Discover the Secret Beach in Austin: A Hidden Gem Worth Visiting

secret beach in austin

If you’re looking for a hidden gem in Austin, look no further than Secret Beach. Despite its name, this spot isn’t technically a beach, but it’s still a beautiful and secluded spot to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

Located in Roy G. Guerrero Park along the Colorado River, Secret Beach offers sandy beach banks and clear water perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking.

While Secret Beach may not be a well-known destination, it’s a popular spot among locals who are in the know. The beach’s location in a park means that it’s not always easy to find, but that’s part of its charm.

Once you arrive, you’ll feel like you’ve discovered your own private oasis in the middle of the city. Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to read a book or

Location

If you’re looking for a secluded and peaceful beach in Austin, then Secret Beach is the perfect spot for you. Just right outside the beautiful city of Austin, TX is the fair-sized stretch of land located along the Colorado River, inside the Roy G. Guerrero Park in South East Austin.

The beach itself is a treat, but finding it is part of the excitement. The 10-15 minute walk to the beach will leave you feeling like you’re looking for treasure.

How to Get to the Secret Beach

To reach Secret Beach, you need to park your car at the Roy G. Guerrero Park parking lot located at 400 Grove Blvd, Austin, TX 78741. From there, you need to take a 10-15 minute walk along the walking trail that leads to the beach. The trail is well-marked, but it can be a bit rocky and steep in some parts, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes.

If you’re driving to the park, the driving time from downtown Austin is around 20 minutes. You can also use booking.com to find nearby hotels if you’re planning to stay overnight.

Here are step by step general directions:

  1. Start by heading towards Roy G. Guerrero Park, located at 400 Grove Blvd, Austin, TX 78741.
  2. Once you arrive at the park, look for a trail that leads to the riverside. The specific trailhead may vary, so it’s a good idea to ask park staff or look for signage indicating access to the river.
  3. Follow the trail that takes you towards the riverbank. This trail will guide you to the Secret Beach area.
  4. As you continue along the trail, you should eventually reach the secluded section of the Colorado River, where the Secret Beach is located.

Description

secret beach in austinSecret Beach is a hidden gem located in the Roy G. Guerrero Park in South East Austin. This secluded beach is a fair-sized stretch of sandy peninsula along the Colorado River, perfect for those looking for a peaceful escape from the city.

The beach is not very crowded, making it a nice spot for families with children who want to enjoy the sun and water without the hustle and bustle of a crowded beach.

Features

The beach is surrounded by nature, offering a peaceful and serene environment for visitors. The sand is clean and perfect for building sand castles or just lounging in the sun.

The water is shallow, making it an ideal spot for wading and swimming. Visitors can also explore the nearby hiking trail, which offers stunning views of the shoreline and the surrounding wildlife.

Amenities

There are no stores or food vendors on the beach, so visitors should bring their own snacks and drinks. It is also recommended to bring sunscreen, towels, and sand toys for children.

The beach does not have any rental services, so visitors should bring their own water shoes if they plan to swim in the river. Restroom facilities are available in the park, but visitors should follow park rules and regulations.

What to Bring with you to Austin’s Secret Beach

When visiting the Secret Beach in Austin, it’s a good idea to bring the following items:

  1. Sunscreen: Protect your skin from the sun’s rays by applying sunscreen before arriving at the beach and reapplying it as needed. A beach day with a burn is absolutely no fun! The Texas sun can be quite strong so always be careful while outside.
  2. Beach Essentials: Bring towels or beach blankets to sit on, beach chairs or a portable chair for added comfort, and an umbrella or shade structure for sun protection.
  3. Water and Snacks: Stay hydrated by bringing an ample supply of drinking water or other beverages. Pack some snacks or a picnic basket lunch to enjoy while you’re at the beach since there might not be nearby restaurants or vendors.
  4. Swimwear and Extra Clothes: Wear your swimwear under your clothes, so you’re ready for a dip in the water. Pack an extra set of clothes for after swimming.
  5. Water Shoes: Depending on the conditions of the riverbed, water shoes or other protective footwear can be helpful for walking in the water or navigating any rocky areas.
  6. Insect Repellent: Austin’s outdoor areas can have insects, especially during certain seasons. Applying insect repellent can help prevent bug bites.
  7. Portable Speaker or Entertainment: If you want to enjoy music or have some form of entertainment, bring a portable speaker or any other portable entertainment devices.
  8. Trash Bags: Help maintain the cleanliness of the beach by bringing trash bags to dispose of your waste properly. Remember to leave no trace and pack out what you bring in.
  9. First Aid Kit: It’s always wise to have a basic first aid kit with essentials such as band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and any personal medications you might require.
  10. Cash or Card: Bring some cash or a card for any unforeseen expenses, such as parking fees or any nearby facilities that might require payment.

