Texas is known for a lot of things and one of them is relentlessly hot summers. The temperatures are rising in Houston and across the state. Luckily, there are also many beautiful, refreshing, clear rivers, lakes, and even spring-fed pools that will offer a relaxing reprieve from the heat. Sometimes nothing will do, other than a dip into some crisp, cool water.
Many of these Texas swimming holes offer nearby camping or RV parking in the area. RVShare is an interesting service that lets you rent an RV directly from owners so you can enjoy camping in comfort with your whole family without the expense of owning an RV.
Whether you prefer waterfalls, lakes, or pools, here are some of the best swimming holes in Texas. Please note that we’ve done our best to update this guide with the latest information on openings and closures during the pandemic, but as details can change daily, we recommend checking the websites and Facebook pages of these attractions before planning your visit.
Tonkawa Falls (Crawford)
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.
Jacob’s Well (Wimberley)
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 the 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.
Jacob’s Well reopened on June 1 and will remain open until the end of September. Reservations are required.
Hamilton Pool (Dripping Springs)
Note: Hamilton Pool is temporarily closed due to COVID-19.
It’s hard to do justice to Hamilton Pool in just words. At one point, the body of water that is Hamilton Pool was located underground. However, after eons of time, the ceiling collapsed, and it left the pool partly covered by a dome-style roof. Water flows over the roof, creating an amazing waterfall that feeds the pool below. There are plenty of spots to relax in the sun, too. You’ll want to make a reservation if you plan to experience the wonder of Hamilton Pool.
City Tube Chute – Comal River (New Braunfels)
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.
Burgers Lake (Fort Worth)
Burgers 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 and $5 for kids 6 and under. Visit their website for more info.
Blue Lagoon (North of Huntsville)
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 Houston, 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.
Krause Springs (Outside Austin)
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 feed 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. Learn more on their website.
Balmorhea State Park (Toyahvale)
The Balmorhea State Park might be surrounded by miles of West Texas desert, but that makes the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool seem that much more inviting! The water is always a comfortable 72-76 degrees year-round. 15 million gallons of water flow through the pool every day, so the water is fresh. It’s also so clear that you can spend the day scuba diving or snorkeling. If you want to make a weekend of it, there are more than 30 campsites in the area, as well as an on-site lodge.
What’s your favorite way to cool off? Let us know your favorite Texas swimming holes in the comments!