In and around the Lake Travis area, one has their fair share of opportunities to take advantage of lake life. From exhilarating water sports to relaxing on the shores of Lake Travis, there’s a little taste of something for everyone.
And when city life gets to be too tiring, you might find yourself looking to the surrounding lake towns for a little getaway when needed. Whether you’re on the search for a place to call home or just a relaxing day trip, one of the spots on Lake Travis worth checking out is Lago Vista. Along the North Shore of Lake Travis sits this quaint lake town, best known for the laid-back lake vibes and leisure on the water.
A scenic drive down 1431 gives you an idea as to why Lago Vista is also known as “The Gateway to the Highland Lakes.” With a total area of just under 10 square miles, most of life — economic and social — centers around these man-made lakes. And Lago Vista has a little slice of Lake Travis to call its own.
The History of Lago Vista
Starting in the middle of the 20th century, communities surrounding a growing Austin saw economic growth. With each passing decade, more state roads were built out to the area, bringing a few hardy families with them. Over time, these communities formed and developed — some grew and became present-day communities such as Spicewood and Hudson Bend, as others dwindled and faded away.
Around the 1960s, Lago Vista saw a huge burst of growth as a lake resort and vacation spot — many had already bought land to build second homes and vacation homes knowing that this was their chance to truly get a little bit of Texas heaven just a short drive from Austin, San Antonio and the surrounding major cities.
In the 1980s it was voted to incorporate Lago Vista to a mayor-council form of city government. School-age children will see enrollment in Lago Vista ISD, including Lago Vista Elementary School, Middle School and High School. Over the years, camp grounds were developed and Lago Vista began to inherit a reputation for some of the most serene views of Lake Travis.
Relax on the Lake
Austinites, out-of-towners and locals have hailed Lago Vista as one of the premier spots on Lake Travis to unwind by the water. Vacation homes, timeshares and daily rentals make Lago Vista one of the leading places on Lake Travis to book a trip, whether long or short. Texans with an eye for relaxation often come out to these parts of the Highland Lakes for the easy pace of life, and Lake Travis is a great place to start that journey.
Water sports and boating are huge pastimes in Lago Vista and fishers have hailed this community as one of the best spots for reeling in the big ones. Word around the docks is the bass fishing is some of the best in town, and as lake levels ebb fishing seems to be more abundant, so come prepared to catch a few.
When spending a long day out on the lake, it’s natural to need some nourishment upon your return to shore. Numerous eateries in the area are serving up lakeside favorites. Try Latte Vista Cafe & Coffee Shop for a sandwich and a quick cup of caffeine. If you have a heartier appetite and need a drink or two, Maria’s Bar and Grill or J&J BBQ and Burgers will have you covered along with a handful of other restaurants all seeking to exemplify the true tastes and cuisines of the region.
Nature in the Canyonlands
If the explorer in you is looking to get a real sense of the sights and sounds of nature near Lake Travis, look no further. Just five miles west of Lago Vista sits Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge, a natural habitat for 245 bird species and countless other Texas creatures. Here you can come to adventure out and view some of these animals from the protected spaces set aside in the refuge.
Over the years as development has pushed these animals further west, Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge seeks to provide a shelter and starting place for many birds, fish, dragonflies and other creepy crawlies. Enjoy a scenic walk down the nature trails to take in the untouched land of the area, or plan your trip during a special event to take part in workshops or festivals.
Stop by next time you’re in the area to get the full experience and to see Lake Travis from the Lago Vista perspective.
Check out the Lake Travis Real Estate section for more information on historic landmarks, area neighborhoods, buying and selling tips, and local market conditions.
Smyrl, Vivian E. “LAGO VISTA, TX.” SMYRL, VIVIAN ELIZABETH. Texas State Historical Association, 15 June 2010. Web. 27 July 2014.
Cofran’s Texas . . . Hill Country Portal.” Lago Vista, Texas (TX). Hill Country Portal, 8 Mar. 2011. Web. 27 July 2014.
Lago Vista & Jonestown Area Chamber of Commerce.” Community & Relocation Information. Lago VIsta and Jonestown Chamber of Commerce, 3 July 2012. Web. 30 July 2014.
Post images via Creative Commons, Jon_Roberts Lago Vista Sunset on Flickr, Nicholas Henderson Lago Vista Sign on Flickr
Cindy Fronk says
Actually what is West of Lago Vista is not the preserve but the refuge. It’s federal land managed by the US Fish & Wildlife Service and is called the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge. It was established to protect two endangered birds: the golden-cheeked warbler and the black-capped vireo just like the Balcones Preserve. The preserve is managed by the City of Austin.
Todd Hower says
Thanks Cindy! I appreciate the heads up on this … and for keeping me on my toes 🙂
I made the correction to call the protected area west of Lago Vista the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge instead of the Balcones Preserve.