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Forested hillside with waterfall pouring into natural pool
Krause Springs
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15 best swimming spots in and around Austin

Coolest places to beat the Central Texas heat

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Krause Springs
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Note: This map was first published in June 2016 and has been updated.

Important safety warning (August 28): Toxic algae that has killed at least five dogs continues to be found in Lady Bird Lake (specifically, Red Bud Isle—which is closed—Barton Creek, and downstream from Barton Springs Pool). Keep dogs away from these areas completely. People are advised to use caution when on the lake and to stay away from any algae they see and should stay out of water on the Barton Creek Greenbelt (except of course Barton Springs and Deep Eddy pools). Swimming holes in those areas have been removed from this map (and are probably dry at the moment anyway.

Looking for the coolest, most refreshing places to beat the Central Texas heat? We’ve rounded up some of the best and mapped them for you.

A couple of caveats: Some will be closed or not recommended after heavy rains, they're not all free, and one—Hamilton Pool—requires reservations (totally worth it).

Also, any of the greenbelt spots on this map will also dry up as the summer advances and should be avoided when water is low, stagnant, and warm. If you are headed to places on the Barton Creek Greenbelt, it’s a good idea to find out if it’s safe to swim in them before you do (both rainfall and a lack of same can affect that status).

Finally, don’t forget Austin’s several city pools and splash pads. Aside from Barton Springs and Deep Eddy, Austin’s parks and recreation department operates 50 public pool facilities, which include seven municipal pools, 28 neighborhood pools, three wading pools, 11 splash pads, and one rental facility (Commons Ford Ranch). Here’s a map of all of them.

Got all that? Now go forth and plunge!

Did we leave out one of your favorite spots? Let us know in the comments section below.

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1. Hancock Springs Free Flow Pool

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US-281
Lampasas, TX 76550
Hancock Park Highway, US-281, Lampasas, TX 76550
Visit Website

This spring-fed public pool about an hour north of Austin is much like Barton Springs (cool, maybe clearer) but not as crowded. Admission $3.50 ages 13 and up, $2.50 ages 3-12 and seniors over 55.

2. Inks Lake State Park/Devil’s Waterhole

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3630 Park Rd 4 W
Burnet, TX 78611
(512) 793-2223
Visit Website

Located within the park, this cool spot is also known as the Devil’s Waterhole. Heavy rains will produce a waterfall running over into the swimming hole, which is quite the lovely sight. Bring water shoes/shoes you can get soaked if you want to walk along the Devil’s Waterhole trail creek bed.

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3. Pace Bend Park

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2501 Pace Bend Pk Rd N.
Spicewood, TX 78669

We had to include at least one spot on Lake Travis, which we suppose is technically a really big swimming hole. The island-like park is surrounded by the lake, and Mudd Cover and Gracy Cove don't allow pesky boats, so you can swim without fear.

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4. Krause Springs

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This Hill Country spot truly is an oasis. With 32 springs, two pools, and a butterfly garden, it's practically Edenic.

A body of water with a cliffside covered in plants and trees. There is a small waterfall.

5. Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve

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24300 Hamilton Pool Rd
Dripping Springs, TX 78620
(512) 264-2740

You’ll need to make reservations and pay the reservation fee up front to swim in this lovely pool. That's because the place got too popular to accommodate parking for all the swimmers. And the reason that happened is because it's gorgeous, refreshing, and a little bit magical.

6. Deep Eddy Pool

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401 Deep Eddy Ave
Austin, TX 78703

Deep Eddy Pool is a little west of Barton Springs, just as historic, fed by the same spring, and generally much more peaceful.

A large spring pool surrounded by grass and trees.

7. Barton Springs Pool

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2101 Barton Springs Rd
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 476-9044
Visit Website

Yeah, yeah, yeah, overhyped, what's with all the algae these days, blah blah blah. Y'all. The much-vaunted 68-degree water is a balm and a solace to the overheated—one that will chill you to your very soul. And that chill will last for a very long time.

A large springs pool. There is a lawn in the foreground with many people. In the distance are trees.

8. McKinney Falls State Park

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5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy
Austin, TX 78744
(512) 243-1643
Visit Website

The whole park at McKinney Falls is a treasure, and even if the creek is dry during drought periods, the pool at the end of the hiking trails most often offers a refreshing plunge.

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9. Jacob's Well

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221 Wood Acre Drive
Wimberley, TX 78676
(512) 847-2140
Visit Website

As is the trend these days, reservations are required to swim in this artesian spring. Fees start at $5 for kids 5-12 years old, seniors (60+), service members/veterans, and Hays County residents. People who don't fit into any of those categories pay $9. Parking and visiting the natural area are free.

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10. Wimberley Blue Hole Regional Park

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333 Blue Hole Lane
Wimberley, TX 78676
(512) 660-9111
Visit Website

In general, Wimberley is a whole other ball game when it comes to extraordinary swimming spots. It's worth the trip it takes to get to Blue Hole, which the city of Wimberley saved from ruin due to impending development. The whole park, now being restored and revived, is worth a gambol. Just don't skip taking the plunge when you're done.

A large body of water surrounded by trees. Robert Thigpen/Flickr

11. San Marcos River

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An oldie but a goody, the San Marcos River is accessible from a number of spots, since it flows right through the town and its university campus. The clear, 72-degree river runs at a steady but not overwhelming pace, which makes it popular for tubing. A more relaxing and refreshing float you will not find.