Remember to tailor your packing list based on the specific activities you plan to engage in and any personal preferences or needs you may have.

Activities

There are plenty of activities to enjoy at Secret Beach in Austin, Texas. Whether you want to swim, kayak, hike, or have a picnic, there’s something for everyone.

Swimming

Swimming is a popular activity at Secret Beach. The water is clean and refreshing, and there’s plenty of space to swim and play. However, keep in mind that there are no lifeguards on duty, so swim at your own risk. Also, be aware that the water can be shallow in some areas and deeper in others.

To verify the water quality you can check out the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) or the City of Austin’s Environmental Health Services for information on clean water quality testing, advisories, or any relevant guidelines that may apply to the Secret Beach or nearby areas.

Kayaking

Kayaking is another popular activity at Secret Beach. Bring your own kayak or rent one from a local vendor and explore the Colorado River. The calm waters make it a great place for beginners, and there are plenty of scenic gorgeous views to enjoy along the way.

Hiking

If you’re looking for a more active adventure, consider hiking in the nearby Roy G. Guerrero Park. The park has several trails of varying difficulty levels, so there’s something for everyone. The trails offer beautiful views of the river and the surrounding landscape.

Picnicking

Secret Beach is the perfect place to bring along a picnic basket. There are several picnic tables and grills available for use, so bring your favorite food and enjoy a meal with friends and family. Additionally, there’s a playground nearby for kids to play on while adults relax.

Safety

When visiting Secret Beach, it is important to keep safety in mind. Here are some tips to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience.

Water Safety

While swimming and floating in the river are prohibited at Secret Beach, it is still important to be cautious around the water. The river can have strong currents and sudden drop-offs, so it is important to stay within designated areas and keep a close eye on children. It is also recommended to wear a life jacket when near the water.

Sun Safety

With the warm Texas sun shining down, it is important to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. Here are some tips for staying safe in the sun:

  • Wear sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating.
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses to protect your face and eyes.
  • Seek shade during the hottest part of the day, typically from 10am to 4pm.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

By following these safety tips, you can ensure a fun and safe experience at Secret Beach.

Additional Beaches in and around Austin TX

While Austin is not directly located on a coastline, there are a few man-made beaches and waterfront areas that offer beach-like experiences. Here are some notable options:

Red Bud Isle

Situated on Lady Bird Lake, Red Bud Isle is a popular spot for picnicking, swimming, and enjoying the sandy shoreline. It’s particularly known for being dog-friendly and has an off-leash area for dogs to swim. (One of the more Accessible beaches in the area)

Emma Long Metropolitan Park

Located on the shores of Lake Austin, Emma Long Park offers a sandy beach area for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. The park also provides amenities like picnic tables, BBQ pits, and boat ramps. (This park has accessible facilities and amenities, making it more inclusive for visitors looking for the ideal beach getaway)

Commons Ford Ranch Metropolitan Park

This park, situated along Lake Austin, has a small beach area where visitors can relax, swim, and enjoy the lakefront. It also offers hiking trails, picnic facilities, and beautiful views of the surrounding nature.

Sandy Creek Park

Sandy Creek Park is situated on the shores of Lake Travis and offers a sandy beach area for swimming, sunbathing, and playing in the water. The park also features picnic areas, volleyball courts, and a boat ramp.

