Lake Travis: A Texas Treasure for Lakeside Adventure
Discover Lake Travis
Nestled in the heart of Central Texas, Lake Travis serves as a haven for water enthusiasts and nature lovers. As a reservoir on the Colorado River, this beautiful lake provides ample opportunities for relaxation and adventure. Located just a short drive from Austin, Lake Travis has become a popular destination for locals and tourists seeking a memorable lakeside experience.
With many activities to choose from, there’s something for everyone at Lake Travis. The lake offers numerous activities such as sailing, kayaking, and family-friendly fun. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can explore numerous hiking trails or dive into the world of scuba diving and ziplining. When you’re ready to take a break, Lake Travis is home to several lake-view restaurants where you can refuel and enjoy the stunning surroundings.
Whether you want to enjoy the vibrant local culture, indulge in delicious dining options, or find the perfect place to stay, Lake Travis offers a unique and unforgettable experience.
Top 3 Facts about Lake Travis in Texas
Stretching over 63 miles and boasting a width of 4.5 miles at its widest point, Lake Travis isn’t just a lake; it’s a Texas-sized giant!
A Haven for Endangered Species
Lake Travis is more than just a playground for water sports; it’s a sanctuary for several endangered bird species. The Golden-cheeked Warbler and the Black-capped Vireo call this area home, making it a birdwatcher’s paradise.
A Sunset Spectacle
Overlooking Lake Travis, The Oasis restaurant is famed as the “Sunset Capital of Texas.” Visitors can dine with a view of the lake’s 270 miles of shoreline while enjoying a sunset that turns the Texas sky into a canvas of vibrant colors.
Family-friendly Water Park
Set against the picturesque Austin Hill Country, this innovative floating water park on Lake Travis offers an epic variety of exhilarating challenges and tranquil relaxation. Spanning nearly two football fields, the park features an array of obstacles like climbing walls, monkey bars, and slides alongside a serene private island retreat.
Windy Point Park
Nestled on the shores of Lake Travis, this idyllic spot offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and recreational activities. With its family-friendly beach entry, abundant camping options, and status as a top diving destination featuring underwater sculptures and sunken treasures, Windy Point Park presents an unparalleled experience for relaxation and adventure.
Lake Travis Zipline Adventures
Embark on a journey that combines the serenity of Lake Travis with the excitement of the longest and fastest ziplines in Texas. This 3-hour adventure includes a relaxing boat ride, a scenic hike, and the thrill of soaring down ziplines up to 2,800 feet long and speeds reaching 65 mph.
Annual Events and Festivals
Full Moon Paddle on Lake Travis
Embrace a unique night-time adventure with Austin Pedal Kayaks, where the golden hues of sunset give way to the serene glow of the moon over Lake Travis. Paddle enthusiasts can explore Lakeway City Park, float by luminous marinas, and stop for a refreshment at Sundancer Bar & Grill.
NorthShore Craft Beer Fest
Lago Vista transforms into a hub for craft beer enthusiasts during the NorthShore Craft Beer Fest, offering a chance to taste exceptional brews from the region. This festival combines the pleasure of cold craft beer with lively music and family-friendly fun, all set against the picturesque backdrop of Lake Travis.
Taste Lake Travis
Indulge in the rich flavors and artisanal creations of the Texas Hill Country at Taste Lake Travis, a food and beverage festival that showcases the region’s culinary excellence. This gastronomic celebration, set in the scenic Meadows at Safe Harbor Marina, offers a day of savoring diverse tastes, from local wines to curated foods, all with a distinctive Texas twist.
Top Hiking Trails
113 Trophy Dr, The Hills, TX
Nestled in a 20-acre tract at Rough Hollow Cove, this extensive trail network offers breathtaking canyon views and a breathtaking display of colors, especially in late fall and early spring. Hikers and mountain bikers can enjoy well-marked trails with QR codes for informative guidance, while the natural beauty, including roaring waterfalls and serene ponds, makes for a splendid outdoor experience.
The Lakeway Boulevard
1910-1912 Lakeway Blvd, Lakeway, TX
Journey along the Lakeway Boulevard Hike and Bike Trail, a crushed granite path winding through the heart of Lakeway—a town tucked along Lake Travis. This trail offers a serene escape for early morning bike rides or jogs, passing a sculpture garden and Duck Lake, and is a delightful route for walking dogs.
