Texas is known for its scorching summers, and what better way to beat the heat than by plunging into the refreshing waters of Texas swim holes? Whether you’re a local or a visitor to the Lone Star State, you’re in for a treat.
In this guide, we’ll uncover some of the most beautiful and best swim holes in Texas near Austin. From hidden swimming holes TX gems tucked away in lush forests to picturesque water holes in Texas rivers flowing through breathtaking landscapes, there are plenty of Texas water holes to choose from!
So pack your swimsuit, sunscreen, and sense of adventure, and check out the best swimming holes of Texas that are near Austin. Let’s dive in!
Editor’s Note: Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in HoustonOnTheCheap.com. Content has been modified for Austinot readers.
Please note that we’ve done our best to update this guide with the latest information but we recommend checking the websites and Facebook pages of these attractions before planning your visit.
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Best Swimming Holes in Texas Near Austin – Less Than a 2-Hour Drive
The 16.93-acre park is named after the many Cypress Trees along the bank of the Guadalupe River. When visitors and locals float down the Guadalupe River, this is the last public exit on the Guadalupe for the tubers to exit the river.
Where: 503 Peace Ave, New Braunfels, TX 78130
Distance from Austin: 46 mins.
Tonkawa Falls offers a magnificent 15-foot waterfall that rushes into a natural swimming hole. You’ll enjoy overhanging bluffs, the spray of the waterfall, and the natural beauty of this serene spot. The Falls are located in a city-owned park. There is a picnic area available, with grassy spots and rock tables for when you’re not in the water. The park also allows for swimming during the rainy season.
Update as of June 25, 2023 – Due to critical weather conditions, the City of Crawford is implementing Stage 5 of its Drought Contingency Plan which means you can’t swim or do water activities at the moment. Please check their Facebook for the latest updates.
Most families in Texas know of or have been to Jacob’s Well. This beloved swimming hole is practically a Texas institution as it has been used since before the days of early settlers. Jacob’s Well is four meters wide and pumps thousands of gallons of water into Cypress Creek, which flows throughout Wimberley. Complete with a cavern for expert divers, Jacob’s Well is considered a unique feature of the state, as caverns aren’t common in the area.
Update as of June 29 – Because of drought conditions, Jacob’s Hole remains closed for swimming. Please check their website for the latest updates.
Hamilton Pool Preserve visitors are currently allowed to get into the water from the beach. Only a very limited portion of the pool is available for water access due to the problem of falling rocks. As always, whether swimming will be allowed depends on factors beyond our control, such as bacteria levels and recent rain.
Water access is never guaranteed with a reservation. Even when swimming is not allowed the preserve is open for hiking and reservations are still required.
The City Tube Chute is an experience that is definitely worth checking out. Visitors can hire a tube and float along the Comal River. While the waves are lazy and calm upstream, as you float down towards the chute, things will get wilder.
The chute is a built-in slide that’s part of the dam. As you might expect, the City Tube Chute is a prime party spot on the weekends. If you’re looking for a lazy, calm experience you might want to visit in the morning or earlier in the week to avoid congestion. The park is currently open from 9 am to 8 pm daily with limited capacity.
Where: 250 Meusebach St, New Braunfels, TX 78130
Distance from Austin: ~ 51 mins.
Krause Springs is so much more than just a swimming hole. Located about 30 miles outside of Austin, in a campground, Krause Springs is a swimming hole surrounded by more than 30 natural springs. Above the swimming hole, there is a strong waterfall. Part of the springs feeds into a man-made pool. Families can also visit the Butterfly Garden or check out the tree swing to launch into the end of the natural swimming hole. Krause Springs is an excellent spot for a family day trip.
They have instituted some new rules and guidelines for visitors to follow, such as staying 6 feet apart, hand sanitizer stations throughout the facilities, and more.
Where: 424 County Road 404, Spicewood, TX 78669
Distance from Austin: ~ 47 mins.
Flowing over and around huge slabs of limestone, the Pedernales River can be turbulent. But most often it is tranquil, and a great place to relax and recharge. They are just 30 miles west of Austin. Come over for an afternoon swim or hike, or load up your gear for an overnight adventure. The river awaits!
Where: 2585 Park Road 6026 Johnson City, TX 78636
Distance from Austin: 54 mins.
Inks Lake State Park offers family fun on water and land. With its sparkling blue water, colorful rock outcrops, and striking sunsets, this gem of the Hill Country is just an hour northwest of Austin.
Where: 3630 Park Road 4 West Burnet, TX 78611
Distance from Austin: 1 hr & 25 mins.
Many folks come here to swim, but the park is more than a great swimming hole. Beautiful scenery and colorful history await, just a short drive from San Antonio and Austin.
Where: 3350 Park Rd 31, Spring Branch, TX 78070
Distance from Austin: 1 hr. & 29 mins.
Blue Hole Park is a scenic lagoon bordered by limestone bluffs along the South Fork of the San Gabriel River. It is located five blocks north of the downtown Square along N. Austin Avenue. The park features picnic areas, restrooms, and wading areas. There is no entry fee to access Blue Hole Park. Equipment rentals are not offered.
