Looking for a fun way to beat the heat? Check out the 10 best lakes near Austin! Sunbathing, picnicking, paddle boarding, and more! There’s so much to do when you visit these popular swimming locations, so gather up your friends or bring the whole family!
Load up on sunscreen, snacks, and your favorite beverages, you’re about to have the best summer ever. Complete with fun ways to catch some rays, cool down, and explore, every lake has its own unique features. It doesn’t get more ATX than summer by the lake! Don’t forget to stop for some cold margaritas and tex-mex on the way home for an extra perfect day.
1. Lake Austin
If you’re in the mood for exciting activities, Lake Austin is the place to go! One of the best places to swim in Austin featuring excellent locations for fishing, hiking, biking, boating, and swimming, choosing this exemplary body of water is a no-brainer. Incredible sunrise and sunset views can be captured from the famous 360 bridge or from one of the many gorgeous campsites.
For more fun check out The Curtain Theatre for Shakespeare in the park and more! Or Nalle Bunny Run Wildlife tours to delight even the smallest members of your group. Lakes, plays, and bunnies? Best day ever.
2. Lake Travis
Rent canoes, kayaks, SUPs, and more to enjoy your time at the magical Lake Travis. With depths reaching 210 feet, even scuba diving is an option! This bustling lake is often scattered with party boats, houseboats, and sailboats all enjoying fun in the sun. This is truly one of the best lakes near Austin!
The shoreline is dotted with quaint bed & breakfasts if you plan to stay awhile. A perfect spot to vacation without a care in the world! Check out the amazing restaurants to relish delicious food and drink while enjoying lakeside views.
For a more relaxed water experience, Lady Bird Lake delivers. Motorized boats are not permitted on this lake providing users with the opportunity to indulge in flat-water paddling. Check out fun like dragon boating, kayaking, and even paddleboard yoga. Central to Zilker Park and Barton Springs, there are plenty of places to relax and partake in local food truck cuisine.
Before you leave, be sure to visit Auditorium Shores for green spaces and premium bird watching and Austin’s Hike and Bike Trail for even more outdoor adventures. There’s nothing like a day exploring the wild places of Austin.
4. Canyon Lake
Canyon Lake is nestled in the rolling hill country of central Texas surrounded by wildlife and unique opportunities. You and your crew can try out activities like sailing, waterskiing, or scuba diving or take a walk on the wild side with parasailing or helicopter tours! There are campgrounds, golf courses, shopping, dining, and more. Enjoy the Lake complemented by amenities, a perfect balance.
Just a short drive from Austin, Lake Georgetown is a hidden gem. Perfect for relaxing fishing, boating, and swimming, this body of water provides its fair share of water activities. You can also enjoy the 26.5-mile hiking trail that surrounds beautiful Lake Georgetown for lovely views and exceptional local wildlife.
Check out the Overlook for family-friendly swimming everyone can enjoy. Free parking with onsite bathrooms and excellent picnicking areas. Before you leave, stop by Georgetown’s favorite Dos Salsas for some authentic tex-mex and frosty frozen margs.
As a Fisherman’s paradise, Lake Marble Falls checks off all the boxes for one of the best lakes near Austin. Fishing and boating and fishing while boating are the top activities at this local Lake. With fish like largemouth bass, catfish, and sunfish all populating the area, fishing is king. However, the annual drag boat races during Lakefest every August is a sight to behold even if you don’t like fishing.
Before you leave Marble Falls check out the famous Bluebonnet Cafe for the best pie you’ve ever tasted! People travel from all over just to get a taste. And don’t forget about Bear King Brewing for live music events and beer brewed in-house.
7. Quarry Lake
This beautiful lake has been a favorite for locals. One of the best places to swim in Austin, the quiet lakeside is perfect for a tranquil day by the water. The perfect lake to revel in the sights, wildlife, and cool off, Quarry Lake is rarely crowded. For great swimming, relaxing, fishing, and standing paddleboarding, visit this local treasure.
Don’t leave without visiting The Roaring Fork or do some shopping at Braker Lane Crossing. With wood-fired bold cuisine, be sure to make your reservation at The Roaring Fork beforehand!
Just outside of Austin you’ll find the suburb of Pflugerville and within it, Lake Pflugerville. This german named town holds a pebble beach area perfect for family swimming and with beachy vibes. Visit Lake Pflugerville Park outfitted with a boat launch, playground, and 3-mile trail. Home to rare Purple Martin migration, be sure to look out for the special birdhouses and maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of them.
Finish up your visit to Pflugerville by visiting The Globe Drive-in Theater for movie night or grab a pizza from Baris after a long day out. Great for family fun and for gatherings of good friends alike.
Looking for the perfect lakeside for a long weekend? Lake Buchanan has lovely lakeside cottages and homes for rent that will wow your family and friends. Transport yourself and your guests to a waterfront oasis when you choose to relax at Lake Buchanan. Be sure to check out Cedar Point Recreation, Black Rock Park, and Canyon of the Eagles parks around the lake.
Visit Fall Creek Winery before you head out or try out the Vanishing Texas River Cruise. Both soothing and enjoyable, you’ll never want to leave this little slice of heaven. After all, what could be better than wine and picturesque landscaping?
10. Mueller Lake
If a combination of civilization and lakefront relaxation is more your style, Mueller Lake is the paradise you’ve been searching for. Breathe in the fresh air of the 6.5-acre lake just across from Mueller Central. Enjoy the exercise trails, interactive playscape, and dazzling public art displays. Don’t hesitate to grab tickets for a show at the open-air amphitheater and spend the whole day enjoying the wonders of this gorgeous Lake.
These 10 Lakes are the best lakes in Austin to spend the day. Whether you prefer the boat life or relaxing on the shore, there’s a place for you in ATX. Feel free to leave all your stress behind and enjoy a day on the water! Be sure to check out the 5 Best Swimming Holes in Austin for more fun by the water!
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