San Antonio River is a real attention grabber. Lined with restaurants, shops, artworks, bars, and whatnot, it is a unique and exciting destination. But there is more to the city than this popular river walk. Lakes of different sizes and characteristics, both stunning and calming, also grace the city of San Antonio. Texas has several lakes with names from A to W - from Lake Arlington to Wright Patman Lake. Yet San Antonio takes you to some of the state’s best-kept lakes - less crowded but equally as stunning. Pair them with the city’s rich colonial architecture, and you get a unique urban adventure. Lake cabins are even available nearby for your convenience, or if urban lodgings are more to your taste, there are also vacation rentals and hotels with free parking for you. Check out our list of the most gorgeous lakes in San Antonio, Texas, and find out what activities you can do with family and friends.
1. Calaveras Lake
Located in the southeastern part of downtown San Antonio, Calaveras Lake serves both recreational and practical purposes. It is a favorite destination for boating, picnicking, and especially fishing. The lake breeds several species of fish, including red drum and hybrid striped bass, for recreational fishing. Add to that, about 147 acres (59.49 hectares) of land surrounding the lake is available for camping and trekking. While you could always stay in one of the lake cabins nearby, you could also opt to spend time camping in Calaveras Lake for a more memorable experience. The location is so cinematic that it was featured in a 1996 Matt Damon film, Courage Under Fire. The lake is a reservoir formed in 1969, complementing the nearby dam construction.
Address: 20 miles south of San Antonio off Loop 1604
Opening hours: 6am - 8pm (daily)
Price: 9 USD
2. Victor Braunig Lake
Braunig Lake is a reservoir named after the man who helped recycle wastewater into a usable cooling pond - Victor Braunig. Victor Braunig was then the general manager of an electric utility that created not just one but two reservoirs in San Antonio in the 1960s, the other being the Calaveras Lake. Today, both Victor Braunig Lake and Calaveras Lake function are a fishing haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Braunig Lake is rich in fish species. March to August is the peak season for fishing in the lake, where you can expect to catch fish that can weigh as much as 20 pounds (9.07 kilograms), such as Red drum. Visit Braunig Lake during the fishing season. For sure, you will catch more than what you can carry.
Victor Braunig Lake
Address: San Antonio, TX 78112, USA
Opening hours: 6am - 8pm (daily)
Price: From 7 USD
3. Elmendorf Lake
Hotels with indoor pools definitely provide a fun recreational time for families. For adventures closer to nature, however, try visiting the beautiful Elmendorf Lake. The lake boasts a park, that includes a children’s playground, a picnic area, a floating dock, a splash pad, and a large field where you can play football or softball. At times, the park hosts live-music events that turn the place into a festive destination. Elmendorf Lake is a nice spot to spend weekends with the family, with ducks swimming peacefully in the background. A colorful mosaic-tiled bench welcomes you upon entering the park. This ocean-themed feature adds character to the already beautiful lake. Since its rehabilitation in 2014, the park’s fishing pier has become popular. Schools of fishes have been re-introduced into the lake, making recreational fishing a worthwhile activity. The goal of the park improvements is to bring people closer to the waters. Nevertheless, if fishing is not your cup of tea, you have other options. For instance, you can try biking and enjoy the scenic views while exploring the lake’s lovely surroundings.
Address: 3700 W Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78207, United States
Opening hours: 5am - 11pm (daily)
You might be interested in these Airbnbs!
4. Mitchell Lake
A family previously owned this gorgeous San Antonio lake. In 1901, the city acquired it and years later poured efforts to turn it into a bird sanctuary for Texans to appreciate and sustain. Lying in the southern area of San Antonio, Mitchell Lake spans around 600 acres (242.8 hectares). Small it may be, it is home to over 300 bird species such as pelicans, herons, vultures, falcons, owls, and woodpeckers, to name a few. After all, Mitchell Lake is the only place in the city with a massive mudflat that is critical to shorebirds’ food storage. Mitchell Lake Audubon Center is a conservation and outdoor education center that offers visitors a unique birding experience. Let your kids join in sighting rare species of birds, including seasonal migratory birds.
Address:San Antonio, TX 78221, USA
Website: Mitchell Lake
Opening hours: Fri - Sat: 7am - 12pm, (closed from Sun - Thu)
Price: From 5 USD
5. Blue Wing Lake
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Blue Wing Lake is an artificial lake in south San Antonio, about six miles (9.66 kilometers) west of Elmendorf. The lake spans approximately 67 acres (27.11 hectares) and has an elevation of 482 feet (146.91 meters). The hunting and fishing club, Blue Wing Club, was founded in 1910 to cater to the local community’s growing interest in outdoor recreational activities. It now oversees the management of lake activities. If you want to avoid large crowds during peak season, you should fish at Blue Wing Lake. Allowable methods are two-pole and line fishing and bow fishing. You will typically catch a good number of largemouth basses, crappies, and catfishes in this reservoir. Fortunately, the lake opens half an hour before sunrise, from November until February (select areas only). You’ll love boating with golden skies and the warm rays of the early morning sun.
Blue Wing Lake
Address: 3001 Lake Austin Blvd, Texas, United States
Opening hours: 6:30am - 2pm (daily)
Spend quality time fishing in gorgeous lakes
Fishing yields several benefits. It keeps you fit, helps you relax, re-energizes your tired mind, keeps you close to nature, and increases your vitamin D absorption. San Antonio is blessed with lakes that allow you to enjoy both water-based and land-based activities. You can fish to your heart’s content, as well as camp nearby the lake for a more immersive experience. Indeed, San Antonio’s most gorgeous lakes offer plenty of outdoor activities. After fishing, you may reward yourself with the taste of urban lifestyle by checking out the top shopping malls and must-try cafes nearby.
Get Trip101 in your inbox