We spent a recent weekend staying just steps from the Llano River in a rented house that comfortably accommodated our lively group of eight adults—and eight children, all under the age of seven. From the Adirondack chairs under a three-hundred-year-old oak tree, we started our mornings gazing at the ebb and flow of the river’s soothing current. After tubing and swimming in its clear waters, exploring and collecting rocks along its banks, days ended with cooking and cocktails in the open kitchen before lingering evenings on the front porch. It was an escape, and it was just a short hour-and-a-half-long drive from Austin, no delayed flights or long airport lines required. So, in honor of all things summer travel, here are our top picks for the best water-y dwellings on or near some of the state’s most scenic lakes and rivers.
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