Austin, the capital of Texas, is a vibrant and landlocked city set along Colorado River. It is home to the main campus of The University of Texas at Austin and the beautiful Capitol Building. It is a cultural powerhouse and a rapidly growing city in the United States. With increasing diversity in culture, it is famous for its broad-ranging and spirited live music and arts festivals such as the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival. Based on the economy, the employment opportunities, and the quality of life, Austin figures among the top cities in America. The climate in Austin is humid and subtropical with its hot summers and typically mild winters. With many parks and lakes around, there is no dearth of recreational opportunities here. Check out these most gorgeous lakes in Austin, Texas, for your next outing.
1. Lake Travis
Lake Travis is a reservoir on Colorado River that plays an important role in flood control. Considered as an asset of Central Texas Highland Lakes, Lake Travis has the largest storage capacity in the region. A popular outdoor recreation spot, the lake boasts the biggest fleet of party boats apart from standup paddleboards, kayaks, and jet skis. The lake has an abundant population of largemouth bass, blue catfish, white bass, and striped bass. This makes it a great spot for novice and veteran fishing enthusiasts alike. Swimming, scuba diving, camping, and zip-lining are some other fun things to do here. The shores of Lake Travis are home to the best craft breweries in the city that host interesting tours, tasting events, and live music.
Website: Lake Travis
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 6pm; Sat: 12pm - 4pm (closed on Sun)
Centrally located in Austin, Lady Bird Lake offers a scenic escape. Skyline views, lakeside amusement parks, and beautiful walkways make it a popular nature destination. A bike tour with a small group is a fun way of taking in the beauty of this area. Suitable for families and outdoor enthusiasts, this cycling tour takes you around Lady Bird Hike-and-Bike Trail. The trail spans about 10 miles (16 kilometers) and lets you see some of the area’s prominent landmarks. Learn about Austin’s history and stop by sites such as the Stevie Ray Vaughn statue, the old railroad bridge, and Zilker Metropolitan Park. The local guides are knowledgeable and can give valuable tips aside from sharing anecdotes. Do not forget to take pictures along the way for wonderful memories.
Lady Bird Lake Bike Tour
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Ideally located in the heart of the city and offering 22 miles (35 kilometers) of unforgettable excursion, Lake Austin is a must-see spot. Sign up for a public, partially-guided boat tour to make the most of this lovely lake. Get a glimpse of the many public parks, privately owned waterfront and cliffside houses, and famous shoreside restaurants as you float along for about two hours. Put your camera to optimal use capturing stunning images of your scenic surroundings. Pass by Percy V. Pennybacker Jr. Bridge, an iconic Austin landmark also known as 360 Bridge, and Emma Long Metropolitan Park. Nalle Bunny Run Wildlife Preserve, Tom Miller Dam, and Austin Country Club are some other landmarks along the way. This tour accommodates strollers but is not wheelchair accessible.
Lake Austin Boat Cruise
Duration: 2 hours
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4. Lake Walter E. Long
Positioned on Decker Creek in Austin, Texas, this water reservoir is known by two names - Lake Walter E. Long and Decker Lake. The water from this lake powers turbines and helps in cooling power plants. The beautiful waterfront area is popular with boating enthusiasts, kayakers, and anglers. Weekdays are not too crowded and it is ideal for picnics with family and friends, swimming, relaxing, and leisurely walking in the park. Do not miss a couple of concerts that are held regularly at the lakeside. Only day camping is permitted here. The waters are abundant in fish species such as bass, pounders, stripes, and crappie.
Lake Walter E. Long
Address: Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park, 6614 Blue Bluff Road, Austin, Texas, USA
Website: Lake Walter E Long
Opening hours: Mon - Sun: 8am - 4pm (Sep - Apr); Fri - Sun: 8am - 7pm (May - Aug)
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5. Lake Lyndon B. Johnson
This lake in central Texas, named after President Lyndon B. Johnson, is the largest and most popular of the Highland Lakes chain. This reservoir in Colorado River offers year-round fun. A reasonably stable water level makes it ideal for fishing, sailing, boating, jet skiing or tubing, swimming, and several other water-related activities. A shady park with compact picnic tables and a community center that can be rented for events are other high points. The water has a healthy population of bass and catfish. The lakeshore is lined with resorts, vacation rentals, cabins, lodges, and restaurants. You’ll also find fresh burgers, soft ice-creams, or home-style food close by.
Lake Lyndon B. Johnson
Address: Texas Hill Country, Texas, USA
Website: Lake Lyndon B. Johnson
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
6. Lake Pflugerville
The 180-acre (72.8 hectares) supply tank in Pflugerville, Texas, was raised to provide drinking water to the residents of the city. Now, it is the perfect spot for outdoor recreation such as fishing, swimming, jogging, canoeing, kayaking, and even windsurfing. Adjoining the pretty lake is a merry park with the city’s most popular family playground. The park includes picnic and beach areas for restful outings as well as a fishing pier and a boat launch. A well-maintained trail nearby is perfect for hiking, walking, running, and biking. This lake also hosts events such as KIDFISH and Lake Pflugerville Triathlon.
Address: 18216 Weiss Lane Pflugerville, TX 78660, USA
Website: Lake Pflugerville
Opening hours: 5am - 10pm (daily)
7. Lake Marble Falls
Lake Marble Falls sits pretty in Burnet County, Texas. This reservoir on Colorado River, located in the town of Marble Falls, is used to generate hydroelectric power. This aquatic gem in the historic town is the newest one out of all the Texas Highland Lakes. Recreational activities such as fishing, boating, kayaking, and water-skiing are a few of the popular activities here. Several species of native fish dominate the waters. This scenic spot offers beautiful river and valley views in addition to plenty of relaxation spots. There are quite a food and shopping outlets in the vicinity as well. Drag boat races are hosted here in August every year.
Lake Marble Falls
Website: Lake Marble Falls
Opening hours: 6am - 12am (daily)
8. Canyon Lake
Located on Guadalupe River in Comal County, Canyon Lake is one of the deepest reservoirs in Texas. This makes it suitable for all kinds of recreational activities including swimming, snorkeling, and diving. Fishing for varieties of bass and catfish is another popular pursuit here. There are numerous and spectacular ways to spend your day in Canyon Lake such as enjoying off-trail hiking, playing a game at the golf course, or camping and having a picnic at the park with its beautiful beach. There are plenty of different types of lodging and amenities available in the vicinity that make it a sought-after holiday destination. You might catch glimpses of white-tailed deer, foxes, roadrunners, and other wildlife along the riverside.
Address: 601 Coe Road, Canyon Lake, Texas 78133, USA
Website: Canyon Lake
Opening hours: 8am - 10pm (daily)
9. Lake Georgetown
Lake Georgetown is conveniently located along San Gabriel River in Central Texas. Clean and crystal clear water together with amazing views of surrounding wildlife makes this a popular attraction. This lake is a fantastic place for bird-watching and taking in the breathtaking views of the sunrise. Enjoy the calm and peace of early mornings and evenings at the lake. It is also a perfect spot for fishing, swimming, and boating, especially in summer. Picnic areas, barbeques, and campsites are other available options here. Lengthy hiking and biking trails beckon outdoor enthusiasts.
Address: 500, Lake Overlook Dr, Texas
Website: Lake Georgetown
Opening hours: 6am - 10pm (daily)
Indulge in these inviting waterways
The beautiful waterways in Austin offer ample opportunities for recreation and relaxation. If you don’t know where to go, just check out the list above. Make the most of these most gorgeous lakes in Austin when you get a chance.
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