Acres Of Water & Miles Of Shoreline
1,599 acres and 24 miles of shoreline
Review of Lake Austin
Lake Austin is one of the infamous six Highland Lakes, which include Lake Travis, Inks Lake, Lake Buchanan, Lake Marble Falls, and Lake LBJ. At the north end of the lake is Lake Travis and the Mansfield Dam (and the water at this end of the lake is dam cold) and at the south end is the Tom Miller dam and the start of Town Lake - you can't go from lake to lake so don't even think about it! Lake Austin snakes its way through the Austin hill country and at its widest point is only 1300 feet wide. Lake Austin is a Texas Outside favorite because it is a very pretty, a constant level lake with clear water, beautiful scenery including great people watching, and lots to see and do -- plus no known prop dingers except at the north end!
Lake Austin is great for skiing, partying, camping, and prefect for cruising as you sip a cold beer or soda and marvel at the trees, cliffs and big, beautiful, very very expensive homes that line the banks of Lake Austin.
A Typical Texas Outsider Day
We love to:
Can't get much better than that!
Other Cool Things To Do:
Here are some fun things to do that the entire family should enjoy: camp or spend the day on the beach at Emma Long City Park; picnic and play volleyball or horseshoes at West Beach Park; rent a boat or take a tour on the lake with any of these boat rental companies; or drive or boat over to any of the restaurants on the lake for some ok food, cold drinks, and a sunset over the lake.
Some other things to do on Lake Austin include: any part of the lake is great for skiing or boarding if there isn't much boat traffic; you can raft up or swim in Bee Creek or Bull Creek cove; or boat over and have some good BBQ at County Line
What To Do If No Boat:
Buy one; you're missing a good time! Or you can rent a boat or party barge from a company on this Lake Austin Boat Rentals Page.
Pack a picnic lunch and sit on the banks of Lake Austin and fish and swim at any of the day use parks -- Commons Ford, Selma Hughes, or Fritz Hughes.
Spend the day or camp overnight at Emma Long Metropolitan Park and swim, hike, play baseball or volleyball, and in the evening sit on the bank and listen to some good music across the river at The Pier
You have the entire City of Austin at your beck and call with tons of fun things to do including: golf, cultural stuff, hiking, biking, canoeing, tennis, etc. Read some of the Austin golf course reviews by clicking here.
Restaurants, Bars, & Music:
Lake Austin is one of our favorites for restaurants and live music. Hula Hut (fun crowds, good variety of food and drinks, great deck), Ski Shores (small and laid back, but good burgs and music), Abels (ok food and a great deck) and County Line for good BBQ.
Wake Boarding & Skiing:
If there is not much boat traffic, the entire lake is excellent for boarding and skiing. If there is traffic, try either end of the lake. In 2013 Lake Austin was having a significant problem with hydrilla, so watch out for patches of it and other boats trying to avoid it.
According to Texas Parks & Wildlife, Lake Austin contains an excellent population of largemouth bass with the potential for a trophy. Many bass weighing over 10 pounds have been caught since the early 1990s; six were over 13 pounds. The lake also has some good quality bluegill, redbreast, and redear fishing, and has low-density populations of flathead and blue catfish. Fishing during the summer months is best done at night due to heavy recreational boating activity in the daytime. Anglers should use caution when fishing at night.
*Courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife
Camping, Waterfront Lodging, and Day Use Parks
We are not aware of any rental lodging on Lake Austin. The only campground on the lake is Emma Long Metropolitan Park which is a Texas Outside Favorite. Click here to read our review of Emma Long.
Ramps & Marinas
Walsh Landing, Mary Quinlan Park, 360 bridge, and Emma Long Park have ramps. Lake Austin Marina provides gas, ice, slips, and more
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Texas Outside Lakes Rating Scale
Texas Outside rates lakes on a 1 to 10 scale based on:
*Fishing information was provided with permission of the Texas Parks and Wildlife (www.tpwd.state.tx.us) in 2006. Texas Parks and Wildlife does not endorse Texas Outside or information presented on texasoutside.com. ©Copyright Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.