When the weather heats up in the Texas Hill Country, there’s a phrase Lake Travisites know well.
Let’s go swimming!
Sometimes a dip in a natural spring-fed watering hole or a plunge in a perfectly chlorinated public pool is the only way you can survive the hot summer months. Summer’s almost here, so make sure you have all of these fantastic swimming spots on your summer To Do list.
Here’s our list of 10 Lake Travis area swimming spots … including a few hidden gems you might not know about. Enjoy!
Krause Springs, Spicewood
This spring is about as natural as they come. Krause Springs naturally features cool, refreshing water fed by Cypress Creek.
You can relax in the spring-fed underground pool on the top level, or venture down into the lower springs for a truly awe-inspiring swim under the waterfalls. Bring a floatie and lounge underneath their baldy cypress trees and tropical foliage for a while.
The land is privately-owned and operated, and offers you a chance to swim or camp. (Adults $7, Kids $5)
Windy Point Park, Lake Travis
When you’re looking for a fun spot to swim on Lake Travis, take a drive down to Windy Point for some of the best views around. Privately-owned, this is not only a spot to take a swim but to scuba dive, as well.
Enjoy tanning on limestone cliffs that lead into Lake Travis’ aqua waters, which is perfect for when the sun gets to be a bit too much. You’re welcome to camp on the land if you want to extend your swimming a few more days. (Daily rate for visitors – $8)
Bob Wentz Park, Lake Travis
A lot of water lovers that prefer wind power use Bob Wentz Park as their go-to launch for non-motorized watercraft … and the park actually has a pretty fun beach when the Lake Travis water levels are high enough.
This spot is run by Travis County Parks and has been one of the more popular destinations on Lake Travis for years. If you visit on the weekend be prepared to wait a while to get in, but during the week the spot is practically empty.
You can picnic, swim, windsurf, sail, and scuba dive all within a short drive from home. If that isn’t a reason to hit the waters and get out of the house, I don’t know what is! ($10 per car)
Hamilton Pool Preserve, Dripping Springs
This is definitely a place everyone in Lake Travis knows and treasures, Hamilton Pool Preserve. Did you know this beautiful natural pool exists due to erosion that occurred thousands of years ago? Today it’s a gorgeous jade green oasis with a 50 foot waterfall.
Surrounded by slabs of limestone, the pool has a ceiling of stalactites and the cliffs of the grotto are home to moss, maidenhair fern, Golden-Cheeked Warblers and cliff swallows. The water is not chemically treated and it remains at a constant level, even during drought conditions.
It’s best to call ahead and check on status of preserve before heading that way. The hike to the pool (1/4 of a mile long) is a bit steep and rocky, so make sure you’re prepared. Summertime reservations are required — get more details here.
Lakeway Swim Center and Skate Park, Lakeway
You don’t have to be a resident of Lakeway to enjoy the awesome pools, water slides, and the lily pad obstacle course at Lakeway Swim Center. Take a day with the kiddos and head over to this local spot for some of the best amenities on this side of the lake.
The swim center features a spacious leisure pool with a shallow entry into the water. There are plenty of beach chairs and umbrellas, but the big shady spots go quickly in the summer heat. You’ll also find a big lap pool for serious swimmers, a larger than life chess set, a froggy slide for the little kiddos and two big water slides.
Keep in mind the leisure pool at the swim center is closed on Mondays from June 3-August 15. To see a list of summer events like Dive In Movies, swim lessons, park hours and rates, check out their website.
Beachside Billy’s, Volente
Just around the corner on the other side of Lake Travis is one of our sister cities, Volente, which has its own unique lake vibe going for it all times of the year. This sleepy lake town is not one to disappoint if you’re a fan of water parks or lake fun, either.
Beachside Billy’s (formerly known as Volente Beach Water Park) is a choice spot for a day trip with the kids, but is more low-key if you’re a frequent visitor to places like Hawaiian Falls or Schlitterbahn. The pools are filled with cooling waters from Lake Travis, which make it extra fun if you can’t get enough of the lake.
Blue Hole, Wimberley
This majestic spot is still around thanks to conservation, restoration and sustainability efforts that began in 2003 to save it from the threat of development. Local organizations like Friends of Blue Hole have fought to keep this crystal clear swimming hole alive and well.
Today, Blue Hole Regional Park is home to more than just a spectacular spot to swim. There’s 3.5 miles of hiking trails, picnic areas, playgrounds, sports fields, a pavilion and more.
Again, Blue Hole is a local natural treasure, so it has to be kept safe. During the summer the swim area can be closed based on capacity or weather, so check out the City of Wimberley website if you’re planning a trip.
Jacob’s Well, Wimberley
If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind swimming experience with a twist of Geology, you’ll love Jacob’s Well.
This rare historic gem is actually the longest underwater cave in the state of Texas. It’s also an artesian spring that holds thousands of gallons of water, acting as headwaters to Cypress Creek, which flows to the Blue Hole and the Blanco River.
Despite the fact that it is a historical treasure, you can swim in it. The only catch is you have to get on a waiting list. (Adults $9; Hays County residents, children ages 5-12, seniors (60+), service members/veterans are $5; and children ages 4 and under are free)
Pace Bend Park, Spicewood
If you’re looking for outdoor recreation with swimming and sunsets, check out Pace Bend Park. With more than nine miles of shoreline along scenic Lake Travis, Pace Bend is one of the most popular areas in the Highland Lakes.
The west side of the park features high, limestone cliffs and numerous rocky coves with some of the most impressive views available of Lake Travis, especially at sunset. While Pace Bend is popular for boating, there’s plenty of space for swimming. Mudd Cove, Kate’s Cove, and Gracy Cove are designated for swimming only.
Pedernales Falls State Park, Johnson City
When you’re looking for camping, hiking, biking, bird watching AND swimming, this is the perfect spot. This 5,212-acre park is perched along the banks of the scenic Pedernales River in Blanco County east of Johnson City.
You can see all sorts of wildlife and spectacular views of Pedernales Falls from the scenic overlook at the north end of the park. This is where the river drops about 50 feet in elevation over a distance of 3,000 feet. Watching the water cascades over tilted, layered stair steps of limestone is something to behold.
The best way to plan a trip to Pedernales Falls States Park is to check their Facebook page for updates. Park closures are possible when parking lots are full. (13 years old+ $6 daily, children 12 and under are free)
What’s your favorite swimming spot in the Texas Hill Country?
Editor’s note: The original version of this post was published on June 7, 2016. It has been updated with new information and more Lake Travis swimming spots.