Outdoors

Austin's Swimming Holes


These Central Texas pools and springs are the perfect way to brave the heat.

Wildsam

Barton Springs | Alex George

Updated

11 Mar 2024

Reading Time

4 Minutes

When the city begins to boil, locals rush to find sweet relief in dozens of slow-moving rivers and spring-cooled pools—all fed by an artesian aquifer.

Hamilton Pool

The otherworldly-aqua pool sits inside a 50-foot wall grotto (the limestone caved in a long time ago) and, when it rains, there’s a waterfall runoff from the creek above. Call 512-264-2740 for status—reservations required.

Hamilton Pool Road, FM 3238

Krause Springs

Owned by a Spicewood family for 50-plus years, this lush weekender’s spot gets pretty crowded during the summer, but the pool’s beautiful enough that you don’t notice. Open February through October.

404 Krause Spring Rd

Barton Springs

The revered, 68-degree urban sanctuary, enjoyed by lap swimmers, sunbathers and resident ducks. Try adjacent Barking Springs if your pup’s in tow. Open year-round, but call to check before you go.

2101 Barton Springs Rd

MCKINNEY FALLS

Minutes from downtown, the state park has gnarly limestone formations where Onion Creek—when the state’s not experiencing serious drought—flows over two sets of falls. Call 512-389-8900 for reservations.

5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy

The Blue Hole

Lazy cypresses lean out over this movie-perfect, spring-fed oasis, not far from downtown Wimberley. Extra points for gainers off the rope swing. Open Memorial Day through Labor Day.

100 Blue Hole Ln., Wimberley, TX

Comal River

The 2.5-mile tuber’s tributary in New Braunfels is clear and green and home to Schlitterbahn, a German-inspired water park on 16 riverside acres.

texastubes.com

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