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Sunset over Lake Travis in Austin Texas from The Oasis
Sunset over Lake Travis in Austin Texas from The Oasis

Located northwest of Austin, Lake Travis belongs to a group of six manmade reservoirs along Texas’ Colorado River that is known as the Highland Lakes. 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.

Lake Travis starts at Max Starcke Dam in Burnet Country and snakes 63 miles southeast toward Lakeway, where it meets Mansfield Dam and feeds into Lake Austin. Lake Austin, in turn, feeds into Lady Bird Lake.

Lake Travis is the longest of these three lakes, with 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 Austin lakes.

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

Lake Travis Homes

With its laidback, lakeside lifestyle, rolling hill country beauty, and half-hour proximity to Austin, upscale residential real estate along Lake Travis remains in high demand. There also is much variety, as its neighborhoods are comprised of tens of thousands of homes.

Melanie Sharp is a Lake Travis resident and mother of two. The flaming sunsets over Lake Travis are her favorite part of life there. “But we moved to Rough Hollow for the hill country beauty, the lake-loving community, and the exemplary schools,” she explained.

Stunning Lake Travis views rival any that can be found on Lake Austin, with an added level of seclusion and privacy. Offerings include lake view and lakeside lots, homes, condos, and luxury estates, and prices can go up to the multi-millions. Many properties 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. Cliffside homes overlooking Lake Travis also are available.

Neighborhoods & Amenities

Many of central Texas’ most desirable lakefront properties are along Lake Travis in the beautiful Hill Country. With resort-style living, access to the major metropolitan area of Austin, and lake-life amenities such as marinas, boat ramps, and parks, Lake Travis homes are highly popular for their lifestyle charms.

Lake Travis is a very large geographical area, and we’ve broken it down to help focus your home search. The areas include Far Southwest, Southwest, South, Southeast, Northeast, North Central, and Northwest. Among these geographical areas are hundreds of communities and subdivisions, which span eight zip codes: 78620, 78641, 78645, 78654, 78669, 78734, 78736, and 78738.

Far Southwest

Spicewood is the prominent city in the Far Southwest region of Lake Travis. About 22 miles northwest of Austin and one mile north of Highway 71, Spicewood welcomes visitors to the “Gateway to the Hill Country,” with its 8,000 residents, plus golf courses, wineries, and local attractions. Creeks also are abundant in the area, which adds to the recreational activities for residents. Flintrock Falls and Lakecliff Golf Courses are prime golfing locations, and Stone House Vineyard and Spicewood Vineyard make their home here. Its MLS location is LS and its zip code is 78669. Spicewood is served by numerous school districts.

While there are more moderate price ranges, Spicewood homes can range up to the multi-millions for waterfront homes or homes on hilltops. The Reserve at Lake Travis is a prominent waterfront community in Spicewood. The Reserve offers 300 acres of shoreline for its homes, as well as an equestrian center, a lodge, a private marina, and a resort-style pool. Other neighborhoods in Spicewood include Barton Creek Lakeside, Big Bee Creek, Paleface Ranch, Spicewood Beach, West Cypress Hills, Windermere Oaks, and The Point at Ridge Harbor.

Southwest Lake Travis

Briarcliff is a subdivision of about 1,200 homes on the south shore of Lake Travis. About 30 miles west of Austin via Highway 71, Briarcliff is in MLS area LS and is in zip code 78669. The Briarcliff Property Owners Association (BPOA) and the Village of Briarcliff (VOB) maintain the Briarcliff Marina, as well as a community center, a disc golf park, a nine-hole golf course at Pedernales Golf Club, tennis courts, a brush pit, and a 2.5 mile hike and bike trail. Briarcliff residents also are just south of Pace Bend Park, which offers nine miles of shoreline for water recreation, picnics, and camping.

South Lake Travis

Lakeway is the largest community along south Lake Travis. With approximately 10,000 residents, Lakeway is a draw for those who want to experience a lake lifestyle while still having a bounty of opportunities for business, retail, and recreational activities. Lakeway is home to the Hills of Lakeway and Falconhead Golf Courses, numerous marinas, Lakeway City Park, plus a community pool, hike and bike trails, and playgrounds. The nearby Hill Country Galleria provides a plethora of retail outlets and department stores, as well as a movie theater and restaurants.

