Written by Amy Scalia
With its crystal blue water, breathtaking sunsets and laid-back attitude, Lake Travis is a little slice of waterfront heaven.
Roughly 30 minutes from central Austin, Lake Travis serves as a refreshing respite from the city’s heat and hurried life. This picturesque Central Texas Lake is the most visited lake in the state for good reason, as it has spawned a lifestyle centered around boating, water sports, "yacht rock" music, and easy living.
It's also the epitome of an UpWest way of life - connecting with nature, finding a better balance and seeking calm and a deeper level of comfort. So, for our recent seasonal shoot, we headed to Lake Travis to take a dip into this world of discovery. After experiencing the area, and connecting with many people in the community, here's our road trip guide to soaking up Lake Travis in the most UpWest ways.
For many in Central Texas, swimming and boating pop into mind when they think of Lake Travis. Places like Briarcliff Marina in Cat Hollow are a one-stop spot for everything boating. Rent a boat slip or a pontoon boat for the day to swim, float and tour the lake with your family or favorite friends.
Feeling more adventurous? Consider exploring Lake Travis from down under. While boating, swimming, water skiing, sailing and fishing are popular water sports, it’s also a picturesque place for scuba diving. The area attracts both amateur scuba enthusiasts and avid divers alike with a variety of services, tours, lessons, and sights to be seen.
And no UpWest adventure would be complete without the right gear. Sustainable and Quick-Drying Swimwear, a breezy Plisse Cover Up, hat, eco-friendly sunglasses, organic sunscreen — and maybe a cozy sweater and Unwind Pant for after the sun sets — are all you’ll need for a full day of water fun out on the lake.
A Day at the Park
The nine-mile stretch of Pace Bend Park’s shoreline makes it a celebrated destination for day trips and vacations alike. The park has dedicated swimming coves, two boat ramps, 20 campsites (some with hook-ups, and others more primitive), as well as trails for hiking, cycling, and horseback riding.
Taking a dip? For her, the One Piece Swimsuit can do double duty as a top when you throw on some shorts or Tulip Hem Pants. The Fair Harbor One Short are quick-drying cotton shorts that’ll keep him comfy all day long whether swimming or adventuring. For all your park activities out of the water, a Bike Short is always a safe bet. Dress in layers so you can peel them off as the day heats up, as it usually does in the heart of Texas. Pack all your picnic necessities — food, drinks, and a soft, linen throw blanket — in a Natural Net Market Tote and feel good about your footprint.
This Central Texas lake is known for its amazing sunsets in the Texas Hill Country. From the north shore in Volente and all the way around the main basin of Lake Travis out to Spicewood — there are plenty of ways and places to enjoy the last golden rays of daytime.
Locals recommend the lookouts at Oasis Texas Brewing Company, the patio of Maudie’s Tex-Mex, the balcony of Whole Foods Market in Bee Cave, the waterfront winding trails of Lakeway City Park. But from our experience, the most amazing sunsets at Lake Travis can only be seen from the surface of the water.
Whether you’re in a boat, on a stand-up paddle board or catching the evening breeze as you sail around the lake — you can’t beat watching the sun set on the water’s reflecting horizon.