Texas Swimming Holes
Texas summers can be almost unbearable, with temperatures topping over 100 degrees Fahrenheit for many days. This summer seems especially hot with record-breaking temperatures.
One of the great ways to stay cool without spending lots of money is to go swimming at local swimming hole. Many of them are free, and the ones that do charge are well worth the price of admission.
So, why not plan a get-away weekend? Load up the kids, pack up the car, head to one of the fun swimming holes around the state. When you get there, hopefully you've already got your swimsuit on underneath your clothes so that all you have to do is kick off your clothes and shoes and jump right in. You'll probably find that the water's a chilly 70 degrees in many locations around the state.
I feel cooler just thinking about it, how about you?
Jacob's Well in Wimberley
Jacob's Well is located just north of Wimberley. It has water flowing from an artesian spring. There are no lifeguards, so do not swim alone. Parking for the well is located at 221 Woodacre Drive, Wimberley, Texas (on some maps Woodacre Drive is also shown as Acacia.)
There is no charge for access to Hays County Parks, and they are open from 9am to 9pm.
Barton Springs Pool
Location: Zilker Park, 2101 Barton Springs Rd, Austin TX
Features: three acres of natural spring-fed 68 degrees Fahrenheit water year-around, making it the fourth largest swimming hole in the state
Website: Barton Springs
Claim to fame: Legislators have concocted state laws there, topless sunbathers in the seventies, and even Robert Redford learned to swim at the pool when he was five years old while visiting relatives in Austin.
Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve
Location: About 30 miles from Austin. Take Tx Hwy 71 past Bee Cave to FM 3238, 13 miles to entrance
Features: Picturesque swimming with a waterfall. Look on Yelp to see 17 breathtaking photos of Hamilton Pool, along with 23 reviews.
There's a daily car limit, so arrive early.
Blanco State Park
Location: 104.6 acres straddling the Blanco River, 40 miles north of San Antonio or 48 miles west of Austin
Website: Blanco State Park
Claim to Fame: Campsite of early settlers and explorers
Blue Hole Park
Location: Georgetown, north of downtown at the bend of the San Gabriel River, at W. Second and Rock Streets
Features: Scenic lagoon with a limestone cliff on one side with a hillside with picnic tables
Website: Blue Hole Park
Location: Ft. Worth
Features: 30-acre park that has a one-acre spring-fed lake for swimming. There are two sandy beaches, big shade trees, lifeguards on duty, over 300 picnic tables, 6 diving boards, a 20 ft slide, 25 ft trapeze and charcoal grills
Website: Burger's Lake
Boca Chica Beach
Location: A sandy peninsula across from South Padre Island about 20 miles east of Brownsville on Tx Hwy 4
Features: No facilities, but amazing birdwatching, fishing, swimming, kiteboarding, surfing and snorkeling
Brazos Bend State Park
Location: Almost 4,900 acres 30 minutes from Houston, with six lakes
Features: Alligators! Twenty miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, horseback riding, and did I mention, alligators! This park has a hands-on alligator discovery area. They also have white-tailed deer, raccoon, bobcat and over 270 bird species. Fishing is permitted from the lighted fishing piers. Picnic tables can be found in some of the scenic lakeside areas throughout the park.
The park has several hundred campsites for RVs, tents and screened shelters. An amphitheatre and dining hall are available. They have an observatory near one of the lakes that houses several telescopes, including a 36-inch reflector that is usually available for public viewing on Saturday evenings from 3 PM to 10 PM.
Website: Brazos Bend State Park
Chalk Bluff Park
Location: About 90 miles west of San Antonio along the Nueces River.
Features: Traditional camping sites or air-conditioned cabins
Horseback riding, putt-putt golf and boating
Claim to fame: On May 29, 1861, two of southwest Texas' most feared Indian fighters were ambushed by a band of 20 hostile Indians at this location. Go to their website to learn more about this event.
Devil's Waterhole at Inks Lake State Park
Location: Just north of Austin, Devil's Waterhole is a favorite swimming spot made up of natural pools nestled among some rocks within the Inks Lake State Park
Features: Inks Lake State Park is comprised of 1,200-acres in the pink granite of the Llano Uplift. The park is has scenic vistas overlooking expansive granite hills and 803-acre Inks Lake. There are over 7 miles of hiking trails. The park offers recreational activities such as camping, fishing, picnicking, wildlife observation, SCUBA diving, swimming, boating and water sports.
There are boat ramps, two fishing piers, a playground, 9-hole golf course, and mini-cabins.
Wildlife includes white-tail deer, wild turkeys, lizards, snakes, and songbirds. Between mid-November and mid-March, the Vanishing Texas River Cruise on nearby Lake Buchanan affords visitors the best chance of viewing bald eagles.
Garner State Park
Location: 234 Ranch Road 1050, Concan, TX near Uvalde
Features: Garner State Park features swimming, tubing, paddleboating, miniature golf, biking, and nightly dances.
Location: New Braunfels, Texas
Location: About 30 miles west of Austin
Features: Lush swimming hole surrounded by cypress trees, privately owned for over 50 years by the Krause familly. The springs are open year around.
Website: Krause Springs