Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World, and since the city limits extend all the way out to Lake Travis, the same can be said of our local shores! While most people head into town for large concerts, the vibe on Lake Travis is chill Saturday nights floating on a dock restaurant, frozen margarita in hand, sunburned face, and live music.

Sometimes you’ll plan to go see a specific band, but most often, locals simply float up to the nearest venue and end the day with some spontaneous fun.

live band playing in lake travis
image courtesy of: flickr.com/photos/elchupacabra/7168995312/in/album-72157629660569064/

So Where Are the Best Places for Live Music on Lake Travis?

1. Angel’s Icehouse

Angel’s Icehouse specializes in homestyle food like burgers and chicken fried steaks, they have $2.50 tacos all day on Tuesdays, super cold beers, and most importantly, they’re pet friendly.

Bring the family and the dogs to come enjoy live music and the massive outdoor play area. This one isn’t on the shore proper, but us locals still consider it part of the lake life.

2. Beachside Billy's Restaurant & Waterpark

Beachside Billy’s Restaurant & Waterpark live music is just the cherry on top at this big ol’ waterpark and resort. It’s one of the most kid-friendly parts of Lake Travis with waterslides, pools, a lazy river, and an actual restaurant with live music (and booze, oh my gawd there’s booze).

Plan for a full day or weekend here, it’s not a quick visit, folks.

3. Canyon Grille

Canyon Grille is a gorgeous hotspot for your inner fancy folk that wants to sit in a real chair and have fine food, but also wants to wear flip-flops since you spent the day on the water.

Canyon Grille doesn’t require a reservation, offers live music on weekends, and you won’t ever be forced to drink out of a plastic cup.

4. Lucky Rabbit

Lucky Rabbit is one of our favorite new places for live music on Lake Travis. Finally a breath of fresh air around here, Lucky Rabbit is just a damn cool place to hang.

While not on the water, it is in the hills nearby. The vibe is rustic and laid back, with beer pong and corn hole, and there’s a 50’s school bus converted into their outdoor patio bar. Their food is equally creative, so give this one a shot soon!

5. The Oasis on Lake Travis

No Lake Travis live music venue list is complete without this best-known gem, The Oasis on Lake Travis (aka Oasis Texas Brewing Company), which now has two separate live band stages – the Starlight Terrace and Beau’s Backyard.

There is a brewery on site, a bajillion patios that face the lake and line the cliff, and it’s where locals take their family visiting from out of town. It’s family-friendly and has the best lake views anywhere.

6. Poodie’s Hilltop Roadhouse

Poodie’s Hilltop Roadhouse is a Lake Travis area joint that is best known for live country music, pub grub, and views of the rolling hills.

It’s the best of down-home, and famous around here for 25 years because Poodie was Willie Nelson’s stage manager for many years. So if that sounds like your flavor of live music, Poodie’s wants to see you soon.

7. Shack 512

Best known for its massive enclosed patio that stays open year-round, Shack 512 entertains with live music and amazing food (even their veggie burger is good), especially their weekend brunch (try the out-of-this-world Texan Eggs Benedict).

They’re out by the Sandy Creek Marina, so it’s perfect for those in boats looking to eat and jam on the shore.

8. Steiner Ranch Steakhouse

Steiner Ranch Steakhouse is more of a date night place, seated high up in the hills above the lake. It’s perfectly swanky and we’d arm wrestle you for a shot at their melt-in-your-mouth filet mignon.

You won’t find a better wine collection in the area, and while reservations aren’t required, we absolutely recommend it.

9. Sundancer Grill

Sundancer Grill is a classic that has fantastic seafood and drinks and is open all year. It’s bistro style and is next to the Sail & Ski Yacht Club.

They sometimes have live music on weekends, so it’s best to call ahead if you’re hoping for it.

Bonus Spot: Lake Travis Music Theatre

As a bonus, if you’re into live music in the form of theater performances, check out the Lake Travis Music Theatre, “bringing Broadway to the Northshore.”

Gone, but Never Forgotten Spots for Live Music

Sadly, several of our favorite hotspots have recently closed. We suspect COVID and the recession wiped them out, but here are just three we are extremely bummed about:

  • Carlos ‘n’ Charlies became Ernie’s, and was rebranded as Cedar Creek Dockside, but the location appears to be fully shut down as of publication.
  • Iguana Grill closed to become Lucy’s on the Lake, then Lucy’s Fried Chicken which is now sadly closed.
  • Vincent’s on the Lake next to Emerald Point Marina was everyone’s favorite live music hotspot for years, but it has recently ceased operations.

Although several live music venues and restaurants have shut down, there is still a LOT of excitement on the lake.

Come enjoy some live music with us, friends!