12. Schlitterbahn New Braunfels

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400 N Liberty Ave
New Braunfels, TX 78130

The original Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels incorporates the Comal River into its rides (one even dumps you out into the river), provides real shade (from trees!), and retains its goofy, old-school, vaguely Bavarian theme throughout.

A waterpark slide. The water is from a nearby river. There are people in the water on the slide.

13. Landa Park

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164 Landa Park Dr
New Braunfels, TX 78130
(830) 221-4350

At this spot on the Comal Springs in New Braunfels, the Edwards Aquifer creates a big lagoon perfect for tubing, floating, and swimming. Don't miss the slide carved into the side of a dam.

1. Hancock Springs Free Flow Pool

US-281, Lampasas, TX 76550

This spring-fed public pool about an hour north of Austin is much like Barton Springs (cool, maybe clearer) but not as crowded. Admission $3.50 ages 13 and up, $2.50 ages 3-12 and seniors over 55.

2. Inks Lake State Park/Devil’s Waterhole

3630 Park Rd 4 W, Burnet, TX 78611

Located within the park, this cool spot is also known as the Devil’s Waterhole. Heavy rains will produce a waterfall running over into the swimming hole, which is quite the lovely sight. Bring water shoes/shoes you can get soaked if you want to walk along the Devil’s Waterhole trail creek bed.

3630 Park Rd 4 W
Burnet, TX 78611

3. Pace Bend Park

2501 Pace Bend Pk Rd N., Spicewood, TX 78669

We had to include at least one spot on Lake Travis, which we suppose is technically a really big swimming hole. The island-like park is surrounded by the lake, and Mudd Cover and Gracy Cove don't allow pesky boats, so you can swim without fear.

2501 Pace Bend Pk Rd N.
Spicewood, TX 78669

4. Krause Springs

Texas
A body of water with a cliffside covered in plants and trees. There is a small waterfall.

This Hill Country spot truly is an oasis. With 32 springs, two pools, and a butterfly garden, it's practically Edenic.

5. Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve

24300 Hamilton Pool Rd, Dripping Springs, TX 78620

You’ll need to make reservations and pay the reservation fee up front to swim in this lovely pool. That's because the place got too popular to accommodate parking for all the swimmers. And the reason that happened is because it's gorgeous, refreshing, and a little bit magical.

24300 Hamilton Pool Rd
Dripping Springs, TX 78620

6. Deep Eddy Pool

401 Deep Eddy Ave, Austin, TX 78703
A large spring pool surrounded by grass and trees.

Deep Eddy Pool is a little west of Barton Springs, just as historic, fed by the same spring, and generally much more peaceful.

401 Deep Eddy Ave
Austin, TX 78703

7. Barton Springs Pool

2101 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704
A large springs pool. There is a lawn in the foreground with many people. In the distance are trees.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, overhyped, what's with all the algae these days, blah blah blah. Y'all. The much-vaunted 68-degree water is a balm and a solace to the overheated—one that will chill you to your very soul. And that chill will last for a very long time.

2101 Barton Springs Rd
Austin, TX 78704

8. McKinney Falls State Park

5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy, Austin, TX 78744

The whole park at McKinney Falls is a treasure, and even if the creek is dry during drought periods, the pool at the end of the hiking trails most often offers a refreshing plunge.

5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy
Austin, TX 78744

9. Jacob's Well

221 Wood Acre Drive, Wimberley, TX 78676

As is the trend these days, reservations are required to swim in this artesian spring. Fees start at $5 for kids 5-12 years old, seniors (60+), service members/veterans, and Hays County residents. People who don't fit into any of those categories pay $9. Parking and visiting the natural area are free.

221 Wood Acre Drive
Wimberley, TX 78676

10. Wimberley Blue Hole Regional Park

333 Blue Hole Lane, Wimberley, TX 78676
A large body of water surrounded by trees. Robert Thigpen/Flickr

In general, Wimberley is a whole other ball game when it comes to extraordinary swimming spots. It's worth the trip it takes to get to Blue Hole, which the city of Wimberley saved from ruin due to impending development. The whole park, now being restored and revived, is worth a gambol. Just don't skip taking the plunge when you're done.

333 Blue Hole Lane
Wimberley, TX 78676

11. San Marcos River

San Marcos, TX 78666

An oldie but a goody, the San Marcos River is accessible from a number of spots, since it flows right through the town and its university campus. The clear, 72-degree river runs at a steady but not overwhelming pace, which makes it popular for tubing. A more relaxing and refreshing float you will not find.

12. Schlitterbahn New Braunfels

400 N Liberty Ave, New Braunfels, TX 78130
A waterpark slide. The water is from a nearby river. There are people in the water on the slide.

The original Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels incorporates the Comal River into its rides (one even dumps you out into the river), provides real shade (from trees!), and retains its goofy, old-school, vaguely Bavarian theme throughout.

400 N Liberty Ave
New Braunfels, TX 78130

13. Landa Park

164 Landa Park Dr, New Braunfels, TX 78130

At this spot on the Comal Springs in New Braunfels, the Edwards Aquifer creates a big lagoon perfect for tubing, floating, and swimming. Don't miss the slide carved into the side of a dam.

164 Landa Park Dr
New Braunfels, TX 78130