Paddling in the water is a great way to explore the city from a whole new vantage point, and it’s a nice way to get some exercise in as well. Below are a few locations that will rent kayaks, canoes, and SUPs in the greater Austin area.
9705 Burnet Road
Rent kayaks, canoes, and SUPs by the day and take them anywhere. With a rental, you can receive a discount on coolers, dry boxes/bags, and even sunscreen, life vests, and bug repellent.
208 Barton Springs Road
On the south side of Lady Bird Lake, at the boat dock at the Hyatt, you can rent canoes, kayaks, SUPs, and even swan pedal boats by the hour. Free parking can be a little tricky if you don’t snag a spot at Auditorium Shores — here’s a map of your options.
74 Trinity Street
Located next to the Four Seasons Hotel on the north side of Lady Bird Lake is the Waller Creek Boathouse, which is a collaboration between the City of Austin and the Austin Rowing Club. One- and two-person kayaks, as well as SUPs (stand-up paddling, for those ages 16 and older alone and 13 and up if with an adult) are available for rental by the hour or half-day. Cash and credit cards are accepted, but you must leave a valid driver’s license while you are out. Keep in mind that parking can be limited in that part of downtown.
2200 S. Lakeshore Blvd.
Located in the South Shore District, on Austin’s new Boardwalk, they rent stand-up paddleboards as well as single and double kayaks. You can pay for your rental in advance online. You’ll need to bring a valid photo ID.
1610 E. Riverside Drive
Take advantage of the free parking as you rent your kayak, canoe, nuCanoe, and paddle board on Lady Bird Lake. This company also offers bat tours, full moon music tours, and more.
2418 Stratford Drive
On the south side of the lake, west of Mopac is the Rowing Dock, which also rents canoes, kayaks, SUPs, and pedal kayaks by the hour. You have to leave an ID or a set of keys while you are out and you can pay with either cash or a credit card. Parking is available. Check out their list of upcoming events.
Steiner Ranch Boat Club, 12300 River Bend
Choose from single or tandem kayaks or SUPs to explore Lake Austin from the Steiner Ranch Lake Club ramp or the Mary Quinlan Park ramp. Additional boating options include an electric catamaran and wakesetters. All rentals include life vests.
1541 West Cesar Chavez
Another option north of the Lake and right next to Austin High is the Texas Rowing Center, which also rents canoes, kayaks, and SUPs by the hour and by the day. Parking nearby is free and usually plentiful. Cash and credit cards are accepted.
2101 Andrew Zilker Rd.
Located just downstream from Barton Springs is the Zilker Park Boat Rentals, which rents canoes, kayaks, and SUPs by the hour or day. Rentals are by cash only, and you need to leave a photo ID while your boat is out. Some of the benefits in starting from this spot are that you can combine a canoeing outing with some playtime at Zilker Park; you can get the chance to see both sides of the shoreline (and the wildlife) as you paddle out to Lady Bird Lake; you will pass by Lou Neff Point, where there are nearly always ducks to feed and you get a chance to begin your journey in the relatively calm waters before going out into the huge expanse that is Lady Bird Lake, complete with a current and lots of other folks doing the same thing. On busy weekends, you may find the area downstream of Barton Springs can get pretty crowded too.
Outside of Austin
18216 Weiss Ln., Pflugerville
Rent a kayak, stand up paddleboard and pedal boats to use on Lake Pflugerville. Rentals are available by the hour only and include a life vest. Parking is available for free. Open all week for spring break, weekends, and daily in the summer months.
Brushy Creek, 3300 Brushy Creek Rd., Cedar Park
The Mobile Kayak offers single or double kayaks, SUPs and pedal boat rentals at the two locations above. You can also rent bikes for $15/hour.