Texas is home to tons of lakes where you can do everything from water sports to swimming, relaxing, and fishing for giant 10 lbs bass. The state is blessed with plenty of natural water, and with around 300 days of sunshine a year, what better way to relax than in the heat with a refreshing dip? Grab your swimsuit, we’ve rounded up the best lakes in Texas.
1. Lady Bird Lake
Lady Bird Lake is a river-like reservoir located in Austin. If you’re looking for an easy spot to get to while in the city of Austin, this is the option for you. Some of the top things to do at the lake include kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddle-boarding. You can also go hiking and biking on the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike-Trail, which is over 10 miles long. For animal-lovers, you can go bat-watching between the months of March and November. During this time you can also see Mexican Free-Tailed bats using South Congress bridge as their seasonal home.
2. Inks Lake
The stunning Inks lake is located in the heart of Texas Hill Country. It’s a refreshing body of water that’s part of a reservoir on the Colorado River. You can swim, fish and boat here. There are almost 200 different camping spots spread out throughout the Inks Lake State Park where you can relax.
3. Lake Granbury
Lake Granbury, located in northern Texas, is home to over 30 miles of lake and over 100 miles of shoreline. It’s an excellent lake with public boat ramps, fishing piers, public swimming areas, picnic areas, and surrounding camping spots. One of the best activities in the lake is fishing and there are plenty of species to be caught including largemouth bass, catfish, and sunfish.
4. Lake O’the Pines
Lake O’the Pines in East Texas offers over 16,000 acres of water and pine tree forests for you to explore. It’s a great place for fishing and you can catch everything from largemouth bass, spotted bass, catfish, and chain pickerel. The lake is surrounded by pine trees, and visitors can kick back and enjoy the aroma of fresh pines. It’s also an amazing place to camp and see the stars at night — there are plenty more camping options in Texas if you’re looking for some inspiration.
5. Eagle Mountain Lake
Eagle Mountain Lake, located to the north of Fort Worth, is known as one of the top boating lakes in Texas. At the lake you can find the renown Fort Worth Boat Club, which boasts almost 100 years of history and throws annual regattas. And if boating isn’t your thing, there are over 8,500 acres of water to go wakeboarding, fishing, skiing, and swimming. There are also a number of parks surrounding the lakes with beautiful hiking trails, for when you want a break from water activities.
6. Lake Travis
The epic Lake Travis offers over 250 miles of lake beaches, where you can sunbathe, splash around in the water and enjoy water sports. The beaches surrounding Lake Travis are known as some of the best beaches in Texas. Some of the top shorelines include Montina Beach and the clothing-optional Hippie Hollow Park — if it’s your first time at a nude beach, here are the top tips to get you ready. Spend a few days unwinding at the lake, which has a wide variety of accommodation options, from camping spots through to luxury chalets.
7. Lake Texoma
Lake Texoma is an enormous reservoir with over 70,000 acres of surface area — one of the biggest lakes in the US and tenth largest in the country! For lake enthusiasts, Lake Texoma is a haven for water sports aficionados, with everything from skiing to sailing, windsurfing, jet-skiing, kayaking, and fishing. There are around 1,000 miles of shoreline with white sandy beaches, tree-covered slopes, and rugged rocky cliffs to explore. The lake is also home to over 70 species of fish.
8. Lake Buchanan
Each year Lake Buchanan draws in tens of thousands of tourists looking for a little R&R. It’s a popular lake for boaters, fishermen, and swimmers, and is so big that visitors often feel like they’ve got the whole place to themselves. Lake Buchanan is also home to granite gravel shores, which can be found along certain parts of the lake. The granite gravel serves as a great place to leave your stuff behind and go swimming in the lake.
9. Possum Kingdom Lake
Possum Kingdom Lake offers everything from swimming to boating, fishing, water skiing, scuba diving, and snorkeling. If you love to have a good time, this is the lake for you. Possum Kingdom draws a party crowd looking to kick back, drink jello shots and dive into the cool waters. The lake is home to two towering cliffs (known as Hell’s Gate) where summer parties take place. The cliffs have also been used for the famous Red Bull cliff diving competitions — but would you take the plunge? Plus, if you want to spend some time away from the water (and the loud party crowds) you can picnic, hike and bike amongst the peaceful trees.
10. Lake Austin
Lake Austin is a relaxing spot where you can fish, boat and swim. It’s a reservoir that’s part of the Colorado River and the waters are well-stocked with fish. The lake is known to have a large population of bass, many of which weigh over 10 lbs! There are also fun water activities such as wakeboarding, water skiing, and canoeing. Do you have more time to spend in Texas? Why not tick off some of these things from your Texas bucket list.