Lakeway is about 25 miles west of Austin and is served by the Lake Travis Independent School District. Its MLS area is LS, and its zip codes are 78734 and 78738. Flintrock Falls, Rough Hollow, and The Hills are three of the prominent communities of Lakeway, with upscale amenities, custom built homes, and other resident-based perks.

Southeast Lake Travis

Hudson Bend is the primary community of southeast Lake Travis. An upscale area of about 3,000 residents, many of the homes are custom and on large, waterfront lots. Hudson Bend is about 16 miles northeast of Austin, near Mansfield Dam, which includes Mansfield Dam Park and its boat ramp, picnic facilities, and playgrounds, plus areas for horseshoes. Also in Hudson Bend are Marshall Ford Marina, Lake Travis Marina, Emerald Pointe Marina, Paradise Cove Marina, and Hudson Marina.

Some of the subdivisions within Hudson Bend include Bebys Ranch, Hudson Bend Colony, La Hacienda Estates, Lakewind Estates, Lakeland Hills Lakeside, The Reserve at Hudson Bend, Travis Landing, and The Woods of Lake Travis. Hudson Bend is served by the Lake Travis Independent School District and is in MLS area LS and zip code 78734.

Lower Basin

On the lower ridge of the north shore of Lake Travis is the region known as the “Lower Basin.” Just below Volente, this area offers stunning views of the lake from its elevated subdivisions, some of which are along Comanche Trail and include Comanche Point, Comanche Village, and Comanche Canyon Ranch. About 16 miles north of Austin, the Lower Basin offers only a few hundred homes and is much prized for its location. It is in MLS area LN and zip code 78732 and is served by the Leander Independent School District.

Lake life is the focus of this region, with several public parks nearby, plus The Oasis restaurant, famed for its sunset views. Camping, hiking, picnicking and swimming are popular at Windy Point Park and Tom Hughes Park. “Hippie Hollow” is well-known as Texas’ only clothing-optional public lake area.

Northeast Lake Travis

Along the northeast side of Lake Travis is the community of Volente. With approximately 600 homes, Volente is located about 18 miles from Austin in MLS area LN and zip code 78641. Waterfront homes here are priced into the millions, and inventory can be tight due to the community’s size. Subdivisions in the Volente area include Sandy Shores, The Village at Volente, Arrowhead Point, Arrowhead Ridge, Johnson Travis View, and Cypress Acres. Volente is served by the Leander Independent School District.

The Volente Beach Waterpark is a fun draw for residents and those in the surrounding areas. Numerous marinas also dot the area and provide access to the recreational activities of the lake.

North Central Lake Travis

Lago Vista is a community in the north central portion of Lake Travis, about 20 miles northwest of Austin. Homes in Lago Vista range from moderate homesites to estates and mansions on the waterfront that are priced into the multi-millions. Neighborhoods in Lago Vista include Highland Lakes Estates, Lago Vista Country Club Estates, and Bar-K Ranches,

Lago Vista is in MLS area LN and zip code 78645. It is served by its own school district, the Lago Vista Independent School District. The Lago Vista Property Owners Association maintains many features within the planned community of about 6,000 residents, such as parks, boat ramps, marinas, camping areas, and a fitness center.

Known as the gateway to the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge, the area is a stunning example of natural beauty and offers many secluded areas, as well as two golf courses – Lago Vista and Highland Lakes – that take advantage of the natural scenery.


Just east of Lago Vista is the smaller, more rural community of Jonestown. At the northern tip of Lake Travis and about 19 miles northwest of Austin, Jonestown has about 2,000 residents in subdivisions such as Kellywood Estates, Jonestown Hills, and Northlake Hills. Jonestown also is home to the master planned luxury home community of The Hollows of Lake Travis, which offers its own private beach club and many other amenities.

