Here in Central Texas, we’re lucky–we’ve got one of the largest networks of rivers and lakes in the state. These vast networks also happen to make for some pretty amazing swimming holes. It would be a shame not to take advantage of them during the dog days of summer. However, when looking for swimming hole guides around Austin, we noticed that they either lacked information, were inefficient, or didn’t have that personal touch that Austinites crave. That’s why we’ve decided to put together this comprehensive list of the best swimming holes in Austin, Texas. Through our own personal research and utilizing resources online, we’ve come up with the definitive guide to the best swimming holes within an hour of downtown Austin.
Barton Springs is an Austinite favorite. Measuring at 1,100 feet in length, this spring-fed pool is one of the only non-chlorinated swimming pools of its size in the country. It is literally one of the coolest swimming holes in Texas with an average year-round temperature of 68-degrees, so no matter how hot it gets outside this summer, you can rest easy knowing there will always be one place in the city you can go to cool off.
Deep Eddy Pool is one of Austin’s local gems because the water is filtered in from the Colorado River – making the water’s temperature about 70-degrees all summer long. So if you’re looking for a place to take a refreshing dip, relax by the water, and catch a few rays, you’re going to love this man-made pool.
Hamilton Pool is truly a work of art, and an incredible sight to see with Hamilton Creek spilling over the steep box canyon’s edge – creating a 50-foot waterfall that feeds into its own natural pool. You and your family will be glad you visited this historic site.
Krause Springs is one of Texas’ best-kept secrets. This family-friendly place is much more remote than our other swimming spot favorites, but it’s a great location for those seeking retreat from city life. Krause Springs is located only 30-miles outside of the city lies a collection of 32 natural springs and stays at the perfect swimming temperature all year round. Once you’ve visited Krause Springs you’ll wonder why you hadn’t visited it before.
West Lake Beach is a great place to take the family. Located along Lake Austin, just north of the Lake Austin Dam, West Lake Beach features a roped-off swimming area that gets up to six feet deep. Visit the website.
Hippie Hollow is a “clothing optional” park located in the gorgeous Hill Country of Lake Travis. This beautiful park is situated among 109 acres of pristine land only 20 miles from downtown Austin. This self-proclaimed “safe, nudist atmosphere” is a beautiful spot to take a dip and spend an afternoon right outside of the city. Visit the park website.
Bob Wentz Park is located in the basin area of the scenic Hill County of Lake Travis. This water-recreation hotspot is popular for windsurfing, sailing, scuba diving, and swimming during the summertime. The sandy shoreline of Bob Wentz Park provides pedestrians with a beautiful spot to sunbathe, play volleyball, go for a peaceful walk, or just spend a lazy summer afternoon with friends. Visit the park website.
San Marcos River is a great place to enjoy crystal-clear water. There are countless swimming spots located along this 75-mile river, and several riverside parks as well. A local favorite is the Rio Vista Dam access point, which features a three-tier swimming spots. The river system extends from San Marcos down to Luling, TX, and there are an array of activities to take part in throughout. The best approach is to go to their website and decide from there.Visit the website.
Comal River is one of the most popular swimming and tubing spots in the state. If you haven’t spent a day tubing down the Comal, you really can’t call yourself a Central Texan. New Braunfels is the most popular point from which to embark on the Comal River, and there are several tube rental companies that offer tubes, rafts, river shuttles, and more. Check out these companies for specific rates and tube rental: Texas Tubes, Comal Rockin’ R, Landa Falls, Corner Tubes.
Inks Lake is a bit farther of a drive from Austin and the farthest we’re going to recommend you drive, considering we’re trying to make it easy for you to get your swim on without having to drive to the beach. Inks Lake is a stunning Highland Lake located in the city of Burnet. Inks Lake State Park is a beautiful site to catch some rays in the water. Visit the park website.
Jacob’s Well is located in the Wimberley Valley and is as much a geological landmark as it is a great spot to take a dip. The well is actually the end of an underground, natural spring, so the water is crisp and clear all year round. Public tours of the area are offered every Saturday at 10 am, but we recommend going out with a small group and relaxing in the pool. Visit the website.
Bull Creek weaves in and out of gorgeous Highway 360 for 12 miles, beginning in north central Travis County and ending in Lake Austin, where it merges with the Colorado River. That being said, there are a lot of incredible water spots along Bull Creek. If you’re looking to explore some fantastic trails and swimming holes in Austin that don’t get as much attention, Bull Creek might just be your new favorite spot. Visit their site.