We’ll never dispute the benefits of a swimming pool as temperatures heat up, but weekend getaways require larger bodies of water to fully contain your cannonballs and rope swings. So, for all of your late spring and early summer adventures, check out these particularly compelling lakeside accommodations. They range from actual campgrounds to luxe cabins, houses and safari tents. There’s really something for everyone, provided you actually like lakes and don’t know how most horror movies start.
Located about an hour north of downtown Austin, Talula Mesa is the home of four air-conditioned tents — three large and one small — situated on 15 acres overlooking Lake Travis. The tents are spread out for privacy, and each offers scenic views, though the 300-square-foot Grand Aztec tent has the best sightlines to the lake, so you can start and end your day with great views. Outside the tents you’ll find hammocks, a small pool, and yard games like cornhole, bocce ball, and badminton. There’s also a yoga hut, should you want to align some chakras, plus kayaks and paddleboards that you can take down to the water.
The location puts you in close proximity to Hill Country wineries and breweries, so you can take advantage of some good drinking while you’re there. Flat Creek Winery is just 10 minutes away, and in addition to lots of wine, it features an on-site restaurant and a disc golf course.
Cedar Creek Lake
If you’re traveling with friends or family, this peaceful lakeside home has six beds — two kings and four queens — and three bathrooms, so there’s plenty of room for everybody. It’s situated on a quiet canal that flows into open water, so you’re just a few steps from direct access to maritime activities like fishing and paddle boarding. If you’d rather sit back and watch the world go by, probably with some kind of frosty adult beverage in hand, the large wood deck is the place for you. It’s stocked with a wood-burning Solo Stove, a gas grill and comfortable seating, so you can spend your days and nights outdoors. But should you require a roof over your head, the living quarters include a full kitchen, smart TV, record player and fireplace.
The aptly named Paradise on Lake Texoma is a choose-your-own-adventure destination with multiple options for spending the night. The best and most comfortable options are the four waterfront Kabanas and the six waterview Kasitas. These tiny houses are equipped with everything you need for a successful vacation, including queen beds, HVAC units and power. Just outside each unit, you’ll find seating, fire pits and outdoor kitchens with sinks and grills, so you can gather round the fire with a good dinner, and not just trail mix and whiskey.
If you want to mix things up, Paradise also has a few traditional cabins (plus one that’s been fashioned from an old train car) as well as tent sites and RV sites.
If you don’t want traditional camping — and that’s understandable — head to this lakeside retreat and settle into one of six safari-style tents or one bell tent. Each sits on a raised platform and has a wood floor, plenty of living space for moving around, and real beds. Depending on which tent you choose, you may also have a small kitchen or private fire pit. The park also has five Airstreams available to rent. And if you’d rather rough it, there are several adjacent campsites where you can sleep on the ground.
The lakeside location provides easy access to watercraft rentals, picnic areas, and hiking and biking trails, and the nearby Base Camp Deli is a good spot to stock up on sandwiches and snacks.
Remember when you were a kid and you’d clamber up to your tree house that was basically just a rope ladder leading to a few floor planks that would never meet building code? This is not that. This is a luxe, two-bed, two-bath home nestled into the trees above Lake Travis, with a comfortable living room and kitchen. Vaulted ceilings and panoramic windows make for airy surroundings, and the wraparound deck ensures undisturbed views of the lake below. The marina is only steps away, so you can explore the lake via boat, kayak or paddleboard. If you prefer your water in smaller doses, there’s also a pool and hot tub located just below the house.
This thoughtfully restored 1930s cabin was once a Texas Rangers’ bunkhouse — the law enforcement officers, not the baseball team. The 800-square-foot interior has one bedroom, a full kitchen, stone fireplace and vintage vibes. It’s plenty comfortable, but you’re here for the unfettered lake access. The secluded property sits on a cove at one of Texas’s best bass fishing lakes, so you can rent a boat and then drop a line in the water. When your day’s done, the covered back porch looks onto the water, and there’s also a fire pit and grill for all your s’more- and dinner-related needs.
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