Devil’s Cove is one of Austin’s most surprising hotspots, not only for the natural beauty but for the dozens of boats that tie up to one another every warm weekend to party.

You already know that you want to visit Devil’s Cove, so let’s talk about where it is, what to expect, how you can prepare, and what to do after a long day on Lake Travis.

Where Devil’s Cove Is Located

When you rent a party boat from us to hit up Devil’s Cove, we’ll meet up at the marina and take a 12 minute cruise out to where we’ll anchor. And trust us, doing it on your own is tough because there are good and bad places to drop anchor – we’re pros that know the difference.

Devil’s Cove is on the Lake Travis Northshore, near Marshall’s Point and north of Hudson Bend. But ask any Lake Travis local and they can literally point to the direction of Devil’s Cove – we’ve all been there many times.

Why Devil’s Cove Is the Ultimate Party Destination

The entirety of Lake Travis is amazing for cruising, watching the sunset, and seeing the awe-inspiring Hill Country. You would think that Hippie Hollow with all the funky nudity would be the party spot known around the world, but nope – for decades, it has been Devil’s Cove.

It’s a lake inlet so it’s not wide open, it’s kind of private, and it’s the party destination because of the culture of this one tiny spot on the map. Nowhere else do hundreds of strangers join up and tie their boats together and get to drinking, floating, and partying, in the private-feeling cove.

There is no planning online in advance to make sure other folks will show up because if it’s warm out, people will be out there no matter what. Whether it’s Labor Day, Memorial Day, the 4th of July, or just a warm weekend, that’s why it’s the party cove!

What to Expect When You Party at Devil’s Cove

This is our favorite part to share with you! We’re going to take you out on a party barge and worry about all of the technical stuff so you can crack open a cold one with the boys (and ladies), jump or slide off of our ultra-clean boat with the bumpin’ sound system, and float on one of the lily pads we provide so you don’t have to aimlessly tread water.

Best Things to Bring to Devil’s Cove

We provide most things you’ll need, from a professional captain (y’all, Captain Beau has been a Firefighter and EMT, you’re in good hands), an incredibly clean boat, gas for the giant boat, coolers for your snacks and drinks (it’s a pain to drag those heavy bad boys to and from your car), lily pads to float on, safe storage for valuables, life vests in case your swimming skills are shaky, and more.

But you’ll still want to bring some things on your own. Before we dive in, this is definitely a good time to pack lightly – loading time and unloading time can really cut into how long you’re on the water!

We recommend starting with considering what type of bags you’re bringing and loading up with no more than one bag per person. Your old Jansport backpack from high school will heat your back up, so just snag a big breathable beach tote. For your snacks and drinks, grab one of those inexpensive backpacks or cooler bags that is lined for drinks and bring your bags of ice in a tote.

It doesn’t matter what your skin color is, you WILL need sunscreen. Lots of it. We swear the sun is figuratively closer to Lake Travis than any other point on the map in Austin. Slather it on! Our boat rental will have hidden sunscreen if you forget, just ask your captain.

Obviously you’ll need swimwear and sunglasses, but you’ll also need water appropriate shoes. We provide bathrooms and private changing areas onboard.

Ooh, also, we have a pump on board, so if you want to bring your own trendy floaties, you’re welcome to.

Party swag for bachelor and bachelorette parties is popular but think ahead about cleanliness so you avoid any cleanup fees. Most folks stick to sashes, hats, horns – you know the drill.

Lastly, no matter how you party at the Cove, you’ll need a playlist. It gets loud, and you’ll want to be part of that scene, so show off your amazing taste in music (but keep it respectful, this isn’t 1994 when rap was all about murder and misogyny).

How to Get To Devil’s Cove

To get to Devil’s Cove, you can simply hire Lone Star Boat Rentals and let us do all of the worrying for you, or you can head west then north from Northshore Marina, or you can meander South from Sandy Creek Marina, then go west, then flip up north into the Cove. You could also get to Emerald Point Marina and just head north, or hit up Hurst Harbor and follow the wandering Lake up north, but that’s a pretty far away cruise.

