Visiting Austin and need a watery workout? Love to swim laps but hate paying for a club or committing to group lessons? Austin has several great pools for those who like to drop in and bliss out to the lane’s black stripe.
Here are nine Austin area pools that have drop-in lap swimming. Check individual websites for fees, which vary according to age, residency and pass discounts.
Located in the Allandale neighborhood, Northwest Pool is part of the Beverly S. Sheffield Northwest District Park–a great family resource. There are two pools: one for tots and the big, Olympic-sized pool, which has a 14-foot deep end and one of Austin’s few high dives. Work endurance here–the roomy lanes stretch the length of the pool during long course season.
Closed on Thursdays
Wondering about pool sizes? Check out this handy conversion chart to figure out your workout lengths.
Deep Eddy Pool
Enjoy the waters of the oldest pool in Texas. Deep Eddy has the added bonus of being unchlorinated (no green hair!), but that spring-fed water does drop the temperature year ’round to between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Five lanes are open from 8 AM until 8 PM, and you’ll always find an avid group of dedicated lap swimmers for company.
Nope, you didn’t get faster! At 100 feet (30.48 meters), the pool is an unusual length, so adjust your workout accordingly.
401 Deep Eddy Dr
The Hills Fitness
This health club and wellness center offers day passes for $18. There are two 25-meter pools, one indoor and one outside, each with three lanes for lap swimming. While more expensive than Austin’s municipal pools, The Hills is open from 5:30 AM until 10 PM, which offers more schedule options. And for those who like a warmer pool, the 80 degree temperature will be pleasing.
4615 Bee Caves
Big Stacy Pool
Tucked within the Travis Heights neighborhood, next to Little Stacy Park and the Blunn Creek greenbelt, lies Big Stacy pool. Like Deep Eddy, this is an uncholorinated, spring-fed pool. Austin’s year ’round swimmers love it in the winter because the spring naturally heats the water; the pool is open early (6 AM on weekdays); there are three lanes for lap swim; and there’s no entrance fee. Mind your lane etiquette when sharing with these seasoned swimmers.
700 E Live Oak
Closed on Mondays
If you’re new to town, the south Austin street “Manchaca” is locally pronounced “MAN-shack.” Located near David Crockett High School, Garrison District Park and its Olympic-sized pool have a definite family vibe. Users have commented favorably on availability of parking and described the facility as a “working man’s Deep Eddy.”
6001 Manchaca Rd
Closed on Wednesdays
Mabel Davis Pool
Home to Austin’s first public skate park, this gorgeous facility has a little something for everyone. The relatively new Olympic-sized pool isn’t as crowded as others, and lap swimming is available all morning (8-11 AM).
3427 Parker Lane
You’re going to wish you were a kid again when you see this pool. The City of Austin completely revamped the facility, which reopened in 2014. What used to be a single 50-meter pool is now a complex of several spectacular water areas. The new lap pool is 25 yards (22.86 meters), so down and back is slightly less than a 50-meter lap.
1800 E 51st
Walnut Creek Pool
What with everything else there is to do at Walnut Creek Park (mountain biking, trails to run and walk, baseball fields), it’s easy to overlook the pool. Unobtrusively nestled behind the first parking lot on the left after entering from Lamar, the pool area is sunny and open. Multiple lap lanes are available each weekday morning. If you go on the weekend when the pool opens at 11 AM, be aware that the parking lot fills quickly with so many park users.
12138 N Lamar Blvd
Closed on Wednesdays
Pure Austin Quarry Lake
This one is a “treat yourself” option, as a day pass costs $20 plus tax. However, what you get in terms of aquatics from this local gym include a dedicated lap pool (outdoor, yet shaded) with multiple lanes AND access to Quarry Lake, which has a 750-meter route marked with buoys for those who enjoy an open water swim (without those restrictive lane lines).
4210 W Braker Lane
7 Tips for Successfully Sharing a Lap Lane
- Don’t be a lane hog–share.
- Look to join a lane of swimmers who seem to share your level of ability.
- No surprises. Let swimmers know you are joining their lane.
- Swimmers should agree on whether to split the lane (one on each side, works best with two people) or circle swim (down on the left, return on the right, best for more than two swimmers).
- To pass, touch a swimmer’s foot to let him/her know you need to come around (it may take a couple of touches). The swimmer will let you move ahead when s/he reaches the next wall.
- If someone wants to pass you, stop at the next wall to let him/her move ahead.
- Be thoughtful of other swimmers. In a crowded lane, for example, it’s best not to bust out your butterfly.
*$=less than $5 $$=less than $10 $$$=less than $15 $$$$=less than $20 $$$$$=more than $20
@leahruns100 wants to know:
What is your favorite pool in Austin for lap swimming?