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Aerial Drone View over Colorado River with Boat driving along town lake summer relaxation on the water. Mansions and Large houses line the side of the river with Colorful Rooftops in Austin , Texas
Aerial Drone View over Colorado River with Boat driving along town lake summer relaxation on the water. Mansions and Large houses line the side of the river with Colorful Rooftops in Austin , Texas

Part of the Highland Lakes chain on the Colorado River, Lake Austin begins in west Austin at Mansfield Dam (Lake Travis) and ends 20.67 miles downstream at Tom Miller Dam, where it feeds into downtown Austin’s Lady Bird Lake.

Recreational activities on Lake Austin include jet skiing, boating, water-skiing, lake surfing, boat tours, camping, picnicking, bird watching, and fishing. Unlike Lake Travis, Lake Austin is a constant-level lake filled with aquatic vegetation like 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. The lake has a surface area of 1,830 acres and a maximum depth of 75 feet.

Marion Weller lives in Greenshores, a Lake Austin community in northwest Austin. “My husband loves having a private boat ramp just down the hill from our house. I love the second-story views of the lake,” she said. “But what we love most about living here is the seclusion.”

Lake Austin is located just 8 minutes or 2.6 miles west of downtown Austin starting with the Tom Miller Dam, which is located across the street from the Lions Municipal Golf Course and next to the dog park at Red Bud Isle Park. The well regarded and renown Hula Hut and Mozarts Coffee sit on the Lake Austin shoreline overlooking Tom Miller Dam. The lake is 28 minutes or 21.4 miles from the Circuit of the Americas. The lake, which is both the Colorado River and a lake, is approximately 1180 feet across at the widest point near Laguna Gloria on the east and West Lake Beach on the west.

Lake Austin is 4.55 miles long from Tom Miller Dam to the Pennybacker Bridge, 16.13 miles from Pennybacker Bridge to the Mansfield Dem, and 20.67 miles from Tom Miller Dam to the Mansfield Dam at Lake Travis. Lake Austin is 9.93 miles long as the crow flies from Tom Mill Dam to Mansfield Dam. The true center point or distance of Lake Austin on the western most edge of Emma Long Metropolitan Park on the north side of the lake behind Far View Dr in the Leander Independent School District. The center point is where Edgewater Drive dead-ends to the east on the south side of Lake Austin in the Eanes Independent School District.

Lake Austin is bordered by four school disricts including the Lake Travis Independent School District to the far west, Eanes ISD to the west, Austin Independent School District to the east near downtown Austin, and Leander ISD to the east near Lake Travis. Lake Austin is bordered by several zip codes including 78746, 78733, 78738, and 78734 to the west and 78703, 78731, 78730, and 78732 on the east.

South Shore Neighborhoods

East to west, Lake Austin neighborhoods on the south shore of the river can be accessed from these major roads: Westlake Drive, Loop 360, Bee Caves Road, Cuernavaca Drive, and RM 620.

Westlake Drive

Westlake Drive starts at Bee Caves Road, curves through Westlake Hills, skirts Lake Austin for a few miles, and then curves back to Loop 360. It accesses lakefront neighborhoods like Laguna Loma, Island Way, St. Tropez, Lakeshore Addition, Lakeplace, The Canyon, The Preserve, Green Park, and Windy Cove. The major zip code for this west Austin area is 78746.

Loop 360

There are several neighborhoods just west of Pennybacker Bridge that are accessible by Loop 360 (Capital of Texas Highway). These include Nalle Woods, Lakeside, Aqua Verde, Rivercrest, Davenport Ranch West, and The Point at Rob Roy. The major zip code for this west Austin area is also 78746.

Bee Caves Road

Once Bee Caves Road (FM 2244) crosses Loop 360, it curves by neighborhoods along Lake Austin. These include Rob Roy on the Lake, Cypress Banks, Wood Island, and Lake Pointe. The zip codes for this west Austin area are 78733 and 78746.

Cuernavaca Drive

Cuernavaca Dr. connects Bee Caves Road to Lake Austin between Rob Roy and Lake Pointe and accesses lakefront neighborhoods like Pecan Bottom on Lake Austin, River Terrace, Werkenthin, Saratoga Point, Rio Robles, Sterling Acres, and Panorama Ranch. The zip code for this area is 78733.

