5 places to explore and cool off this summerAugust 12, 2022
When the temperatures begin to soar, it’s time to head to the water! Enjoying Texas’ lakes and coastline is time well spent, and these Texas destinations are perfect for a day (or even a weekend) of camping, boating, and swimming. Enjoy our top five places to cool off and explore in the Colorado River watershed.
This off-the-beaten-path coastal destination is known for its pristine stretches of beach that offer outstanding views. Visit Matagorda Bay Nature Park, a 1,334-acre park located at the mouth of the Colorado River on the Matagorda Peninsula for outdoor activities, wildlife viewing, and beach access. A portion of the park is even permanently protected through a conservation easement by Colorado River Land Trust. Enjoy the iconic coastal vistas and take pride in knowing that these wetlands will be protected forever as natural open space.
The aquamarine waters of Lake Travis are calling! If you’re looking for a place to cool off this summer near Austin, check out Mansfield Dam Park on Lake Travis. It offers some of the most beautiful views of the lake and features a secluded cove ideal for swimming and fishing. There are even barbecue grills, including several with covered shelters, tucked amid the canopies of native trees.
Located in Burnet County, Inks Lake is a reservoir on the Colorado River in the Texas Hill Country. Giant pink granite boulders give way to the stunning lake that offers ample opportunity to swim, cliff jump, and fish. The lake’s level stays relatively constant, and with it being within an hour of Austin, it’s a great location for just a day trip or a camping weekend.
Scenic Lake Buchanan is the second largest of the Highland Lakes and offers coves, inlets, and cliffs for jumping. A major benefit of being on a lake this large is that you’ll never feel crowded. The lake has over 120 miles of shoreline! Whether you are fishing, boating, or lounging shoreside, Lake Buchanan is ideal for all water sports and outdoor activities.
Colorado Bend State Park
Six miles of Colorado River frontage allow you to cast a line, hike, or go for a swim at Colorado Bend State Park. Located two hours northwest of Austin, the river meanders slowly, winding itself through the canyonlands found in the area. If a spring-fed grotto is more your style, follow along the nearly 4-mile Spicewood Springs Trail to the Spicewood Springs, a lush and pristine crystal-clear pool that is ideal for taking a dip.
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