Best Lakes to Live On in Texas: Where to Buy a Texas Lake House

Best Lakes to Live On in Texas

Homebuyers looking for a waterfront lifestyle will find some of the best lake living in Texas. The state features hundreds of lakes, many of which are perfect for fishing, swimming, boating, or simply enjoying the sunset over the water. Regardless of what you want when searching Texas lake houses for sale, you can bet that there's a great Texas lake for every outdoor interest and activity.

There are no definitive “best lakes to live on” in Texas. The best lakes in Texas are the best for different reasons: crystal-clear water, active boating communities, prize fishing, or any number of other factors. We’ve listed the best lakes to live on in Texas by the primary activities they’re known for—though be aware that some Texas lakes are excellent in multiple categories!

Best Lakes in Texas for Boating

Lake Buchanan

Where to Buy a Lake House in Texas: Lake Buchanan

Located at the beginning of Central Texas's Highland Lakes chain of reservoirs on the Colorado River, Lake Buchanan spans almost 35 square miles across Burnet and Llano counties. Formed by the construction of Buchanan Dam in the late 30s, it’s the first and largest of the Highland Lakes. 

Water sports enthusiasts in the region agree that Lake Buchanan is a fantastic Texas boating lake. Wide and deep, with hundreds of coves and miles of shoreline to explore, Lake Buchanan is ideal for boaters of every experience level. Several marinas are conveniently located around the lake, making it easy to launch, dock, and refuel. Plenty of public boat ramps can also be found in the area, including Beachcomber Park, Cedar Point Recreation Area, and Burnet County Park.

Much of the property along Lake Buchanan's shore is privately owned, with hundreds of waterfront homes and lake-view properties in the area's communities. Lake Buchanan homes generally start from the $300s, though buyers can expect to pay significantly more for prime Austin waterfront homes for sale. Average listings in the area are typically priced in the $600s.

Lake Buchanan Information

  • Lake Buchanan waterfront homes from the $500s
  • Motorized watercraft allowed
  • Private dock and boathouse construction allowed
  • Approximate lake size 35 square miles
  • Water level fluctuates

Lake Austin

Lake Living in Texas: Lake Austin

Long considered one of the best lakes in Texas, Lake Austin is another in the Highland Lakes chain of reservoirs on the Colorado River. Created by the completion of the Tom Miller Dam in 1940, Lake Austin runs about 20 miles between Lake Travis and Lady Bird Lake. It spans a total area of more than 1,800 acres. 

Long and narrow, Lake Austin is the perfect lake for water sports like skiing and wakeboarding. Boaters will find concrete public ramps below the Pennybacker Bridge on Loop 360 and at the Walsh Boat Landing near the lake's southern end. The nearby Lake Austin Marina provides boat slips, fuel, and a store stocked with snacks and supplies. The Austin Parks and Recreation Department offers regular boater education classes, and several spots around the lake provide a variety of watercraft to rent. 

Lake Austin features some of the best lake living in the Austin area, with miles of shoreline and hundreds of waterfront homes. Buyers can typically find homes in the area from the $900s, though lakefront luxury homes in Austin are generally listed well into the millions.

Lake Austin Information

  • Lake Austin waterfront homes from $2.5 million
  • Motorized watercraft allowed
  • Private dock and boathouse construction allowed
  • Approximate lake size 1,600 acres
  • Constant level lake

Possum Kingdom Lake

Best Lakes in Texas: Possum Kingdom Lake

Another excellent Texas lake for boating and water sports is Possum Kingdom Lake, an 18,000-acre reservoir on the Brazos River west of Fort Worth. Situated between the cities of Graham to the northwest and Mineral Wells to the southeast, P.K. features picturesque cliffs, hills, and nature trails along the 300-plus miles of shoreline behind the Morris Sheppard Dam.

Possum Kingdom Lake is a boater's paradise with clear, deep water and hundreds of cliff-lined coves to play in. Skiing, tubing, and wake surfing are favorite water sports on P.K. Snorkeling and diving are particularly popular, with lots of sheer rock walls, underwater caves, and visibility up to 100 feet in places.

Homebuyers looking to live in the area will find a wide variety of lake homes for sale, with an average asking price in the mid-$600s. Luxury waterfront homes on Possum Kingdom Lake are typically priced at several million dollars. The area also features quite a few lakefront homesites available for new construction.

Possum Kingdom Lake Information

  • Possum Kingdom Lake waterfront homes from the $600s
  • Motorized watercraft allowed
  • Private dock and boathouse construction allowed
  • Approximate lake size 31 square miles
  • Water level fluctuates

Lake McQueeney

Water Skiing Lakes in Texas: Lake McQueeney

Northeast of the city of San Antonio is Lake McQueeney, another of the best lakes to live on in Texas. This cozy, 400-acre reservoir features 25 miles of shoreline along a dammed section of the Guadalupe River that runs from New Braunfels down through Seguin.

Lake McQueeney is considered one of the area's premier recreation spots, with plenty of swimming, fishing, and boating opportunities. The lake's surface is generally calm and smooth, making it an ideal waterskiing destination—in fact, it’s sometimes been called the Waterski Capital of Texas. Facilities include the Lake Breeze Ski Lodge and the nearby Laguna Marina.

