Swimming Spots In and Around Austin

With summer’s heat on the horizon, a lot of Austinites have swimming on their minds. Though there are numerous chlorinated pools available throughout the city, many people prefer going the natural route and diving into one of our areas abundant rivers, lakes, and swimming holes. Here are some of Blairfield Realty’s favorite spots to get wet and cool off.

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Barton Springs

There is no better place to start than right in the middle of the city of Barton Springs. Located in Zilker Park, this iconic city pool is spring-fed, keeping it at 69 degrees year-round. With remodeled and expanded grounds, the pool offers even more space to relax, plus better access for people with disabilities. The pool charges an entrance fee between 8am and 9pm. There is an additional parking fee if you enter the park from Barton Springs Road.

If lake swimming is more your style, Lake Austin is a great option since its level remains constant (unlike its upstream neighbor Lake Travis, which has been at historic lows in recent years due to the ongoing drought). Two parks with lake frontage and access are Emma Long Metropolitan Park (on City Park Rd, off Route 2222, just west of Loop 360) and Commons Ford Ranch Metropolitan Park (near Bee Caves Road, west of Loop 360).

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Hamilton Pool

If you head west on Highway 71 near Lake Travis, you’ll find Hamilton Pool, another perennial favorite with its grotto and 50 foot waterfall. To get to Hamilton Pool Preserve, look for the turnoff for Hamilton Pool Road, west of Hwy 620.

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Blanco State Park

If you head west out of Austin on Hwy 290 instead, past Dripping Springs and about 10 miles east of Johnson City, you’ll find Pedernales Falls State Park, with its great places to swim and relax in the Pedernales River. If you continue past Pedernales Falls to Hwy 281 and head south for a few miles, you will find the charming town of Blanco, home of Blanco State Park, where the beautiful Blanco River entices swimmers.

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Blue Hole Regional Park

The Blanco also flows through the lovely Hill Country town of Wimberley. Yet, through the river again offers a great option for a dip, the town’s biggest swimming draws are spring-fed. Blue Hole Regional Park, located along Cypress Creek, is frequently mentioned as one of the best swimming spots in the entire state. Just north of Wimberley, and just recently opened to the public as a park, is Jacob’s Well Natural Area, where people can swim in the clear, cold waters of Jacob’s Well, an artesian spring that rises out of the Trinity Aquifer.

Finally, if floating down a river in an inner tube is more to your liking, head south from Austin to the city of San Marcos and the San Marcos River. You can rent tubes at Lions Club Tube Rental, located in San Marcos City Park. Downstream to the east of San Marcos is the town of Martindale, where other tube rental outfits are located. Still for many people, a summer in Central Texas requires a tube trip down either the Comal or Guadalupe Rivers. New Braunfels is your destination for numerous tube rentals and river information. Just make sure to check rules and plan for crowds, especially on the weekends.

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