There are so many things about Texas to love and so many of those wonderful things just happen to be in and around the Houston area. One perk to living in Houston is the access to not only city conveniences but also the ability to enjoy the outdoors and this is especially true during our warmer months. Since Texas weather is so unpredictable, warmer could actually mean at any given time of the year, which is ideal for not just swimming and other water activities, but fishing as well. If you’re looking for a great swimming spot or a place to spend the day near the water, the options are limitless as there are lakes, swimming spots, gorgeous fountains, ponds and beaches readily available for fun and enjoyment. Take a look at the list of top bodies of water in and around the Houston area and begin making plans to enjoy the Texas outdoors!
Buffalo Bayou

Whether you’re seeking a romantic boat ride or an afternoon just enjoying the beautiful outdoors, Buffalo Bayou Boat Tours is the perfect way to spend time with family or friends. Take a boat tour near downtown Houston and enjoy the view as you glide along the bayou’s waters looking for wildlife such as herons, jumping fish, and even the occasional alligator sunning on the bayou’s banks. If a daytime cruise is not what you’re looking for, take part in an evening pontoon boat cruise and check out over 250,000 bats who call Waugh Bridge home. This is an excellent opportunity to learn a bit about these magnificent mammals who live in the city. For those who prefer something different, Buffalo Bayou also offers canoe and kayak tours as well.

Lake Livingston

Although not in the city, Lake Livingston is just a short drive away and boasts multiple water activities for the entire family. Fishing is always in order on this lake with notable white bass, that are plentiful and grow to very large sizes. Catfish. largemouth bass, striped bass, and crappie are abundant also good catches on this particular lake. Other activities include year-round boating in addition to several waterfront activities such as camping, hiking, mountain biking, picnicking, horseback riding and a swimming pool that is available from Memorial Day until Labor Day.

Sylvan Beach Park

Located on the northern end of Galveston Bay, this body of water boasts fine sandy beaches and smaller waves perfect for swimming. Only about an hour south of Houston, Galveston Island has so much to offer throughout the year. Sylvan Beach Park is the ideal setting when you want to get out of the city and breath in the fresh sea air and feel the cool breeze. There is not only a great beach, but also a playground for children, plenty of seating, picnic tables, a fishing pier, boat ramp, and an air-conditioned pavilion for those wishing to be indoors for a bit. The beautiful view alone is reason enough to visit Sylvan Beach Park for any occasion.

Related: Top Camping Sites Near Houston

Lake Conroe

Only a short distance from the city, Lake Conroe is an excellent retreat destination that has everything from lake golfing, shopping, and forest activities. There are also a wide variety of places to stay along with restaurants and theaters which are all fun for the whole family. This 21,000-acre lake extends 21 miles in length and offers clean, clear water for a variety of recreation including boating, fishing, hunting, golfing, swimming, water skiing, jet skiing, boating and more. This is the ultimate get-away destination for a weekend trip or family vacation.

Clear Lake

Not simply a lake, but an entire community, Clear Lake is an extraordinary place to visit and enjoy the Texas outdoors. The recreational activities and opportunities at Clear Lake are endless, with sailing, boating, jet skis, water skiing, fishing, camping, hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking, canoeing and for those wanting to relax, that is available too! With over 7,000 boat slips and 9 marinas, boat enthusiasts will feel right at home on this lake while enjoying beautiful sunsets and cool, clear water.

Related: Tops Spots To Go Fishing Near Houston

Melissa Moreno is a freelance writer covering all things Houston. Her work can be found on