Ranch to Market 620

RM 620 connects Highway 71 in west Austin to RR 2222 in northwest Austin. Along the way, it wraps around both sides of the lake, crossing it at Mansfield Dam. Neighborhoods south of the lake accessible from RM 620 include Horseshoe Bend Estates, Illakee, Medway Ranch, Apache Shores, and Windmill Bluff Estates. Major zip codes for these areas include 78738 and 78734.

North Shore Neibhborhoods

East to west, neighborhoods on the north side of Lake Austin can be accessed via Scenic Drive, Ranch Road 2222, Courtyard Drive, City Park Road, Glen Lake Drive, Quinlan Park Road, and Fritz Hughes Park.

Scenic Drive

Lake Austin homes on the north shore begin on Scenic Drive. Part of Tarrytown neighborhood in west central Austin, the zip code here is 78703.

Ranch Road 2222

Northwest of Tarrytown are lakeshore neighborhoods accessible from RR 2222. These include Renaissance Park, The Cliff over Lake Austin, Waterford Place, and Island at Mt. Bonnell Shores. The zip code for these areas is 78731.

Courtyard Drive

Neighborhoods surrounding Lake Austin’s Pennybacker Bridge can be found along Courtyard Drive. These include Hidden Valley and The Courtyard and are part of zip codes 78731 and 78730.

City Park Road

In northwest Austin, City Park Road curves around the section of Lake Austin between Pennybacker Bridge and Emma Long Park. Lakeside neighborhoods found along City Park Road include Phillips Ranch on Lake Austin, Manana West, Oak Shores on Lake Austin, Briarpatch, Greenshores on Lake Austin, and Sanctuary at Coldwater. The zip code for these communities is 78730.

Glen Lake Drive

Glen Lake Drive extends from Emma Long Metropolitan Park to Steiner Ranch, skirting the lakefront neighborhoods River Pointe and Glenlake. It also accesses Watersedge at River Place and Rimer Place, all within zip code 78730.

Quinlan Park Road

Quinlan Park Road connects RR 620 to Lake Austin and is a main corridor through the Steiner Ranch community. Lakeside neighborhoods along Quinlan Park Road include River Dance at Steiner Ranch, Panther Hollow, Riverfront Estates, Sleepy Hollow, Lakeside Terrace, Lake Austin Village, Lakeland Park, River Bend, and Longhorn Village at Steiner Ranch. The zip code is 78732.

Fritz Hughes Park

Between Mansfield Dam and Steiner Ranch, Fritz Hughes Park road accesses a small lakeshore neighborhood called Montview Harbor. This neighborhood is also in zip code 78732.


Lake Austin homes may be zoned for the Eanes Independent School District, the Austin Independent School District, the Lake Travis Independent School District, or the Leander Independent School District. School boundaries can be fluid, so check with your agent for verification.

Eanes ISD Homes on Lake Austin

The Eanes Independent School District portion of Lake Austin generally spans along and to the south of the lake (the Colorado River) and along and to the north of Barton Creek. A small portion of homes just east of MoPac, to approximately Barton Creek, also are part of Eanes ISD. Zoning for Eanes spans westward to approximately just west of Commons Ford Road.

Some of the Eanes ISD neighborhoods along Lake Austin include the Point at Rob Roy, Aqua Verde, Windy Cove, Rockcliff Estates, Lakeplace, and Lakeshore, among many others. There also are many neighborhoods off of the main body of Lake Austin but instead along its tributaries. Further back from the water are even more homes and neighborhoods that enjoy views of Lake Austin.

On the southern portion of the lake that is closest to MoPac (Loop 1,) some of the homes are zoned for Austin Independent School District, including some of the homes in the area of Lake Austin Boulevard, Redbud Trail, and Stratford Drive.

Austin ISD Homes on Lake Austin

The Austin Independent School District portion of Lake Austin generally spans along the north side of the lake, which is part of the Colorado River. Most homes on this north side will be Austin ISD, with districts not beginning to change until north of RM 2222. The exception to the school boundaries is the general area of central Austin/MoPac (Loop 1.) Here, the boundary juts south of the lake. Some homes along Lake Austin Boulevard, Redbud Trail, and Stratford Drive therefore are zoned for Austin ISD, as well as those off of Ridgewood Road.

The Woods of Greenshores, Briarpatch, Hidden Valley, Waterford Place, Mount Bonnell Village, Mount Bonnell Terrace, Waters Edge, and some portions of Tarrytown are neighborhoods along Lake Austin that are zoned for Austin ISD.