Bob Wentz Park

Located on Lake Travis, Bob Wentz Park has a sandy beach area where visitors can swim, picnic, and enjoy water activities. It’s a popular spot for sailing, windsurfing, and kiteboarding as well. If you are up for a day trip- Lake Travis has something for everyone and worth a full day or more.

While these options provide beach-like experiences, it’s important to note that they are not on the ocean and don’t have waves or tides like coastal beaches.

Nevertheless, they offer a chance to enjoy the water and relax in a beach-like setting within the Austin area.

Additional Swimming Areas in Austin to Visit

Austin offers several swimming areas apart from the Secret Beach. Here are a few notable options:

  1. Barton Springs Pool: Located within Zilker Park, Barton Springs Outdoor Swimming Pool is a natural spring-fed pool that maintains a refreshing average temperature of 68-70 degrees Fahrenheit (20-21 degrees Celsius) year-round. It’s a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing and fantastic for easy family outings.
  2. Deep Eddy Pool: Another historic outdoor swimming pool in Austin, Deep Eddy Pool, is known for its clear cool water. It features a shallow end for wading and a deep end for swimming, making it suitable for all ages.
  3. Hamilton Pool Preserve: Hamilton Pool is a breathtaking natural swimming hole located about 23 miles (37 kilometers) west of downtown Austin. It boasts a picturesque waterfall that cascades into a jade-green pool, surrounded by towering cliffs and lush vegetation.
  4. McKinney Falls State Park: McKinney Falls State Park offers two swimming areas along Onion Creek, known as the Upper Falls and Lower Falls. Visitors can enjoy swimming, wading, and exploring the park’s trails and natural beauty.
  5. Krause Springs: Located in Spicewood, just outside of Austin, Krause Springs is a privately-owned oasis featuring natural springs, waterfalls, and several crisp waters swimming areas. It’s a serene and picturesque spot for swimming and camping.

Remember to check the operating hours, entry fees, and any specific guidelines or restrictions before visiting these swimming areas, as they may vary depending on the season or other factors.

FAQs

Q: Is the Secret Beach open to the public?

A: Yes, the Secret Beach is open to the public. However, it is not as well-known as other public beaches in Austin, so it tends to be less crowded. On hot summer weekends, this place will get busy so be sure to go early to grab the perfect spot.

Q: Are there any amenities at the Secret Beach?

A: The Secret Beach is a natural spot, so there are no amenities like restrooms or lifeguards. It’s a secluded area, ideal for relaxation and enjoying the beauty of nature.

Q: Is swimming allowed at the Secret Beach?

A: Yes, swimming is allowed at the Secret Beach. However, there might not be designated areas or safety measures in place, so it’s important to exercise caution and swim at your own risk.

Q: Can I bring my own food and drinks to the Secret Beach?

A: Yes, you can bring your own food and drinks to the Secret Beach. It’s a good idea to pack a picnic or snacks, as there might not be any nearby restaurants or vendors.

Q: Is parking available near the Secret Beach?

A: Yes, there is parking available near the Secret Beach. However, parking spaces might be limited, so it’s advisable to arrive early or consider alternative transportation methods like biking or ridesharing.

Q: Are there any rules or regulations I should be aware of when visiting the Secret Beach?

A: While specific rules may vary, it’s always a good idea to respect the environment and leave no trace. Pack out what you bring in and avoid damaging the natural surroundings. Additionally, be mindful of any local guidelines regarding noise, open fires, and alcohol consumption.

Q: What Makes Secret Beach so Fun?

