All these lakes in Austin Tx are the perfect summer getaway to refresh and hide from the scorching heat, but also an excellent place to run from the city noise and pollution.
Austin is the fourth largest city in Texas.
It has museums and buildings that are important to see. But it also has lakes where you can swim, fish, and do other water sports.
The most beautiful lakes in the city of Austin
Austin, the fourth largest city in Texas, is packed with numerous attractions and natural destinations, like lakes and rivers.
The most popular lakes in Austin are Lake Austin, Lady Bird Lake, Mueller Lake, Lake Travis in Austin Texas, and Lake Walter E. Long.
If you don’t mind driving a short distance, then go to the following Austin Texas lakes: Marble Falls, LBJ, Georgetown, Pflugerville, Canyon Lake, Buchanan, Inks Lake.
People all over the country know this city is good for the environment.
The pretty Texas Hill Country, rivers, and lakes also surround it.
If you want to swim or relax in the water, you do not have to drive for a long time.
All these lakes in Austin Texas are famous not only during the hot season but all year round, as you can go hiking on the banks of the lakes and have a totally different view over the city.
I structured this article in two parts:
- The first part talks about the lakes in Austin Texas
- The second part talks about the lakes near Austin
Lakes in Austin Tx
Located right in the city’s heart, Lake Austin is the perfect destination for spending a day on the water without driving a mile.
This reservoir has water from the Lower Colorado River and most of its shoreline is privately owned.
Impressive houses and mansions lie around the lake, so don’t hesitate to take a boat to admire the lake and these beautiful houses.
There are still places where you can enter and go to the shore banks and two public boat ramps that everybody can use.
You can try paddle boarding and jet skiing on Lake Austin and also rent boats from the designated shops.
The most well-known public area anyone can visit is the one near Pennybacker Bridge.
It is a great recreation spot located right under the impressive bridge.
Another beautiful public area is the one near Emma Long Park, and here also you can rent a boat and spend the entire day on the water.
This reservoir is also a popular destination for those who want to party on the water, and many companies offer to rent boats to party the whole day.
Around the reservoir, there are plenty of bike trails and hiking trails, so I am sure this lake will keep you busy the whole day.
Another beautiful lake in Austin Tx is Mueller Lake, the smallest water reservoir in the area, with a total surface of just 6.5 acres.
This lake is different from the rest of the reservoirs in the area as water activities are not allowed there.
You can follow the trails surrounding the lake, admire the beauty and serenity of the area, and reconnect with nature.
You can choose to walk on these trails, go jogging or biking as there is enough space for everybody here.
This area is perfect for a family getaway all year round as you can find a stage, an amphitheater, and a designated area where you can play the whole day.
Lady Bird Lake
You cannot visit Austin without visiting the so famous Lady Bird Lake, a beautiful reservoir located right in the middle of the city.
Actually, you cannot miss it, especially if you plan to explore Austin’s city center.
For a long time, this reservoir was called Town Lake. But it was changed to Lady Bird Lake to show how much we respect Lady Bird Johnson.
She spent a lot of money, time, and energy redesigning the lake.
Now, this reservoir is extremely popular among tourists and locals interested in watersports and outdoor activities.
You can choose to rent a canoe or go paddleboarding on the lake.
If you like to float, then don’t forget your floating tub home, as there are designated areas for floating around.
Around the water, there are many hiking and biking trails and picnic areas where you can have a light lunch if you bring your picnic basket with you.
The trails around the lake have more than 10 miles and pass near the most important landmarks from the area, like Zilker Park, the old railroad bridge, and of course, the Stevie Ray Vaughn statue.
Wildlife lovers are also welcome here, especially between March and October, to watch Mexican free-tailed bats that find their home in the area around the lake.
Lake Walter E. Long
One of the best lakes in Austin Tx for fishing is, without any doubt, Walter E Long, located about 20 minutes drive from Austin city center.
Fishermen, this is heaven for you as the waters are packed with largemouth bass.
On the shore, there are plenty of recreation areas and designated areas for volleyball for those who want to do some physical exercise.