Lake Travis ISD Homes on Lake Austin

The Lake Travis Independent School District mostly encompasses homes in the Lake Travis area, but there are some homes along Lake Austin, before it transitions westward to Lake Travis, that are in this district. Lake Travis ISD homes along Lake Austin include some of the following areas: homes along Big Horn Drive, the neighborhoods of Illakee and Horseshoe Bend Estates, and homes off Ladera and Resaca Boulevard. Just east of Resaca Boulevard is where homes transition back to Eanes ISD.

Leander ISD Homes on Lake Austin

The Leander Independent School District spans a portion of homes on the north side of Lake Austin, beginning at approximately City Park Road, westward. River Pointe, Waters Edge at River Place, River Place, Riverfront Estates, Sleepy Hollow, River Bend, and Steiner Ranch are some of the Leander ISD neighborhoods along Lake Austin. The large, master planned community of Steiner Ranch is notable because its location is near where Lake Austin and Lake Travis transition into one another.


Our neighborhood is within walking distance of lakeside Emma Long Park and Ski Shores café. Both are great Austin landmarks,” shared Weller, “and Curtain Theatre is just around the corner.”

For incomparable sunset views, residents can hike up the cliffs beside famous Austin landmark Pennybacker Bridge. A hike up nearby Mount Bonnell rewards residents with sunset lake views and stargazing.

Parks and Landmarks

Voted “Best Walk in the Park” by the Austin Chronicle in 2008, a 2.5-hour guided tour at Bright Leaf preserve takes visitors through 4 miles and 200 acres of natural Texas Hill Country. Mayfield Nature Park and Preserve borders a nearby inlet of Lake Austin and is known for its peacocks and gardens.

Emma Long Metropolitan Park, one of the largest parks in Austin, borders Lake Austin and offers 12 miles of hike and bike trails, boat ramps, volleyball courts, a splash pad, and several swimming areas shaded by cypress trees. One of the largest parks in Austin, it is a popular place for camping, hiking, boating, and picnicking. Archers will appreciate the Austin Archery Club just next door.

A mile northeast of Westlake Hills is 60-year-old Westlake Beach, a weekends-only lakeside park where residents fish, play horseshoes, and barbeque. Have a boat? Westlake Beach also has in-water boat slips for rent.

Located on the upper reaches of Lake Austin, six-acre Mary Quinlan Park offers 200 feet of shoreline access, including the only public boat ramp for several miles. It is a popular place for lakefront barbecuing and picnicking, as is nearby Selma Hughes Park.

Commons Ford Ranch Metropolitan Ranch offers 215 acres, picnic tables, volleyball courts, a boat ramp, and three miles of trails. Though swimming is not allowed, one of the trails features waterfalls and sweeping lake views.

Cultural Activities

Built on the banks of Lake Austin, the privately-owned Curtain Theatre is home to Austin’s only historical Shakespeare company – “The Baron’s Men” – as well as Austin Shakespeare Festival. Built by software developer Richard Garriott, it hosts various public performances year-round.

For museums, lakeside residents drive into to downtown Austin, where they can visit everything from Texas Memorial Museum to the Texas Capitol building and the Blanton Museum. Sports fans might head to UT Stadium for a Longhorn football game. Also downtown is the Frank Erwin Center, hundreds of live music venues, and large festivals like the annual Austin City Limits.

Austin Museum of Art’s The Contemporary Austin at Laguna Gloria offers art exhibitions and classes for all ages. The Long Center for the Performing Arts on nearby Lady Bird Lake offers ballet, opera, and theatrical performances.


Aside from the famous Pennybacker Bridge, which arches 350 meters across Lake Austin where it intersects with Capital of Texas Highway, the attractions of Lake Austin generally revolve around recreation. A three-lane boat ramp under the Pennybacker Bridge (360 Bridge) is a favorite place for Lake Austin boat entry. Shaded by Cypress and Sycamores, it includes a grassy area for fishing.

Walsh Boat Landing, located beside Tom Miller Dam, offers a historic boat ramp. On Lake Austin, it is the closest boat ramp to downtown Austin. No boat? Nearby Sun & Fun offers Lake Austin Boat Rentals. Off Westlake Drive, Lake Austin Marina offers a full-service, LEED-certifiable marina with 168 slips as well as a ship store.


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.

Tom Miller Dam

Tom Miller Dam, a concrete pier and slab structure 1,590 feet long, allows Lake Austin to be used for flood control, water supply, electrical power generation, and recreation. There are two generators in the powerhouse at Tom Miller Dam, each with a capacity of 6,750 kilowatts.


Lake Austin Living - Experience Waterfront Lifestyles & Luxury

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