Lakes in Dallas are famous all across the state of Texas for their picturesque sceneries and the plethora of water activities they offer.
Many different types of fish, reptiles, and small animals live in these lakes. There is also a lot of plant life around the lakes.
If you want to go fishing or do water sports, these Dallas Texas lakes have everything you need.
There are usually hiking trails around the lake, so remember to bring your hiking shoes. You should explore the area when you visit.
There are more than 60 lakes and reservoirs around Dallas, so it might be hard to pick which one would be the best to visit for a weekend.
Don’t worry because we found the best lakes near Dallas for you. Spend a great day at one of these lakes.
The best lakes in Dallas Texas
1. Grapevine Lake
Considered by many the best lake in Dallas Tx, Grapevine Lake is located about 20 miles northwest of the city of Dallas, close to DFW International Airport.
The lake is called Grapevine because it is next to the city with the same name.
It provides water for the cities of Dallas and Grapevine. The lake is also used to help control floods.
Grapevine Lake, one of the most beautiful lakes in north Texas is extremely popular among tourists and locals thanks to the diversity of water sports that can be practiced in the area.
If you want to make some waves, you can try jet skis, fishing rigs, pontoon boats, and powerboats. Or if you want a quieter way to explore the lake and enjoy nature, try paddle boarding or kayaking.
There are many parks along the 100 kilometers of shore. They have everything you need to spend a night in nature, like restrooms and picnic tables.
You can spend the night in a tent, or reserve a cabin for yourself and your family. If you have an RV, you can also spend the night in that. There are specific areas for all of these options.
The most popular tent camping area is Meadowmere Park, located on the south-central shore.
There are also hiking trails that allow you to explore the area on your own, all the trails being marked and not very difficult.
North Shore Trail is the best choice if you can only go on one trail. Many people think it is the most spectacular route for hiking or biking. It is 9.6 miles long.
Sleeping close to Grapevine Lake
Tru By Hilton Coppell DFW Airport North is located about 6 km away from the lake and within a short drive from DFW airport.
The hotel features an outdoor pool, a shared lounge, a fitness center, and a storage space for your luggage.
The rooms are big and clean, and each room has a refrigerator. You get breakfast for free with your room, and it will be served in the designated area.
2. Joe Pool Lake
Located in the southwestern part of Dallas in the city called Cedar Hill, Joe Pool Lake is a man-made lake park from Dallas/Fort Worth inside Cedar Hill State Park.
The lake has a total surface of 3,150 hectares. It was named after Congressman Joe Poll who helped raise money to build the lake.
The lake is popular with not only the local citizens but also the residents of Dallas and tourists from all over Texas.
There are 6 parks next to the lake. You can go camping, swimming, and play games in each park.
There are also picnic areas, so a picnic basket with a light meal and some drinks is always welcome, and a ball to play some volleyball on the courts available in the recreation area.
There are also some places across the park where you can buy things. So if you forget something at home, you might be able to find it for sale here.
If you want to rent a boat, sailing boat, or fishing docks, go to The Lynn Creek Marina. It is on the north side of the lake.
Sleeping close to Joe Pool Lake
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Cedar Hill, an IHG Hotel is our top pick for the area because of its location and great price-quality ratio.
The hotel has rooms that are clean and spacious. There is an indoor pool, a fitness room, and a hot tub. You can also get breakfast for free in the lobby.
3. Lake Arlington
There are no better lakes in Dallas TX to catch a fantastic sunset than Lake Arlington, located in the western part of Dallas.
This place is huge! It has 785 hectares of land for you to explore. There are also beautiful sights to see and lots of fun things to do outdoors by the water.
The most popular sport at the lake is paddle boarding. The most popular trail runs from Bowman Springs Park to Richard Simpson Park.
This is a good place for fishermen as bass fishing is very popular here. The Arlington Bass Classic is held here every April.
The fisherman or the team that manages to catch the largest fish goes home with some money.
There are many picnic areas, playgrounds, and walking trails near the lake. If you get tired of fishing or boating, you can explore the area around the lake.
Sleeping close to Lake Arlington
Live! by Loews – Arlington, TX is exactly what you are looking for for your overnight stay.
The hotel features an outdoor pool open during the warm season, a bar, a fitness center, and a restaurant.
The rooms are spacious, perfect for families with kids, and come with a terrace from where you can enjoy the view.
4. Lake Ray Hubbard
Previously known as Forney Lake, Lake Ray Hubbard is one of the largest lakes in the north part of Texas, with a total surface of 22,000 acres.
