Known as the ‘Live Music Capital of the World’, Austin is the state capital of Texas renowned for its country-centered music, more than 300 verdurous parks full of adventurous opportunities, lakes mirroring the skies and food trucks hiding some of the biggest tacos you would ever see. It is an inland city skirting along the Hill Country region where you can hike up an urban trail, kayak across the shimmering water and gaze at some of the most beautiful sights on a boating tour with your friends or with a date.

The Lakes of
Austin

Straddling the Colorado River, Austin is cleaved with several rivers, waterways, and lakes. There are endless spots lined with giant cypress trees where you can take a short break under the cool shade, and plenty of water bodies where you can fish, kayak, swim, ski and much more.

In Austin, there are three main lakes Lake Travis, Lake Ladybird, and Lake Austin. They are all part of the Colorado River and what we call a lake in Austin, many would consider a river. Each lake offers a variety of recreational water activities including fun boat tours.

1. Lake Travis

Encircled by several parks and based with limestone, the crystal-clear water of Lake Travis is the largest lake near Austin and is referred to as the “Crown Jewel” of the Central Texas Highland Lakes. If you want to explore the lake on a boat, here are your top options:

Good Time Tours

Good Time Tours provides the opportunity to have a boat tour with a chartered pontoon boat. With Good Time Tours, you can enjoy a tour with your and close friends, carrying up to 20 people. Their largest pontoon comes with a grill, slide, stereo, and huge ice chest. You can bring along any food or drink you would like and they will grill it as you cruise the area. Prices start at $350 for a two hour sunset tour for up to 10 people and go up from there.

Austin Boat Tours

Austin Boat Tours take you on a stunning cruise on one of their double-decker boats that can hold up to 26 people. All boats are equipped with a captain, BBQ grill, XL cooler, stereo systems, and a bathroom. The charter ensures you have a lavish trip from the start. You arrive on a limo style party bus and hop onto the boat in style. There, have quality time with your family or party hard with your college buddies, but don’t forget to catch the glimpse of the sunset.

If you do not have a large group you can book a sunset cruise for $75 a person. Bring a snack and your favorite beverage and they will do all the work for you as you enjoy the lake for a few hours.

2. Lake Austin

Formerly known as Lake McDonald, Lake Austin is a water reservoir on the lower Colorado River. It has a controlled water height and is the closest place to downtown where anyone can bring their boat. allows boat traffic, the lake is quite busy all year long. Its beach holds a number of cafes, restaurants and camping sites. Hula Hut is a town favorite for some Mexican food before, after or during your boat tour. Under the shade of humongous cypress trees, you will find quaint picnic spots or you can hike along the lake near the 360 bridge. To tour Lake Austin on a boat, here are our best picks:

Austin Boat Charter

Surf, swim, and chill – Austin boat charter promises you
a merry cruise, a comfortable experience, and a number of facilities. Their
boats are appointed with wakeboard tower, Bimini roof and sound system. Each
boat can seat up to 10 passengers.

Private
Pedal Barge Cruise in Austin

Enjoy a two hours of private pedal barge tour with great
company and take in the beautiful views of Bull Creek. The boat is equipped
with a captain, crew, coolers, ice, and Bluetooth speakers. During the tour,
you will make a stop at County Line BBQ for complimentary drinks, and at Party
Cove for a refreshing swim.

Austin Duck

Offering to take you to explore the lake throughout the year, Austin Duck Boat Tours has fully customized tours and route. The tours are 1.5 hours long and is ideal for family events, parties, and get-togethers. Each boat can accommodate 44 people equipped with life vests and child-friendly features. The boat tours go on land as well sharing the highlights of the city before heading into the water.

3. Lady Bird Lake

Bordered by parks, restaurants and sun-kissed shores, the
river-like reservoir is in the heart of downtown Austin. Traverse across its
stunning waters through one of the following boat tours:

Lone Star Riverboat

Whether it is a marvelous sunset you wish to witness, a
sunny afternoon on the Lady Bird Lake or moonlight dancing on the sandy shores,
Lone Star Riverboat offers cruises at all times. Keep in mind that they only
accept cash, and personal and travelers checks.

Capital Cruises

From dinners and lunches to weddings and Valentine’s Day
celebrations, Capital Cruises design an ideal boat tour of Lady Bird Lake for
you. Watch bats emerge on the sky during a glorious sunset, have a festive time
on a party boat and enjoy the picturesque sights of the lake with Capital
Cruises.

Austin
Paddle Board Adventure

Learn fascinating history of Texas as you bask with
turtles, swim alongside fishes and paddle board across the water. The stand-up
paddle boards are easy to handle even for beginners. It is the perfect way to
view the city’s skyline and waterways.