As the sun shines down on you, and the smell of sunscreen fills your nose, you can’t help but feel grateful for being in such a beautiful place. Lake Travis is a stunning sight, with its clear blue waters, rolling hills and towering cliffs. However, many people come to Austin and to Lake Travis experiencing nothing more than a place to drink and party. Austin is known for its trendy restaurants and nightlife, but long time locals know better. To us, going to Austin and not getting out on the lake is like going to Miami and not going to the beach. Visitors to Austin often miss out on a wonderful opportunity to take in the scenery and the activities available on Lake Travis. As locals living on Lake Travis, we know there are endless journeys and activities to keep you busy on the water. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day on the lake or an adventurous outing, we’ve got you covered. This blog post will show you that there’s much more to do at this picturesque location! So put on your swimsuit and get ready to explore.

Get Out on the Water

sunset boat charter lake travis For those who want to relax and enjoy a special curated day on the lake, consider booking a boat cruise or yacht charter and take in the stunning views. You can enjoy a fantastic sunset, get an onboard mani/pedi, participate in fun water sports or simply sun, float, sip and eat delicious appetizers. And if you’re feeling really adventurous, why not try wakeboarding or waterskiing? If you’re looking for something more active make sure the boat you book has a stand-up paddle board and a kayak so you can explore more yourself. There are also plenty of fine fishing spots around Lake Travis. The lake is known for tournament class catches with large bass and striper. This is another great way to spend the day with friends and family.

Venture Beyond the City Limits

Many visitors to Austin never venture beyond downtown or the Domain. But, Austinites have long known that the further you get out of the city limits on Lake Travis heading NW toward the hill country and Marble Falls, the more scenic and less crowded it becomes. Maybe that’s why they named the famous music venue, Austin City Limits! Cliffs of Lake Travis Just beyond Lake Travis offers its most spectacular and dramatic views along with lakeside towns that are perfect for an afternoon of exploration. The scenery changes dramatically with towering cliffs giving way to gentle hills and pastoral farmland.   And there’s scientific proof of this! A study by The Nature Conservancy has found that, out of all major U.S. metropolitan areas, Austin ranks highest for % of protected lands located within an hour’s drive. That means that a significant percentage of our city’s residents live within close proximity to nature preserves, parks, and other protected landscapes.

Head West

Just outside the city limits past the town of Briarcliff, the scenery really changes dramatically. It goes from lakeside urban with beautiful homes perched on cliffs along the sides of the lake to looking very rustic and remote in an instant. You may think civilization ended. But, this is where you hit the shores of one of the most picturesque spots on the lake, Pace Bend Park. This Texas hill country area of the lake offers stunning views and sheer cliffs at the lake’s edge. If you’re looking for a beautiful spot to relax and take in some natural beauty, be sure to check it out! 

Close to the park and on the other side of the lake is Cow Creek. A visit and even an overnight stopover at Cow Creek is the perfect way to break up the days adventure. A leisurely breakfast onboard and you’re on your way again to even more breathtaking scenery.

More Amazing Natural Scenery

Muleshoe Wildflowers Just further up and about 25 miles outside the city limits on Lake Travis is the Pedernales River that connects to Lake Travis and is about 10 miles long. This is an amazing side cruise itself with gently rolling hills at the lakes edge. But cruise just 10 miles further up and you arrive at the Gloster, Muleshoe and Turkey Bend Recreation Areas that border the lake. This cruise offers breathtaking views with rolling hills and wide-open areas that are covered with wildflowers in the spring.

With its crystal-clear water gently lapping against the shore, it’s easy find a secluded cove to spend the day or even better, another night. It takes some time to get this far so why not enjoy it! Wildlife abounds here, so keep your eyes peeled for deer, coyotes, cattle, falcons and other creatures on your journey.

Endless Opportunities

Lake Travis is one of the most popular lakes in Texas for good reason. Regardless of what you’re looking for, you can find it here – from swimming and fishing to camping and kayaking. But as you get further and further away from Austin, the crowds start to dissipate and the scenery becomes more and more beautiful. Just be sure to pack your camera – the views are simply stunning!