All Around Austin

Your Guide to 13 Top Texas Swimming Holes

Balmorhea Pool for Kids in West Texas.
Balmorhea Pool offers close to two-acres of swimming in the heart of West Texas, right off Interstate 10. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

It is hotter than a firecracker during the summer in Texas. A swimming pool is nice though for a really refreshing way to cool off in the summer, jump into a Texas swimming hole. A natural pool, fed by natural spring water,  features cool water that feels good against your skin. Piping underground, the springs bubble to the surface through the limestone in the Texas Hill Country. In addition, the short Texas winters mean it’s swimming season from April through October. Here are the Top Texas Swimming Holes.

Barton Springs Pool offers a spring-fed pool in the center of Austin. Texas swimming holes
Barton Springs Pool offers three acres of family fun in the center of Austin, Texas.

1. Barton Springs Pool in Austin Texas

In the heart of Austin, Barton Springs Pool is a must for summertime visits. The three-acre pool features a diving board, zero-entry rock-bottomed area for the littles and lap swimming. Barton Springs Pool is located inside of Zilker Metropolitian Park,

Located at 2201 Barton Springs Road. Open year-round from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday through Wednesday and Friday through Sunday. From 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. is unguarded swim for the lap swimmers only. Thursday is pool cleaning day so it is closed from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. though open for lap swimming.

Admission is charged from late April until October 31. Adult admission is $9, juniors (12 to 17) and seniors (62+) is $5, kids (1 to 12) is $4 and babies are free.

The Deep Eddy Pool, in Austin. Texas swimming holes.
The family pool at Deep Eddy features a zero-entry thanks for a recent renovation.

2. Deep Eddy Pool in Austin Texas

Along the shores of the Colorado River swimmers have gathered at Deep Eddy Pool for nearly 100 years. It’s the oldest swimming pool in Texas and on the list of National Register of Historic Places

With spring water ranging from 65F to 75F, new water is pumped into the pool every other day. The bathhouse dates back to the Depression and was a project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA).

Located at 401 Deep Eddy Drive open year-round. Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. for recreational swim with life guards. Adult admission for adults is $9, juniors (12 to 17) and seniors (62+) is $5, kids (1 to 12) is $4 and babies are free.

3. McKinney Falls State Park in Austin 

The 641-acre McKinney Falls State Park features camping, hiking, mountain biking and swimming in natural setting, minutues from Austin’s main airport. Find  1.7 miles of Onion Creek flowing  through the park, offering both swimming and fishing opportunities.

In addition to water sports, try hiking or mountain biking, wildlife spotting and birdwatching. Make it a weekend with 80 campsites, including RV and hike-in sites  screened shelters, group shelters and a group dining hall.

Located 10 miles southeast of downtown Austin at 5808 McKinney Falls Parkway. Adult day-use admission (12+) is $6. Open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Online reservations are recommended during the summer.

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In the center of Georgetown, find the Blue Hole. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

4. Blue Hole Park in Georgetown

Surrounded by limestone bluffs on the south fork of the San Gabriel River, Blue Hole is near the center of Georgetown. Find a small dam with water cascading over it.

Located at 100 Blue Hole Park off Austin Ave. Open from dawn to dusk and free to enter.

Blue Hole in Wimberley. Texas Swimming Holes
The Blue Hole in Wimberley is one of the best known swimming holes. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

5. Blue Hole Regional Park in Wimberley

In a quaint artist’s hamlet, Wimberley boasts one of the top swimming holes. Set along Cypress Creek, find century-old Cypress trees, a couple of trapeze-type rope swings and rock-clad swimming piers.

Bought by the city of Wimberley back in 2005, it preserved the area for future generations. Find a 126-acre park with picnic tables, a large grass area along with restroom with changing area.

Located at 100 Blue Hole Lane. Open from 8 a.m. to dusk during the swimming season. Open weekends only in May and September and daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Admission for adults is $12 (13 to 59), kids (4 to 12) $6, seniors (60+) $6 and free for kids 3 and under.

NOTE: Due to the popularity of Blue Hole, a reservation must be made prior to arrival. The Blue Hole website offers morning or afternoon sessions, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Hamilton Pool. Texas Swimming Holes
Hamilton Pool features a 50-foot waterfall. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

6. Hamilton Pool Preserve in Dripping Springs

According to local folklore, a 8-year-old kid from a German immigrant family discovered Hamilton Pool on his family’s property in the 1880s. Soon after the Reimer Family opened their oasis to any one who would make the trip.

Hamilton Pool’s limestone outcropping features a 50-foot waterfall that plunges into a box canyon. Located on Hamilton Creek, it’s 3/4 mile from the Pedernales River. Though the waterfall never completely dries up, it does fluctuate seasonally.

To get to Hamilton Pool, a .25-mile hike is required down a steep trail with stairs, not suitable for those with mobility or health issues. Find only composing pit toilets and no changing area. No concessions or tables available at the swimming area. The park area offers hiking trails as well.

Due to the popularity of Hamilton Pool, a reservation must be made weeks prior to arrival. The Travis County website offers morning or afternoon sessions, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Located at 24300 Hamilton Road in Dripping Springs. Open year round though daily reservations required from March to October. Adult admission is $8 (cash only) and kids 12 and younger enter for free. This is in addition to the $12 online reservation fee, payable by credit card.

NOTE: Swimming is prohibited when bacteria levels are high Check Travis County website for more information. This happens frequently after a rain.

