There are many ways to outsmart the heat and humidity in Central Texas, but none as exciting and relaxing as an Austin swimming hole or Austin pool. Thanks to its colorful geology and penchant for housing natural springs, the Texas hill country contains a multitude of natural swimming holes, and many of these spectacular 12 locations are within an hour’s drive from downtown Austin.

Ready to get wet? Your Austin swimming adventures await!

Barton Springs Pool

Photo: Flickr user Amy Gizinski, creative commons licensed.

Photo: Flickr user Amy Gizinski, CC licensed.

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Nestled in Austin’s beloved Zilker Park, Barton Springs Pool is a popular three-acre Austin swimming hole that attracts swimmers and endangered salamanders alike. Though it is much more developed than the other natural Austin pools on this list, Barton Springs is spring-fed and is a federally protected habitat for wildlife — we weren’t kidding about the salamanders! Besides the beautiful atmosphere and clear waters, Barton Springs’ greatest plus is its constant water temperatures of 68-70 degrees. That means year-round cannonballing, people!

2.9 miles from Capitol. 2201 Barton Springs Rd. 512-867-3080. Open daily 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., closed Thursdays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. $5 parking. $1-3 admission per person depending on age and residency. Food, coolers, glass, alcohol, sports balls, and frisbees are prohibited. More information

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