Much of the land in the area is managed by the Lower Colorado River Authority, which provides for ample public access to the hills, creeks, and lake areas. Jones Brothers Park also offers 32 acres of space, with three boat ramps, plus sport courts and picnic areas. Jonestown is served by both the Lago Vista Independent School District and the Leander Independent School District. It is in MLS area LN and zip code 78645.

Point Venture

The small village of Point Venture is a planned community rife with lake-lifestyle amenities. About 25 miles northwest of Austin, the Point Venture Property Owners Association oversees a private nine-hole golf course at the Point Venture Golf Club, two boat ramps, a Jr. Olympic size swimming pool, a fitness center, six tennis courts, a children’s play center, and a pavilion. The community’s marina offers 163 boat slips.

Point Venture is located in MLS area LN and zip code 78645. It is served by the Lago Vista Independent School District.


For a day at a lakeshore park, residents enjoy 323-acre Arkansas Bend Park. It offers a boat ramp, nature trails, restrooms, and campsites. Nude sunbathing and swimming is permitted in Hippie Hollow Park, which holds the distinction of being the only legal clothing-optional park in Texas.

With over nine miles of shoreline, Pace Bend Park features high limestone cliffs and impressive lake views. Bob Wentz Park at Windy Point is a favorite location for water sports like windsurfing, sailing, and scuba diving.

Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, which manages a network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s wildlife, fish, and plants. The primary purpose of the refuge is to protect the nesting habitat of two highly endangered migratory birds: the golden-cheeked warbler and black-capped vireo.

A well-known camping and swimming site, Krause Springs is located in Spicewood. There are 32 springs on the property, a grotto, a tent camping area, and 24 RV sites. The 115-acre property has been privately owned by the Krause Family for over 50 years and is listed on the National Registry of Historical Sites.


Cypress Valley Canopy Tours lets visitors monkey around the beautiful tree top canopy of Cypress Valley. It offers two sky bridges and five zip-lines, with the longest measuring 350 feet with tree platforms up to 40 feet high. Lake Travis Zipline Adventures enables the adrenaline-hungry to reach speeds up to 50 MPH on over 1.3 miles of lakeshore zip-lines!

The 10 fields at Jonestown’s Texas Paint Ball bring out the commando in any visitor. For residents who prefer the real thing, 3,000-acre Hidden Falls Adventure Park offers a shooting club, plus miles of off-road trails for dirt bikers, 4×4 enthusiasts, and UTV/Quad fanatics.

Lakeway Skate Park is free and open to the public, and offers 9,000 square feet of combination street and bowl elements. Aviators will appreciate the proximity of Lakeway’s Air Park. Plus, “Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is 30 miles away,” said Sharp.

Water Recreation

Recreation on the cold, clear waters of Lake Travis includes boating, kayaking, jet-skiing, sailing, parasailing, swimming, fishing, and scuba diving.

Need a boat? Rentals are available at many marinas and at watercraft rental sites like Liquid Thrillz. Lake Travis also boasts over 20 marinas, from Highland Lakes Marina and Commanders Point to Paradise Cove Marina, Emerald Point Marina, and Siesta Shores Marina.

Lake Travis Marina

For a lakeside waterpark adventure, Lake Travis residents enjoy Volente Beach. It offers live music and dancing on the weekends, adult nights with late night water park rides, volleyball courts, and a swim up pool bar.

Golf, Country Clubs, and Spas

With seven golf courses in just two zip codes, Lake Travis is a hole in one for golf opportunities. Members-only courses include Spanish Oaks, The Hills of Lakeway, and Lakecliff on Lake Travis. For a public course, residents can visit Falconhead Golf Club, Point Venture Country Club or Lago Vista Golf Course. Steiner Ranch’s University of Texas Golf Club and River Place Country Club are also quite close.

Need some R&R? Travaasa and Lakeway Resort and Spa offer Lake Travis residents award-winning spa services and luxurious amenities.

Restaurants & Shopping
Hundreds of shops and restaurants are located within minutes of Lake Travis.

Well-known lakefront restaurants include Gnarly Gar, The Oasis, Rocco’s Grill, and Hudson’s on the Bend. Many are accessible by boat after a fun day in the sun and offer breathtaking sunset vistas.

