Many folks couldn’t even locate Texas’ Water Recreation Capital on maps. On the other hand, Canyon Lake has no shortage of exciting, stimulating, and peaceful activities to offer, both on and off the lake!
That’s because this small but big Southern city boasts 80 miles of magnificent shoreline to explore, as well as outdoor activities for visitors of all ages and tastes.
We’ve got you covered whether you’re looking for a rush of adrenaline or want to take it easy with some sunbathing in the middle of landlocked Central Texas.
Canyon Lake, Texas, has never been easier to visit with this insider advice on when to go, entrance costs, things to do, and so much more. Continue reading to explore more!
Canyon Lake, Texas
We’ve broken down the must-see sights that you must visit while in the area on this list.
With a visit to some of our favorite activities around, on, and surrounding Canyon Lake in Comal County, you can see the Texas Hill Country from all perspectives!
Visit the Natural Bridge Caverns, which are located underground
The Natural Bridge Caves, Texas’ largest known commercial caverns, will kick off our list of things to do in Canyon Lake with a bang!
This easy day excursion is only a 30-minute drive from Canyon Lake and offers a variety of exciting activities on site.
On a guided underground tour, see unearthly formations in its two cave systems, or venture above the surface for climbing, zip-lining, and ropes courses.
You can also go to Discover Village and dig for your gems and fossils!
The cost of admission varies depending on the day and time of your visit, as well as the package you select. For additional information, see their website.
Guadalupe River State Park has some great hiking trails
Stretch those legs and get out there! The area around Canyon Lake offers some of the state’s most pristine natural areas, and hiking is the best way to experience them.
Where do I begin? The stunning Guadalupe River State Park, located just 30 minutes from Canyon Lake.
There are several routes to select from, ranging in length from 0.68 miles to 5.1 miles.
Whatever route you take, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful scenery, from lovely Bald Cypress trees to sweeping grasslands and crystal-clear creek crossings.
Adults pay $7 to enter the Park, while children under the age of 12 are free.
Comal Park Beach is an excellent place for swimming and sunbathing
Of course, enjoying the body of water that gives Canyon Lake its name is one of the most obvious things to do in the area.
With two boat ramps, a children’s playground, a large number of picnic tables, and a well-kept sandy length with a roped-off swimming area, Comal Park Beach is one of the most popular lakeside destinations.
Because there is no cover along the beach, bring your umbrella, as well as lots of drink and sunscreen.
During the summer, it’s also a favorite spot for local families to congregate. Arrive early in the day to get to a nice place!
Canyon Lake is a great place to look for sunken treasures
This is one on the bucket list of water activities to experience when visiting Canyon Lake!
Scuba diving isn’t common in Texas, but it’s accessible in Canyon Lake, which has some of the state’s deepest, purest waters and plenty of underwater views.
Up close and personal with freshwater plants and creatures. At 40-60 depths, you can see wrecked cars and boats, as well as an underwater forest at 60-80 feet.
According to legend, there’s even a ghost town beneath the surface. To construct the lake, the US Army Corps of Engineers flooded a residential area in the 1950s, and homes, structures, and even graveyards are still submerged.
Divers usually leave from North Park, Comal Park, or Overlook Park because they have the easiest access to the water.
If you’re a complete novice, several dive shops in the region may provide guidance and enroll you in a scuba certification program.
Before you go touring, take some time to learn more about Canyon Lake.
The Heritage Museum of Texas Hill Country offers a glimpse into the past
Most people will tell you that going to the beach and doing water sports are the finest things to do in Canyon Lake. Still, the area has a fascinating history dating back millennia, long before visitors arrived!
The Heritage Museum is much more than a collection of dusty items housed in a building.
It covers hundreds of acres and features hiking trails, fossil dig sites, and over 200 dinosaur footprints dating back 110 million years!
Visit outdoor displays of old farming equipment, take a guided walk of the dinosaur trackways, and admire Cretaceous fossils and Native American artifacts.
You can also go through a collection of one-of-a-kind historical items donated to the museum by people who grew up in the Texas Hill Country from the 1800s to the 1950s.
The museum is open from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Adult tickets are $5, and children aged 5 to 12 are $4. Free admission for children under the age of five!
Take a Drive Along River Road for a Breathtaking View
The ancient River Road is not just a means of swiftly getting from one place to another, but it is also a destination in and of itself!
This scenic highway, which follows the Guadalupe River and occasionally trundles over below cascading waters, is a joy to drive.
Lean out the car window to take in the scenery of the vast Cypress trees that line the route or to feel the breeze from the river.
Pass through the tree tunnels and past farms, ranches, campers, and live music venues, or stop at one of the many charming restaurants along the road.
Overlook Park, a lovely and isolated area for swimming, hiking, and picnicking, is where the road comes to a stop.
Dry Comal Creek Vineyards has the perfect red for you
Would you like to take a break from the sand and sun? Leave the lake behind for a moment and enjoy a bottle of 100% Texas-grown red or white wine while taking in the breathtaking vistas of verdant vineyards and charming brick houses.
