There’s no need to travel to faraway shores if you’re looking for great spots to kayak or fish. Some of the greatest lakes and rivers can be found right here in Central Texas. These waterways are fantastic swimming holes and are also amazing resources to take advantage of if you are looking to fish, kayak, or just spend a lovely day by the water. We at Crème de la Crème of Cedar Park have compiled a list of some of the best swimming holes around Cedar Park, Texas. Check out these amazing locales on your next family adventure.

Devine Lake Park

A single kayak cutting across one of the lakes around Cedar Park, TX at sunset.

Image via Flickr by peterrieke

Located just 15 minutes outside Cedar Park in nearby Leander, there’s the incredibly serene Devine Lake Park. Rarely overcrowded, this lake allows for peaceful kayaking and canoeing. You can also bring your fishing rods along as you can catch largemouth bass and bluegill in these blissful waters. If you want to simply bask in the beautiful surrounding environment, you can take a stroll around the lake’s well-kept grounds. With its grills and walking trails, this park feels like a rural sanctuary hiding in the middle of a city.

Red Bud Isle

When you visit Red Bud Isle in Austin, you can take the whole family — including your four-legged friend. A great dog park and fantastic fishing spot to boot, the 13-acres of Red Bud Isle is a must-visit for lovers of the outdoors. The park has many put-ins for kayaks, too, so you can always take a break from paddling and go fishing. When your fishing line hits the water, you won’t be disappointed at the selection of fish available. You have the opportunity to pull in shad and even bigger catches like longnose gar, bass, and spotted gar.

Lake Pflugerville

Your family will certainly not be bored when you visit Lake Pflugerville. If you get tired of swimming in the cool waters, you can always rent canoes and kayaks or even go windsurfing. You can fish to your heart’s delight here, too. There are seven fishing piers set up around the lake where you can cast your line and catch bluegill, largemouth bass, and channel catfish. If you are looking to work on your cardio while visiting the lake, you can go jogging on a lovely 3-mile trail. Lake Pflugerville also hosts foot races, non-motorized boating activities, and even triathlons.

Lake Travis

Lake Travis is Austin’s largest lake and is a favorite of the locals, for special events, a number of fun water sports, and to go fishing. White and striped bass, catfish, sunfish, and Guadalupe bass are all available in the lake. Of course, water skiing and kayaking are also popular activities out on Lake Travis. Kayaking lets you explore the many inlets hidden all around the lake and take in the beautiful sights of the immense limestone cliffs common in the area.

Brushy Creek Lake Park

You can find so many recreational opportunities to do all over the 90-acre spread of Brushy Creek Lake Park, which is located right here in Cedar Park. This is an excellent spot to learn how to kayak as the water is generally quite calm. The park also offers great opportunities to catch channel catfish and bluegill. You can make use of a hiking and biking trail, playground, and exercise station while visiting here, too.

San Marcos River

You don’t have to book a flight to the warm waters of the Caribbean to go snorkeling — take a day trip to visit the beautiful San Marcos River instead. The river system runs all the way from San Marcos down to Luling, and the water is constantly a delightful 70 degrees. This 75-mile river of crystal-clear water holds a multitude of swimming holes and several riverside parks. One of the best access points to the river is the Rio Vista Dam, and it features a three-tier swimming hole. Kayakers and tubers can always be found cruising down this immaculate waterway.

Barkley Meadows Park Ponds

Barkley Meadows Park in nearby Del Valle contains not one but two bodies of water. Your entire family can have fun at Berdoll Pond and Onion Creek. The Berdoll Pond is especially great for a spot of fishing, but the pond policy is for catch-and-release only. If you fish at Onion Creek pond though, you can actually keep your scaled trophies and bring them home for dinner. If you’re not a fan of fishing, take the kayak out on the water for a relaxing, smooth cruise. Leashed dogs are also allowed at this peaceful and shady park, so the entire family can come along.

Walter E. Long Lake

Head toward Austin to Walter E. Long Lake for spectacular views and great fishing that’s pretty close to home. With over 1,200 acres of water to fish, you and the kids can reel in largemouth bass, hybrid striped bass, catfish, and sunfish, with the occasional crappie here and there. Since the water is pretty warm year-round, fish are large and abundant. After you’re done fishing, head over to the onshore picnic areas for lunch. Pay $5 for a day pass during the week and $10 on the weekends. 

Bright Lake 

Round Rock locals love Bright Lake, and it’s no mystery why. The sunsets you can see while visiting Bright Lake’s fishing pier are nearly as magnificent as all the fish you can catch in its waters. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation stock Bright Lake full of delicious catfish, perch, and bass. But if you aren’t having luck catching dinner for the day, you and the kids can always take a break over at the disc golf area. There you can distract yourself on more than 500 acres of courses.

We at Crème de la Crème of Cedar Park hope this list has inspired you for your next family staycation. What did you think of our list? Did we miss a favorite swimming hole or fishing spot of yours? We want to know about it! Let us know, and we’ll be sure to add it to our list.