At RR 620 and Lohman’s Crossing, VistaRidge outdoor shopping center offers residents a Randall’s Grocery and over 15 retailers, from Scrapology to Starbucks. Lakeway Town Center is a mile further south and offers stores like Tuesday Morning, Thundercloud Subs, and Curves.

For a movie, a trip to Whole Foods, or an afternoon of high-end shopping, Lake Travis residents often head down RR 620 to nearby Hill Country Galleria. This outdoor shopping center offers 152 acres of recreational trails and parks mixed with eclectic shopping, dining, and entertainment.

“We like the Hill Country Galleria,” said Sharp. “It’s close, the movie theatre is quite new, and there are lots of places to eat, shop, and relax.”

Hill Country Galleria Splash Pad

Cultural Offerings

TexARTS , with a world-class theatre run by a non-profit organization, offers arts education and performances and careers in the visual and performing arts.

Lakeway’s Heritage Center Park opened in 2005 to preserve, protect, display, and chronicle Lakeway history. The center houses an archivist and meeting room, and onsite is a veterans’ monument and a section of the property’s original 1930s-era ranch house.

Only 25-35 minutes from downtown Austin, Lake Travis offers proximity to one of the nation’s most dynamic cities: the Live Music Capital of the World. Downtown Austin abounds with museums from the Blanton Museum and Elisabet Ney to The Contemporary, MexicArte, and the Bullock Texas State History Museum.

“Austin is so close!” said Sharp. “We like to head there for festivals like Austin City Limits or for a night on the town.”

Lake Travis is surrounded by 240 miles of shoreline and hundreds of lakefront neighborhoods. Here, we will discuss the most popular neighborhoods by zip code, starting at Mansfield Dam and moving counterclockwise around the lake (northwest to southeast).


Lake Travis Lakeview PoolsAccessible from RR 620, Lake Travis shoreline zip code 78732 is famous for housing Tom Hughes Park and The Oasis on Lake Travis. A street known as Comanche Trail skirts the shore, connecting The Oasis to additional attractions like Hippie Hollow and Bob Wentz. The zip code ends at the southern side of the Cypress Creek arm of Lake Travis.

Neighborhoods in 78732 include Marshall Ford Vista, Travis Vista, Marshall Ford, Hughes Park Lake, Comanche Trail Estates, Comanche Canyon Ranch, Comanche Trail, Comanche Point, and Comanche Village.


Accessible from Bullick Hollow Road, the small shore of zip code 78726 starts at the north side of the Cypress Creek arm of Lake Travis and ends at its west side. Known for Travaasa resort, its most popular neighborhood is Anderson Mills Lake Sites.


This stretch of Lake Travis shoreline begins at the northern side of the Cypress Creek arm of Lake Travis and ends at the Sandy Creek arm. In between are Travis treasures Volente Beach (aka the Shore Club), Lake Travis Zipline Adventures, Riviera Marina, 10-acre Lake Travis Lake House, and Texas Paint Ball. The community is accessible by FM 2769, which flanks the lakefront and merges with Lime Creek Rd.

Neighborhoods within 78641 include Cypress Pointe, Wildwood Farm, Cypress Acres, Indian Point, Hiawatha Place, Arrowhead Point, Arrowhead Ridge, Volente, Lake Travis, Village at Volente, Sandy Shores, Gate Hollow Estates, Lake View Acres, Travista, Red Wagon Ranchettes, Trails End at Lake Travis, and Rocky Point.


FM 1431 skirts 78645’s shorefront of Lake Travis. The area contains the city of Jonestown and Laura Reed Park. Exit Lohman Ford Road to reach popular landmarks including Easy Street Marina, Arkansas Bend Park, Gnarly Gar, Point Venture Golf Club, Liquid Thrillz Boat Rentals, and Lago Vista Golf Course.

