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Lady Bird Lake View Homes

View of Lake Austin with a reflecting sky
View of Lake Austin with a reflecting sky

Located in central Austin, Lady Bird Lake is the easternmost of a succession of reservoirs located along the Colorado River known as the Highland Lakes. Lady Bird Lake runs laterally through the city, marking the division between north and south Austin. The lake was created in 1960 for the purpose of cooling the Holly Street Power Plant and providing recreation for the city. Today, with the power plant long decommissioned, Lady Bird Lake primarily is used for recreation and flood control.

Of the three Highland Lakes described here, Lady Bird Lake is the smallest, shallowest, and closest to downtown. Its 468 acres begin at the foot of Lake Austin’s Tom Miller Dam, curve around downtown Austin, and conclude at Longhorn Dam. Like Lake Austin, it is a constant-level lake. With a maximum depth of only 18 feet, most motorized boating is prohibited, rendering it a key recreational area for fishing, rowing, stand-up paddle boarding, canoeing, picnicking, and kayaking.

Previously known as Town Lake, Lady Bird Lake was renamed after the passing of Lady Bird Johnson, the former First Lady of the United States. She was a longtime Austin resident deeply dedicated to its beautification.

Real Estate Overlooking Lady Bird Lake

Residential real estate overlooking Lady Bird Lake includes chic urban lofts and downtown condos in luxury high rise condominiums, in addition to a handful of cliffside estates with Capitol and downtown views.

Jess Tisdale’s Austin condo overlooks Lady Bird Lake. “Blue skies over rolling hills thick with oak and juniper, and the lake carving its path between them—imagine waking up to that every morning. That’s Austin, Texas,” she said. Jess and her husband work in the Second Street District downtown and appreciate the convenience of living in a high rise nearby. “Our condo in the W is so close, and it has breathtaking views of the city and the lake. You should see the sun set on the water, or the fireworks on the Fourth of July.”

High-end homes and luxury mansions loom along Stratford Drive on the steep southwest side of Lady Bird Lake (in the neighborhoods of Stratford Place and Bluffington), while luxury high rise condos are offered on the north side by Sabine on 5th, 360 Towers, Four Seasons Residences, The W Hotel and Residences, Milago AMD, the Towers of Town Lake, and more.

The demand for exclusive lake and city views and the value of close proximity to downtown Austin living makes real estate with Lady Bird Lake views some of highest priced in Austin. These luxury lakeview properties go up into the multi-millions.

Lake Austin View Homes

Formerly Lake McDonald, Lake Austin was the first large, manmade reservoir in Texas. It was formed in 1893 after the completion of the Austin Dam, which toppled in a flood seven years later. In 1939, the Lower Colorado River Authority built Tom Miller Dam, which stands to this day.

Part of the Highland Lakes chain on the Colorado River, Lake Austin begins in northwest Austin at Mansfield Dam (Lake Travis) and ends 21 miles downstream at Tom Miller Dam, where it feeds into downtown Austin’s Lady Bird Lake. It has an area of 1,830 acres and a maximum depth of 75 feet. Unlike Lake Travis, Lake Austin is a constant-level lake filled with aquatic vegetation such as hydrilla and watermilfoil. Like Lake Travis, however, it is deeper than Lady Bird Lake, covered with boathouses and docks, and full of Largemouth Bass, Sunfish, and Catfish.

Lake Austin is used for flood control, water supply, electrical power generation, and recreation. Recreational activities include jet skiing, boating, waterskiing, boat tours, camping, picnicking, and fishing. Because the water clarity is better, scuba divers generally prefer Lake Travis.

Real Estate Overlooking Lake Austin

Lake Austin winds through some of Austin’s finest residential areas. Lakeview homes range from palatial estates to luxury mansions, homes, and condos. Cliffside estates may feature high-end trolley systems for personal lake access.

John Hildebrandt lives in the Aqua Verde neighborhood in a high-end home overlooking Lake Austin. “We get all the beauty and none of the bother, or the lake noise,” he said.

Offering shimmering lake views and recreational opportunities, tranquil surroundings, and a location minutes from downtown, the premiere real estate overlooking Lake Austin can go up into the multi-millions.

Lake Travis View Homes

Located northwest of Austin in the city of Lakeway, Lake Travis belongs to a group of six man-made reservoirs along Texas’ Colorado River known as the Highland Lakes. The longest of the three mentioned here, Lake Travis actually begins at Max Starcke Dam in Burnet Country and snakes 63 miles toward Lakeway, where it meets Mansfield Dam and feeds into Lake Austin. Lake Austin, in turn, supplies Lady Bird Lake at Tom Miller Dam.

Lake Travis boasts over 270 miles of shoreline. The surface area of Lake Travis takes up 18,930 acres, making it 10 times larger than both Lake Austin and Lady Bird Lake combined. It is also deeper, with a maximum depth of 210 feet. Lake Travis boasts the clearest and coldest water of the three.

Created by the construction of Mansfield Dam in 1941, one of Lake Travis’ primary functions is flood control, characterized by a water level that remains constantly changing. It also serves a vital role in electrical power generation and as the water supply for the nearby city of Austin and the surrounding metropolitan area.

For anglers, Lake Travis has been stocked with several species of fish, including Largemouth Bass, Guadalupe Bass, White and Striped Bass, Catfish, and Sunfish. Recreation on Lake Travis also includes boating, kayaking, jet-skiing, sailing, parasailing, swimming, scuba diving, picnicking, camping, and zip-lining.

Real Estate Looking Over Lake Travis

With its laidback lifestyle, rolling hill country beauty, and half-hour proximity to Austin, residential real estate overlooking Lake Travis remains in high demand. Its neighborhoods offer thousands of high-end and moderately-priced homes.

Karen Weaver lives in Rough Hollow, and her home overlooks the marina. “It’s more than beautiful. The schools are new, we’re minutes from the Galleria, and the country club is right next door. It’s paradise.”

The stunning lake views will rival anything that can be found on Lake Austin, with an added level of seclusion and privacy. Offerings include waterview lots, homes, condos, and luxury estates, and there is a wide range of prices. Many of these homes feature outdoor living areas, pools, and patios that take advantage of the sweeping lake views. Elite offerings include guest casitas, equine facilities, and private vineyards. Lakeview cliffside homes on Lake Travis also are available.

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