The shores of Lake Austin comprise one of the most prestigious stretches of real estate in Texas, with idyllic calm water and rolling hills providing a picturesque and peaceful setting for the sparsely dotted homes. The "lake" is actually a 20-mile segment of the Colorado River that joins the Texas Hill Country and Lake Travis to the west with Lady Bird Lake and Downtown Austin to the east. One of the lake's most prized features is its constant water level, which makes it a "go-to" destination for water sports enthusiasts and those who want continual close-in water access. While the lake looks more like a calm river than a traditional lake, there is ample space for wakeboarding, wake surfing, water skiing, and cruising.
Once home to an abundance of weekend lake homes, most current-day Lake Austin waterfront properties have been converted to prime luxury estates. Homes on Lake Austin are some of the most expensive properties in Texas, with homes ranging from around $1 million to upward beyond $10 million. The more desirable properties often start in the $4 to $6 million range. For those seeking a privileged lifestyle that offers access to the beautiful Texas Hill Country while remaining close to downtown Austin, Lake Austin is the premier choice.
Lake Austin is a part of the Colorado River; it begins below Mansfield Dam and is principally fed by the outflow of Lake Travis. The lake meanders generally from northwest to southeast, with few significant tributaries; the largest are Bull Creek, entering from the north near where Loop 360 spans the lake at the Pennybacker Bridge, and Bee Creek, entering from the west just above Tom Miller Dam, where the lake ends. Its outflow through Tom Miller Dam then becomes the principal inflow for Lady Bird Lake.
Lake Austin is maintained as a constant-level lake by releases of water from Lake Travis upstream. The other Highland Lake reservoirs on the Colorado River are Lake Buchanan, Inks Lake, Lake LBJ, Lake Marble Falls, and Lake Travis upstream, and Lady Bird Lake downstream.
Lake Austin Homes in Austin ISD
Generally speaking, the Austin Independent School District portion of Lake Austin spans most homes on the north side of the lake. It also includes a southern portion of the lake in central Austin near the area of MoPac (Loop 1.) In this area, the boundary runs south of the river and includes some homes along Redbud Trail, Stratford Drive, and Lake Austin Boulevard, as well as homes off of Ridgewood Drive.
Some of the Lake Austin neighborhoods that are zoned for Austin ISD are Briarpatch, Hidden Valley, Mount Bonnell, Mount Bonnell, Tarrytown, Waters Edge, and Greenshores.
For example, in Mount Bonnell Shores, lakefront homes are those on a manmade canal to Lake Austin and offer views of the lakefront and wooded areas. Homes with actual lake frontage range into the multi-millions, while homes in the same neighborhood but off the actual waterfront are significantly less. All homes in this neighborhood, however, have access to the Mount Bonnell Shores Colorado Crossing Homeowners Association lakefront park. Even more exclusive is Island at Mount Bonnell Shores, a gated community that offers some of Lake Austin’s most prestigious homes on main body waterfront lots.
In Tarrytown, while all the homes are close to Lake Austin, only a portion of the homes are within eyesight and even fewer are actually on the waterfront. Tarrytown Rivers Edge is a section with closer lake access; look at Scenic Drive for the waterfront properties. A handful of homes have membership in the Tarrytown Boat Club and a little over a dozen homes have a deeded, private boat slip. Condos in Tarrytown offer price-inclusive opportunities to live near the lake. Casis Elementary School and O’Henry Middle School are within Tarrytown, as is Deep Eddy Pool, Mayfield Nature Park and Preserve, and Lions Municipal Golf Course. Whether waterfront or near the lake, for general proximity to Lake Austin, Tarrytown is an especially charming part of Austin.
In Greenshores on Lake Austin, homes are within walking distance of Lake Austin and residents are able to enjoy a large dock exclusively for residents and maintained by the homeowners association, as well as a small park.
Rob Roy on the LakeMany people choose the Lake Austin area for the Eanes Independent School District. The Eanes District includes homes along the south side of Lake Austin from just west of central Austin all the way westward to approximately just west of Commons Ford Road. This same span is zoned for Eanes all the way south to approximately Barton Creek, which includes the southern tributaries to Lake Austin. It also includes some homes east of MoPac toward that portion of Barton Creek.
Aqua Verde, Davenport West, Lakeshore, Lakeplace, the Point at Rob Roy, Rockcliff Estates, and Windy Cove are some of the Lake Austin neighborhoods that are zoned for Eanes ISD.
Of note is a small section of homes south of the lake and in the MoPac area. This region is not zoned for Eanes but rather for Austin ISD. This includes homes near Lake Austin Boulevard, Redbud Trail, and Stratford Drive.
West Lake BeachLake Shore is a predominant Eanes neighborhood on Lake Austin, and spans along the well-known Westlake Drive. Homes along Westlake Drive often are privately gated and can have views of the lake and views of Mount Bonnell, as well as private boat docks. Most are on the main body of Lake Austin, but there are canal-front homes, also. Lots are usually large and deep to allow for waterfront access from back of home to shore. Homes in Lake Shore are definitely into the multi-millions, even for rare “tear-downs” or lots. Residents without waterfront property can enjoy a day at the private West Lake Beach, with swim and play areas.
Davenport West is a small area of homes just west of the Pennybacker Bridge and off of Bunny Run that is near Lake Austin and in the Eanes district. Look one street over to Rivercrest Drive in the Rivercrest neighborhood for homes that are directly on the waterfront, with boat decks and lake views.
In Rob Roy, homes along Pascal Lane will be closest to Lake Austin.
While the Lake Travis Independent School District mostly serves the more westward part of the Colorado River, there are some homes along Lake Austin that are zoned for Lake Travis ISD. This includes the area near where Lake Travis and Lake Austin transition to one another — just east of Mansfield Dam to just east of Resaca Boulevard.
Lake Pointe on Lake AustinThe more rural neighborhoods of Illakee and Horseshoe Bend Estates are part of Lake Travis ISD, as are the homes along Big Horn Drive, Ladera, and Resaca, which is in Lake Pointe. Resaca at the back of the neighborhood is where the homes closest to Lake Austin are found. Some homes farther in will have small views of the lake, and the Lake Pointe Homeowners Association provides residents access to a day dock on Lake Austin.
On the north side of Lake Austin, spanning westward from about City Park Road, homes are zoned for the Leander Independent School District. The largest subdivision in this area of Leander ISD homes is Steiner Ranch, which is a master planned community near Mansfield Dam and in close proximity to both Lake Austin and Lake Travis. Caslano, River Place, Riverfront Estates, River Pointe, Sleepy Hollow, River Bend, and Waters Edge at River Place also are Leander ISD neighborhoods along the north side of Lake Austin.
Steiner Ranch is considered a lake community because a large portion of the neighborhood fronts Lake Austin. However, as with any community of this size, this means some homes will be closer to the water than others. Homes closest to the water will be those on a portion of Flat Top Ranch and a portion of Bright Sky Overlook. Flat Top Ranch, for example, has gated, acreage-sized estates with private boat docks on Lake Austin. All Steiner Ranch residents can access Lake Austin at the Lake Club, which has day docks and a boat launch.
River Place is another large, master-planned community on Lake Austin with Leander ISD schools. At the back of the neighborhood, well south of FM 2222, is where the waterfront homes are found, with the closest properties to the lake being on Big View Drive in the section Watersedge at River Place.