Do you want to enjoy the cool breeze on a boating trip or explore the trail of dinosaurs from millions of years ago?
If so, Canyon Lake is the perfect place for you, as it teems with dozens of the best things to do!
Canyon Lake is the Water Recreation Capital of Texas, easily accessible from several nearby towns and only an hour out of San Antonio.
It is a reservoir on the Guadalupe River in the Texas Hill Country.
Interested to know more about this place?
Here are the 25 best things to do in Canyon Lake, Texas:
Walk around Canyon Dam Walkway
Canyon Lake is also well-known as one of the few lakes with a dam where the service road is open to the public.
You can walk on top of the dam and enjoy the amazing view of the water from a whole new perspective.
It was briefly closed from 2018 onwards due to concerns about the safety of the public, particularly for people with disabilities.
However, the local people came together to make the Dam Community Alliance and fundraise in order to spruce up the service road.
It reopened in mid-2019 and has been a well-loved local hangout ever since.
Explore Overlook Park
For those of you who love hiking and adventure trails.
Overlook Park is a 1-kilometer-long loop trail suitable for the whole family and hikers of all skill levels.
You can also enjoy the fantastic view as you take a slow walk.
The scenery includes watching birds in their natural environment and a view of the river far below.
The best times for this trail are from April to September.
Dine at Las Barcas Tex-Mex Grill
Enjoy fresh and great Tex-Mex flavors at Las Barcas.
The lakeside ambiance complements the generous portions of Southwestern and Mexican cuisine.
Whether you want a simple side of fries and salsa before you go home or you’re looking for a complete meal with old favorites, you’ll love what you get here.
After your full day of adventure, you deserve a nice place to put up your feet and treat your stomach.
Try the Ziplines at Wimberley Zipline Adventures
Wimberley Zipline Adventures is located in the Four Winns’ Ranch, which has a long history, dating back to 1883.
The ranch is just south of Wimberley village and close to Canyon Lake.
The course offers ten separate ziplines, between 900 and 150 ft long.
Each amazing flying adventure where you move over 30 miles per hour will give you a gorgeous view of the hills of the Texas Hill Country, meadows, and canyons.
The tours require reservations, and each term will need at least 1.5 to 2 hours of your time.
Lack of experience is not a problem if you want a bird’s eye view from the ziplines.
The beautiful guides at Wimberley Ziplines are trained to handle complete newcomers, and the tours are preceded by thorough training at what they call their “flight school.”
You can also relax after the zipline adventure at their Biergarten, where they sell cider, beer, soda, and spritzer!
Try the Texan Wine at Dry Comal Creek Winery & Vineyards
From noon to six in the evening, Thursday to Monday, you can visit the gorgeous Dry Comal Creek Vineyards at New Braunfels, Texas, and enjoy authentic Texan wine.
It was founded by Franklin Houser in the 1990s and is now owned by the Romero family, with Seth Urbanek as the winemaker.
They pride themselves on providing completely Texan wine, made 100 percent from Texan grapes.
You can reserve “Tastings” and enjoy six excellent wines and their stories.
Or, if you already know which wines you like, you can hang out at the Outdoor Lounge.
Pair their local wine with food you’ve brought in yourself, or try your luck at the food trucks.
Go Fishing on Canyon Lake
The US Army Corps of Engineers is the Reservoir Controlling Authority of Canyon Lake.
There are several guided fishing tours available for fishing enthusiasts in the area.
The fishing and angling are excellent throughout the year, but the specialty is largemouth bass angling.
Largemouth bass angling is best during the spring, fall, and winter.
Other popular fish include white bass and striped bass.
For family trips, angling for redbreast sunfish is a popular pastime!
Experience the Guided Tour in The Heritage Museum of the Texas Hill Country
The Heritage Museum of Texas Hill Country is famous for being the site of multiple dinosaur tracks.
For two decades, the museum has been working to preserve over 200 footprints from dinosaurs and many trackways and educate the public.
The footprints and trackways are about 110 million years old, part of the early Cretaceous period.
The Heritage Museum has trackways, hiking trails, and Cretaceous fossil digs!
The entrance fee includes a boardwalk tour where a docent will guide you through the dinosaur trackways and tell you about the great history of the area.
See the Canyon Lake Boat Parade
If you’re in the Canyon Lake area during December, add some extra fun to your holiday cheer with the boat parade.