Dry Comal Creek Vineyards, established in the 1990s and located 20 minutes from Canyon Lake, is a local favorite.
They offer tastings in their beautiful outdoor lounge for just $20 per person, including many samples, assistance from their “libation ambassadors,” and a logo glass to take home.
Charcuterie platters, food trucks, and live music are also available. Before you go, make sure to check out their upcoming activities!
Since this location is close to the Natural Bridge Caverns, you can quickly link the two for a day excursion that perfectly balances down-and-dirty exploration and fine-wine luxury!
Float down the Guadalupe River in a tube
Tubing is a favorite summer activity of many Texans, and a list of things to do in Canyon Lake wouldn’t be complete without mentioning it!
Spend the day floating down the Guadalupe River in a large inflatable. There are peaceful, mellow areas where you may sit back and relax, as well as small rapids to keep your energy levels up.
You may either hire a tour company to create a unique tubing adventure for you or simply rent a tube and do it yourself!
Tubing season typically begins in mid-May for weekends only and continues through Memorial Day.
Whitewater Amphitheater is a great place to go to see a show
Whitewater Amphitheater is nestled against one of the most picturesque views of any stage in Texas as if its extensive list of big-name headliners wasn’t enough.
The Guadalupe River runs right next door, and the expansive amphitheater is encircled by a canopy of towering old-growth Cypress and pecan trees.
Miranda Lambert, Willie Nelson, Pat Green, and other country musicians have all performed there. If country music isn’t your taste, there are plenty of other genre-heavy hitters to choose from.
Concerts are held from April through October, and you can check the venue’s website for a calendar of upcoming concerts or purchase tickets.
During the day, Whitewater lends out canoes, kayaks, and tubes to enjoy the river, and their famous beer garden serves up cool beverages.
Canyon Lake Golf Club welcomes you to tee off
The par-72 course consists of 18 holes. The views at Lakeside Golf Club are so beautiful that they might just make your perfect swing go out the window.
This course is set in the rolling hills of Texas Hill Country, with a variety of sceneries to keep golfers of all skill levels entertained.
Monday through Thursday, the course is $27 per person, but after 2 p.m., it’s only $20. After 2 p.m. on weekends, the cost rises to $29 or $25.
After you’re done, stop by the 19th Hole Bar & Grill for lunch or supper, where you’ll find hot dogs, burgers, TexMex, and more on an all-American menu.
From Canyon Park Beach, Paddle Out
The isolated and direct Canyon Park Beach awaits us on the north side of Canyon Lake.
Unlike other beaches in the vicinity, this one has a shallow area for small children and many deeper areas.
You can canoe, kayak, or paddleboard outside of the bathing area into the cool, clear water. You’ll have the lake to yourself and other paddlers because boats aren’t allowed here.
It’s a great area for family vacations and nature retreats, as well as catching a stunning Texas sunset!
Only day usage is permitted at Canyon Park Beach from April to September. On weekdays, from 1 p.m. until sunset, and on weekends and holidays, from 7 a.m. to sunset.
The fee of admission is $5 per automobile, payable solely in cash.
Canyon Lake Gorge is a great place to go fossil hunting
This is undoubtedly one of Canyon Lake’s most unusual sights.
Heavy rains forced a surge of water to overrun the spillway in 2002, cutting this mile-long rip in the terrain.
It’s like going back in time when you visit this area because the water exposed strata of rock that date back 110 million years.
If you keep a watchful lookout, you can find fossils, dinosaur tracks, and other old relics.
For $10 per person, guided tours of the region are available, while children under seven are not permitted. It’s a challenging hike, so wear comfortable walking shoes and bring plenty of water!
Wimberley Zipline Adventures gives you a bird’s eye view of the Texas Hill Country
Wimberley Zipline takes visitors over the Texas Hill Country, providing breathtaking views of the surrounding hills, meadows, and canyons.
You’ll be able to zoom across ten distinct lines that are between 150 and 900 feet long and up to 100 feet high.
Each tour costs $100 per person and lasts 1.5-2 hours. Treat yourself to a nice glass of beer, cider, spritzer, or soda in their Biergarten to calm your nerves after the trip.
Wimberley Zipline Adventures is about 40 minutes from Canyon Lake, Texas, so it’s a great half-day adventure!
Camping at Canyon Lake
Only 19 sites in North Park allow tent camping, each with a picnic table and fire ring. Popups, trailers, and RVs are not permitted.
North Park is a prominent diving spot where divers must book a campsite to dive.
The Bottom Line
Canyon Lake, let alone the Hill Country, has no shortage of things to do. It’s a great spot to soak up the summer atmosphere, take in the scenery, and find some decent camping spots.
Canyon Lake, Texas, has everything to keep you busy and coming back for more, whether you’re on a day trip, weekend getaway, or summer vacation!