Texas isn’t just a big hot summer wasteland. Our state is home to some great places to escape the heat. In fact they’re all over our state, even in some places you might not expect. Here are 10 of my favorites.

Balmorhea State Park – Balmorhea, TX

Balmorhea State Park

If you happen to be driving 60 miles west of Fort Stockton and find yourself desiring a nice way to cool down, you’ll be in luck. You’d be around the corner from Balmorhea State Park; the world’s largest spring fed pool. Not only is it huge, it’s in the middle of the desert. Along with providing humans 72 degree water, year-round, it’s home to fish, turtles, and various other creatures.

There are even retro motor-court style cabins for folks who’d like to spend a few days at the park. Admission is $7, which considering you’re in the desert, is a small price to pay to escape the west Texas heat.

Photo By: Jay B Sauceda / More Info: Balmorhea State Park

2. Jacob’s Well – Wimberley, TX

Jacob's Well

This spring-fed swimming hole in northwest Wimberley, Texas still flies under the radar after all these years. On any given summer day, you won’t find more than 20-30 people down here, which is a great thing. Nestled in a thick area of trees and shrubs, there’s plenty of shade from the hot Texas sun if you just want to watch folks who decide to take a big jump in to the well.

The opening of the well is about 12 feet wide, and it descends 35 feet, before descending another 120 feet at an angle in to caves. Diving in to the underwater caves isn’t recommended though, even for experience SCUBA folks, so if you do go, stick to swimming and enjoying the pool this spring has created.

Photo By: Jay B Sauceda / More Info: Jacob’s Well

3. Hamilton Pool – Dripping Springs, TX

Hamilton Pool

At first glance, Hamilton Pool looks like it belongs on another planet. We’re always saying Texas is like nowhere else, and this is exactly why. Hamilton Creek spills over the top creating a 50-foot waterfall in to the shaded pool below. Bring a towel to grab some sun on the shore, or some goggles to swim. Either way, don’t leave your sun-block at home. Sunburns are no fun.

On occasion, the pool is closed due to weather or trail conditions, so it’s always smart to call ahead at (512) 264-2740 to verify that they’ll be open that day.

Photo by: Dave Wilson / More Info: Hamilton Pool

4. Krause Springs – Spicewood, TX

Krause Springs

The previous three swimming holes have been on public land, but Krause Springs is owned by the Krause family, and has been for about 50 years. It’s open year round and is fed by, you guessed it, springs. There is a lot to do aside from just swim such as butterfly gardens and plenty of beautiful Texas landscape to explore.

As far as amenities go, there is both primitive camping and RV hookups. There is a cheap per person charge to enter the park, as well as to camp.

Photo By: Todd Dwyer / More Info: Krause Springs

Texas Humor Shirt

5. Barton Springs – Austin, TX

bartonsprings

You can’t do a Texas swimming holes list without Barton Springs. The “frigid” spring-fed waters of Barton Springs are said to be healing waters. The biggest ailment I know it cures is heat exhaustion, but boredom is another disease this pool takes care of quickly.

It’s $3 to enter for the day. Parking can be an issue if you’re trying to park on the North side of the pool, so if you’re driving down, try parking on the south side for the best luck on that end. Bring your blanket or towel so you can post up on the hill, but leave your food, frisbees, footballs, and alcohol at home.

Photo By: Ye Olde Wig Shoppe / More Info: Barton Springs

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23 Responses

  1. Shawn

    I think one you missed is the swimming pool at Roaring Springs, TX.

    Reply
  2. Rick

    Who decided that “swimming holes” have to be FRESH water ?

    Any good Texas beach; such as North Padre, Malaquite, PINS, South Padre, Matagorda, Galveston, or even Boca Chica will see more visitors than any of those places on a hot mid Summer day !

    But, I really miss TEXAS !

    Rick
    New Orleans

    Reply
  3. harmony

    My favorite watering hole? My back yard. Small pool but big enough for folks I invite and there’s always tea and cookies. Also AC inside if it gets too hot out or starts to rain. Best part? Gas for me to get here is free!

    Reply
  4. Carolyn

    When I was a kid growing up in Southeast Texas, Lake Tejas was a popular spot. Is it still?

    Reply
    • Jackie

      Lake Tejas is still going strong. Went up there on Memorial Day and niece was up that last weekend. Have added a couple of children things (trampoline and slide). Great family place, no alcohol, no smoking. Love it.

      Reply
  5. mike

    Used to be a real nice swimming hole in Marathon. Last time I was down there it was pretty grown up in weeds. I wonder if they ever got it cleaned out..

    Reply
  6. Samantha Autry

    Love love love Concan been going there since i was 4 & now I’m 25. Everything about it is prefect :)

    Reply
  7. Chelsea

    I guess you have never been to the beautiful San Marcos River that is spring fed throughout and sourced straight from the Edwards Aquifer. It is clean despite human habitation in the summer time, and the town is the longest continuously inhabited place in North America because of its constant temperature and freshness. The waters are all getting low, but unlike the Blanco and even Jacob’s Well, it does not acquire high e coli counts during droughts because of it’s continuously pumping springs and current. (Please don’t get me wrong though, I do love both places) The crowds clear up when school starts in the fall, and it is still nice and hot outside for swimming at the river. It is my #1. Love lots of the other places mentioned too though! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  8. abel rodriguez

    been to Wimberley to Blue Hole and Jacobs well and both are awesome! They change blue hole up a bit took away its rusticness a bit.gave it a small make over just doesnt have the same feel to it but still beautiful.Didnt make it to Jacobs well this last trip but I hope they havent change it much

    Reply
  9. Pete Litterski

    Balmoreah is pretty, but you need to be ready for the gassy smell and slimy bottom from the natural algae. Loved the water temp and once we discovered the diving well, the bottom was not a problem. It was a good outing

    Reply
  10. Lisa

    I live in Austin Texas and go to Barton Springs all the time! I also recently went camping at Blanco State Park and the river is amazing! And Of course I have been to Garner State Park, but sadly, never in the summer. VIVA TEXAS

    Reply
  11. Janet D. Jones

    Lived in Alpine for 16 years and Balmorhea State Park was always my favorite, don’t forget the camping also , we have moved to Washington State this year and I miss the park and camping so much. I have got some great memories at Balmorhea. Thank you all.

    Reply
  12. Southbound & Down: Austin, TX | Playing For Eats

    […] A few weeks ago, I hopped in the Jeep and headed southbound to Austin.  While it was one of many trips I’ve taken to my old stomping grounds, this weekend was one of my all-time favorites.  I got the chance to kick off the weekend at Hamilton Pool, which I was reminded about by this list. […]

    Reply

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