The plethora of shoreline neighborhoods in 78645 include Northlake Hills, Long Hollow Estates, Hollows at Northshore, Northshore on Lake Travis, The Pointe, The Bluffs, Marshall’s Point, Marshall’s Harbor, Lakeshore Ranch, North Shore Colony, Lodge Acres, Lakeway Hills, Waterford on Lake Travis, Comanche Point at Point Venture, Indian Point at Point Venture, Point Venture, Poole Place, Highland Lake Estates, and Lago Vista.


Like the previous zip code, FM 1431 flanks the northshore lakefront of zip code 78654 until it reaches the beginning of Lake Travis: Max Starke Dam. From there, the zip code crosses over to the southshore of Lake Travis, where lakefront properties can be accessed via FM 2147. The northshore of 78654 is famous for Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge. Also dotting the north side are Candlelight Ranch, Bent Oak Quail Farm, Hidden Falls Adventure Park, and three children’s camps: Camp Balcones Springs, Camp of the Hills, and Camp Peniel.

Neighborhoods in the area include Circle J Ranch Lakeside, Flat Creek, Travis Oaks, Paradise Cove, Chimney Oaks at Lake Travis, Singleton Bend, Blue Cove Estates, Lookout Ridge, Swift Water, Chimney Cove, Muleshoe Bend, and Paradise Manor.


Lake Travis EnclaveHighway 71 is the access point for lakeside properties within zip code 78669. Cut in half by the beautiful Pedernales River, the area boasts Willie Nelson’s Tierra Vista, Narrows Recreation Area, and Spicewood Airport. Residents exit Paleface Ranch Road to reach Pace Bend Park, Krause Springs, and Siesta Shores Marina. Camp T Bar M, Lake Cliff Country Club, and Cypress Valley Canopy Tours are additional attractions.

Lakeside neighborhoods in 78669 include Barton Creek Lakeside, Lakecliff on Lake Travis, Travis Lakeside, Travis Bluff, Naumanns Camp, Briarcliff, Lake Wood Estates, Thurman Bend Estates, The Reserve at Lake Travis, Edgewater Beach, Coves on Lake Travis, Estates at Edgewater Beach, Angel Bay, La Isla at Angel Bay, Siesta Shores, Big Bee Creek, Lakehurst, Inverness Point, and Hidden Hills.


Accessible from RR 620, attractions within zip code 78734 include the Hills of Lakeway Country Club, Lakeway Resort and Spa, 64-acre Lakeway City Park, and World of Tennis. The area also offers Lakeway Marina, Lakeway Airpark, Paradise Cove Marina, Emerald Point Marina, and Mansfield Dam Park. Residents dine at Rough Hollow’s Grille and Marina, Hudson’s on the Bend Restaurant, and Rocco’s Grill.

East to west, Lakefront communities in 78734 include Rough Hollow, Lakeway, Brooks Hollow, Yacht Harbor, Buffalo Gap, Costa Bella, Vineyard Bay, Villas on Travis, Vista Grande, Eck Lane on the Lake, Bayview Acres, Rocky Ridge, Eagle Ridge, Emerald Point, Hudson Harbor, Lakeland Hills Lakeside, Travis Landing, Beby’s Ranch, and Silent Ridge.

“I love that we don’t have to leave Rough Hollow to enjoy the casual and outdoorsy Lake Travis lifestyle,” said Sharp. “As far as amenities go, everything’s right here or just next door.”


A hundred years ago, nothing but the Colorado River coursed through the farms and ranches 20 miles west of Austin. Occasionally, the river rose, causing devastating floods. The area now known as Lake Travis came to be thanks to the determination of the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) and the support of two politicians: J.P. Buchanan and Lyndon Johnson (a young Congressman at the time).

“Of all the endeavors on which I have worked in public life, I am proudest of the accomplishment in developing the Colorado River.” – Lyndon Johnson, 1958

After four years of construction, a 7,000 foot-long dam was created to control flooding and produce hydroelectric electricity. The resulting lake, Lake Travis, could now store 256 billion gallons of flood water!

Today, Lake Travis is a tourist destination for visitors from all over Texas and beyond—boaters, skiers, fishing enthusiasts, and water lovers enjoy its natural beauty and majestic landscapes. The growing residential community has produced a thriving environment for commercial and retail businesses.


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