The Canyon Lake Yacht Club's annual Parade of Lights celebrated its 38th year in 2020.
This is a local tradition of the Yacht Club, where decorated boats tour through the lake and add a dash of celebratory dazzle.
The Yacht Club’s Green Dragon traditionally starts the show and is well worth a watch.
Explore the Nature at James C. Curry Nature Centre
James C. Curry bought the pristine natural area as an investment in 1981.
He later donated the James C. Curry Nature Centre to Comal County in 2013.
The beauty of Texan Hill Country is on vivid display for the mile-long looping track.
While the track is suitable for hikers of most skill levels, it has some steep ascents and is relatively unfrequented.
It is an excellent place for those who prefer to admire nature alone.
Go River Tubing at Guadalupe River
The lower Guadalupe River starts from the Canyon Lake dam and is one of two lovely rivers making Canyon Lake the Water Recreation Capital of Texas.
From Canyon Lake to New Braunfels, the Guadalupe is one of the state’s most popular spots for summer river tubing.
The river offers a fantastic spot for water activities and sports, like paddleboarding or canoeing.
The river is also popular throughout the year for fly-fishing, with rainbow trout being released annually in the New Braunfels area for fishermen.
Dine at Gennaro's Trattoria Restaurant
Gennaro’s Trattoria restaurant is a must-visit when you’re in the area.
It is a bustling place, and the ambiance and excellent service make it as popular as the great food.
It is naturally well-known for its excellent seafood, but it is also vegan-friendly!
Visit Canyon Lake Marina
Conveniently located next to Cranes Mill Marina, this offers you two options for Marinas.
You can indulge in some of the most popular activities available in Canyon Lake by renting boats.
Whether you want to just relax on the river or try out water activities such as water skiing, you can choose a boat here.
You can rent kayaks, ski boats, tritoons, wave runners, and paddle boards!
Play a Round at Lakeside Golf Club
If you can’t bear to miss your round of golf during your vacation, you are in luck!
Lakeside Golf Club offers you the chance to experience golf over miles of Hill Country, with every convenience at hand.
If you're a beginner, the club's trained staff will offer you support, from picking your golf clubs to golf lessons that will have you swinging away in no time!
The Lakeside Golf Club also has a pool and tennis court available.
And once you’re done with your game, be sure to stop by the 19th Hole Bar & Grill to enjoy a drink and a well-earned meal.
Trek the Old Hancock Trail
Old Hancock Trail is about three and a half miles.
The trail follows the lake line, providing a scenic atmosphere all through.
It is great for hiking and horseback riding and an excellent spot for bicyclists.
Motor vehicles are generally not allowed in the area, making it safe for horses and bicycles.
The strict rules against waste, including animal waste, and fires, keep the trail beautiful.
You can travel back year after year to find the same natural beauty.
Nature watching, including bird watching, is a prevalent pastime at the Old Hancock Trail.
Experience the Italian Cuisine at Italian Garden Cafe
Italian Garden Cafe is an authentic Italian restaurant that can make your evening as great as your day when you visit Canyon Lake.
The restaurant makes authentic food from scratch and accommodates vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free food requirements.
It is a family-friendly restaurant with excellent service and better food where you can rest after a busy day full of adventures.
Dine at Shade Tree Saloon & Grill
Shade Tree Saloon & Grill is the best stop in Hill Country.
The outdoor seating is a beautiful place to relax in the evenings, and Shade Tree Saloon & Grill always offers a game of pool or shuffleboard.
The food is undoubtedly counted among the best in the area.
However, the main reason people love it is their wide selection of beer.
The collection starts from their “Shade Tree home brew drafts,” including brews as different as coffee stout, Scottish ale, and IPA.
If you appreciate a craft brew, you must stop here.
Go Camping at Potters Creek Park
For the adventure-minded who enjoy roughing it out in beautiful surroundings, Potters Creek Park is on the northern shore of Canyon Lake, providing a beautiful atmosphere and excellent weather.
Potters Creek Park has a convenient parking lot, excellent facilities with electric and water access, and scenic surroundings with oak and juniper trees.
There are plenty of adventure sports opportunities at Canyon Lake and the River Guadalupe, or you can relax by fishing and swimming.
