If you weren’t able to get away to a nice sandy beach out of town this summer, why not make the most of what Austin has to offer? Several of Austin’s many waterfront parks feature beaches and swimming holes. Some are sand, some are comprised of tiny pebbles, so water shoes are recommended for all. Any parks requiring paid admission are notated.
These are recommendations from our Facebook page, so if we missed your favorite, please tell us about it in the comments!
- Lake Pflugerville — Includes a 3 mile walking/jogging trail, playground, boat launch, pavilion and beach area. The beach at Lake Pflugerville is actually made up of pea gravel, which can get quite hot, so bring water shoes! Great for swimming, but there is no lifeguard. (18216 Weiss Ln, Pflugerville)
- E. Rendon Sr. Festival Beach Park — I’m not sure how much of a beach there is at Festival Beach, but it’s described as a very shady park with a dirt path along the shore of Lady Bird Lake. If you’ve been there, tell us more in the comments! (2101 Bergman St)
Paid Admission Parks
- Emma Long Park — One of the largest parks in Austin, Emma Long features a long sandy beach and an enclosed swimming area. Admission is $8 per car. (1600 City Park Rd)
- Shore Club Volente Beach — Features their own sandy beachfront and 3 volleyball courts in its water park. Admission is free for 2 and under, $15.99 for kids under 42″, and $20.99 for anyone over $42″. (16107 FM 2769, Volente)
- Westlake Beach — A privately owned park on Lake Austin, Westlake Beach is open to the public. Admission is $5 for ages 11 and under, and $11 for ages 12 and up. The park includes a small sandy beach, sand volleyball, water volleyball, pavilions, and a concession stand. (2509 West Lake Dr)
- Bob Wentz Park at Windy Point — Located on Lake Travis, Windy Point has a sandy peninsula called “The Point.” The park includes two sand volleyball courts, a shoreline walking path, a boat dock, and a pavilion available for rent. Admission is $8 per car Monday – Friday and $15 per car Saturday and Sunday. (7144 Comanche Trail)
- Pace Bend Park — Approximately 30 miles west of Austin on Lake Travis, the north and east side of the park have shallow beaches perfect for children and dogs. Admission is $10 per car. (2011 Pace Bend Rd N)
- Hamilton Pool Preserve — Very small beach made of pebbles, but the water is very cool and refreshing! $10 per car. Go early – the parking lot fills up quickly and then you have to wait for a spot, which could take an hour or more. (24300 Hamilton Pool Rd., Dripping Springs)
- McKinney Falls State Park — Enjoy a shady spot on the pebble beach near the falls (which aren’t huge, but it’s still a nice little spot to swim). Bring water shoes. Admission is $6 for visitors age 13 and up. (5808 McKinney Falls Parkway)