But beware, because when the lake is overfilled or we’re in a drought, there are spots to avoid where you can hit trees OR destroy the bottom of your pontoon boat with unknown boulders or newly dried patches. It takes a pro that traverses these waters every day to know the pitfalls.

The point is that there are tons of marinas you can choose from on Lake Travis, but we’re at the optimal spot to just jet on over and get your party on so you don’t pick a party barge company that takes up half of your time (that you’ve paid for!!) just getting to and from Devil’s Cove.

Best places to eat afterward

If you drink all day on the lake, when your boating excursion is over, you’re going to be hungry. Sure, you can hit up P. Terry’s on the way out to soak up any alcohol and maybe cure your overheated core with a shake, and sure, the standard is to meet up with folks over at The Oasis with their 80 gajillion decks where you can have more drinks and clap wildly at the sunset.

But there are hidden gems that as locals we’re willing to tell you about if you’re cool. Are you cool? We thought so. Here we go:

  • Emerald Point Bar & Grill – it’s near Devil’s Cove, and it’s a default for us locals – they serve good food, it’s accessible by boat, and there is a stage that often has live music. Chunk a tortilla chip off the side and watch the catfish go absolutely frickin’ bonkers, it’s wild! This is one of those places where your party can definitely continue.
  • Best Dam BBQ Joint – this one’s not on the lake, but let us tell you – all of their BBQ is amazing, but if you ate 100 of their Texas twinkies, died, and went to heaven, it would be worth it. Don’t know what that is? Oh, it’s just bacon-wrapped jalapenos crammed full of cream cheese and brisket, that’s all. Mmm.
  • Hudson’s Fine Hill Country Dining is where you need to go if you’re looking to shower, dress up, and eat luxury foods. Formerly known as Hudson’s on the Bend, locals all had our ultra fancy birthday dinners there when we were kids (and we’d be the ONLY kids there and knew to put our pinkies out and not get rowdy). You’ll find amazing food there that is so creative and innovative, you might just remember it on your death bed.
  • Shack 512 has panoramic views of the lake, you could even host a private event there if you wanted to expand your special day. Last time we went, we started with queso blanco that had guac in it, then dove into the Texas alfredo pasta (and umm, drank some more), and closed out with their “Lakeside Smores” which comes as the most fun kit you’ll see on the entire lake! It’s a great way to keep the fun going.
  • Flores Mexican Restaurant isn’t on the lake, it’s in a lame strip mall, but if you are craving Mexican food at the end of the day, this is one that has consistently been good for decades. Look, sometimes you just need to stuff a bunch of cheese enchiladas in your mouth at the end of a long day on the lake, no judgment!

Want to discover more of the best local spots in Austin? Check out our Top 10 Reasons to Visit Austin Texas That Even The Locals Love

Best Places to Stay Overnight

We know you’re probably just going to stay in an Airbnb, but don’t forget that for a special day, there’s also Airbnb luxury where you can try to snag a mansion or fancy spot for your pals.

But you could also keep the floating lake vibe going and check yourself into a houseboat overnight! They don’t typically come with a captain, so we highly highly recommend staying in the marina. You’ll be tired and ready to sleep anyways, we promise.

No judgment if you want to play it cheap and just throw your bags inside of the nearest Holiday Inn.

You can also grab a villa at Vintage Villas – don’t let the stunning landscape filled with wedding events sway you into thinking you can only stay if you’re going to a wedding because they’re a fully operational hotel. Seriously gorgeous.

There’s always the Lakeway Resort and Spa which is a great option if you want to support a local business, or you can head on into Austin and hit up the famous Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa. Lodging, food, AND a massage? Sign us up!

Wherever you eat or sleep after a day with us on Lake Travis, partying on Devil’s Cove, one thing is for certain – you’ll never forget this day!