Lakes in Austin to Visit This Summer

If you’re seeking to connect with nature, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to visit some of Austin’s lakes. Away from the hustle and bustle of city life, there are lakes in Austin that will offer you a moment to relax and have memorable adventures. 

Whether you are spending the weekend, a couple of days, or summer vacation, the lakes are open for exploring. You can enjoy boating, swimming, surfing, kayaking and paddle boarding, and other fun activities with loved ones. In this article, we explore some of the Lakes you can visit when you are in Austin. They include:

  • Lake Travis
  • Lake Austin
  • Lady Bird Lake
  • Mueller Lake
  • Lake Kyle

Let’s dive into interesting facts about these lakes.

Lake Travis:

This is a soothing spot located on the Colorado River northwest of Austin in Travis and Burnet counties. Because of its great depth, it’s easy to ski, fish, or boat. The lake authorities have provided houseboats, sailboats, party barges, racing boats, luxury water, and a great number of canoes close to the shore. You are free to rent any of the above equipment. Need to munch something after an exploration? You can always grab a bite or a bottle of beer at some restaurants, which have docks, expansive menus, and cold drinks. Here are some activities you can enjoy that will leave you with stories to tell for a long time.

  • Watching the Sunset at The Oasis:

As the bell rings at sunset, you’ll see the beauty of the sun as it sets. You could capture this moment by taking a picture of the sunset on your phone. The beauty will make you understand why Austin is named “The Sunset Capital of Texas.”

  • Visiting the Beach:

Hippie Hollow is one of the beaches that allows you to go back to Eden. Okay, in case you didn’t get my expression; it’s a beach that makes clothing optional. Of course, you must be 18 yrs and above to visit this place. For you to have the best views of Lake Travis, make sure you bring good and comfortable shoes along with you. The Volente beach is another beach at Lake Travis; a place that accommodates families, so you need not bother about some PG 18 environments. Your kids can play all they want in the pool and take exciting spins on the slides and rides. Remember to bring your towel and sunscreen.

  • Boating at the Lakeway Marina:

How do you make the most of a lake? The Lakeway Marina makes provisions for skiing and boating adventures. If you’re itching for a party getaway with friends, you can rent a party barge from Emerald Point Marina. If you’re planning a party of about 50 people,  a large double-decked boat is enough. And guess what, the boat comes with a slide from the upper deck. Make sure you book your reservations before coming.

  • Site Viewing:

Sitting in silence and enjoying the peace and balance that nature brings is good for your mental health. You can do that while you munch at the Sundancer Grill. Their big burgers, which are quite filling, are delicious. Please put this spot as one of part of your checklists of places to be at Lake Travis.

Lake Austin:

Lake Austin used to be called Lake Mcdonald; a manmade lake located west of Austin in the Hill Country. This lake is a choice destination for fishing and boating activities. There are companies within the lake area that rent out motorboats, canoes, pontoon boats, and large party boats. You also get to attend classes in canoeing, kayaking, and sailing as organized by the Austin Parks and Recreation Department. The lake also provides captained pontoon boats for rentals. The pontoon boats have 140 HP outboard engines which are just great for water tubing. Do you know the lake never closes? At Quinlan park, there’s usually a free boat ramp. Here are some of the other activities you can enjoy at Lake Austin:

  • Swimming:

Yes, you can swim at the lake. There are officially designated swimming areas at the lake. Besides, no one is allowed to swim beyond 50 feet of the Lake. You can rent a vacation house or stay at a resort on the water to enjoy easy access for a quick dive.

  • Fishing:

Bank fishing with family members is a good idea for family time. The authorities have stocked the lake with a large number of bass, catfish, and sunfish.

  • Hiking:

The Emma Long Metropolitan Park is a good place to explore; it is not far from the lake. Your kids can take a stroll along the Turkey Creek Trail. These strolls are relaxing and will make you connect with nature.

  • Boating and Kayaking:

 Boats, kayaks, or paddle boats are available for rent for those who want to spend quality time with family on the lake without distractions. Part barges are also available for party lovers.

Lady Bird Lake:

Lady Bird Lake is basically for recreation and flood control. The places are great for me-time or relaxation with friends. You can fish here, but you would need a license for that. It is always open for strolls and other fun activities. You can rent kayaks, canoes, and paddle-boards. There are several rental companies spread across the lake. 

Swimming is not allowed in this lake. Any activity like sports, fishing for games, or food requires a license. You can go on river cruises, bat-watching, stand-up paddle boarding, and hiking are some activities you’ll enjoy at Lady Bird Lake. There’s no need to book reservations; you are attended to at the point of arrival. Other fun activities you could engage in at Ladybird Lake include:

  • Kayaking/ Canoeing:

Personal motor boats have been banned from Lady Bird Lake. So it’s safe to enjoy a cruise on a canoe and kayak. There are rental places where you can rent canoes, rowing shells, and dragon boats. Right there at the lake are small businesses that organize special events like sunset paddles and moon paddles. Imagine rowing your boat under the full moon.

  • Take a Visit to the Boardwalk:

The boardwalk is just the perfect place to watch the sunrise and sunsets of Austin. This is because it’s part of the Ann and Roy Butler Trail. It has a vantage point that gives it the advantage of offering a beautiful view of the skyline.

  • Dog Walks:

Austin is dog-friendly. So it’s okay for you to take your dog on walks. Your dog will have no problem finding a playmate because there is the Auditorium Shores Dog Park; it is on the water area of Riverside Drive where dogs are free to roam freely. To protect your dogs, there’s a strict rule against dogs roaming the lake.

Mueller Lake:

The lake is graced with fruit trees on its paths. You’d find loads of turtles, ducks, and lesser Blue Egrets. It’s serene for a quiet read and a good place to hang out with friends. You can organize mini-parties or picnics here; there’s a lot of space for frisbee, picnics, and flying kites. There are a couple of restaurants on the edge of the park. For you to park your vehicle, you would have to pay. However, you could be lucky to find somewhere you could park your car for free. These are some of the fun activities here:

  • Fishing: 

Some of the most popular species that are found here are Largemouth, Bass, Bluegill, and Redear sunfish. Be sure about where you would want to fish, and remember to follow the lake regulations.

  • Visit the Amphitheater: 

There are loads of concerts and movies you could go see. You can host your performances from big to small. Onsite restrooms are available. Be assured of a mole power at the amphitheater.

  • Visit the Thinkery Experimental Place:

Got inquisitive kids? Then have them visit a place where their mind gets fed. Here, they get to see artifacts and art displays.

  • Date Nights and Walks in the Park:

You can head to the Restaurant for great collections of beers, Irish Whiskeys, and ciders. Some of the restaurants sell fish and chips, which you can have with your beer. Think about that feeling of eating your fish and chips as you top it with your favorite beer, enjoying your sunset stroll.

Lake Kyle:

The lake is located at 700 Lehman Road, which is about a mile south of Bunton Road. It’s open to the public during posted hours set by the Park’s management. The park doesn’t allow pets or animals around the park except for registered service animals that are allowed within the boundaries of the park. Other things disallowed in the park are; smoking, alcohol, swimming, hunting, and overnight packing. Fun activities include;

  • Biking
  • Boating
  • Picnicking
  • Swimming
  • Wildlife Watching

Conclusion about lakes in Austin

Nature is one of the best tranquilizers that helps us retain our sanity. Do you need some me-time, family time, or a time to unwind in Austin? These lakes in Austin have beautiful sceneries that will leave you refreshed, fired up, and confident to face an ever-busy world.