to protect your skin
- A hat
- Life jackets for everybody
- Beach toys
- Beach towel
- A change of clothes
- A big trash bag
- A beach umbrella
- Beach chairs
- The wallet and your pass
Where to stay to be close to Austin Texas beaches
Finding the best hotel close to these beaches near Austin Texas might prove difficult, but we are here to help you.
We carefully handpicked for you 3 of the best hotels in the area, conveniently located close to these beaches with an excellent price-quality ratio.
1. Courtyard by Marriott Austin Pflugerville, a wonderful 3-star hotel with an outdoor swimming pool, a bar, and a fitness center. The rooms are spacious and clean and feature TV, bed linens, and towels. A continental breakfast is available at the property for an extra fee.
2. Hotel Granduca Austin is a 5-star hotel located about 4.4 miles from Barton Springs Pool, featuring a spa center, a restaurant, and a bar. Each room or suite has TV, a private bathroom with bathrobes, complimentary toiletries, and slippers, while some rooms come with extra space and a seating area.
3. The Driskill, in The Unbound Collection by Hyatt is a 5-star luxury hotel with exceptional services in the city center of Austin that combines old-world charm with 21st-century luxury. It is one of the best hotels in the city with top-notch services, and incredible dining that even offers a local brewery paired with a 4-course dinner.
The good news is that you don’t have to travel to exotic countries to find amazing beaches and exotic sceneries, as the Texas landscape fascinates you after every corner.
All these Austin Texas beaches are conveniently located within a short drive from Austin downtown and are perfect for a day trip.
The places might get crowded during weekends, so we strongly recommend you book your entrance in advance or if this is not possible, make sure you arrive here early in the morning to choose the piece of sand with the most stunning view.
Does Austin Texas have a beach?
Yes, of course, it has, and Austin beaches are among the most popular attractions in the area during the summer season. Some are located inside the city; for other beaches near Austin Texas, you must drive a little.
How far is Austin Texas from a beach?
There are beaches located a few miles from the town around reservoirs, water holes, and waterfalls. If you want to go to a beach near the ocean, Austin is located about 200 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, where there are plenty of spots to perfect your tan.
What is the closest ocean beach to Austin Texas?
The closest ocean beach to Austin Texas is located in Galveston, about 200 miles southeast of downtown, in the Gulf of Mexico.
Logistical tips and tricks for your trip
Book your accommodation
We always use Booking.com as they have the best price-quality ratio and they offer a wide range of hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and villas to choose from.
You will find here all types of accommodations, from the cheapest ones to the most luxurious.
Don't forget travel insurance
We never leave home without HeyMondo Insurance or Safety Wings Insurance as they offer the best services and a good value for money, plus COVID coverage.
Travel insurance will always protect you against unexpected events and cost like illness, COVID, injury, theft, or travel cancellation.
We never go on any trip without travel insurance and there were many cases when we had to use it.
Renting a car
We like to explore a country on our own and a car gives us the mobility and freedom to do that.
We always rent our car from Discovercars as they have free cancellation 48 hours prior to starting date and a wide range of car rental companies and options to choose from all over the world.
Tours and attractions
When we are looking for some adventure or we simply want to break up the monotony and discover new places, we always use GetYourGuide.
We love it because we always find the most amazing experiences, with free cancellation and a large variety of activities and tours to choose from.
Airplane tickets and holiday packages
Expedia is our ally when searching for the best price for airplane tickets as it works as an aggregator for a huge number of airlines and we always find the best price for our flights.
Travel tip: use Expedia when you are searching for holiday packages as they have many last-minute offers and great discounts for hotels, flights, and even the whole holiday packages.