This lake was made by people and is located on the East Fork of the Trinity River. It is perfect for water skiing, boating, fishing, and relaxing.
There are many restaurants and shops located near the lake where you can buy souvenirs.
The lake is home to 6 parks, 4 boat ramps, three marinas, and an abundance of fauna, flora, and fishes.
You can rent equipment for different water activities like kayaking, boating, canoeing, and stand-up paddling. You can also go on a fishing guided tour led by someone who knows where the best fishing spots are.
John Paul Jones Park and Windsurf Bay Park are the most popular places near the lake. They are located on Interstate 30 and they are easy to get to from Dallas.
Also, on Interstate 30, two other exits lead you to The Harbor Bay Marina and Dalrock Road.
Near the marina is a shopping area called The Harbor Rockwall. It has lots of shops and places to eat. And there are areas where you can walk around and talk with your friends.
Sleeping close to Lake Ray Hubbard
Hilton Dallas/Rockwall Lakefront Hotel is located right in the Harbor District of Lake Ray Hubbard, the pedestrian area located within a short walk from the lake.
The hotel has spacious and clean rooms, beautiful views, modern amenities, and a fantastic restaurant.
The shops and restaurants at the Harbor District are a short walk from the hotel. It is a good idea to plan to spend some time shopping and dining in Marina area.
One thing that really helps me whenever I plan my next travel is - to stay focused and organised! Check out this gorgeous Vacation Planner printable - with pre-trip to-do lists + accommodation and flight research + activities and car-rental + packing lists (empty and even pre-filled) to make sure you don't forget anything when you travel
(THIS POST PROBABLY CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. OUR FULL DISCLOSURE POLICY IS REALLY BORING, BUT YOU CAN FIND IT HERE: DISCLOSURE POLICY)
Related: Trip research planner (a lighter version of the Vacation Planner)
5. Lake Tawakoni- West Tawakoni
Located about 70 kilometers east of Dallas, Lake Tawakoni, located in the city with the same name, is used for both recreation and water supply.
The lake is big. It has 15,330 hectares. The Tawakoni Native American people named it a long time ago.
Its 325 kilometers of shore are packed with places where you can swim, camp overnight, and take a picnic.
There are restaurants on the shore where you can eat, and you will also find shops and accommodation.
You can rent equipment to do water sports at the marinas next to the lake. This includes things like water skiing, jet skiing, canoeing, and kayaking.
The animals and plants around the lake are also very beautiful. There are a lot of hiking trails nearby that go into nature.
Along the most popular animals that you will see here I would like to mention raccoons, deer, snakes, and rabbits.
In some parts of the lake, there are American Alligators. Only swim in places where it is safe. These places are located all across the lake.
The amphitheater is a big place located inside the park. You can have events for up to 100 people there, like weddings.
Sleeping close to Lake Tawakoni
Comfort Suites Greenville is the best place to spend your night when exploring Tawakoni lake.
The rooms are clean and spacious, and all come equipped with a refrigerator, a coffee maker, and a microwave.
On site, you will find a jacuzzi and a fitness center, and in the room rate, you have breakfast included.
6. Bachman Lake- Northwest Dallas
Bachman Lake is an artificial lake located in the northwestern part of Dallas, right next to Dallas Love Field Airport.
The main purpose of building this lake was to supply water to the city. Today, it is also a place where people can come to have fun and relax.
The lake is not very large. It is only 84 hectares. There is a park with the same name that has a lot of things to do like hiking, biking, swimming indoors, and eating outdoors.
There are benches in some places where you can sit and enjoy the view. You can see the pretty scenery and the planes taking off and landing at the airport nearby.
I want to mention kayaking, canoeing, and sailing among the most popular water activities you can do in the area.
Fishing is a popular activity at the lake; there are always bass and catfish ready to be caught. You’re guaranteed to have a great catch to take home with you.
The most popular lake area is Bachman Recreation Center.
It is located on the northwestern shore of the lake. The recreation center has playgrounds, trails, and a picnic area. Don’t forget to bring your picnic blanket and a basket packed with snacks and drinks.
Sleeping close to Bachman Lake
Embassy Suites by Hilton Dallas-Love Field is one of the fanciest and most beautiful hotels in the area.
The hotel features 2 room suites with microwaves and refrigerators, a large pool in the common areas, and a fitness center.
The hotel where you are staying offers a breakfast that is cooked fresh each day. It is included in the price of your room, so you don’t have to go out to eat.
