Lake Austin is a manmade lake that lies just west of Austin in the Hill Country. Not only does it satisfy all your watersport dreams from boating to fishing – but it’s within a few minutes of Austin, Texas in one direction, and Lake Travis in the other. This means that you will have easy access to plenty of recreational opportunities for family fun, as well as to cultural attractions to expand your childrens’ horizons. Enjoy all of these family bonding experiences when you stay at one of many beautiful Lake Austin vacation rentals on the lake or in the scenic surrounding area. Here are the ten best things to do with your family when visiting Lake Austin.

1. Boat and Kayak

Start off you trip with some quality time spent in a boat out on the water. Rent a boat, kayaks, or paddleboats and reconnect with the family out on the lake where there are no distractions. There are even party barges available for that reunion get-together. With 1,599 acres of water, you have plenty of space to explore.

2. Go on a Boat Cruise

If you want a minimum of fuss and the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of nature, opt for a river cruise. Both Lake Austin Riverboats and Sunshine Machine Boat Tours offer excursions around the lake, focusing on the most scenic parts. Use the time to point out sights to your kids and snap photos.

3. Swim

Cool off in the water with a little swimming. Renting a vacation house or staying at a resort on the water gives you lake access for a quick dip. You can also visit any number of swimming spots, fed by natural springs, around the Austin area.

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4. Fish

Charter a boat for a little one-on-one time with yourself for some fishing. Alternately, opt for bank fishing for some family downtime, and instill in your miniature anglers a love for the outdoors and a sense of patience. The lake is well-stocked with bass, catfish, and sunfish.

5. Hike

Explore the outdoors inland at Emma Long Metropolitan Park, a mere jaunt from the lake. The Turkey Creek Trail offers kids a relaxing stroll through the woods and an opportunity to learn more about nature. Another option is River Place with a series of trails to explore such as Fern Trail, a haven flowing water and falls, to Panther Hollow Trail with its canyon-like climb.

6. Bike

Hiking isn’t the only way to explore Austin Lake. Bike around it instead, an easy way to tour the scenic beauty of the area. Just a few miles east of Lake Austin lies Lady Bird Lake, a great place to take young children for some easy biking trails.

7. Visit Lake Travis

While in the area, spend a day at Lake Travis just 10 miles to the west of Lake Austin. This location offers some extras such as zip line tours, flyboarding, and diving. Better yet, everything you might need for your day of fun is available at a multitude of rental places found on the lake.

8. Horseback Riding

As Austin Lake is in Texas, there is no shortage of horseback riding available. Take your family on an adventure and teach them to handle animals properly via the Lone Star Equestrian Center, located right on the lake, and Maverick Horseback Riding, just a few miles to the east.

9. Spend Time in Austin

While you’re so close to Austin, take the opportunity to visit the delights of the capital of Texas. This city offers a range of family activities from live music, perfect for those teenagers, to the Austin Aquarium. Expand your children’s knowledge of the Earth at the Austin Zoo and the Austin Nature and Science Center.

10. Visit Barton Springs

If you want to escape the heat and find a calm place to relax, go to nearby Barton Springs. This natural spring-fed swimming hole is just for swimmers, so you can let your little ones splash away without watching for boats. Furthermore, the Zilker Zephyr Miniature Train and Zilker Metropolitan Park Playscape are located in the same park, making it perfect for small children.

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