Potters Creek Campground also offers cabins, RV sites, and tent sites, so there’s something available for everyone!
Shop at Stahlman's Farmers Market
For fresh and organic produce, Stahlman’s Farmer’s Market is the best place you can visit in Canyon Lake.
It is the local farmers' market for Canyon Lake and is also great for visitors who want to try freshly smoked BBQ.
Take a jar of preserves as gifts for friends, or have some fantastic grass-fed beef sandwiches.
Visit at least once to get some gifts for the folks back home and enjoy the amazing taste of locally grown, fresh food.
Experience Fishing with ReelFly
The Texas Hill Country is the home of the locally owned ReelFly fly store, guiding service, and outdoor clothing business.
They are a wonderful supplier for all your fly fishing requirements and are within a short distance from the Guadalupe River.
ReelFly provides one-on-one or in-group fly fishing lessons, equipment sales and rentals, group clinics, club/event lectures, fly tying lessons, and organized get-togethers for the Texas fly fishing community and its members.
They are well equipped with outdoor clothing and equipment, fly fishing supplies, and materials for fly tying.
Don't worry since every item has been tried and tested by the guides of Reelfly themselves!
Admire the Sights at Hideout on the Horseshoe
According to Hideout on the Horseshoe, leisure and wilderness should coexist.
Canyon Lake is a short drive away, and Uptown Historic Gruene is about ten minutes away.
Hideout's 19 cabins offer a setting that goes above and beyond what is typical along the Guadalupe River.
The cottages offer great river accessibility to the Guadalupe River and feature picturesque Hill Country or Guadalupe River views.
The Hideout is a great place to stay for retreats, honeymoons, weddings, business excursions, family gatherings, church events, and more.
Relish Shopping at Guadalupe River Rocks! Designs
Local modest company Guadalupe River Rocks! Designs are located near Canyon Lake.
They specialize in finding rare objects such as antiques, vintage goods, collectibles, presents, yard art, funky rubbish, old windows, doors, and wood.
They feature a storage facility full of unusual artifacts ready to be brought into the store and porch.
Guadalupe River Rocks! Designs strive to provide the most competitive rates to sell the items and keep fresh stock.
As a result of their competitive costs, their clients include other store owners and merchants.
Make Your Weekend Memorable and Visit Dam Red Barn
Specialty cocktails, house-infused vodkas, a complete liquor bar, domestic and premium beers, and a dam great time are all available at the Dam Red Barn.
Additionally, they have a whole restaurant inside and provide weekly live entertainment.
Throughout the summer, be ready to blast at the Wednesday and Friday Karaoke, Saturday Live Music, and Sunday Acoustic Shows.
They desired to spotlight some of the top talents in the area since their local music industry is flourishing.
Visit the Dam Red Barn immediately to enjoy the ideal beverage, tantalizing dishes, and engaging music.
Explore the Waters with Canyon Lake Adventures
At Canyon Lake Adventures, you may rent jet skis, stay in a lake house, take wakeboarding lessons, and much more for a fun-filled day.
You won't want to go back on land after experiencing the comfortable ride of a jet ski rental.
Canyon Lake Adventures will assist you in creating lifelong experiences, whether on a family trip or visiting the weekend with friends.
An entire family or group of friends looking to unwind at the lake will find their holiday house in the perfect location, amid the oak trees boasting a view of Canyon Lake.
Canyon Lake Adventures offers 2-hour tours and adventures, including wakeboarding and tubing for parties of 8 to 16 people, sunset tours, and wake adventures for up to 8 people.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Pay a Visit to Whitewater Amphitheater
The owners in Whitewater Amphitheater have created two amazing stages in a breathtaking location.
During the day, Whitewater Amphitheater offers fun water sports like tubing and rafting on the river, and at night, the Creekside Stage offers a gentler mood and soft lighting.
Visitors to the great state of Texas will find Canyon Lake to have a wealth of attractions, from lounging on the lake to knowing more about the local history.
It is the ideal outdoor wonderland for many adventurous pursuits, including hiking, camping, picnics, biking, and scenic driving.
Canyon Lake is a fantastic Texas road trip since, in addition to all the lake's parks and open spaces, travelers can also take advantage of the outdoors, fantastic local restaurants, gorgeous roads, artisan wineries, and even museums.
Travel to Canyon Lake now and take in Texas' natural ecological richness!