Schlitterbahn. Best Waterpark in Texas for families
Beat the summer heat in New Braunfels at Schlitterbahn along the shores of the Comal River. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

7. Schlitterbahn Water Park in New Braunfels

The Original Section of Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels uses the Comal River water in a series of chutes and pools. The ideal location to introduce another generation to splashing around in natural water.

With a tree-shaded location, it’s really two parks joined by a shuttle bus in the center of the New Braunfels. A Central Texas town with German heritage, Schlitterbahn features German influences throughout the park.

Located at 400 N. Liberty Ave., New Braunfesl. Schlitterbahn is open weekends only from mid-May and from late August until mid-September. Open daily during the summer with varied hours. Admission varies and coolers with snacks are allowed.

8. Tube Chute in New Braunfels

The City Tube Chute in New Braunfels offers an old school thrill ride. In the longest chute of its type in the world, tubers ride through a dam bypass on the Comal River then continue to float through Prince Solms Park.

Located at 100 Liebscher Dr. The river chute is open year round though the facilities are open from May 1 until Labor Day. Weekends only from May 1 until June 1 and from mid-August until Labor Day. Open daily from June 1 to mid-August from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Admission is $5 per person with tubes ($7 per tube) and lifejackets for rent. Parking in the Prince Solms Park is $20 from May 1 until Labor Day.

Note: New Braunfels has a ban on disposible items in its parks, so no cans, single-use bottles

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perfect spring getaway to Garner State Park. Texas swimming holes
The jewel of the western Texas Hill Country, Garner is the most popular state park in Texas. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

9. Garner State Park in Concan Texas

On the western edge of the Texas Hill Country, Garner State Park is the most popular state park in Texas. Dedicated in 1941, it’s named after Cactus Jack Garner, the Vice-President of the United States from 1933-1941.

The gem of Garner is the crystal clear Frio River. Rent a tube, a SUP board or a paddleboat in the park to explore the cypress tree lined river. Make it a weekend and reserve a cabin or campsite.

Developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the Depression, the CCC built rock buildings and cabins in Garner.

Located at 234 RR 1050, 10 miles north of Concan, Texas. Admission is $8 for adults and kids under 12 get in free.

10. Balmorhea State Park in West Texas

In the heart of West Texas, Balmorhea State Park offers the largest spring-fed swimming pool in the world. With nearly two acres of water with temperatures between 72F to 76F, make it a road trip stop along Interstate 10.

The San Solomon Springs produces 15 million gallons of water a day and the pool holds 3.5 million gallons of water. The pool offers the entertainment though bring everything else, like snacks, towels and sunscreen, not much available near the park.

Located at 9207 TX-17, seven miles south of Interstate 10. Open from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily for day-use. Adult admission is $7 and kids 12 and younger enter for free. Online reservations are recommended during the summer.

Note: Balmorhea State Park camping and lodging are closed for renovations.

Krause Springs. Texas Swimming Holes
Krause Springs offers a natural swimming hole along with a man-made pool. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

11. Krause Springs in Spicewood

The 115-acre property has been in the Krause Family for over 50 years. With 32 springs on the property, there’s enough water for a man-made pool and a natural swimming hole. The spring water is 68F year-round and eventually makes it Lake Travis.

Located at 424 County Road 404, near Spicewood, Texas. Open from mid-February until October 31. Adult admission (12+) is $10, kids (4 to 11) is $6 and kids 3 and under are free. Open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Camping is available.

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Pace Park Salada. Texas Swimming Holes.
W. A. Pace Park in Salado offers a cool and shallow water for splashing. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

12. W.A. Pace Park in Salado

North of Georgetown, Salado offers a stopover along Interstate 35. Find the Salado Springs in W. A. Pace Park with lots of shallow splashing for kids, or dogs.

Located at 100 Art Fair Road, W. A. Pace Park is open from dawn to dusk and is free to enter.

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Swimming Hole at Blanco State Park
Take a swim at the Blanco State Park, north of San Antonio. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

13. Blanco State Park

North of San Antonio and along the shores of the Blanco River, find a swimming hole made by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) back in The Depression. With a one-mile stretch of the river, the Blanco State Park offers picnic tables for day use, camping, a playground and a group pavilion, much of it developed as a part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). A program developed by President Roosevelt to put Americans to work; CCC was part of the WPA.

Located at 1010 Park Road 23, off U.S. Route 281 in Blanco. Open year round from dawn to dusk. Admission is $5 for adults and free for kids 12 and under. Online reservations are recommended during the summer.

Jacobs Well Natural Area in Wimberley 

Though once a popular swimming hole, Jacobs Well is closed to swimming until futher notice. It is a karstic well (underwater cave) that’s over 120 feet deep (36 m) and the depth of the cave is dangerous for swimmers.

Located at 1699 Mt. Sharp Rd.  Day-use area is free to enter for hiking.

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Sink into the cool natural spring water and find the best natural swimming holes and pools in Texas. Here's 13 of the top natural pools, man-made pools with natural waters, along with state park pools and private pools in Texas. Get all the details on reservations for the more popular pools. Best Texas Swimming Holes | Natural Pools in Texas Hill Country #NaturalPools #Texas

Catherine Parker has a passion for travel and seen all 50 U.S. States. As a former flight attendant with one of the largest airlines, there isn't a North American airport that she hasn't landed in at least once. Since clipping her professional wings after 9/11, she combines her love of the open road with visiting architectural and cultural icons. She is based out of Central Texas dividing her time between writing and restoring a pair of 100-year-old houses. She shares her life with her three kids and her husband.

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