A: The Secret Beach in Austin can be a fun destination for several reasons:

  1. Secluded Atmosphere: The beach’s relative seclusion creates a more tranquil and peaceful environment compared to busier beaches. It allows for a quieter and more intimate experience with nature.
  2. Natural Beauty: The Secret Beach offers scenic views of the Colorado River and its surroundings. The peaceful waters and picturesque landscape provide a serene backdrop for relaxation and photography.
  3. Privacy and Space: With fewer crowds, visitors can enjoy more personal space and have a sense of privacy. It can be an ideal spot for a peaceful picnic, sunbathing, or simply unwinding by the water.
  4. Water Activities: The Secret Beach is located along the Colorado River, providing opportunities for swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, and other water activities. It’s a great place to cool off during hot summer days or engage in recreational water sports.
  5. Exploration: The beach is often accompanied by nature trails and hiking paths, allowing visitors to explore the surrounding area. It can be an adventure to discover hidden spots, observe wildlife, or enjoy a leisurely walk amidst nature.
  6. Local Vibe: The Secret Beach is popular among locals who are seeking a more low-key beach experience. It can offer a chance to interact with locals, learn about the area, and get a taste of the local culture.
Q: Is the Secret Beach a family-friendly destination?

A: Yes, the Secret Beach is fun destination for the entire family. However, due to its secluded nature, it’s important to supervise children closely and ensure their safety while swimming or exploring the area.

It offers lots of fun for kids of all ages, such as shallow swimming holes, beautiful hikes, amazing views, and a lovely day in nature – away from all the screen time.

Q: Are there any Entrance Costs to Secret beach?

A: Not to the beach area itself, but you might find that you need to pay to park in specific areas. Many of the more commercial beaches will have a parking few to access.

Q: Can I engage in water activities such as kayaking or paddleboarding at the Secret Beach?

A: Yes, you can engage in water activities like kayaking or paddleboarding at the Secret Beach. The calm waters of the Colorado River make it suitable for such activities. Just make sure to bring your own equipment, as rentals might not be available on-site.

Q: Is it really a secret?

A: The term “secret” beach is more of a colloquialism rather than an absolute statement. While the Austin secret beach may not be widely known or heavily promoted like some of the more popular beaches, it doesn’t mean that it’s completely unknown or inaccessible.

Its relative seclusion and lesser-known status are what contribute to its reputation as a “secret” beach.

However, as with any popular destination, the level of secrecy can diminish over time as more people discover it. It’s always a good idea to research and stay updated on the current popularity and accessibility of the beach before planning a visit.

Q: Are there any Actual beaches in Texas?

A: Yes, there are several actual beaches along the Texas Gulf Coast – just not in Austin. Here are a few popular beach destinations in Texas:

  • South Padre Island: Located at the southern tip of Texas, South Padre Island is known for its beautiful sandy beaches, warm Gulf of Mexico waters, and a range of recreational activities such as swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and water sports.
  • Galveston Island: Situated on the Gulf Coast, Galveston Island is home to numerous beach areas, including popular spots like Stewart Beach and East Beach. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, beachcombing, and exploring attractions like the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier.
  • Mustang Island/Port Aransas: Mustang Island is a barrier island near Corpus Christi that offers miles of sandy beaches and dunes. The town of Port Aransas, located on the island, is a popular beach destination known for its relaxed atmosphere, fishing, and birdwatching opportunities.
  • Padre Island National Seashore: Padre Island National Seashore is a protected area that stretches for about 70 miles (110 kilometers) along the Gulf Coast. It offers pristine beaches, dunes, and abundant wildlife, providing opportunities for beachcombing, camping, and observing sea turtles and shorebirds.

Final Thoughts

The Secret Beach in Austin offers a unique and secluded experience for those seeking a quieter and more intimate beach outing. While it may not be as well-known or heavily promoted as other beaches, its relative seclusion and natural beauty make it a charming destination.

The beach location provides an opportunity to relax by the Colorado River, enjoy water activities, and immerse yourself in the surrounding natural scenery.

As with any outdoor destination, it’s essential to stay informed about the current accessibility, popularity, and safety of the Secret Beach. Checking for updated information, following any guidelines or regulations, and respecting the environment will contribute to a positive experience.

Remember to pack the necessary items, be mindful of water quality, and consider the enjoyment of others by practicing Leave No Trace principles.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful day by the water, a chance to connect with nature, or a hidden gem in Austin, the Secret Beach can be a delightful option to explore and unwind.