7. Cedar Creek Reservoir
This is one of the lakes in Dallas that spans over two counties and has a total surface area of almost 3,000 hectares.
Actually, the lake is located about 80-kilometer northeast of Dallas, within a short distance from Dallas downtown and the airport.
The easiest way to reach the Dallas area by car. If you plan to fly to Dallas, it is best to rent a car so that you can explore the area.
Get the best price for your car rental today
The reservoir is a place where people go to have fun and relax on the weekends. It is especially popular with locals who enjoy spending time outdoors.
This is the 4th largest lake from Texas, so there are plenty of things to do around!
Fishing is extremely popular in the area, and the lake is populated with channel catfish, hybrid striped bass, blue catfish, white bass, flathead catfish, crappie, and largemouth bass.
The area of the lake where people fish the most is in the east. The best time to fish is in spring and summer.
The Texas parks and wildlife department manages the lake because there are a lot of fish and other animals around. So it is very important to be careful and respectful of nature when we are here.
Cedar Creek Lake is famous for its plants, animals, and other wildlife. Many people come here on weekends to relax and get away from city pollution.
Sleeping close to Cedar Creek Reservoir
What could be more beautiful than renting a whole house with access to the lake, stunning views of the area, and enough space for your large family?
Star Harbor Lake House with Dock, Deck and 2 Boat Lifts has everything you could ask for a wonderful holiday near the lake.
The property features 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, towels, bed linen, a TV, a fully equipped kitchen, and a patio overlooking the lake.
8. White Rock Lake – East Dallas
For sure White Rock Lake is among the most popular lakes near Dallas, located about 5.6 miles from the city center.
One of the most popular Dallas lakes should be on your travel list when visiting the beautiful city of Dallas.
The place is good for walks because there are trails in the park around the lake. This is a good place to go if you want to get away from people and stress.
The lake is more than 1,000 acres. There are a lot of things to do and see near the lake.
The reservoir was built in 1910 to help with the water shortage in the area. Today, it is one of the most beautiful and popular attractions near Dallas.
You can practice water sports here, like canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boarding.
You don’t have to bring your equipment with you if you want to practice these water sports as there are plenty of kiosks from which you can rent.
Don’t skip the Dallas Arboretum on the southeastern part of the lake and the boathouse on the opposite side.
You can bring your furry friends with you, and don’t forget the cooler with some snacks and drinks as there are designated picnic areas where you can sit.
Sleeping close to White Rock Lake
The chick and modern The Beeman Hotel await its guests just a short distance from the lake and 6 miles from Dallas Love Field airport.
The hotel features an indoor pool, a full set of cardio machines, and a restaurant where you can serve breakfast and dinner.
The rooms are spacious and modern, and all are equipped with a TV and coffee machine.
9. Mountain Creek Lake- Grand Prairie
Located 8 miles south of Dallas, Mountain Creek Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Dallas, spanning more than 1,100 hectares.
The main purpose of this lake was to cool off an electric power plant, but today it is used just for recreation purposes.
On the lake’s western side, you can find the beautiful Mountain Creek Park with all the facilities you need for a good day in nature.
You will find here basketball fields, a football field, a playground for the little ones, and picnic areas where you can stay on the grass, enjoy a snack and chat with your friends.
Just a short distance from the lake, on its southern part, there is a golf course, Prairie Lakes Golf Course, where you can practice your skills and have fun the whole day.
Don’t forget your fishing tools at home because fishing is allowed in this lake, but we strongly advise you not to eat what you catch because, based on the latest analysis, there is an increased level of PCBs in the water which also affect the fish meat.
You can also go for a swim or take a boat ride as the lake is large enough to practice all kinds of water activities.
Sleeping close to Moutain Creek Lake
There is no better place to spend your night than Hilton Anatole, a modern hotel located in a 7-acre park, a 3-minute drive from the Dallas Convention Center.
The hotel is very beautiful with ottoman chairs, Asian- inspired décor, and upscale linens. All the rooms have a mini-refrigerator, coffee machine, and premium bath amenities.
You can choose to have breakfast at the property for a fee, while lunch and dinner can be served at the on-site restaurant.
10. Lake Lewisville
One of the largest Dallas Texas lakes, Lake Lewisville, is located on the northern side of Dallas and was formerly named Lake Dallas.
The main purpose of Lewisville lake is to control flooding and water supply for the beautiful city of Dallas.
It is also a recreational spot, extremely popular during the hot season, where people come to have fun, relax and cool off.
