Visiting Lake Travis, TX

View from The Oasis at Lake Travis, TX.
View from The Oasis at Lake Travis, TX.

After a long pandemic year, we felt very fortunate to be able to get fully vaccinated just in time for our ten year wedding anniversary! We had decided to take an extended weekend road trip visiting Lake Travis, Texas. Still wanting to be COVID-conscious, we opted for a secluded Airbnb on the water, and kept to outdoor locations throughout our visit. Read on for recommendations for outdoor fun while visiting this location just outside of Austin.

I’m starting out with a protip:
The trip to Lake Travis from the DFW metro area *should* have been about four hours (including our planned stops), but ended up being closer to seven when it was all said and done. We ran into a lot of construction and accidents along the interstate on the way down. On our return trip, we stuck to state highways and had a much quicker return home!

Wineries on the way to Lake Travis

But in spite of the long drive, we managed to stop at two wineries along the way. We chose two that we knew allowed dogs in their outdoor seating areas (Salado Winery in Salado, and Thirsty Mule Winery in Liberty Hill) since we brought our puppers along for the trip. Both locations have friendly staff and delicious wine, so we were well stocked up on libations by the time we reached our rental.

Hiking River Place Nature Trail

Some of the many steps on the River Place Nature Trail in Austin, TX.
Some of the many steps on the River Place Nature Trail in Austin, TX.

It wouldn’t be a proper trip if I didn’t include at least one hike, right? While this weekend was mostly rainy, I did manage to get in a hike on one of the most challenging, elevation-changing trails in Texas. (Having moved to Texas from Colorado rather recently, this trail felt like just an amazing throw-back to some of my favorite haunts back in Lyons and Boulder.) Be prepared for the steep steps, stay hydrated, and plan on paying a nominal fee when you arrive to hike.

The Oasis at Lake Travis

View from The Oasis at Lake Travis, TX.
View from The Oasis at Lake Travis, TX.

The Oasis is a well-known tourist attraction at Lake Travis, and consists of several restaurants and other businesses overlooking the steep drop-offs into the lake. The entire complex has an expansive outdoor eating area to watch the sunsets over the water.

We went twice while in town – once to the brewery (serving some tasty German-inspired snacks along with their brews), and then again to the main restaurant for our anniversary dinner. The food and drinks were great (as was the service) – and with a large availability of Lyft drivers in the area, we were able to enjoy our anniversary safely in all aspects!

As I mentioned above, our return home was much smoother along the state highways than our trip down had been, but stay weather aware: check out the edge of this wall cloud ahead of us, before we had to pull over in ping-pong ball-sized hail a few minutes later!

Storm clouds in mid-Texas.
Storm rolling in on our way home!