Nothing's better than hopping into an all-natural, spring-fed swimming hole on a hot day in Hill Country. There’s no better way to beat the Texas heat than to take a dip in a refreshing natural spring. Here's a roundup of some of the best places to cool off in and around Austin.
Located in Zilker Park, Barton Springs Pool offers a great escape from the Texas heat. The pool’s water is a constant 68°F, which will seem like an oasis during a hot Austin summer day—not too hot, and not too cold. The pool is free to the public in the early morning and late evening, and there’s free admission all day from November to March. It even has a special swimming area for four-legged friends! The pool is open daily, and the hours are typically 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., which means you’ll have plenty of time to get your swim on!
Right in the middle of the Texas Hill Country lies Blue Hole Regional Park, which is a popular destination for camping, creek hiking, and swimming with tourists and locals alike. The swimming hole is constantly listed as one of Texas’s top swimming holes and for a good reason: The hole has cool water that’s as clear as glass, and two rope swings for kids and adults. The entrance fee is $9.00 for adults and $5.00 for children. Make sure to bring water shoes, as the rocks can be slippery.
Located in Wimberley, Jacob’s Well Natural Area is a swimming oasis that’s more hidden than Blue Hole. The well itself has a rich geological background: It’s one of the largest underwater caves in Texas, and acts as an artesian spring, supplying water to Blue Hole and the Blanco River. Swimmers enjoy jumping off of the high rocks into the deep water. Entrance to the well is free, but it’s a little harder to find. This is one of the best-kept secrets of the area!
Hamilton Pool was created when an underground river collapsed thousands of years ago, creating a hidden grotto that’s absolutely stunning. The pool is complemented by a 50-foot waterfall and a sloping natural bridge that offers relief from the Texas sun. It’s a bit of a hike to reach the pool, and it can get crowded very quickly, even in the off season. But, they require reservations during the peak season, so make them on the Travis County Parks website in advance. Entry is $15.00 per vehicle, but we guarantee that the view (and the swim) will be worth it.
About 30 miles west of Austin lies Krause Springs, a popular camping and swimming site deep in the Hill Country. The property has 32 springs to explore, as well as a manmade pool. Krause offers both RV and tent camping, and even has a Butterfly Garden with fountains and wind chimes on display. The entire spring is a beautiful place to spend your day: You’ll see waterfalls, a lazy river, and even the occasional turtle. To complete the true Texas experience, make sure to pack some BBQ for the public grills.
Known as the oldest swimming pool in Texas, Deep Eddy Pool has a rich history. The pool started out as a local swimming hole, was converted to a luxury resort in the 1920s, and is now a public spring-fed swimming pool. The pool is great for all ages and swimming levels; It has a section for lap swimming as well as a wading area for young children. Because of the spring, Deep Eddy isn’t chlorinated so you’ll get a truly natural and super refreshing experience! Entrance is only $3.00 for adults and $1.00 for children.
Texas in the summer can be sweltering, but with a plethora of cool, clear swimming holes, beating the heat can be an adventure. Whether you’re looking for something more like a public pool, or you want to feel like you’re truly getting away from it all, there’s a place where you can cool off.
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