Stay close in and hit the Barton Springs Greenbelt. Twin Falls provides some of the most beautiful scenery in Austin and with free parking and entry, you can’t lose here! You’ll find hiking, dog walking, biking, rock climbing, cliff jumping and rope swinging!
Nestled within LBJ State Park, you will find the LBJ swimming pool, open Wednesdays-Sundays 12pm-8pm in the summer. The LBJ State Park is also home to the Official Texas State Longhorn Herd, as well as buffalo, white-tailed deer and of course, famous for their wildflower display in the spring. After you towel off, stop by the Visitor’s Center featuring highlights from Lyndon B. Johnsons’ presidency.
A MUST! The Pool at Balmorhea State Park is for the true adventurers! One of the world’s largest spring-fed pools at 25 feet deep and 3.5 million gallons of water, it’s perfect for those who love nature and wildlife. It is popular for scuba divers since it is home to a variety of endangered fish, turtles and more. If you’re not into the scuba thing, just bring some goggles and a snorkel to check out what’s swimming under your toes. It’s quite a drive but there are the San Soloman Spring Courts built in the 30’s or pitch a tent in Toyahvale, TX. My preference would be to stay in nearby Marfa at El Cosmico!
If you are looking to escape the city for a day, head out to Krause Springs in Spicewood, Texas, about 30 miles west of Austin. Founded in 1955 by the Krause Family, this camping and swimming site is a true treasure! With several natural swimming holes and a manmade pool, you will have plenty to explore. There are also areas for tent or RV camping (Autumn did it once – never again) along with butterfly gardens and beautiful flowing waterfalls. Open year round, 9am-9pm, there’s no excuse not to go!
Austin’s Favorite! Zilker Parks’ gem, Barton Springs Pool is a 3-acre pool fed from underground springs. Listed as a federally protected habitat, you can find the endangered Barton Springs Salamander in this area. After playing in Zilker Park’s 358 acres of lush green land, catch some rays on the grassy areas that surround the pool and take a dip in the frigid water – that stays at 68 degrees.
Love this place! Deep Eddy is Texas’ oldest man-made swimming pool but it is fed with clear and cold water from a hand dug well. This used to be a resort in the 20’s -- think Flamingo Kid -- and is now a perfect family spot with a lap pool, wading pool, playground, fishing pier, trails and BBQ pit with picnic tables. Check Austinparks.org for a full schedule and catch a flick during the summertime at Splash Party Movie Nights!
A stunner! With a shady place to cool off, head just a few miles west of Austin and take a dip in the beautiful swimming hole featuring a grotto, canyon and 50 foot waterfall. It is open daily but check the website for updates – it closes when the water gets too warm. You can swim, hike, bike and even get a 1 hour guided tour that tells you about the history of the area. Pack a picnic, relax and look for the rare and endangered Golden-Cheek Warbler.