McKinney Falls State Park
In Southeast Austin you’ll find this amazing state park. If you’re in the mood to explore, there are plenty of trails to wander along and a handful of historical sites to visit. When it’s time to cool off, relax in the shallow areas or scope out places that are deep enough for a full dip.
5808 McKinney Falls Parkway. Open daily, 8 am-10 pm. Cash preferred; $6 for adults, free for ages 13 and under. Food and drink allowed. No lifeguard. Camping allowed.
Nothing beats the summer heat like taking off your clothes — perhaps all of them. This “clothing optional” beach on Lake Travis will force you to leave your inhibitions behind. This is our No. 1 pick for sunbathing (obviously). Entry allowed for those 18 and older only.
7000 Comanche Tr. Open daily, 9 am until dusk. Cash only, $15 per vehicle. Food and drink allowed. No lifeguard.
Georgetown’s Blue Hole
The Blue Hole in Georgetown is technically a bend in the San Gabriel River, just minutes away from the city center. A steep cliff overlooks the warm, deep water and long, rocky banks. This is an ideal spot to set up camp for the day or bring an inflatable raft to lounge along the river. Make sure to bring sunscreen and perhaps a beach umbrella, because shade is very limited.
West Second Street and Rock Street, Georgetown, Texas. Open daily, dawn to dusk. Admission is free. Food and drink allowed, no glass containers. No lifeguard.
Head west through the Hill Country to find this lush wonderland. There are 32 springs and two pools for swimming as well as one magical butterfly garden for exploring. If a single day in this enchanting place isn’t enough, we suggest camping for a night or two.
404 Krause Spring Rd., Spicewood, Texas. Open daily, 9 am-9 pm. Cash only; $7 for adults, $5 for ages 4-11, free for ages 3 and under. Food and drink allowed, no glass containers. No lifeguard.