Boating on Lake Travis: Everything You Need to Know
Lake Travis is a gorgeous manufactured reservoir on the Colorado River, northwest of lively Austin, Texas. This popular Texas lake is massive, spanning almost 19,000 acres, with a length of 63.71 miles, up to a 4.5-mile width, a 271-mile long shoreline, a 190-foot maximum depth, twenty-plus marinas, and hundreds of boat launches.
If you’re ready get out on the water and go boating on Lake Travis, read on to learn:
- Frequently asked questions about boating on Lake Travis
- Boating activities and things to do on the lake
- Things to do around the lake and in nearby Austin, TX
Lake Travis Boating FAQs
Is Lake Travis Clean?
Lake Travis is generally a clean and clear lake to enjoy. The only times when the water quality is compromised is during floods. Luckily, lake officials are excellent at protecting and providing care for the lake, which keeps it in ideal shape for boaters, swimmers, anglers, and other lake enthusiasts. Officials close the lake when flooding makes it too dangerous to swim.
Is Lake Travis Safe?
There are several protected areas on the banks of Lake Travis that are reserved just for divers and swimmers. This keeps people safe from boats. Be warned, though, that the lake houses zebra mussels, which have sharp shells that can cut bare feet and exposed skin.
With the exception of flooding, there aren’t any currents in the lake, making it ideal for swimmers, boaters, and divers.
What is the Water Temperature of Lake Travis?
Texas is a warm state. The average high summer temperature of the Lake Travis area is in the high 90s, and the lake water has an average high in the 80s.
Divers, however, should dress appropriately for cool water, as the depths of Lake Travis are typically thirty degrees (or more) cooler than the lake’s surface.
Things to do on Lake Travis
1. Explore Starnes Island
Starnes Island, also known as Monkey Island, was originally just a tall hill near the Colorado River. When the Mansfield Dam was built in the 1940s, and Lake Travis was thus created, it became an island. You may have seen it in “Spy Kids.” It is commonly an anchor spot for party boats and a common area for divers.
2. Charter a Yacht
There’s no better way to enjoy the lake than aboard a pristine forty-foot yacht.
Charter an air-conditioned yacht and enjoy all the luxuries of a knowledgeable captain, several onboard bedrooms, bathrooms, and showers, with nineteen of your closest friends. This is the perfect way to celebrate a bachelor party.
While you can dive anywhere you want, one of the best spots is at Windy Point Park on Lake Travis. This area is filled with underwater sculptures, boat wreckage, and more. There are six platforms for divers, air-fill stations, courtesy carts, protected diving (and swimming) areas, and diving classes.
The water reaches depths of more than one hundred feet, so you’re sure to have plenty to explore during your visit.
Lake Travis hosts many species of fish, including:
- Blue Catfish
- Channel Catfish
- Flathead Catfish
- Guadalupe Bass
- Striped Bass
- White Bass
- Largemouth Bass
- And many, many more
The lake is predominately surrounded by cliffs, rocky banks, and rugged shorelines. Although shoreline fishing is still possible, it is not ideal. It is best to fish on a dock or from a boat.
Bring your flyboard or rent one while you visit because Lake Travis is a hot spot for this fun and surprisingly easy water sport.
Lucky for sailing enthusiasts, Lake Travis is one of the best sailing lakes in the entire state of Texas. The water is clear and the breeze is steady. Sailers love this area too because of the full-service marinas, shoreline restaurants, spaciousness, and gorgeous scenery. Whether you bring your boat or rent one of ours, you’ll not soon forget sailing the beautiful Lake Travis.
Things to do around Lake Travis
Lake Travis is an adventurer’s paradise. If you ever tire of boating, there are nearly endless opportunities to explore onshore. Travis is home to twenty-two bars, nine breweries, eight golf courses, seven vineyards and wineries, four waterparks, two zip line operations, two distilleries, one bowling alley, and a hot springs resort with 32 springs on site.
Best Bars, Breweries, Distilleries, Vineyards, and Wineries on Lake Travis
For starters, be sure to check out our list of the 6 Best Restaurants on Lake Travis to Get to by Boat. Some other popular options include:
- Bent Oak Winery in Cedar Park
- Torr Na Lochs Vineyard and Winery overlooking the Colorado River on Highway 29
- Oasis Texas Brewing Company, 400 feet above Lake Travis on Comanche Trail
- Planet Rock Vodka Distillery is in the center of the Hudson Bend in the middle of Lake Travis
Our Favorite Golf Courses on Lake Travis
- Flintrock Falls Country Club is just south of the lake in the Austin Hills.
- Yaupon Golf Course is on the lake’s southwest side with 18 holes and a challenging par of 72.
- Point Venture Golf Club is on the north side of Lake Travis and is listed as one of the best 9-hole courses in Texas, according to Dallas Morning News.
Check out Nearby Austin, Texas
Beyond that, it’s only a quick twenty-minute drive from the Mansfield Dam Boat Ramp to downtown Austin.
Austin is often referred to as the Live Music Capital of the World; its music scene is hot, and live music is everywhere. You’re sure to find incredible singers all over Austin, including inside the airport, at grocery stores, on the streets, in dive bars, dance halls, parks, restaurants, and, of course, on the big stages indoors and outdoors. While you can find music from all genres in Austin- country, blues, reggae, indie, and rock are the most common.
Check out Stubb’s BBQ for a mouthwatering barbecue plate and their giant outdoor amphitheater that fills up nearly every night. We still can’t decide if the food or music is better, but it’s worth a visit for sure.
If you want to take a piece of the music home with you, stop in at one of Austin’s four music stores. Antone’s Record Shop, Breakaway Records, End of an Ear, and Waterloo Records are your options. Each shop has a broad selection with unique vibes and friendly, knowledgeable staff.
Ready for something a little louder? Check out The Range at Austin. The Range offers semi-automatic and machine gun shooting experiences for visitors. You may bring your own firearm or enjoy one of theirs. All packages include protection for your eyes and ears and a safe expert to guide you through your range experience.
Austin has some of the best art and cultural experiences in the world. The city is home to:
- The African American Cultural and Heritage Facility
- Unesco City of Media Arts
- Austin City Limits Music Festival
- South by Southwest Festival
- Fusebox Festival
- Art in Public Places (a self-guided walking tour through the city that features murals, sculptures, statues, and other exhibits)
- Iconic Austin Film, by the Austin Film Society
- The Austin Music Video Festival
- The Austin Powow and American Indian Heritage Festival
- Out of Bounds Comedy Festival
- Texas Book Festival
- Zilker Botanical Garden
- The People’s Gallery
- Henry Museum
- Susanna Dickinson Museum
- Elisabet Ney Museum
- and much more
Are you ready to hit the clear, clean waters of central Texas’ Lake Travis? With a local Boatsetter boat rental, you can explore all that Lake Travis has to offer and create memories that will last a lifetime.