Lago Vista (Spanish for "lake view") was originally a lakeside resort, incorporated in 1984. The community includes more than 15 miles of shoreline on Lake Travis. It is the gateway to the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge (see Marble Falls) which is home to the endangered golden-cheeked warbler and the black-capped vireo. The refuge includes nature trails to observe wildlife. www.friendsofbalcones.org.

Hunting also is a top recreational activity at the refuges. Big game and dove seasons are available. www.fws.gov/refuge/Balcones_Canyonlands.

There is year-round golfing, tennis, boat and jet-ski rental, fishing excursions and kayaking.

Events include the peloton-style La Primavera bicycle race and the Jonestown Cajun cook-off in March; the Wildlife Refuge's Balcones Songbird Festival in April; and "Punkin Chunkin"-Chili Cook-off in November.


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