Lake Travis is one of seven reservoirs that was formed when dams were built along Texas's Colorado River between the 1930s and 50s. Together, these reservoirs in the Austin area are known as the Highland Lakes, and they serve various purposes. In addition to preventing flooding in the general area, they are also used to generate power and to provide water to the region. That's not what interests most area residents and tourists, however. It's the recreational opportunities that these reservoirs provide.
Lake Travis, which was formed by the building of the Mansfield Dam, is the largest of the Highland Lakes, and since it serves as the main flood controller in the area, its water level can vary considerably. Under maximum conditions, the reservoir has a surface area of almost 19,000 acres and a depth of around 200 feet. While the other Highland Lakes, such as Lady Bird Lake and Lake Austin, are great for recreation, Lake Travis offers the most in the way of general recreation. Swimming and boating figure among the most popular recreational activities at this relatively large reservoir, and you can even go scuba diving if you please. Regardless of which activities you choose to enjoy on your visit, the attractive scenery of the surrounding Texas Hill Country will make for some excellent sightseeing.
A number of marinas can be found on Lake Travis, and in addition to offering slips for private boats, there are also offer boat rentals. Both powerboats and sailboats are available for rent, and depending on the marina that you choose to visit, renting a kayak or a canoe can also be an option. Chartering a houseboat is possible as well, and for a different twist on things, a parasailing ride can be added to the itinerary. There are a number of parks along the lake that offer access points for swimmers, and it's not uncommon for people to swim right off their boats. Worth noting is the fact that Lake Travis is where you will find Hippie Hollow Park. This relatively secluded limestone cove area is the only clothing-optional public park in Texas and has served as a popular nude swimming destination for years.
When Lake Travis visitors aren't boating, swimming, scuba diving, or parasailing, they might enjoy some fishing. Lake Travis fishing can fill hours on end, and for those who are interested, the largemouth bass are in good supply. The lake is well stocked, and other bass species include striped bass, Guadalupe bass, and white bass. If you manage to snag something other than a bass, it is likely to be a sunfish or a catfish. After a successful round of Lake Travis fishing, anglers can consider cooking their catch on a barbecue grill at one of the picnic pavilions that are available for rent along the lake's shores. Securing a campsite near the lake and grilling your catch of the day over the open fire can also be an option. On summer weekends, Lake Travis fishing excursions can be affected by the increased boat traffic and all around crowds. That being said, since the reservoir is relatively large, you are likely to find a good fishing spot regardless of the situation.
While it is possible to go camping at Lake Travis, some will prefer booking a stay at one of the area hotels. There are a healthy number of hotels near Lake Travis Austin, and they come in various forms. For those who like bed and breakfasts, La Villa Vista Resort B&B is worth keeping in mind, while anyone looking for a good resort on the lake's shores might prefer the Lakeway Resort and Spa. The La Villa Vista Resort B&B offers four charming guest units and plenty of romantic appeal, while the Lakeway Resort and Spa offers 173 rooms, suites, and villas. As is true of the Lake Austin Resort and Spa on Lake Austin, the Lakeway Resort and Spa on Lake Travis boasts an enticing spa and plenty of other excellent facilities for guests to take advantage of.
When searching for hotels near Lake Travis Austin, the Barton Creek Resort and Spa is not to be overlooked, especially for travelers seeking a luxurious place of lodging. This impressive resort is one of the best golf resorts in Texas, if not the best, and even if you don't play golf, it can be an ideal place to unwind on an Austin area escape. When guests aren't teeing it up for a round on one of the four championship golf courses at the Barton Creek Resort and Spa, they can drop by the tantalizing spa to enjoy a rejuvenating session, take advantage of the eleven tennis courts, or see what's cooking at the main restaurant. Relaxing in a poolside cabana is also an option, as is relaxing in the comfort of your luxurious room, suite, or villa.
It is worth noting that the hotels near Lake Travis Austin aren't the only area lodging options. There are also many vacation rentals that might be a better fit for some. Among other things, the vacation rentals near Lake Travis tend to offer kitchen facilities, and it's hard to match the level of privacy that they afford.