Best Natural Swimming Day Trips Near Austin

I’m slowly making my way around some of the best Texas State Parks and swimming holes this summer while I visit Barton Springs and Deep Eddy Pool regularly to swim laps outdoors in Austin. Since traveling has been put on hold, this is my solution to escaping and filling my Summer Friday afternoon’s with joy and adventure. I’m always recharged after and tell myself I’m in Capri and sometimes I really do trick myself. The level of fun out here in Texas is really getting up there, y’all! You can also buy a Texas State Parks Pass in advance which covers fees for the parks that have reservations– these are probably good for big campers.

So, here are my favorite places near Austin for a fun swim day:

COMMONS FORD RANCH
614 N Commons Ford Rd., Austin, TX 78733

  • 25 min drive from Austin
  • Need reservation (free) for weekends
  • Go at 6 pm Thursday so you can catch the sunset
  • Cold Lake Austin water with boats driving by
  • Bring a float and tie it up to the dock so you don’t float too far away
  • Large grassy area to spread out for picnic
  • Hiking trails available

BLANCO STATE RIVER PARK 
101 Park Road 23, Blanco TX 78606
  • 1 hour drive from Austin (and the most beautiful out of all)
  • Need reservation $5 online or call 512.389.8900
    • Or use Texas State Park Pass + overnight camping
  • Bring floats to hang on the river which moves very slowly
  • Beautiful limestone ledges and the river goes on for a mile with dams and waterfalls spilling over
  • Picnic tables available
  • Short 1 mile hike
  • Porta Potties
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RELATED: Where to Swim, Boat, Hike in AustinHERE

KRAUSE SPRINGS
424 County Road 404 Spicewood, TX 78669
  • 45 min drive from Austin
  • $8 cash pp
  • Arrive before 10 a.m. to beat the crowd and get a parking place (no reservations)
  • Bring a picnic blanket
  • Wear water shoes if you have them
  • NO glass – they check and will take your belongings
  • 1 manmade natural pool at the top and then a springs area down below with rope swings. Temperature is 68 degrees year round
  • Real bathrooms with showers – the dirt in the water can cling to you so you’ll want to rinse off after
  • This was the most crowded place I went to, and we arrived early on Sunday morning. Try the other two if you need more personal space.
  • You can walk around, but I wouldn’t consider this an exciting hike
  • Website
  • RV reservations

JACOB’S WELL
1699 Mt. Sharp Rd. Wimberley, TX 78676
  • Open May 1 – September 30
  • 45 minute drive from Austin
  • Reservations required and they book up pretty early in the summer
  • Gorgeous 81-acre piece of land with a short quarter mile dirt trail that leads down to the infamous Jacob’s Well, a 140-feet deep hole
  • The cold water is 68 degrees year round and shines beautiful deep blue and light green colors depending on the lighting that day
  • Jump off off the high rocks into the deep water and come up for air with a grin on your face! It takes a few minutes to get yourself to actually leap off as it feels far!
  • Eat at Hays City Store after for frozen margaritas, chicken fried steak, nachos, pizza, and live music.

BLUE HOLE
100 Blue Hole Lane, Wimberley, TX 78676

  • Open for swimming beginning weekends in May and everyday from Memorial Day- Labor Day as well as weekends in September
  • 45 min drive from Austin
  • Reservations are required and must be booked in advance for the swimming area. Time slots include 9 a.m- 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.- 6 p.m.)
  • The swim area is crystal clear and gorgeous to wade in and out of. It’s a pretty small area, so I’d time it around lunch time so you can bring a picnic, relax on the grassy lawn, and veg out after or before.
  • Rope swings hang from the large cypress trees
  • Lots of shade in the water and there are some walking trails around it– these are flat