Courtesy of Travel Texas
As summertime arrives and wildflowers bloom in Texas, many flock to a place that’s cool. Most Texans take advantage of the sunny weather by taking a dip in one of the state’s well-kept secrets and historical spots; natural swimming holes.
When in Texas, explore beyond the hotel pool and take an adventure through the scenic outdoors. Whether you are looking for a quick excursion to the Hill Country or a plunge in the city, you won’t be disappointed in any of the swimming holes the Lone Star State has to offer.
True natural swimming hole enthusiasts should head to West Texas to the largest spring-fed swimming pool in the state, Balmorhea State Park. To call Balmorhea a diver’s paradise is an understatement. With clear waters and warm temperatures year-round, scuba divers, snorkelers and swimmers visit the nearly 2-acre park to catch a glimpse of endangered species, non-game fish and turtles. More than 10 dive operations take place a day during the pool’s slow period, so get to the park early during peak summer months to take a dip into the twenty-eight million gallon playground.
A few miles west of Austin lies one of the most popular swimming holes, Hamilton Pool. Tucked away in a natural preserve surrounded by hiking trails with vegetation and wildlife, this natural swimming hole is a hot spot for families and college kids alike. The 50-foot waterfall pouring over a fern-cloaked grotto sets the perfect vibe for a summer day, and Hamilton Pool is ideal for hiking scenic trails, soaking up the sun and taking in the beauty that is a Texas summer. You’re not the only one with that idea though, so get there early as it’s popular during the summer.
If you’re looking to practice your rope swinging, then pitch a tent and spend the weekend a little further north at Krause Springs, a 115-acre property that has been privately owned for more than 50 years by the Krause family. Jump off a rope swing into either of the two swimming holes surrounded by cypress trees and a granite waterfall, or enjoy the excitement from the man-made pool that overlooks the property’s 32 springs. With gazebos, picnic tables and a butterfly garden, there’s much more than swimming at Krause Springs making it an ideal location for a summer adventure.
Not all of the Lone Star State’s swimming holes are outside of city limits. The state’s oldest spring fed swimming pool, Deep Eddy, is right in the heart of Austin. The perfect place to cool off for both families and serious swimmers, Deep Eddy boasts six lap lanes and a wading area. Also located in the heart of downtown Austin is Barton Springs. Located within the 358-acre Zilker Park, Barton Springs is a popular spring-fed three-acre swimming hole that locals and tourists enjoy year-round courtesy of temperatures that average 68 to 70 degrees. The pool provides both deep diving and shallow kiddie areas with plenty of grassy hills for sunbathing.
Just southwest of Austin in the small town of Wimberley is Blue Hole Regional Park, a local favorite. Blue Hole is a winding river with a gorgeous hue thanks to the natural springs its water comes from. For fun both in and out of the water at the park’s 126 acres, come prepared for a game of sand volleyball or basketball and refuel with lunch at the pavilion or picnic tables. Kiddos will love the playscape as well. After lunch, jump back in the river or take a hike on any of the 3.5 miles worth of trails to top off your day’s activities.
Whether you prefer to relax and soak in the rays or swing out over the open water on a rope, Texas swimming holes offer something for every level of adventure. Beautiful surroundings and inviting, clear water make for a perfect way to enjoy a Texas summer day.
When it comes to fun, there are few things better than a good old-fashioned Texas swimming hole. Find the best places to dive in, cool off, and enjoy time with friends and family in year-round warm weather by visiting natural pools in places like Barton Springs and mystic Hamilton Pool.