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Austin, TX has always been a premier destination for vacationers looking to experience the unique juxtaposition of Old West vibes and modern sophistication.
With its vibrant music and nightlife, inviting people, delectable eats and drinks, and stunning nature preserves, Austin is sure to not disappoint any traveler. From experiencing the Umlauf Sculpture Garden’s peace-filled landscape to hearing live music in 6th street’s bars or taking part in the city’s famous bat-viewing festivities along Lady Bird Lake — there truly is something for everyone in this city!
However, one of my favorite activities in the city isn’t widely known (which makes it even better in my opinion).
What is it? Pedal boating of course!
Finding spots to rent a pedal in Austin may not be easy but it’s worth it.
There are a dozen spots that I’ve used when in the city that I can recommend if you’re looking to spend a day on the water (and get a leg workout).
Oh and I should also note, some of these offer pedal kayaks instead of traditional pedal boats but we’ve lumped them all together for ease.
Best Spots To Rent A Pedal Boat In Austin, Texas
1. Lady Bird Lake
Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Texas is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. It has been used as a fishing spot, swimming area, and recreation point since the 1970s. Boats of all sizes can be found dotting its calm waters on a given day. Visitors often take advantage of amenities such as designated BBQ areas, wildflower viewing points, and nature trails around the lake that offer stunning views of the sun setting over the water during the summer months. For many Austinites, Lady Bird Lake is known as an escape into nature away from the hustle and bustle of city life – a haven away to disconnect, breathe in some fresh air, and recreate amongst lush greenery.
Lady Bird Lake has become a beloved destination for outdoor enthusiasts in Austin. You can rent a pedal boat from several locations on the lake, including Rowing Dock and Capital Cruises (which offers swan pedal boats).
Both offer well-maintained boats at the going local rate which can fit 2-4 people.
2. Lake Travis
Lake Travis in Austin, Texas is a scenic and serene body of water nestled into the rolling hills off Lakeway Boulevard. Visitors to this popular attraction enjoy spending the day fishing and swimming, kayaking and boating, or simply admiring the natural beauty it has to offer. Those who come to Lake Travis often remark on how surprisingly clear the water can be, allowing visitors to make out its depths below. There are also many area activities for families with kids, such as visiting wineries and historic sites. With so much to do near and on the lake, Lake Travis is one of Austin’s most beloved getaway spots for locals and visitors alike.
This stunning lake offers plenty of opportunities for sightseeing, fishing, swimming, or just relaxing in the sunshine. There are several rental companies that offer pedal boats at various locations around the lake such as Hippie Hollow Park.
3. Town Lake
Sitting along the banks of Town Lake in Austin Texas, visitors can take in the beauty and vibrancy of the surrounding scenery. Submerged beneath the waters is a type of native freshwater fish known as a Guadalupe Bass, which can be seen darting through schools occasionally.
The lake is a popular spot for kayaking, canoeing, and water biking; no matter the time of year, there is always something to explore. It’s especially beautiful at sunset when its rippling surface makes it look like it’s glowing with golden hues. With so much to offer, Town Lake is an amazing experience that should not to be missed!
Town Lake is another popular spot for recreational activities such as kayaking and canoeing, but you can also find a few places that offer pedal boats for rent here too! Check out Capital Cruises on Town Lake for an unforgettable experience!
4. Barton Springs Pool
Located in Zilker Park, this historic swimming pool draws visitors from all over the world who come to take advantage of its crystal clear waters and natural beauty. You can rent paddle boats here too! So why not get out on the water and explore?
Barton Springs Pool in Austin, Texas is an incredible destination to visit. Its waters are a cool 68 degrees year round, perfect for a refreshing swim during those hot summer days.
One of the most unique features of Barton Springs is that it’s actually fed from an underground aquifer system that cycles its water daily and pumps it right out again. It’s quite amazing that these aquifers also contribute to Barton Spring being a great environmental natural habitat as well; it provides a home for endangered species such as salamanders, turtles, and native fish. If you’re ever in the area, don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind experience!
5. Red Bud Isle
This small island in Town Lake provides an ideal spot away from it all while still being close to downtown Austin. You can rent two-person paddle boats here as well as kayaks or stand-up paddle boards if you prefer those options instead!
