Let’s face it, Austin only has two seasons. While the rest of the world gears up for pumpkin spice lattes and golden leaves, Austin joyfully basks in summertime bliss. Even as the calendar approaches the end of the year, Austinites find ways to prolong those luxuriously lazy days. These seven little-known beaches near Austin will make your summer (no matter how long it is) unforgettable.
1. San Gabriel Park
Austin-area beaches may not be full of salt water and sand castles, but they do have one thing that coastal beaches don't: shady oak trees. Sure, this beach in Georgetown is really surrounded by the San Gabriel river, but its sandy shore feels just like the beaches in Florida. The massive 200-year-old trees will shade you from the abrasive Texas sun, and you'll feel as rejuvenated as you would after a weekend getaway in Key West.
2. Windy Point Park
You'll feel like you're swimming in the ocean at Windy Point Park. With all the boats floating on Lake Travis, the waves crash onto the shore like low tide. Grab your sunglasses and beach towel, you'll want to relax in the sun all day long.
3. Hippie Hollow
Get European and go nude! Hippie Hollow is Austin's only clothing optional beach, so if you want to strut around in your birthday suit, this is the place to go.
4. Shore Club Volente Beach and Water Park
Only a 45 minute drive outside of the city limits sits a tropical beachside paradise. Shore Club Volente Beach in Leander is part restaurant, part beach, and part waterpark. If that's not a trifecta of summertime bliss, then I don't know what is!
5. Emma Long Metropolitan Park
If you throw on your shades and put on your favorite swimsuit, Lake Austin can feel like an oceanic playground. Emma Long Park is known for its hiking trails and sandy shoreline.
6. Lake Pflugerville
Lake Pflugerville not only has a sandy beach area, but it's also full of picnic tables, fishing spots, and boating docks. This 180-acre oasis is just begging for you to come visit.
7. Secret Beach
Despite its name, this beach isn't so secret anymore. Head on over to Roy G. Guerrero Park and follow the path to one of the best beaches in Austin.