Austin is Texas’s capital city and the perfect place to visit if you’re looking for culture, music, and arts scenes. This city is known for its lively atmosphere, but there are also natural springs, lakes, and hiking trails, and beaches in Austin.
If you find yourself looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, why not spend a day with your toes in the sand on one of the many beaches in Austin?
If we are being honest, no trip to Austin is complete without a trip to the Gulf Coast. Not only is there endless fun and beauty to be seen, but it’s also the perfect way to beat that Texas heat!
Texas has over 3,000 miles of coastline, so there are plenty of beaches to choose from, all offering exceptional sights and activities.
We know you want all the details, so we compiled this list of the best Austin beaches for you to explore. We guarantee you’ll want to visit them all!
10 Best Beaches In Austin (And Nearby!)
Shh! It’s a secret!
Located about 10 minutes from the city is one of the lesser-known beaches in Austin which is popularly known as the Secret Beach.
This amazing Austin beach is well-known by locals for its red-orange soft sandy shore. Also, it is the best place to take your dogs for a walk, build sandcastles, and hunt for the perfect seashell. The only caveat is that swimming is currently prohibited over here.
What’s even more exciting about this beach is that it is not easy to find. The fact that it will take a little bit more effort to find Secret Beach makes for the perfect family adventure or a romantic date. Plus, it’s close enough to the city to make it a quick trip.
If you’re enticed to find this secret beach in Texas, take East Riverside to Grove Boulevard. One thing to keep in mind about this beach is that you won’t find a lot of amenities here, so pack a picnic to make the most of your trip here.
Volente Beach Resort on Lake Travis
This is one of the best beaches in Austin to take your kids. Believe it or not, Lake Travis not only has a public beach but also Volente Beach Resort.
It is also home to an amusement park! Spend the day soaking in the sun and crashing in the waves and spend your night riding roller coasters and enjoying the view of the ocean from a Ferris Wheel!
Unlike Secret Beach, Volente Beach Resort offers a lot of amenities including waterslides, a grill serving up American favorites, and more. Doesn’t that sound amazing?
What’s even better is that you will not have to travel far, this beach is located only 37 minutes from Austin! So, if you are looking for fun Austin beaches to enjoy with your entire family, then this one is definitely a good choice.
Are you looking for nude beaches near Austin to visit? If yes, then Hippie Hollow is one of the best beaches in Austin to do just that. Guess what? It also happens to be Texas’ only clothing-optional beach.
The beach is located in a remote area of Lake Travis and is ideal for those who wish to enjoy the sun with fewer restrictions. With that being the case, Hippie Hollow is only a half an hour drive from Austin, making it the perfect adult getaway.
The coastline of Hippie Hollow is breathtaking. The gray rocky coast pairs perfectly with the blue-green water of Lake Travis. Also, Hippie Hollow is the ideal spot to sunbathe. But we advise you to leave the kids at home as you will find the beach filled with nude people. In terms of amenities, bathrooms are available on the property.
If you want to enjoy some adult fun, then check out this is the closest beach to Austin that allows nudity.
Shoal Beach is located in Town Lake Metropolitan Park and is one of the top beaches in Austin to explore. It is at the point where Shoal Creek connects to the Colorado River and offers a lot of fun things for the visitors to do.
This Austin beach includes hiking and biking trails from where visitors can enjoy scenic views of Lady Bird Lake. If that wasn’t enough, one can also enjoy a short walk on this beach or simply go for a picnic here.
You can also indulge in water activities here. From fishing to boating, there is a lot to do to enjoy the water surrounding this beach. In terms of amenities, you can use the public restrooms here and easily spend a day relaxing on this beach.
If you are looking for a close beach to hang out in Austin, then check out Shoal Beach.
Festival Beach is the closest beach to Austin that can be reached in under ten minutes. This beach doesn’t allow swimming in Lady Lake, but it is the perfect spot to enjoy a variety of water sports.