River Place Nature Trail
8820 Big View Dr, Austin, TX
Offering a rigorous yet rewarding hiking experience, this trail system, including Panther Hollow, Little Fern, and Canyon Trail, spans about 6 miles with a significant elevation change. With 2,763 steps along the way, hikers can immerse themselves in the diverse landscapes, from lush greenery to captivating views, making it a favorite among Lake Travis’ outdoor enthusiasts.
Best Golf Courses
Lago Vista Golf Course
4616 Rimrock Dr, Lago Vista, TX
Experience the tranquility of Lago Vista Golf Course, where eighteen holes of captivating golf await amidst the stunning backdrop of Lake Travis. This course, a par 72 championship layout, offers diverse challenges with its undulating fairways and breathtaking lake views, making it an ideal destination for golfers seeking a blend of scenic beauty and enjoyable play.
Visit their website for more information
Flintrock Falls Country Club
401 Jack Nicklaus Dr, Austin, TX
Flintrock Falls Country Club presents a golfing journey through the rolling hills of Austin, featuring tight tree-lined fairways and strategic bunkering. Designed by Jack Nicklaus and his son, this 18-hole, par-72 course is known for its challenging back nine, picturesque hill country vistas, and the stunning waterfall on its signature second hole, offering a premium golfing experience.
Visit their website for more information
Live Oak Golf Course
510 Lakeway Dr, Austin, TX
Discover the enchanting beauty of Live Oak Golf Course at The Clubs of Lakeway, where tight fairways and small, challenging greens test golfers of all levels. This 18-hole, par-72 course, designed by Leon Howard, is framed by magnificent live oak trees and offers dramatic views, providing a secluded and picturesque setting for a memorable round of golf.
Kayaking and Paddleboarding on Lake Travis
For those who enjoy a slower pace, kayaking and paddleboarding are top choices. Serenely glide along the lake’s surface while taking in the awe-inspiring scenery surrounding you. The peacefulness of the water allows for a connection with nature as you explore coves and discover secluded beaches. Keep an eye out for the wildlife that calls Lake Travis their home – from herons to playful otters, there’s always something fascinating to observe.
Fishing in Lake Travis
Fishing enthusiasts will find themselves in paradise, thanks to an abundance of bass, catfish, and sunfish in this area. Cast your line and feel the anticipation rise as you await that tug. Whether you’re an angler or just starting, the lake offers a variety of fish that guarantee an exciting challenge for everyone.
Parasailing Above Lake Travis
If you want to admire the lake’s beauty from above, why not try parasailing? Get strapped into a harness and feel yourself lifted into the air as the boat accelerates. The aerial view is stunning—with the glistening blue waters of the lake stretching as far as you can see and the lush green hills of the Hill Country providing a breathtaking backdrop. It’s an exhilarating way to appreciate the scenery, and the memories of this experience will linger long after your feet touch solid ground again.
As the temperatures drop, gather around a crackling bonfire along the shores of Lake Travis for a cozy, memorable evening. Enjoy the warmth of the fire, roast marshmallows, and share stories under the starlit Texas sky, creating a perfect winter night experience.
Hiking Trails with a Winter Twist
Explore the hiking trails around Lake Travis in the cooler winter months for a refreshing and serene outdoor adventure. The crisp air and quieter paths provide a unique perspective on the area’s natural beauty, making each hike a peaceful retreat.
Fishing in the Winter Calm
Winter fishing on Lake Travis offers a peaceful escape with fewer boats and a calm atmosphere. It’s an ideal time to cast your line and enjoy the tranquility of the lake, with the chance of catching a variety of fish in the cooler waters.
For a memorable fishing experience, you can try Bushwacker Bait Co. or Barefoot Fishing Tours to learn the best spots and local secrets.
Where to Eat
$$ – $$$ • Tex-Mex
Captain Pete’s Boathouse
$ – $$ • Classic American
$$ – $$$ • Seafood
Where to Shop
The Wild Navy
Pedernales Farmer’s Market
Where to Sleep
Tips on Renting a Vacation Home on Lake Travis
Choosing the Right Location
Lake Travis spans a large area with diverse neighborhoods, each offering a unique experience. The north shore is quieter and more secluded, perfect for a peaceful retreat. In comparison, the south shore is closer to Austin and offers a livelier atmosphere with easier access to restaurants, nightlife, and shopping.