Where: 100 Blue Hole Park Rd, Georgetown, TX 78626
Distance from Austin: 31 mins.
Come for a picnic, afternoon swim, fishing trip, or a weekend campout on the banks of the spring-fed Blanco River. They’re just an hour from Austin and San Antonio.
Where: 101 Park Road 23 Blanco, TX 78606
Distance from Austin: 1 hr. & 11 mins.
It can be tricky to choose the best spot to watch an Austin sunset without doing lots of research, but this tour makes the decision for you and showcases magnificent sunset views from the water. Sail out along the clear waters of Lake Travis on a small-group boat tour and enjoy captain commentary about local sights and Austin’s history.
Get more information and check out the Small-Group Public BYOB Sunset Boat Tour on Lake Travis TODAY!!!
Swimming Holes in Texas Near Austin – 2-4 Hours Drive
If you enjoy scuba diving, triathlon training, open water swimming, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, or anything else needing a large body of water then Lake Longhorn is the multisport lake for you.
Lake Longhorn is a 49-acre freshwater lake and has 20 acres of green space dedicated to serving the lake in League City, Texas for your enjoyment. They offer recreational scuba diving, scuba diving training, triathlon swimming, triathlon swim training, (SUP) Stand up paddle boarding and kayaking.
Lake Houston Wilderness Park (LHWP) is a beautiful, lushly forested expanse of nearly 5,000 acres, located three miles east of New Caney (approximately 30 miles north of Houston) off Hwy-59. Lake Houston Wilderness Park is the only park in the department that allows overnight stays in cabins and campsites.
Most of the park is heavily forested with over 20 miles of trails that provide a quiet escape from the bustling city. The park offers a variety of outdoor experiences for people of all ages including camping, hiking, trail running, mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking, birding, fishing, and horseback riding trails (visitors must bring their own bikes, fishing equipment, watercraft, and horses).
Where: 25840 FM 1485, New Caney, TX 77357
Distance from Austin: ~ 2 hrs. & 53 mins.
Blue Lagoon is often compared to the Caribbean, thanks to the bright blue waters. This swimming hole can be found at the end of a ranch road, so it also serves as a hidden secret for everyone that’s not from the area. The limestone quarry features scuba training.
This is one of the closest swimming holes to Austin, which will be a benefit if you want a fast day trip. Blue Lagoon is open year-round. Reservations are required for scuba clients. This swimming hole is for swimming only, so no boats, fishing, or dogs are allowed.
Where: 649 Pinedale Road, Huntsville TX 77340
Distance from Austin: ~ 2 hrs. & 54 mins.
Burger’s Lake will take you back to the days of summer camp. The outdoor feel is phenomenal and there are plenty of available activities for the entire family. This one-acre lake features water slides, water chutes, fountains, diving boards, and a trapeze to launch yourself into the cool water.
Multiple beach areas are available, and the large trees provide some shade when needed. Picnic tables and grills are on-site, though as you might imagine, they fill up fast. Admission is $15 per person, for all ages.
Where: 1200 Meandering Rd, Fort Worth, TX 76114
Distance from Austin: ~ 3 hrs. & 39 mins.
On the Cool, Clear Frio River Families enjoy swimming, dancing, and hiking. Fun traditions and beautiful scenery bring people back to Garner State Park time after time. Besides easy access to the Frio, the park offers many miles of hiking trails and camping options.
Where: 234 RR 1050 Concan, TX 78838
Distance from Austin: 2 hrs. & 57 mins.
Located just 15 minutes outside of Uvalde, they are the perfect place for you to unplug and unwind. Come out for the day or book an overnight trip. They have day use, cabins, tent, and RV camping available. They are the perfect place for a family reunion, a country wedding or just relaxing in nature. You can swim, fish, kayak, tube, hike, bird watch, visit the petting zoo or sign up for a scenic hay ride.
Where: 1108 Chalk Bluff Rd, Uvalde, TX 78801
Distance from Austin: 3 hrs & 3 mins.
Swimming Holes in Texas Near Austin – Over a 4-Hour Drive
Dive into the crystal-clear water of the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool. Swim, scuba dive, or just relax under the trees at this historic park in arid West Texas.
Where: 9207 TX-17, Toyahvale, TX 79786
Distance from Austin: ~ 6 hrs. & 34 mins.
Swimming at Amistad is a great way to escape the desert heat. Water temperatures range from 54°F in winter months to 86°F in late summer. Unsupervised swim areas are located at Governors Landing and at Diablo East.
Swimming is not allowed in harbors, within 200 feet of fishing docks, near mooring areas and boat ramps, and in any other area posted as closed to swimming or visitor use. These areas are unsafe areas for swimmers because of vessel concentrations and fishing hooks and lines that might cause injuries.
Where: US-90, Del Rio, TX 78840
Distance from Austin: 5 hrs. & 3 mins.
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