One of Lake McQueeney's most popular features is Treasure Island, where several private waterfront homes provide 360-degree views of the lake. The area has some condos mixed in with single-family homes and is a favorite summer vacation destination for many. Homes for sale on Lake McQueeny are typically listed in the high $700s. Some vacant lots also remain available for custom home construction.

Lake McQueeney Information

  • Lake McQueeney waterfront homes from the $500s
  • Motorized watercraft allowed
  • Private dock and boathouse construction allowed
  • Approximate lake size 396 acres
  • Constant level lake

Eagle Mountain Lake

Sailing in Texas: Eagle Mountain Lake

One of the best lakes near Dallas, Eagle Mountain Lake, is just a few miles northwest of the city of Fort Worth on the West Fork of the Trinity River. The reservoir was formed in the early 1930s and is located between Lake Bridgeport upstream and the Lake Worth reservoir downstream. Often considered one of the most scenic locations in North Texas, Eagle Mountain Lake covers more than 8,600 acres and is surrounded by hiking trails, campgrounds, and picnic areas.

The big attraction at Eagle Mountain Lake is boating. Wakeboarding and water skiing are favorite activities, and water sports enthusiasts enjoy plenty of paddle sports and sailing. The lake is also home to the Fort Worth Boat Club, a nationally-recognized facility hosting frequent sailboat races and regattas.

Living on Eagle Mountain Lake provides residents easy access to activities and attractions on the water while just 15 miles from the big city conveniences in Fort Worth. Fort Worth waterfront homes in the area typically list at an average price in the high $600s.

Eagle Mountain Lake Information

  • Eagle Mountain Lake waterfront homes from the $500s
  • Motorized watercraft allowed
  • Private dock and boathouse construction allowed
  • Approximate lake size 13.5 square miles
  • Water level fluctuates

Other Great Lakes in Texas for Boating

  • Lake Travis near the city of Austin; great water skiing
  • Lake Conroe northwest of the city of Conroe; variety of activities
  • Lake Texoma north of the city of Dallas; ideal for sailing 
  • Lewisville Lake southeast of the city of Denton; easy access

Best Lakes in Texas for Swimming

Inks Lake

Best Swimming Lakes in Texas: Inks Lake

Inks Lake is a reservoir on the Highland Lakes chain behind Inks Dam on the Colorado River. Situated downriver from Lake Buchanan and upstream from Lake Lyndon B. Johnson, Inks Lake is about a 15-minute drive west of the small town of Burnet. Austin lies about 70 miles to the southeast.

Regarded as one of the best lakes in Texas for swimming, Inks Lake features the famous Devil's Waterhole area, where visitors enjoy cliff jumping from the surrounding rock formations. Nearby, the 1,200-acre Inks Lake State Park is a popular destination for fishing, boating, and camping, with miles of hiking and biking trails that meander along the east and south sides of the reservoir. 

Much of the property on the west side of Inks Lake is privately owned, with several waterfront homes dotting the shoreline. The real estate market in the area is tight, with limited inventory. When homes on Inks Lake hit the market, buyers can expect to pay an average of around $2 million or more.

Inks Lake Information

  • Inks Lake waterfront homes from $1.5 million
  • Motorized watercraft allowed
  • Private dock and boathouse construction allowed
  • Approximate lake size 831 acres
  • Level-controlled reservoir

Lewisville Lake

Best Lakes in North Texas: Lake Lewisville

Initially built in the late 1920s, this reservoir on the Elm Fork of the Trinity River serves as a water source and flood control for Dallas and neighboring suburban communities. 

Lewisville Lake is among the best lakes to live on in North Texas, especially for homeowners who enjoy water sports like fishing and boating. The lake features numerous designated swimming holes and recreational facilities throughout the area, including Little Elm Park Beach, Copperas Branch Park, and Stewart Creek Park.

With over 230 miles of shoreline, Lewisville Lake is surrounded by various residential and commercial real estate. Waterfront homes for sale in Lewisville and the surrounding neighborhoods on Lewisville Lake range in price, with more expensive properties generally found closer to the water. Homebuyers in the area can expect an average list price for Lewisville Lake homes in the high $400s.

Lewisville Lake Information

  • Lewisville Lake waterfront homes from the $400s
  • Motorized watercraft allowed
  • No private docks or boathouses
  • Approximate lake size 46.2 square miles
  • Water level fluctuates

Other Great Lakes in Texas for Swimming

  • Possum Kingdom Lake northwest of Mineral Wells; boat-accessible diving 
  • Caddo Lake northeast of Marshall; Texas–Louisiana border
  • Lake Whitney north of Waco 

Best Lakes in Texas for Fishing

Lake Fork

Best Fishing in Texas: Lake Fork

One of the top lakes in Texas among fishermen throughout the region is Lake Fork, east of the city of Dallas and south of Sulphur Springs. With more than 27,000 acres and over 300 miles of shoreline, the Lake Fork Reservoir is among the largest lakes in North Texas.

