We’ve created a guide to 12 of the best swimming holes in Austin and Central Texas.
No list of swimming holes would be complete without Barton Springs, the refreshing sanctuary in the middle of the city. Whether you’re looking to get in a few laps or lay out in the sun, this gem is a convenient getaway. Tip: Come at night between 9-10 pm, when admission is free and the pool is less crowded. That means more opportunities to jump off the diving board.
2201 Barton Springs Rd. Open year-round; summer hours are 5 am-10 pm, with limited hours on Thursdays. Cash only; $3 for adults, $2 for ages 12-17, $1 for ages 11 and under, $1 for seniors. No food or drink allowed.
Just around the corner from Barton Springs is Deep Eddy, another spring-fed escape. This popular pool is our No. 1 pick for kids, and there’s plenty of space on the hill for a picnic lunch.
401 Deep Eddy Dr. Open year-round; summer hours are 10 am-8 pm, closed Tuesdays. Cash only; $3 for adults, $2 for ages 12-17, $1 for ages 11 and under, $1 for seniors. No food or drink allowed in pool area.
More than 800 acres between Zilker Park and the “Hill of Life” is yours for the taking. Hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing are fun activities, but when it gets too hot, take a stroll along Barton Creek and find a nice little spot to go for a swim. Best picks for swimming are along the Gus Fruh trail and east of the Loop 360 access point. If you have little ones, there are plenty of shallow areas where the kiddos can splash and wade.
3755 Capital of Texas Hwy (Loop 360 access). Open daily, dawn to dusk. Admission is free. Food and drink allowed; no glass (and please take your trash back with you). No lifeguard.
This technically isn’t a “swimming hole,” and it’s not very “secret,” either, but Secret Beach is a must on this list. In the Roy G. Guerrero Metropolitan Park park along the Colorado River you’ll find a sandy spot that’s perfect for posting up and lounging. If tubing is your thing, you can also plan a leisurely float down the river. This little spot is dog- and kid-friendly.
400 Grove Blvd. Open daily; 5 am-10 pm. Admission is free. Food and drink allowed; no alcohol or glass (and please take your trash back with you). No lifeguard.