Lake Travis is a large lake, undulating over 63 miles through the Central Texas Hill Country. It is also one of the clearest lakes in Texas. Combine these characteristics with its location, just west of Austin, and Lake Travis has become one of the most desirable places to own a home in Texas.
Lake Travis has a number of waterfront communities on it, ranging from small cities like Lakeway and Lago Vista, to areas in several different counties with minimal restrictions. As such, waterfront communities on Lake Travis can offer a lot of variety.
Let's start on the south side of the lake. Closest into Austin is the city of Lakeway. Being an actual city, Lakeway residents have full city services. There are a few waterfront streets in Lakeway that offer absolutely stunning Lake Travis views. Challenger, Cutlass and Water Front Drive are the first to come to mind. Lakeway has become very popular because of proximity to Austin, the Hill Country Galleria Mall and city services.
Moving closer to Mansfield Dam, we find the amazing waterfront communities of Costa Bella and Vineyard Bay. Vineyard Bay is a little older than Costa Bella and has a very different look than Costa Bella. Costa Bella has very large homes built Tuscan style. Vineyard Bay has a bit more variety.
Going farther west from Lakeway, we find Angel Bay, the Coves on Lake Travis, Barton Creek Lakeside and Lakecliff still farther out. Angel Bay and the Coves on Lake Travis are very exclusive, gated communities. The topography is hilly so even if a home doesn't have Lake Travis frontage, it might have a nice lake view. Barton Creek Lakeside and Lakecliff are both golf communities.
Along the south shore of Lake Travis in between the above mentioned communities will be a variety of waterfront homes. Some will be in the floodplain with homes built on stilts. Some will be larger tracts with a lot of privacy. Some will be tucked away and unseen, but right on a major road like RR 620.
Let's look at some communities on the north shore of Lake Travis. On the main basin of Lake Travis opposite Hudson Bend is a beautiful area that you get to by driving out Comanche Trail. This, like Hudson Bend, is Travis County so it is very eclectic. There are some absolutely enormous homes on the lake and above the lake in this area. Most are custom homes that were never in the MLS, but my guess is that some must be at least 20,000 square feet. This area also has the most amazing non-waterfront lake view homes near Lake Travis. Some of these homes sit 300 feet above the lake and have views that must go for 60 miles.
Moving on out Volente Road is the town of Volente and more eclectic areas. Homes in this area, which runs from the main basin of Lake Travis all the way up the Sandy Creek arm to Jonestown can be on deep water or coves. Some will be in the floodplain and some will have water frontage, but no floodplain worries. Waterfront homes on many coves in this area will be dry during periods of drought and this makes them more affordable.
On the west side at the end of the Sandy Creek arm of Lake Travis is Jonestown. Some of the waterfront homes in this area actually sit 100 or so feet above the lake and have tremendous stairs down to the lake. Others will have a gradual slope to the water.
Moving west from Jonestown we find a few more gated communities including The Hollows. The Hollows is a large community with a variety of homes and condos in it. Waterfront homes can be on the main body or on a large cove. The Hollows has a large marina, a wonderful beach club and a series of hiking trails.
Close to The Hollow is the city of Lago Vista. Lago Vista is far enough out from the downtown area that homes tend to be less expensive than homes on the south shore of Lake Travis. It is also around 20 minutes to major shopping, medical services, etc. Waterfront homes in Lago Vista can have challenges with the floodplain and many have been built up with garages or outdoor living areas on the lower level. Lago Vista has a golf course and the Rusty Allen airport.
Past Lago Vista to the west is almost all county living. The lake also narrows to the west, becoming more like a large rive than a lake. Places like Smithwick, which is closer to Marble Falls than Austin, offer quiet country living. There are ranches with Lake Travis frontage and smaller lots with wonderful properties that slope gently to the water.
There is more to say about waterfront communities on Lake Travis, but this is a good overview.