The best lakes in the Lone Star State: Guide to some of Texas’ top swimming holes.
Summer in Texas can mean participating in indoor activities to keep away from the unbearable heat outside, or it can mean jumping into one of the best North Texas lakes nearby and having some splashy fun with the whole family. Choose one of the best lakes in the Lone Star State, and have fun!
While Texas is not known for its beaches, the Lone Star State does have some beautiful lakes we can enjoy!
The Best Lakes in the Lone Star State
In this post, we’ll go over some of the best lakes in Texas for swimming, fishing, and kayaking. So if you’re looking for a summer adventure or want to escape the heat, check out one of these lakes!
Best North Texas Lakes
Perfect spot for fishing, swimming, and kayaking. Lake Lewisville is in Denton County, off I-35, and has over 26,000 acres of water!
Lake Ray Roberts
It is a popular fishing destination with largemouth bass, catfish, and crappie. Swimmers and kayakers can also hike and bike around the Lake when they tire from the many water sports available. There are some parks located around the lake to have a picnic. Be sure to check out Ray Roberts State Park.
White Rock Lake
It is a Dallas lake and is a favorite spot for swimming, fishing, kayaking, and walking. The lake has a public area and many other spots to enjoy the lakeside view. The northeast part of the lake has a walking and biking trail that goes all the way around it!
Lake Texoma is the largest lake in Texas and borders the state with Oklahoma! It’s an excellent spot for fishing, swimming, and kayaking. The Lake has over 89,000 acres of water to explore and is known for its largemouth bass, catfish, and crappie. The Lake also has many parks with picnic areas, playgrounds, and many great places to stay for short weekends with direct access to the Lake.
Joe Pool Lake
A reservoir located in Grand Prairie, close to Cedar Hill State Park. There are a lot of facilities in the park to keep you busy and entertained, including a lakeside for a picnic, a swimming area, campsites, boat ramps, and fishing piers.
Cedar Creek Lake
Cedar Creek Lake is located about 60 miles southeast of Dallas. It’s a huge weekend destination with Dallasites. Its eight marinas make a boat launch easy from any part of the Lake. I grew up on this lake on weekends. It was my family’s lake house for fifty years. Sad to see it go.
It’s a beautiful lake just north of Dallas in Collin County, with fishing, camping, parks, and hiking trails. Check out Collin Park Marina for all outdoor activities and boat launches in the water. If you don’t have a boat, no problem – boat rentals are available around the lake.
Some of the best lakes are within driving distance from Dallas / Fort Worth.
Top Lakes In Texas Hill Country
Inks Lake State Park
This lake is great for a day trip or a weekend getaway. There are plenty of rentals around the area. Because the lake’s level usually stays constant, it doesn’t go up and down like most lakes do, so you can play here year-round as long as the weather cooperates. Camping, hiking, geocaching, volleyball, picnicking, and nature is what you will find here. Inks Lake is in Burnet, TX.
Lake Marble Falls
Hotels and restaurants line the shores of Lake Marble Falls, as does a park. It’s the perfect getaway for playing in the water. Golfers and boaters love this area because of the nice golf courses; people can bring their boats out on the water. The lake is also within walking distance of many boutiques, coffee shops, ice cream shops, and restaurants on Main Street. It’s one of my favorites.
The reservoir is great for fishing, swimming, and kayaking north of Austin on the Colorado River. With over 32,000 acres of water and 154 miles of shoreline, there’s plenty of room for everyone to find their spot on the Lake.
Lakes In Central Texas
Lady Bird Lake
Lady Bird Lake, named after Lady Bird Johnson, is a river-like reservoir on the Colorado River in Austin. Public Lake Access and Launch Areas IH 35 and East Avenue. Watercraft rentals are available.
The large reservoir is close to Austin, with 68,000 acres of water and over 700 miles of shoreline. It’s popular for fishing, swimming, boating, and watersports.
Also close to Austin, Bastrop State Park is home to two lakes: Lake Bastrop and Lake Mina. Both lakes are great for fishing, swimming, and kayaking.
Lake Austin is located in the heart of the city and has over 18 miles of shoreline. It is an excellent choice for a day of water sports, fun, hiking, and biking.
East Texas Lakes
Lake Tyler At Tyler State Park
A natural swimming hole, a 64-acre spring-fed lake nestled among 100-foot-tall pine trees. By far, it is one of the best places to beat the heat. There are picnic areas, pavilions, playgrounds, 13-mile nature trails through pine and hardwood forests, and cabins and campsites to stay for a night or 2. What more could you ask for?
Lake Livingston is one of the largest lakes in Texas, located in the East Texas Piney Woods, 80 miles north of Houston and 175 miles southeast of Dallas-Fort Worth.
Caddo Lake State Park
Cypress trees, alligators, scary movies, scary boat tours at night, lily pads, camping, and all sorts of fun here! There are plenty of lakes with cabins all around the lake.
Sam Rayburn Reservoir
Located in deep East Texas.
Lake Conroe is a large reservoir popular for fishing, swimming, boating, and watersports. The Margaritaville Lake Conroe Resort shares the water and is an awesome resort for couples and families.
South Texas Lakes
Lake Houston is probably the biggest and most well-known Lake in this region. It’s located on the San Jacinto River and is a great place to fish, swim, and boat, with plenty of other activities to keep you busy. Perfect for day trips from downtown Houston.
Lake Livingston is one of the largest lakes in the state, with a huge population of white bass. With six boat ramps, you’ll have no problem launching your boat.
The largest Lake in Texas is Toledo Bend Reservoir.
It’s also Texas’ largest man-made lake. So there you go!