As we enter July, Austin residents are no doubt starting to feel the heat. With temperatures expected to remain in the high 90s throughout the month, it is imperative to find ways to beat the heat. What better way to cool off than to venture to any of the nearby Austin swimming holes. Austin has one of the largest selections of rivers and lakes in Texas. As a result, there are a large number of areas people can take advantage of to keep cool. Swimming holes in Austin can be found as close as one mile outside of the downtown area, giving residents convenient access to cool off under the hot sun.
It’s time to take a look at the top five swimming holes in Austin. We don’t blame you if you only read half the article— we almost stopped writing to go for a dip!
Barton Springs is a man-made swimming pool with a rich history. This ultra-popular Austin swimming hole has seen crowds of almost 800,000 flock to the area over the course of a year. The pool is filled by an underground channel, which keeps the temperature of the water between 68-70 degrees, allowing for year-round swimming at Barton Springs.
To accommodate swimmers and animals alike, the Barton Springs pool is closed on Thursdays to undergo a systematic cleaning process, which provides optimal conditions for everyone using or living in the area.
At two separate points each day (Thursdays excluded) you can enjoy Barton Springs free of charge. Between 5am-8am and 9pm-10pm the pool is free to use. These are ideal times for both early risers and those who like to enjoy the water with a little less company. Between 8am-9pm there are admission fees that range based on age. In addition, there is a lifeguard on duty during this time only.
Fun fact: The area is also home to an endangered species called the Barton Springs Salamander!
Deep Eddy Pool
Currently celebrating its 100th year, Deep Eddy Pool is the oldest man-made swimming pool in Texas. The pool originated in 1916 as a swimming hole and has since been turned into a resort and swimming pool owned by the city of Austin.
Water is provided from the Colorado River, keeping the temperature around a consistent 70 degrees. The water comes from a 35-foot well and does not contain any chlorine.
Deep Eddy Pool is a great option for families with children, as the pool has large wading areas and shallow water, a perfect area for kids to play. The pool is open year-round from 10am-8pm on weekdays, and 9am-8pm on weekends. Admission ranges from $1-$3 based on age, with children under the age of one and seniors and allowed free entry.
A bit of a hidden gem, Sculpture Falls is a one-mile hike within the Barton Creek Greenbelt. This gorgeous Austin swimming hole is a popular summertime spot among Austinites looking to beat the heat. The shallow waters allow visitors to relax in the water, or on the nearby rock faces.
Toss around the pigskin with some friends while enjoying the cool, refreshing water found at Sculpture Falls. There is quite the hike involved to reach Sculpture Falls, but once you make it, be sure to enjoy the fruits of your labor by relaxing in the secluded body of water. The area is often less populated due to the length of the hike required to find the area, but once you do, it's well worth the trip. It's also free to enjoy Sculpture Falls!
McKinney Falls is a perfect place for those looking for a remote swimming hole in Austin that is not too far out of the way. McKinney Falls is just south of Downtown Austin, but still close enough that it’s considered to be Austin’s backyard. The swimming hole is a part of McKinney Falls State Park, which gives you the opportunity to explore various trails and engage in other activities then take full advantage of the nearby swimming holes. The cost to enter the park is just $6 for adults, and free for children under 13.
Blue Hole at Georgetown
The Blue Hole at Georgetown is a gorgeous swimming hole located north of Austin and is a part of the San Gabriel River. This is an excellent area to set up an inflatable device and float along the river. You’ll want to avoid the temptation to cliff jump however, as it is against the law. The Blue Hole at Georgetown is another free swimming hole.