Swimming Pools and Parks in and Around Austin

  1. Barton Springs – Ask any local Austinite the best place to cool down on a hot summer day and their answer will almost always be Barton Springs in the heart of Zilker Park. This 1100 foot long spring-fed pool is one of the largest non-chlorinated swimming pools in the country. Swim amongst ducks, bass, crawfish and double-crested cormorants in the crystal clear water. Open year- round, except for the occasional closure due to heavy rains.
  2. Hamilton Pool Preserve – There is more than one reason to venture out to this oasis; a sand beach, 75 foot waterfall and a huge carved out rock formation that can be explored either from the water or from a foot path circling the pool. Cliff swallows make their home near the pool and provide for constant company as they come and go. The Preserve also includes hiking trails where numerous species of birds can be observed in their natural habitat. Make sure to call ahead if you want to take a dip. The pool is usually closed after heavy rainfall as a precautionary measure.
  3. Deep Eddy Pool – Another Austin favorite, there is an enormous area of cool, shallow area shaded be mature cottonwood trees perfect for the little ones or a bit of sunbathing. Lap swimmers have their own separate pool to enjoy. During the summer months, patrons can enjoy family friendly movies on a giant projector screen while keeping cool.
  4. The San Marcos River – One pastime enjoyed by many is tubing down the San Marcos River. Fed by the San Marcos Springs, there are several spots to drop your tube in and let the flow of the current take you slowly down the river. Snorkelers also enjoy the abundance of rare plant life, turtles and fish.
  5. Sculpture Falls on Barton Creek – This is one of my absolute favorite places to go when I want to cool off. When the creek is flowing, this truly is an urban oasis. Located about 1.3 miles upstream from the MoPac Bridge, the only way to access the falls is by foot or bike. Kayakers can a trip down the creek which runs through the south end of the city.
  6. Stacy Pool – This is the place to be if the urge to swim moves you in the cold weather months. Heated by a natural warm spring, this pool has been in existence since it was built by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930’s. The pool itself is not that big, but it is popular amongst the lap swimmers who chose not to endure the cold waters of Barton Springs and Deep Eddy.
  7. Krause Springs – Located west of Austin in the city of Spicewood, this is one of the best, least-known swimming spots around. Privately owned, Krause has a regular cement swimming pool as well as a rustic swimming spot on Little Cypress Creek. Best part about it is you can camp overnight and enjoy not one, but two days of lazing by the water.
  8. Hippie Hollow – Not for the faint of heart, Hippie Hollow is one of the few public swimming spots in Texas where clothing is optional. Located on Lake Travis, the swimming here isn’t the best, but if you’re interested in seeing the rare black-capped vireo, a federally protected songbird, it might be worth the trip.
  9. Blue Hole in Georgetown – Located on the San Gabriel River, this spot is more underdeveloped than many of the other places, but if you find yourself in Georgetown, stop on by. A small dam near the Austin Avenue Bridge keeps water in this part of the river full year-round and a grassy embankment makes it a good place to picnic.
  10. Blue Hole in Wimberley – Located on Cypress Creek a quarter of a mile east from the town square, this privately owned campground/swimming area attracts people from all over Central Texas. Rope swings for the daring hang from the enormous cypress trees that line the spring-fed creek.