You might not expect it, but Austin has some of the most fascinating lakefront vacation rentals in the country. The city best known for live music and its eclectic culture is also a wonderful spot to soak up the sun and play at one of the area’s beautiful lakes or rivers. There are numerous homes, condos and cabins that are right on the river or lake and have amazing views and easy access.

Securing a lakefront or riverfront vacation rental for your Austin getaway can take your trip to a whole new level. First, most lakeside or riverside homes are high-end and have lots of luxury features and amenities. You’ll have plenty of room to stretch out and relax. Families and larger groups of friends often love a lakefront residence because it’s quiet, upscale, offers fantastic views, and has quick access to the water.

If you love boating, you can get out on the water quickly and often. If you’re a fisherman, you’ll be able to cast your line any time you want. And if you want to swim, you’ll have ample opportunity any time of day. Start your day with some relaxing fishing or swim, then make plans to spend the afternoon on the water soaking up the sun. Later, when it’s time to head into the city for dinner and nightlife, it’s a breeze. Many of Austin’s finest lakeside vacation rentals are only minutes from all the excitement downtown.

Vacation Rentals on the Lake in Austin

If you’re considering a trip to Austin and want to view the city from an entirely new perspective, think about a lakeside vacation rental to shake things up a bit. Don’t fight crowds at an area hotel, or sit around and wait for the complex pool or hot tub to clear out. Our lakeside vacation rentals can get you in the water immediately. Some residences even have their own dedicated pool or hot tub – so you don’t have to share with strangers!

We receive inquiries all the time from vacationers who want to maximize their time in the city, and a lakeside vacation rental is the perfect way to get the most out of your trip. To help get you started, here are a few of our most frequently asked questions about lakeside vacation rentals in Austin.

Q: What lakes are near Austin?

A: The Austin area has three lakes that are formed by dammed portions of the Colorado River: Lake Austin, Lake Travis and Lady Bird Lake.

Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin restricts motorized vehicles but welcomes all kinds of canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddle boarding and dragon boats. Paddle-board yoga on the lake is another popular activity. At Lake Austin, you can get in all your boating, from exciting speed boats to more mild pontoons.

Northwest of town, Lake Travis is the city’s largest lake and a longtime favorite of both locals and vacationers for boating, water skiing and fishing. Lake Travis presents an abundance of houseboats, party barges, racing boats, sailboats and luxury vessels, along with lots of canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards.

Q: Are there vacation rentals in Lake Austin?

A: There are vacation rentals available from Lake Travis, northwest of the city, all the way to downtown along the meandering Colorado River. Lakeside residences near Steiner Ranch, near Emma Long Metropolitan Park, Northwest Hills and closer to the downtown core command premium prices.

Q: Are lakeside vacation rentals near Austin affordable?

A: Lakeside vacation rentals near Austin are some of the finest estates in the city, and can go for thousands of dollars a night. However, there are more affordable homes and condos that are on the lake or only a short walk from it, for under $350 per night. Some smaller condos are considerably less than that price. The price largely depends on the number of bedrooms, location, furnishings and amenities.

Q: What kinds of vacation rentals are in Lake Travis?

A: Lake Travis presents a wide array of turnkey residences to rent for a vacation. There are more traditional single-family homes and condominiums available, but there are also houseboats, cabins and chalets that have a character all their own. Some residences are right on the shore and have patios and balconies where you can enjoy the water views. Many lakeside homes have a dock where you can park your boat or fish. There are also more secluded cabins that are deeper in the woods and surrounded by nature and wildlife.

Q: Which is better, Lake Austin or Lake Travis?

A: Lake Austin is primarily for motorized boating. No swimming. If you’re looking for a laid-back day on the water, Lake Austin is a good pick. Lake Travis is the area’s largest lake and provides endless opportunities to swim, water ski, fish and boat. You’ll see all kinds of vessels on the water at Lake Travis, from sailboats to speedboats.

Q: Is there camping at Lake Georgetown?

A: Yes, but there is a cost to camp. A day-use pass is required to visit the day-use area, boat ramp and beach. One day-use pass is required per vehicle. Cedar Breaks Park, Jim Hogg Park, Overlook Park and Russell Park include day-use areas for picnics. All but Overlook Park have a boat ramp. No camping is permitted at Overlook Park. (It is the only park on the lake with free entry.)

Q: Are there vacation rentals at Lake Marble Falls?

A: Marble Falls is about 50 miles northwest of Austin and is a fantastic weekend getaway for city residents and vacationers. There are a few lakeside condominium resorts in Marble Falls on the water and near the marina at Lake LBJ.

Q: What is there to do at Lady Bird Lake?

A: It’s called Lady Bird Lake, but the first thing most people notice is that it’s more like a river than a lake. Either way, it is a great spot for hiking and biking, kayaking and canoeing, and stand-up paddle boarding. There are river cruises available that are scenic and soothing. The boardwalk on the Ann and Roy Butler Trail makes for a scenic walk or a great place for a stroll with your canine companion.

Q: Can you rent a cabin at Canyon Lake?

A: Canyon Lake offers cabins, cottages and lakeview vacation condos available for rent on a short-term basis. It’s a great place to escape the hustle of the city and get on the water for rest and relaxation. Canyon Lake is just northwest of New Braunfels, about 65 miles from downtown Austin. In 2020, Canyon Lake made headlines for its Trump Train Boat Parades.

Q: Is there fishing in Lake Austin?

A: Lake Austin is a terrific place to throw your line in the water and try your luck. The lake has an excellent population of largemouth bass that are between eight and 10 pounds on average. The reservoir is also home to a good amount of bluegill, redbreast and redear sunfish, with low-density populations of flathead and blue catfish.

Q: Do lakes around Austin have alligators?

A: There have been reports of alligators discovered on the Trinity River, Lake Worth and some more remote lakes, but Texas wildlife officials say there’s no reason to be concerned about alligators in the lakes and rivers near Austin. The most common residents of Austin’s lakes are turtles and fish.