Texas has plenty to offer water sports enthusiasts. Whether you prefer skiing, jet skiing, boating, swimming, diving, or snorkeling, there is a perfect lake for you. Spending time on a lake is an ideal way to beat the Lone Star heat.
Located near the border town of Del Rio, Lake Amistad was formed when the Rio Grande was dammed in 1969. Its remote location is part of its charm—it's not as crowded on this lake as many others in Texas—as are its clear, sprawling waters. Massive Lake Amistad encompasses nearly 70,000 surface acres, which are shared between Mexico and the United States. Boaters and swimmers can enjoy both open waters and steeply walled canyons. The protective coves offer ideal fishing spots. For all watercraft requiring state registration, there is a lake use fee. There are 10 boat launch ramps, but no boat rental or fueling stations.
Created in 1941, Lake Travis is big—over 60 miles long, winding through the scenic Texas Hill Country with over 271 miles of shoreline. Lake Travis' clear waters, scenic surroundings, and close proximity to Austin have made it one of the most popular lakes for recreational boaters.
There are more than 20 marinas on the lake, and it's easy to rent all kinds of boats (including houseboats, pontoon boats, and party barges) and if you don't have your own. There are also plenty of other water sports rentals, from kayaks to jet skis. Make a full vacation out of your visit by staying at one of the many hotels or B&Bs along Lake Travis' shores, and don't forget to visit the area's wineries and breweries.
Lake Conroe's 21,000 acres are just a short drive from Houston. Its easy access from the nation's fourth-largest city has made it one of the busiest lakes in the state when it comes to recreational boating.
The 26-mile-long, six-mile-wide lake has several marinas, boat and watercraft rentals, and some of the best fishing around. With Sam Houston National Forest bordering the north side, and many luxurious waterfront communities lining the shore, Lake Conroe is a scenic spot to enjoy a day on the lake.
A favorite spot for Dallas water-sports enthusiasts, Lake Lewisville offers visitors a variety of activities, including fishing, swimming, water skiing, jet skiing, sailing, sailboarding, and more. One of the largest lakes in North Texas, Lake Lewisville is surrounded by numerous parks, four marinas, and several boat ramps.
A popular destination for those looking for a good time is Party Cove—a spot where people tie their boats together, listen to music, and enjoy a few drinks. Boat and party barge rentals are available if you want to join in on the fun but don't have your own boat.
Formed when the cool, clear waters of the Guadalupe River were dammed in 1964 in the scenic Hill Country region of Texas, Canyon Lake is known as the Water Recreation Capital of Texas. It has 23 boat ramps, two marinas, and several rental facilities along its 80 miles of shoreline. The most popular activity is tubing, but the lake is also known for its excellent rainbow trout fishing. Canyon Lake is sixteen miles from New Braunfels, 40 miles from San Antonio, and 50 miles from Austin.
Be sure to check out the list of best inflatable life vests before you go.