From fishing to hiking, to kayaking, there is a lot to do on this Austin beach. However, do keep in mind that for fishing in the lake, you will need a fishing license and there is a daily catch limit for different fish species. You can also enjoy boat tours of the lake or rent a canoe, kayak, or electric boat to explore the lake on your own.
This beach offers many hiking and biking trails for you to explore too. Plus, dog owners can get their beloved pets and play with them on the beach.
One of the best things about this beach is that it offers all the major amenities to visitors. There are public restrooms, drinking fountains, parking areas, restaurants, etc. to use here.
Trust me, this is one of the most fun beaches in Austin that you cannot miss out on!
Hamilton Pool Preserve
Hamilton Pool Preserve is just a 40-minutes drive from the city which makes it a perfect day trip from Austin.
This Texas beach is quite unique and is surrounded by lush greenery and a turquoise water pool. Trust me, when you visit this place, you will feel as you have been transported to an exotic world. It is one of the most fun sandy beaches near Austin and offers lots of activities to visitors.
You can reach the pool through a short hike and then swim in the water or sunbathe on the small pebble beach. This is one of the best places for swimming in Austin and offers several hiking trails to observe the native wildlife and enjoy the scenery.
It is not only one of the best beaches near Austin but is also one of the most beautiful waterfalls to visit. So, if you are looking for a short beach getaway from Austin, then Hamilton Pool Preserve is a perfect choice.
Sandy Creek Park
Located on the banks of Lake Travis, Sandy Creek Park is one of the quieter beaches in Austin and is only 30-40 minutes from downtown Austin.
The best thing about this park is that there is a dense forest that leads to the shoreline, offering lots of camping and hiking opportunities. You can hike along the water and enjoy stunning views of the lake.
This lake is a great spot for boating and swimming in Austin too. Also, you can try your luck fishing in the shallow parts of the lake. If you want to turn your short day trip to Sandy Creek Park into a weekend getaway, then there are several primitive camping sites available here as well.
There is a small entrance fee and camping fee associated with this park. But honestly, it is worth it. This is undoubtedly one of the best Austin beaches to enjoy with your friends and family members.
Barton Springs Pool Beach
Interested in spending a day swimming in Austin? Well, then Barton Springs Pool Beach is the perfect Austin beach for you to visit.
Spending a day here is one of the top things to do in Austin because it is not only great for swimming but has historical significance too. It is located in the city center and was earlier used by Native American settlers for purification rituals.
Currently, it is one of the best spots for swimming in Austin with water depth up to 18 feet. That’s not all, there is a grassy area surrounding it that can be used for sunbathing, picnicking, or playing games with your friends/family.
It is a part of the wider Zilker Park and offers a lot of fun activities to visitors. This place also has all the amenities and offers you easy access to food trucks and restaurants.
Russel Park Beach
One of the best pebble beaches near Austin, Russel Park Beach is a great getaway from Austin as it is only a 50-minute drive from downtown.
This beach is quiet and spacious and offers clean water to indulge in activities such as swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, and more around here.
Apart from the water activities, the beach offers 26-mile long hiking and biking trails to explore around the water. These trails will take you through woodlands and grasslands and the wilderness of the park.
It is a great place for nature photography too. Plus, you can always spend a night in one of the 27 primitive camping sites here. Fire up your grill, lay out your blanket, and enjoy a nice picnic on this cute Austin beach.
Want to spend a day on an ocean beach near Austin? Rockport Beach is the closest ocean beach to Austin and is a 3-hour drive from the city.
It is one of the cleanest beaches near Austin and is popularly known as the Blue Waves Beach of Texas. Although you cannot bring your pets to this beach, you get access to several amenities here which makes it a good place to visit.
The beach offers scenic views to the visitors and many picnic spots to relax on the beach. Also, there are many fun activities and games that you can play here.
You can make sandcastles, play beach volleyball, swim in the ocean, and more here. It is one of the best sandy beaches near Austin for you to visit.