There are lots of places to have a picnic. Get a picnic basket and put food, drinks, and sweets inside.
Don’t forget water so you can stay hydrated while you enjoy the day!
Lake Travis is a beautiful place located about 65 miles from Austin through the Texas Hill Country. It is named after Travis County, where Austin and the lake are located.
The shores of this vast lake host 17 parks and is the best place to go for a nice day in nature with your beloved ones.
Picnic tables are spread across the shores, as well as a boat launch, playgrounds, chess tables, and horseshoe pits.
Water activities like boating, fishing, and water skiing are extremely popular in the area, and because of its incredible size, the reservoir is also used for boat racing and party barges.
You can spend a day, a weekend or even a whole week here and with so many activities around, for sure you won’t get bored.
Restaurants and bars are spread across the shores, so if you plan to have lunch or drink a beer, there are plenty of options.
Of all the 17 parks spread across the shores, my favorite one is Windy Point because of its scenery.
Inside this park are campgrounds with showers and bathrooms, so you can spend your night in nature and have all the necessary amenities.
Windy Point is also known among outdoor adventures as the best starting point for your scuba diving experience.
The canyon system that lies under the waters of Travis Lake is perfect for all levels of divers, and it is considered one of the most interesting underwater environments to explore in the area.
Other parks on Travis Lake shore that should be explored are Pace Bend, Hippie Hollow, and Narrows Recreation Area.
Mansfield Dam Park is another popular park overlooking the lake where you can picnic with your friends, swim in the lake and play on the specially designated playgrounds from the shore.
Lakes near Austin Texas
This lake was built to control the volume of the Colorado River and prevent floods.
A significant part of its shore is privately owned, so I recommend you go to Inks Lake State Park to enjoy a good day near the lake.
The river’s waters are constant all year round and are controlled by the Colorado River Authority.
This is one of the lakes in Austin to swim not just enjoy water sports or outdoor activities on the shore.
There are plenty of hiking trails and campsites inside the park, so you can easily spend at least one day at Ink Lake, one of the most picturesque lakes in Austin Tx.
You can bring your picnic basket with food and drinks from home or buy food and drinks at the store inside the park.
Inside the park are more than 9 miles of hiking trails; there are volleyball courts and a bird blind.
Water activities like paddleboarding, kayaking, and canoeing are allowed on the river, and you can even rent a boat and stay on the water the whole day.
Geocaching is a popular activity in the area; everybody, regardless of age, can participate.
Geocaching is a game where people hide little treasures, and you must use a GPS unit or smartphone to find them.
Once used as a water reservoir to provide drinking water from the community, Pflugerville Lake quickly became the main outdoor attraction for people looking to have fun and spend time in nature.
This 180 acres reservoir is extremely popular among watersport lovers, and sports like kayaking, fishing, canoeing, and water skiing are intensively practiced here more than everywhere else.
There are hiking trails, a fishing pier, and a playground on the shore, but water sports is the main attraction.
Located in Comal County right on Guadalupe River, Canyon Lake is a scenic reservoir from Central Texas ranked as the deepest lake in the area.
This is one of the best lakes in Austin to swim to, and also to practice watersports and recreate far from city noise and pollution.
People like to swim, fish, and ski in these swimming holes in Austin.
For the curious people, we recommend bringing diving gear to discover the hidden underwater world.
The lake surface has around 8,000 acres, so there is plenty of space for everyone and for every kind of activity you would like to try.
The shores of the lake host many parks that offer a long list of amenities and facilities.
Among the most popular parks, you can visit if you plan to be close to Canyon Lake are Cranes Mills Park, Overlook Park, or even Potters Creek Park.
For those of you who like floating down the river, this is the right place to go.
Grab this fantastic floating tub and let the adventure begin, floating down the Guadalupe River, while admiring the beautiful scenery.
There are many restaurants near Canyon Lake. You can also find a museum and golf courses.
Marble Falls Lake
To get to Marble Falls lake in Texas, you must drive about one hour from Austin city center.
This reservoir is one of the most beautiful lakes you can find in Texas Hill County.