Water Levels and Access
Lake Travis is a reservoir with fluctuating water levels, affecting beach access and water activities. Before booking, check the current water levels and choose a rental with reliable water access or a private dock to ensure a hassle-free lakeside experience.
Outdoor and Water Activities
Lake Travis is renowned for its outdoor and water-based activities. Plan ahead for activities like boating, fishing, wakeboarding, or visiting nearby parks and trails. Consider rentals that offer or are close to boat rentals and water sports facilities to maximize your enjoyment.
Climate and Weather Considerations
The Texas weather around Lake Travis can be quite variable. Summers are hot and ideal for water activities, while winters are mild and perfect for hiking and outdoor exploration. Pack accordingly, with plenty of sun protection for the summer and layers for cooler evenings.
Going Deeper on Lake Travis: The Music Scene
Austin’s music scene is simply remarkable. Just a quick drive away from Lake Travis, you’ll find yourself in the Music Capital of the World. Renowned for its eclectic music culture, Austin offers an abundance of venues where you can witness performances by talented local bands, emerging artists, and internationally acclaimed musicians.No matter your musical preference – be it country, rock, blues, or anything in between – Austin has got it covered. From bars and iconic clubs to open-air stages and music festivals, there’s a spot for every music enthusiast.
One of Austin’s music venues is the iconic Stubbs Bar-B-Q. This historic venue has welcomed performers ranging from local legends like Willie Nelson and Stevie Ray Vaughan to global superstars like The Rolling Stones. Stubbs’ outdoor stage offers the perfect ambiance for enjoying a Texas evening while listening to your favorite melodies. For an intimate experience, make your way to the Continental Club. This charming establishment has been a part of Austin’s music scene since 1955, hosting some renowned names in blues, rockabilly, and country music. With its decorations and cozy atmosphere, the Continental Club provides an unforgettable musical journey for enthusiasts.
Austin is also renowned for its music festivals that attract visitors from around the globe. One of the best-known festivals is South by Southwest (SXSW), an extensive event showcasing music, film screenings, interactive media exhibitions, and conferences. During SXSW, the entire city transforms into a playground for musicians and fans, with countless showcases and events taking place at every turn. Another beloved festival is Austin City Limits (ACL), held in Zilker Park. This three-day extravaganza presents a lineup of artists spanning genres, including rock, hip-hop, electronic music, and folk. ACL offers a festival experience in Austin, featuring stages, food vendors, and art installations, all celebrating the city’s vibrant music culture.
Frequently Asked Questions about Lake Travis
At Lake Travis, you can enjoy various water-related activities such as boating, swimming, fishing, and ziplining. The area also offers scenic trails for hiking and biking and stunning viewpoints for picnics and relaxation.
You’ll find plenty of lodging options around Lake Travis, ranging from upscale resorts, boutique hotels, bed & breakfasts, vacation rentals, and campgrounds.
To rent a boat at Lake Travis, simply approach one of the area’s several marinas or boat rental companies. They usually offer a variety of options like pontoons, ski boats, and even houseboats.
There are numerous restaurants and eateries around Lake Travis, offering diverse cuisine options like seafood, Tex-Mex, barbecue, and more. Some popular spots include The Oasis, Hudson’s on the Bend, and Beachside Billy’s. Remember to check out the local food trucks for some delicious bites.
While swimming in Lake Travis can be enjoyable, it’s essential to be cautious and aware of hazards like slippery rocks, sudden drop-offs, and underwater debris. Remember to always swim with a buddy, wear a life jacket if necessary, and pay attention to local warning signs and advisories.
The distance between Downtown Austin and Lake Travis is approximately 20 miles. The drive usually takes around 30-45 minutes, depending on traffic and the specific location you are heading to.
Yes, you can book a last-minute trip to Lake Travis! However, be prepared for limited availability and higher prices, especially during peak travel seasons. Check out online platforms and contact local hotels or vacation rentals directly for the best deals.