Brian Greenstone

The Greenstone Guide to Austin & The Hil Country



Lake Travis is deemed to be the best lake in all of Texas, and I would strongly agree! This lake is simply wonderful. The fishing isn't the best, but for swimming and boating, this lake cannot be beat. The water quality of this lake is well known as being one of the cleanest lakes in the country. It is not the "clearest" lake as visibility is only about 5 feet, but it is one of the "cleanest" in that if you swallow a mouthful of it you don't need to worry about getting sick. And it is rare to see any trash floating in this lake - styrofoam marina debris is about the only thing you'll find.

The lake temperature in the summer gets quite warm, usually to 86 or 87 degrees. The lake is over 30 miles long and as such there are an endless number of coves and sometimes-islands to explore. The farther upstream you go, the nicer it gets because there is less development, less boat traffic, and more scenery up that direction. Stay away from the Mansfield Dam end of the lake - too much boat traffic from everyone launching their boats at the ramp there.

There are a number of places worth mentioning on Lake Travis:

AQUAVENTURES BOAT RENTALS - A great company to rent boats and jet skis from on Lake Austin and Lake Travis.

DEVIL'S COVE - This is where all of the college guys with their daddy's boat like to hang out with their half-naked girlfriends. Bring your binoculars because this has some of the best "scenery" around. This cove is more or less across the lake from Carlos and Charlie's.

THE PIER RESTAURANT - Used to be called Shades which was a much better place. Boat parking is poor and your boat may get banged up by the waves, so bring lots of rope and extra fenders. Head upstream pas Hurst Creek and you'll see it on the left side. Closed in the winter.

JONNY FIN'S - This formerly was the Sam Hill Restaurant. Aside from the incredibly stupid name, and the fact that their new menus look like they were designed on someone's computer with Adobe Illustrator, they got rid of just about everything that was on the Sam Hill menu. I was not impressed at all at their new offerings - the old Sam Hill will be sorely missed.

CAFE BLEU - Fanciest place to eat on the lake.

CARLOS & CHARLIE'S - Good Tex-Mex. Hard to get to by boat when the lake is low. Open all year round!

PACE BEND PARK - Simply the best LCRA park on Lake Travis.

THE OASIS RESTAURANT - No lake access, but excellent lake views. The food is pricey (you're paying for the view) and not very good. They recently redid their menu which was a big mistake since there isn't much to choose from.

IGUANA GRILL - No lake access, but excellent views and excellent Mexican food at a much more reasonable price than the Oasis.

4TH OF JULY FIREWORKS - Lake Travis is the only place to be to watch fireworks on the 4th of July! Lakeway puts on an excellent fireworks display on the lake. Hundreds of boats cram into the cove at Hurst Creek, so get there at least an hour or two early. This is one of the most excellent events in Austin! See Photo below.

HIPPIE HOLLOW - Texas' only state-sponsored nudist beach. But guys, don't get your hopes up because the clientel at this park seem to primarily be old, gay, men (so I've been told). It is located near Windy Point on the east side of the main basin.


If you're looking for a place to rent a boat or store your boat check out our Lake Travis Marina Guide.

Here is a cool link which shows realtime lake temperature data at various depths: CLICK HERE.

Or, if you are just looking for a place to put your boat in, the official LCRA web site has a boat ramp guide here.


Get a map - this lake is HUGE.


My marina
My boat
Fishing, but not catching much
Excellent sunsets!
Good Breakfast Tacos at UFloteM.
Also fuel-up at UFloteM.
Volente Beach at about 9:00am on a cloudy day.
Fireworks on the water @ Lakeway

©2001-2011 Brian Greenstone