Things to do in Austin Texas
When you think of Austin, Texas, water sports might not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, Austin's abundance of rivers, lakes, and warm weather make it a fantastic destination for water enthusiasts. Whether you're into kayaking, paddleboarding, sailing, or just relaxing by the water, Austin has something for everyone. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the exciting world of water sports and activities in the heart of Texas.
1. Kayaking and Canoeing on Lady Bird Lake
One of the most popular water activities in Austin is kayaking and canoeing on Lady Bird Lake. With its calm waters and stunning views of the city skyline, Lady Bird Lake is a fantastic place to paddle. You can rent kayaks and canoes at various locations around the lake, for instance at Lady Bird Lake Rentals and even take guided tours to learn more about the history and wildlife of the area.
For a unique experience, consider taking a bat-watching kayak tour in the evening. As the sun sets, you'll witness the famous Mexican free-tailed bats emerging from the Congress Avenue Bridge, creating a remarkable natural spectacle.
2. Paddleboarding for All Skill Levels
Paddleboarding has become increasingly popular in recent years, and Austin is no exception. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a first-time paddleboarder, the city offers numerous opportunities to enjoy this water sport. Several rental shops provide paddleboards and even offer lessons for beginners.
Lady Bird Lake is a popular spot for paddleboarding, as is Barton Creek, which offers a more scenic and natural experience. For a true adventure, consider taking your paddleboard to Lake Travis, where you can explore the stunning Texas Hill Country and even find hidden coves and islands.
3. Sailing on Lake Travis
Lake Travis, located just outside Austin, is a boater's paradise. With its clear waters and constant breezes, it's an ideal destination for sailing. If you're an experienced sailor, you can rent a sailboat and set out on your own. However, if you're new to sailing, there are plenty of sailing schools and guided tours available.
Lake Travis also offers opportunities for water skiing, wakeboarding, and even houseboat rentals for a more extended stay on the water. With over 270 miles of shoreline, you'll have ample room to explore and enjoy the picturesque surroundings.
4. Fishing in the Highland Lakes
The Highland Lakes in the Texas Hill Country, which includes Lake Travis and Lake Austin, are renowned for their excellent fishing opportunities. Both lakes are stocked with a variety of fish, including bass, catfish, and sunfish, making them popular destinations for anglers.
If you're a novice fisherman, there are several fishing guides in the area who can show you the ropes and help you catch some impressive fish. The tranquility of fishing on these lakes, surrounded by Texas Hill Country beauty, is an experience not to be missed.
5. Exploring Barton Springs Pool
While not exactly a water sport, Barton Springs Pool is a beloved natural spring pool located in Zilker Park. The three-acre pool maintains a constant temperature of around 68 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, making it perfect for year-round swimming. The pool is fed by natural springs, and the water is crystal clear, making it a popular spot for both locals and visitors.
Whether you're swimming laps or simply cooling off on a hot Texas day, Barton Springs Pool is a refreshing and relaxing experience. Surrounded by lush greenery, it's a tranquil oasis in the heart of the city.
6. Diving Adventures in the Texas Hill Country
Austin and its surrounding areas offer unique opportunities for scuba diving and snorkeling. The Texas Hill Country is home to several spring-fed rivers and clear-water lakes that provide excellent underwater visibility. Popular dive sites include the Comal Springs, Jacob's Well, and the San Marcos Springs, all within a short drive from Austin.
Certified divers can explore these freshwater springs, encountering unique geological formations, underwater caves, and an abundance of aquatic life. Even if you're not a certified diver, you can still enjoy snorkeling in these crystal-clear waters and marvel at the incredible underwater landscapes.
7. River Tubing in Central Texas
River tubing is a favorite pastime for locals during the scorching Texas summers. Numerous rivers and waterways in central Texas, such as the Guadalupe and San Marcos Rivers, offer ideal conditions for tubing.
Gather your friends, rent some tubes, and float down the river, enjoying the Texas sun and the scenic surroundings. Many tubing outfitters provide shuttle services, so you don't have to worry about transportation logistics. Just relax, soak in the sun, and go with the flow.
8. Waterskiing and Wakeboarding
If you're an adrenaline junkie, Austin has plenty of opportunities for waterskiing and wakeboarding. Lakes such as Lake Travis and Lake Austin provide ample space for these high-speed water sports.
If you're new to waterskiing or wakeboarding, many local schools and instructors offer lessons to get you started. Experienced riders can have a blast shredding the waves and showing off their skills.
9. Picnicking and Swimming at Hamilton Pool Preserve
Hamilton Pool Preserve is a natural wonder located about 23 miles west of Austin. The preserve features a stunning collapsed grotto and a crystal-clear pool, making it