This is a good place to visit for the weekend or a short holiday.
You will never be bored because there are plenty of things to do here.
There are lots of fun things to do on the water.
You can try wakeboarding, skiing, or just cruising around.
You will see some beautiful houses along the shore. This is a great way to relax and feel connected with nature.
If you have some extra time, consider visiting Marble Falls town, a cozy town located close to the lake.
On Main Street in Marble Falls, there are some small shops. You can also find homemade fudge at the local chocolate shop.
There are plenty of breweries, wineries, and distilleries in the area, so make sure you book one night in town to taste all these local products.
Nestled in Texas Hill Country, La Quinta by Wyndham Marble Falls is a wonderful 3 stars hotel with a delicious breakfast included in the room rate, conveniently located near Marble Falls.
All the rooms are spacious and clean, with a microwave and a small fridge. The hotel features an outdoor swimming pool with a beautiful waterfall as well as a gym.
Located in Burnet County, about one hour from Austin, Tx, Lake Lyndon B. Johnson is a must-see place when exploring the Austin area.
Stretching from Horseshoe Bay to Kingsland, this 21 miles lake is a great weekend getaway.
Swimming, fishing, jet skiing, and paddleboarding are just some of the activities you can try while in the area.
Crappie, catfish, and white bass are the most popular fishes from the lake, so no wonder why fishermen from all over the county rush here.
The shores of the lake hide many wineries and breweries, while some fabulous restaurants await their guests in a scenic landmark.
When you visit the area, don’t miss the Longhorn Cavern State Park, and be prepared for a cavern tour to discover the hidden underground world from the area.
Located on the San Gabriel River, in the Central Texas town with the same name, Lake Georgetown is a great idea for spending some days in nature.
Its crystal clear waters and abundant wildlife make this lake a popular destination among tourists and locals.
There is nothing more beautiful than waking up in nature.
You can watch the sun rise over the water and listen to the sound of small waves.
This reservoir is perfect for boating, fishing, and swimming, so don’t forget to bring this trendy beach towel and a swimsuit for a refreshing experience.
The lake has many places where you can have a picnic with friends or family. There are also barbecue grills available in some areas.
The hiking trails are perfect if you want to explore the area around the lake.
Popular parks near the lake include Russell Park, Cedar Breaks Park, and Jim Hogg Park.
Each park has picnic areas, restrooms, and campsite facilities.
Buchanan Lake is located on the Colorado River and it was created to hold water and create hydroelectric power.
Many people like to come here to swim, boat, and fish because it is beautiful.
The view of the lake is very pretty and there is enough space for everyone, no matter how many people are there at the same time.
If you like swimming, then you will love Buchanan Lake.
Many people come here during the hot summers to swim and relax.
Activities like fishing and sunbathing are also extremely popular here.
Among the catches you can find here, I would like to name the largemouth bass, catfish, and also striped bass.
Unfortunately, there is an invasive species of mussels in the lake. I am talking about zebra mussels.
These are not harmful to people, but they have a negative impact over local water fauna and flora.
We recommend you clean, dry and drain your boat trailer, live wells and any other gear before going elsewhere.
This will help to prevent spreading them in other bodies of water.
The lake shore has many things to do for fun. You can also find places to sleep near the lake, like hotels.
There are lots of other places you can go swimming besides lakes.
You can have a lot of fun with your friends and family in nature if you visit these places:
- Deep Eddy Pools, the oldest man-made swimming pool in Austin
- McKinney Falls State Park
- Barton Springs Pool
- Hamilton Pool
- Barton Creek Greenbelt
Sleeping close to lakes in Austin Tx
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.
The hotel is one of the best in the city. It has excellent services and great dining. There is even a local brewery that you can visit for a 4-course dinner.
All the lakes in this article are in Austin or less than 1 hour away from Austin.
There are lots of things to do at the lake.
Most lakes have places where you can rent things like boats so you don’t have to bring them from home.
The shores have a lot of beautiful places to see.
There are also places to camp, have picnics, and eat. There are all kinds of different things to do there so you can have a great time.
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
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.