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Lady Bird Lake

Try a water sport or relax by the shoreline at this major feature in the Austin landscape. 

Lady Bird Lake is a man-made lake and a point of pride for locals. It covers 470 acres (190 hectares) in the center of Austin, dividing the city evenly. There are no motorboats allowed on the lake (with the exception of electric motors under 5 horse power), so it's the perfect spot to canoe or kayak. Fishing is also popular, with an impressive population of largemouth bass, as well as redbreast sunfish and carp. There is a limit on the amount of fish you can catch and keep per day. Check the Texas Parks and Wildlife website for details.  

Follow The Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail, which runs for 10 miles (16 kilometers) around the lake and is mostly flat. Rent a bike, by the hour or for a whole day, from half a dozen different bike shops around the city. Swimming is not allowed in the lake. 

Enjoy the gardens along the shore, created by former First Lady of the United States and Austin local Lady Bird Johnson. She made such an important contribution to the city’s image in the 1970s that they named the lake after her. 

The largest city-dwelling colony of bats in the world lives under the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge, which spans the lake from downtown Austin to the area of Bouldin. Between March and November and particularly on hot, humid August nights, this colony — estimated to be about 1.5 million bats — takes flight in search of food. The bats fan out in huge columns, so have your camera ready to catch this strange and beautiful sight on the Austin skyline. 

Lady Bird Lake is a reservoir on the Colorado River in downtown Austin. There are several places to rent kayaks, rowboats and paddle boats.

Popular Activities at Lady Bird Lake

There are plenty of unique ways to get a feel for Lady Bird Lake. Here are some of some of the top ones:

If you'd like more options, peruse our Austin things to do page.


Guide to Exploring around Lady Bird Lake


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Lodging Near Lady Bird Lake

See all 1,415 Properties near Lady Bird Lake
Fairmont Austin $166
Reviewed on Jun 17, 2019
See details
 
Fairmont Austin

Fairmont Austin

101 Red River St, Austin, TX
     
    4.7 of 5
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Love the decor and staff was outstanding And, loved the scent in the lobby

    Omni Austin Hotel $134
    Reviewed on Jun 20, 2019
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    Omni Austin Hotel

    Omni Austin Hotel

    700 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX
       
      4.2 of 5
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      We liked the location and the architecture of the building. We didn't like that there wasn't a fan in the bathroom.

      Holiday Inn Austin -Town Lake $85
      Reviewed on Jun 17, 2019
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      Holiday Inn Austin -Town Lake

      Holiday Inn Austin -Town Lake

      20 North IH-35, Austin, TX
         
        3.7 of 5
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Location was convenient and situated next to a large recreational area and lake. The facility could probably use some updating sooner than later. Our room was in the highway side and road noise was oppressive at times. Great service from staff.

        The LINE Austin $146
        Reviewed on Jun 10, 2019
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        The LINE Austin

        The LINE Austin

        111 East Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, TX
           
          4.3 of 5
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          This hotel was so trendy and cute! I would definitely stay here again.

          Hyatt Regency Austin $143
          Reviewed on Jun 17, 2019
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          Hyatt Regency Austin

          Hyatt Regency Austin

          208 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX
             
            4.5 of 5
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Great location, excellent customer service. Very helpful and friendly. Rooms were nice, spacious and very clean.

            Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt $149
            Reviewed on Jun 11, 2019
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            Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt

            Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt

            605 Davis Street, Austin, TX
               
              4.6 of 5
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              At check in we were greeted with a drink of our choice, the room was well decorated, and the place was hopping. The pool, bar and restaurant was very active through the day and night. Nice hotel, nice people working there, fun place to stay without the noise in your room that sometimes comes with ...

              Aiden by Best Western @ Austin City Hotel $106
              Reviewed on Jun 17, 2019
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              Aiden by Best Western @ Austin City Hotel

              Aiden by Best Western @ Austin City Hotel

              2200 S I 35, Austin, TX
                 
                4.2 of 5
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                The hotel was beautiful and the staff was very accommodating.

                The Driskill - in the Unbound Collection by Hyatt $159
                Reviewed on Jun 2, 2019
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                The Driskill - in the Unbound Collection by Hyatt

                The Driskill - in the Unbound Collection by Hyatt

                604 Brazos Street, Austin, TX
                   
                  4.5 of 5
                  4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  What a great way to spend the evening in Austin. Right downtown, everything walkable with great folks to guide your stay. We will be back