Lake Fork is best known as a premier spot for bass fishing, with most of the state's record largemouth bass being caught here. The reservoir is stocked with thousands of Florida-hybrid bass and provides excellent habitat and food sources for various other species.

In addition to world-class fishing and water sports, those living around the reservoir have convenient access to several area golf courses, resorts, and marinas. Buyers in the area will find plenty of available Lake Fork homes priced in the $400s and $500s.

Lake Fork Information

  • Lake Fork waterfront homes from the $400s
  • Motorized watercraft allowed
  • Private dock and boathouse construction allowed
  • Approximate lake size 43.3 square miles
  • Water level fluctuates

Lake Conroe

Best Texas Lakes: Lake Conroe

In the Greater Houston area, Lake Conroe is one of the best places around to look for a lake house. This 21,000-acre reservoir on the West Fork of the San Jacinto River was initially created in the 70s as an alternate City of Houston water supply. Now, Lake Conroe is considered one of the best lakes to live on in Houston and is a popular outdoor recreation and water sports destination, especially for fishing.

Trophy largemouth bass are abundant in Lake Conroe, with the local record weighing almost 16 pounds. Other popular species here include catfish, bluegill, and crappie. In addition, hybrid striped bass were introduced in the 1990s, making Lake Conroe one of the state's most versatile fishing destinations.  

Waterfront homes for sale in Conroe are generally plentiful, and buyers can choose from various property types, including condos, single-family homes, and waterfront estates. The average list price for Lake Conroe homes is typically around the $600s.

Lake Conroe Information

  • Lake Conroe waterfront homes from the $600s
  • Motorized watercraft allowed
  • Private dock and boathouse construction allowed
  • Approximate lake size 32.8 square miles
  • Water level fluctuates

Other Great Lakes in Texas for Fishing

  • Lake Palestine near the city of Tyler; largemouth bass, spotted bass, stripers, crappie
  • Lake Buchanan near Burnet; striped bass, white bass, largemouth bass
  • Lake Texoma north of Dallas; white bass, striped bass, blue catfish, crappie
  • Lake Alan Henry southeast of the city of Lubbock; Alabama bass, spotted bass, channel and flathead catfish, white crappie

Clearest Lakes in Texas

Canyon Lake

Clearest Lake in Texas: Canyon Lake

Canyon Lake is an 8,200-acre reservoir on the Guadalupe River located in the Texas Hill Country, about halfway between San Antonio and Austin. Just a few miles upstream from the popular tourist town of New Braunfels, Canyon Lake is a top recreation destination in the region. 

Its large surface area, miles of shoreline, and clear spring-fed waters make the lake a haven for water sports. Boating, sailing, skiing, diving, and fishing are among the favorite activities on Canyon Lake. Folks living in the area also enjoy regular events, like the Real Texas BBQ Cookoff every spring and the Parade of Lights on the Lake at Christmas each year.

Canyon Lake features a mix of real estate, including condos, townhomes, and single-family properties. Homes for sale on Canyon Lake are typically found in the $400s and $500s.

Canyon Lake Information

  • Canyon Lake waterfront homes from the $900s
  • Motorized watercraft allowed
  • No private docks or boathouses
  • Approximate lake size 12.9 square miles
  • Water level fluctuates

Lake Travis

Best Lake in Texas for Boating: Lake Travis

Saving one of the best for last, Lake Travis is one of Texas' most iconic lakes, located on the Colorado River northwest of Austin. Constructed in the 40s as a flood control reservoir behind the Mansfield Dam, Lake Travis has become a premier destination for outdoor recreation and a top spot for residential development. The best neighborhoods on Lake Travis offer an unparalleled lakeside lifestyle.

Regarded as one of the state's clearest lakes, Lake Travis is popular for swimming, scuba diving, and fishing. It's also among the best lakes in Texas for boating and waterskiing.

The area around Lake Travis is home to several small towns and master-planned communities, including Steiner Ranch and Lakeside at Tessera. Real estate on Lake Travis ranks among the most coveted in the state, with the average home listing for more than $1.5 million. Homebuyers will find many options, including condos, townhomes, and waterfront estates.

Lake Travis Information

  • Lake Travis waterfront homes from the $900s
  • Motorized watercraft allowed
  • Private dock and boathouse construction allowed
  • Approximate lake size 30 square miles
  • Water level fluctuates

Live on the Best Lakes in Texas

Texas has some great lakes to live on throughout all regions of the state, including the DFW area in North Texas, Greater Houston, and the Highland Lakes chain on the Colorado River upstream of Austin. There's no shortage of premium Texas real estate near the water. Homebuyers looking to live on one of the state's best lakes will find all types and sizes of homes in various price ranges. And they'll find a lake perfect for every lifestyle and activity, from boating to fishing to swimming. If you’re dreaming of the lake life, Texas is the perfect place to make your dreams a reality.

Ready to live your best life in Texas? Call The RealFX Group at (512) 956-7390 to contact an experienced local real estate agent who can help you discover the Texas home of your dreams.

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