For a landlocked city such as Austin, there are a handful of great places to take a dip, cool off, drop anchor and enjoy the waterfront. Many of Austin’s aquatic attractions are located in the heart the city.
Austin is blessed to have one of the only naturally fed springs in Central Texas. Barton Springs is fed by water from the Edwards Aquifer, which – over time – fills up with rainwater from cracks in the limestone below. In the 1920s the City of Austin constructed what is now Barton Springs Pool at the site. Barton Springs along with several other smaller springs remain at 68 degrees year round and are home to the endangered Barton Springs Salamander, a species that is unique only to Barton Springs.
From there, if you go a little north, you’ll arrive at the heavily populated local attraction, Lady Bird Lake. Sitting just south of downtown Austin, Lady Bird Lake is actually slow-moving dammed section of the Colorado River, which flows southwest through downtown Austin. Lady Bird Lake is famous for its locale and the ample rowing, paddle-boarding and barge tours that take place there every day.
If you float further down the Colorado, Lady Bird Lake opens up to the tree-lined Lake Austin, which is surrounded by hilltop estates, towering cottonwood trees and several tiny islands that dot the river. The most infamous of Lake Austin’s attractions is the picturesque Red Bud Isle. This miniature peninsula juts out into Lake Austin just south of the Tom Miller Dam (pictured below). In 1900, the McDonald Dam collapsed in a flood and the limestone boulders settled at the bottom of the Colorado River underneath flood debris. Over time, the area re-vegetated and now it is a go-to place for locals to fish, swim, and enjoy the natural areas surrounding Upper Town Lake.
Further north, Lake Austin weaves in and out of canyons and under bridges up into the hill country. It eventually hits Mansfield Dam, which is the retaining wall for Austin’s largest water reservoir: Lake Travis. The Lake Travis area is home to some of Austin’s top attractions and recreation opportunities. Surrounded by rolling hills and lush greenery, Lake Travis offers breathtaking Hill Country views. Of course, its major attraction is the lake itself. Part of the Colorado River, Lake Travis is the most popular of the Highland Lakes. It draws both tourists and locals during the warm months for its ample water attractions (boating, fishing, jet-skis) and it’s food and shopping.
For more info on some of Austin’s great attractions, visit Realty Austin’s relocation guide for up-date-information on Austin real estate near the city’s major attractions.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.