The place might get really busy during the summer weekends, but you don’t have to worry as there is plenty of space for everyone.
There are 6 marinas on the shores, 12 parks, and 3 restaurants where you can dine with a wonderful view of the lake.
Hiking and biking are possible in the area around the lake and among the most popular recreational activities, and there are plenty of campsites where you can spend your night.
Take your picnic basket with you and a blanket as there are picnic areas almost everywhere, so you can sit on the grass and enjoy a snack while chatting with your friends.
The park is also home to a large golf course with 18 holes, so there are plenty of interesting things to do.
Sleeping close to Lake Lewisville
Comfort Inn & Suites Near Lake Lewisville is the place where you should stay when exploring Lake Lewisville.
Each room has a microwave, a coffee machine, and a refrigerator and comes with enough space, even for larger families.
A complimentary breakfast is available at the property, consisting mostly of eggs, yogurt, meat, fresh fruits, and some cereal.
11. Lake Bridgeport
Located in the city with the same name, Bridgeport, the lake is located in the northwestern part of Dallas and was created by damming the West Fork of the Trinity River.
The place is extremely popular among locals and tourists, especially those who love fishing, as the lake is packed with sand bass, largemouth bass, crappie, and hybrid bass.
It is a place perfect for boating, and there are a few boat ramps and marinas located all across the lake shore.
On the shore of the lake, you will find Wise County Park, a beautiful area with boat ramps, a bait shop, and a swimming beach where you can perfect your tan.
Around the lake, there are also campsites and picnic areas where you can spend a wonderful day with your family.
Sleeping close to Lake Bridgeport
Econo Lodge Inn & Suites Bridgeport, featuring an outdoor swimming pool and free WiFi all across the property, is the right choice for your overnight stay.
The rooms are spacious and clean, have private bathrooms, and offer great services for the price.
Breakfast is complimentary and can be served in the designated area, mostly in fresh juice and coffee.
12. Lake Texoma
Lake Texoma is one of the other lakes in Dallas that span over more than one state; the water is shared with the state of Oklahoma.
This is the largest lake in whole Texas, with more than 36,000 hectares, and it is located where the Washita River meets the Red River.
Lake Texoma is located about 140 kilometers north of downtown Dallas and is one of the most popular lakes in the area.
It attracts more than 6 million visitors annually as there are plenty of outdoor activities and many facilities to spend a wonderful day in nature.
On the shores of the lake, there are two parks, one in Oklahoma and another in Texas, called Eisenhower State Park.
There are 12 marinas spread across the lake and many campgrounds where you can spend your night in nature.
Sleeping close to Lake Texoma
With an outdoor pool and a beautiful restaurant, Tanglewood Resort awaits its guests within a short distance of the lake.
It features clean rooms with coffee machines and TV, private bathrooms with hairdryers, and some of the rooms have a lake view.
On the property, there is also a basketball court where you can play after a relaxing day on the lake.
13. Richland-Chambers Reservoir
With its funny Y shape form, Richland Chambers Reservoir attracts more and more visitors from one year to another.
It is one of the lakes near Dallas Texas, that you definitely have to see, and it is the 8th largest reservoir in the state of Texas, with a total surface of more than 16,750 hectares.
The lake is located near the city of Corsicana and is used mainly for water supply, but it is also a good place to relax and cool off.
Across its shores are 11 public access areas plus a protected area, the Richland Creek Wildlife Management Area, located on the eastern part of the reservoir.
There are plenty of resorts and campsites spread across the lake, perfect for your overnight stay, and there are also a few boat ramps and marinas.
Sleeping close to Richland-Chambers Reservoir
Located a short drive from the lake in the beautiful town of Corsicana, Comfort Inn Corsicana East is the perfect place to stay if you want to explore the area.
The outdoor swimming pool is great for cooling off during the day. You can also exercise in the exercise room, and there is free Wi-Fi around the property.
A complimentary breakfast is served each day at the property consisting of hot dishes, coffee, and juice.
In our room, you will have a microwave, a refrigerator, a coffee machine, a hairdryer, an iron board, and an iron.
The suits come with extra space, and a sofa bed, and some of them have a whirlpool bathroom.
All these lakes in Dallas Texas are the perfect getaway all year round and offer a wide range of outdoor activities suitable for all ages.
You can go fishing, swimming, and practicing a long list of water sports without driving far from Dallas.
We carefully handpicked for you the closest hotels from these lakes, the ones with the best price-quality ratio, so that you can have a memorable getaway with your friends and family.
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.