Red Bud Isle in Austin, Texas is a beautiful park that offers many activities for visitors. People can kayak and canoe along Ladybird Lake or enjoy a leisurely stroll around the river’s edge. There is plenty of opportunity for bird watching and a number of parks throughout the area to explore. The peaceful atmosphere provides an ideal space for relaxation and for taking in the beauty of nature.
Visitors can also bring their furry friends along – there are designated dog-walking areas so everyone can get some exercise! Red Bud Isle is a great destination to spend some time outdoors with family and friends.
6. McKinney Falls State Park
McKinney Falls State Park in Austin, Texas is a breathtaking natural wonder. Located near the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and with more than 800 acres of relaxation and recreation, this park is great for spending the day exploring nature. The two major falls of Onion Creek are great for swimming, fishing, or wading.
There are also several miles of hiking trails available which take you through a variety of terrain – from dense forest to grassland fields. Afterward, you can enjoy camping or picnicking on one of the numerous primitive sites located throughout the park. McKinney Falls State Park offers all types of activities; from swimming to camping, making it an ideal place to visit for both locals and tourists alike!
Located just southeast of downtown Austin, McKinney Falls State Park is known for its spectacular waterfalls and hiking trails along Onion Creek but they also have pedal boats available too! Plus they also have great camping facilities if you want to make it an overnight trip!
7. Emma Long Metropolitan Park
Emma Long Metropolitan Park in Austin, Texas is a true oasis in the heart of one of America’s fastest-growing cities. This park is perfect for relaxation and recreation, offering visitors a number of activities to choose from. If you’re looking for a unique way to spend your day, you can explore the lush forests and lush meadows, or take in some stunning views from one of the many nearby hills.
Fishing and boating are also popular activities at Emma Long Metropolitan Park. For those wanting to stay overall fresher during the hot summer months, there are even two swimming areas–one near the marina and another further out on an island. So get outdoors and enjoy all that this park has to offer!
Located along the shores of beautiful Lake Austin, Emma Long Metropolitan Park has numerous amenities including picnic tables, grills, playgrounds, and even beaches where visitors can relax in style! It also has several places where visitors can rent paddle boats so don’t forget to bring your bathing suit!
8. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Located about an hour northwest of downtown Austin near Fredericksburg (Texas), Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is home to one of the most iconic geological formations in Texas—Enchanted Rock itself—but it also offers plenty of other attractions including hiking trails and beautiful freshwater lakes where visitors can cool off with some fun in the sun while pedaling around in their own personal paddle boat rental!
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area in Austin, Texas is a beloved landmark among locals and tourists alike. Located on the border of Llano and Gillespie Counties, the large pink granite dome stands 425 feet above ground and has a vast network of trails and rock scrambles perfect for hiking, climbing, camping or just enjoying the breathtaking views.
A variety of wildlife can also be found in this natural area, including armadillos, deer, rabbits, and foxes. Visitors often come to Enchanted Rock to catch a glimpse of the sunset or stay overnight to experience the majestic starry sky – an experience unlike any other. Whether you choose to explore its expansive trails or simply take in its spectacular beauty from afar, one thing is certain: you won’t regret visiting this enchanting spot in Texas!
9. Bull Creek District Park
Bull Creek District Park is located on Bull Creek Road near MoPac Expressway and features two different ponds where visitors can rent paddleboats during their visit—one located at each end of the park—so don’t forget your sunscreen when visiting this lovely park nestled amongst rolling hillsides just north of downtown Austin!
Bull Creek District Park in Austin, Texas is a paradise for those looking for a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. The park is 365 acres full of lush trees, beautiful trails and streams, and amazing views of the Hill Country. Its multiple ponds provide opportunities to go fishing, as well as kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding on calm days.
Hikers will love its range of trails that vary in difficulty level, allowing them to explore their surroundings or take on a challenging trek with stunning visiting points along the way. Visitors also have access to an outdoor gym, BBQ pits and tables, camping facilities, volleyball courts, playgrounds, bathrooms, and drinking fountains – all while being surrounded by some of Texas’ most picturesque landscapes!
Austin may be landlocked but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of great places around town where you can go boating or paddling!
With these 9 excellent spots across town offering rental options ranging from single-person kayaks all the way up to four-person pedal boats, there’s sure to be something here that will have you ready to hit the water before long!
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing cruise down Lady Bird Lake or an adventurous outing at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area – there’s something here sure to satisfy every type of outdoor enthusiast looking for aquatic fun around town! So grab your friends or family members (or both!) And let’s go explore what amazing things await us on these waters around town!