What’s an awesome way to work up a sweat (and crush your core) while out on the water? Stand up paddleboarding, that’s what.
Thanks to the beautiful weather and Lady Bird Lake, we can SUP all year long. Plus, there are dozens of rental spots that have been popping up along the water — so you don’t need to BYO your SUP! If you’re ready to roll, follow along for the finest stand up paddleboarding spots in ATX and you’ll be paddling like a pro in no time.
Floating just west of Zilker Park, The Rowing Dock has a knowledgeable dock staff who will help send you on your way. Follow The Rowing Dock on Instagram for updates on their events like SUP Yoga, Bat Paddles, and Moonlight Paddles. SUPers can head towards the downtown skyline or the rolling hills, but we’ll tell you you’re in a prime spot to explore up the river west of town. Whatever floats your boat, you know? But if you’re also looking for some SUP + row action, hit up Texas Rowing Center on the other side of the river.
East of the Congress Ave. Bridge, you will find Congress Avenue Kayaks. (Despite the name, they do in fact rent SUPs!) Sure, the views from here are mostly urban, but it’s possible to paddle near the Greenbelt with a two-hour rental if you are up for the challenge! Like The Rowing Dock, CAK will show you to see the bats fly out from under the Congress Bridge. But CAK is in a prime spot — and a sunset bat tour can be reserved during the warmer months.
SUP DOG is providing a new spin on the SUP game by delivering your board to you at three locations: Festival Beach (east), Austin High (central), and the Walsh Boat Landing (west, past Mozart’s). Festival Beach is one of those special parts of town where you can catch the sunrise and sunset over the water. There’s nothing like it to clear the mind and remind you why living in Austin is pretty sweet.
The farther east you go along the river, the less crowded the water will be (take note of this). EpicSUP is situated pretty far east, even past I-35, so there’s a good chance you’ll find some tranquility. Want to know something awesome? You can rent a SUP for the day, or keep it longer for up to a month! If you’ve got a vehicle that can handle a SUP board, this would be a pretty sweet way to paddle and explore all along the river. Check their website for more details, and their seasonal hours!
Also serving Lady Bird Lake, Live Love Paddle offers a little something extra to sweeten the deal. Not only do you get to paddle open waters and have an easy rental process on most days (a HUGE plus), but Live Love Paddle offers a Full Moon Music Paddle — a nighttime guided tour out to Snake Island (no real snakes) for music around a campfire. How Austin is that!.
Zilker Park Boat Rentals sits on the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail, so it can seem a little hidden. Basically, you’re going to look for a cabana full of SUPs and kayaks that is on the trails near the southeast corner of the park. Head to this spot on a sunny day and you are in for a short nature paddle down Barton Creek that ends with a spectacular panorama of the downtown skyline. In other words, get ready to have one of those ‘Austin is freaking beautiful’ moments’ during this paddle.
East Austin is where you go to get back to Austin’s roots. Walter E. Long Lake is a not so little watering hole that stands alone in East Austin. Locals like this spot because it’s more secluded than Lady Bird or Lake Travis. And less people on the water means more space for you and your dog, who is welcome to swim here as well! There aren’t as many trees surrounding this lake, which makes for seamless sunbathing and 180 degree views of the neverending Texas sky. BYOSUP.
The Texas Hill Country is a sight to behold. And once you get to Lake Travis, you’ll know you need to SUP. Meet a member of the Viking Ship Kayak Rentals staff (with a reservation) wherever you’d like and they will set you up with basic rules and boards. And the sightseeing doesn’t end once you get your board because the views out on Lake Travis are amazing. Smooth waters, neverending Texas sky, and plenty of mansion gazing make this worth the drive. Fitt tip: Try putting in off of Lake Travis in the pretty little town of Lakeway, home of the Lakeway Marina and the mega-wealthy in their cliff-side mansions.
Find your Om just 25 minutes from Central Austin at Peace Paddling. Here you can reserve anywhere from an hour to a full day for paddle and chill. The natural landscape here is so refreshing, and you never know what kind of native wildlife will join you on your paddle. A quick trip out to Lake Austin has never been so worth it!