Say it. Just mouth the words. Austinites from baby-boomers to millennials need no further explanation. Those two words have identified, for years, the most prolific party cove on not just Lake Travis, but in the country.
For literally decades there were rivals – what is now Rough Hollow cove was a formidable go to spot for boaters seeking company thru the 80’s and 90’s, but the development of Rough Hollow – the community and the marina – put the kibosh on that floating rendezvous. Starnes Island continues as the go-to spot for the party boat and barge crowd to anchor, but nowhere on the lake matches the shear volume and intensity of the floating festivities at Devil’s Cove.
Yes, development put an end to most of the “secret” spots on the lake to anchor and tie on. But precariously, year by year, surviving complaints, scrutiny and ordinances and now by legend, Devil’s Cove survives as the iconic identifier that accedes Lake Travis’ mention in the same breath as Havasu, Comberland, Minnetonka and Saint Clair as the elites of holiday freshwater celebration.
Aerial video produced by David Scroggins DSky Media
On the northshore of Lake Travis just to the west of Northshore Marina and east of the smaller Mossy Hollow, Devil’s Cove is a large and long northwestern directed cove in the jurisdiction of the sleepy community of Jonestown. It’s popularity and unbridled growth as the Lake Travis party cove began initially due to it’s accommodating size, central lake location and the vacuum of development on the north side of the lake. For years there were few lakefront residents there to be bothered by the sometimes large, loud and rowdy boat-snake crowds. In 2011 that changed when Jonestown at the request of the many new lakefront property owners issued an ordinance to make the cove less crazy for the residents. The ordinance was surprisingly measured and by no means signaled the death knell of the cove.
Aerial video produced by Dung Lee
Every weekend from spring to fall Devil’s Cove host’s Lake Travis biggest on-the-water party. 200+ boat tie-ups connected like floating condos by sleek wakesurf inboards, pontoon boats, runabouts, cigarette boats, motor yachts and 5 bedroom luxury house boats cram the cove with as much fun as you can have on the water with your clothes on (though usually very little clothing and occasionally none). Most of the 20+ boat rental venues on the lake will direct you there and the captained yacht rental outfits will make your Devil’s Cove experience Top Shelf.
As you’d expect Spring Break, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day and their associated weekends are the peak partying days at the cove. Come prepared, be informed, drink in moderation (huh?) and be safe. Always good to have a designated driver for the boat. Though life jackets seem too proletariat to actually strap on when projecting your inner Gatsby, water and booze don’t mix well, so it’s smart to have an adequate number aboard. The Lower Colorado River Authority and four other area police agencies initiate weekend lake patrols and random boat safety inspections that provide an opportunity to check the sobriety of boat operators. Fines are assessed, arrests are made. Boat responsibly.
Aerial video produced by Hunter Pontious Photography
Location (map it): Devils Cove
Need something that floats ? Here is a list of the boat rental companies on Lake Travis. Boat Rental Companies, Charter Yacht Outfits, Party Barge Operators, Sailing Yacht Charters
Check out Lake Travis’ island party hot spot Starnes Island on Lake Travis.
Ready to eat ? Check out an on-the-water boat access restaurant/bar nearby.
Need snacks, fuel, sunglasses or supplies ? Stop by one of the full service marinas nearby.
The page’s overhead header photo was provided by LakeTravis.com contributor David Scroggins DSky Media. You can see more of David’s work on Instagram and Flickr.