Well, the weather’s heating up in the Texas Hill Country, so it’s time to S-W-I-M.
With temps hovering at 100 degrees this summer, a dip in a natural spring-fed watering hole or a plunge in the pool is the best way to survive the Texas heat. Make the most of June, July, and August by adding all of these fantastic swimming spots to your 30 Fun Things To Do This Summer in Lake Travis list.
This year, we’ve updated our list with local cliff jumping info, because we know you like thrills. We’ve also added a few insider tips to make your visit to these favorite swimming spots more enjoyable, as well as tubing destinations nearby.
Without further ado, here’s our list of 10 Lake Travis area swimming spots. Enjoy!
Krause Springs, Spicewood
This spring is about as natural as they come. Founded in 1955 and listed on the National Registry of Historical Sites, Krause Springs features naturally 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 genuinely awe-inspiring swim under the waterfalls. Bring a floatie and lounge underneath the baldy cypress trees and tropical foliage for a while. They have shower areas that are fed with fresh spring water too.
What not to bring:
To keep the property in pristine shape, you can’t bring glass containers or pets. Leave your credit cards at home, because they only accept cash.
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.
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 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.
Hamilton Pool Preserve, Dripping Springs
Hamilton Pool Preserve is a place everyone in Lake Travis knows and treasures. 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 the 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 excellent 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 that’s perfect for playing or lounging. There are plenty of beach chairs and umbrellas, but the big shady spots go quickly in the summer heat, so arriving when the center opens (noon) is helpful.
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.
Dates to remember:
Keep in mind the leisure pool at the swim center is closed on Mondays. Summer Dive-In Movies start on June 8 and continue through August.
Volente Beach Resort, Volente
Just around the corner on the other side of Lake Travis is one of our sister cities, Volente, which has its 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.
Volente Beach Resort & Waterpark 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.
JAWS on the water, anyone?
When you love sharks and you love the water, you’ll love this special movie night – the blockbuster JAWS is shown at Volente Beach after sunset so that you can watch it in the water. Ya know, totally stress-free. Check the calendar for movie dates.
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 are 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
When 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 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.
Even though it is a historical treasure, you can swim in it. The only catch is you need to make a reservation about two weeks in advance during the summer months.
Pace Bend Park, Spicewood (P.S. Cliff jumping …)
When you’re looking for outdoor recreation with swimming and sunsets, check out Pace Bend Park in Spicewood. 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 famous for boating, there’s plenty of space for swimming. Mudd Cove, Kate’s Cove, and Gracy Cove are designated for swimming only.
Cliff jumping at Pace Bend:
When you want to feel an adrenaline rush, you’ll find it at Pace Bend Park. Maugham’s Cove is a spot with cliff jumps from rocks that are 10-15 feet above the water. Thurman Cover has higher, steeper cliffs that are 25-50 feet depending on water levels.
Just keep in mind, once you jump, you have to climb back up. It might not be as easy as it looks. Of course, safety is imperative, and when lake levels drop, you have to be extra careful.
Depth-checking is a MUST. Huge rocks and trees are lurking below the surface of our beautiful lake.
Pedernales Falls State Park, Johnson City
When you’re looking for camping, hiking, biking, bird watching AND swimming, this is the perfect spot. Perched along the banks of the scenic Pedernales River in Blanco County, this 5,212 acre park is 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)
Comal River, Guadalupe River & San Marcos River
When you want to float down the river Texas-style, these three spots are the top tubing options in the area: Comal River, Guadalupe River and the San Marcos River.
The Comal is perhaps the most family-friendly river to float. The Guadalupe is known as the “party” river. The San Marcos River is suitable for families too because it’s quick and it’s spring fed, so it’s always cold.
There are a few things you can do to make your float easy-peasy. First, you can call ahead for a reservation to speed up the process. Check websites for a list of permitted items, because you can’t bring things like Styrofoam cups or glass bottles.
What’s your favorite swimming spot in the Texas Hill Country? Let us know in the comment section on our Facebook page. Post a pic of your fave swimming hole on Instagram and tag us @LakeTravisLifestyle for a chance to be featured.
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.