SAN ANTONIO – The Hill Country is full of hidden places to swim and cool off, including 10 unexpected watering holes within driving distance of San Antonio that would be great for a day trip.
*Editor’s Note: This article was published pre-pandemic and some of these swimming holes are not currently open. An updated article with places to swim that are still open can be found here.
The first two, Jacob’s Well Natural Area and Blue Hole, are in Wimberley about an hour’s drive from downtown San Antonio.
Jacob’s Well is located at 1699 Mt. Sharp Road. The well is an artesian spring, the largest continually flowing karst spring in the Texas Hill Country, according to Visitwimberley.com.
Swimming at Jacob’s Well is by reservation only, so be sure to call ahead to book times and ask about park rules.
Swimming hours at Blue Hole vary depending on the season so be sure to check online.
Krause Springs in Spicewood is approximately an hour-and-a-half drive from downtown San Antonio. Camping and swimming are allowed, but you will have to pay a fee to enter. Check the website for more information.
Schumacher Crossing in Hunt is also about an hour-and-a-half drive from downtown San Antonio. It’s a popular spot for swimming and gets crowded on the weekends. Schumacher Crossing is part of the Guadalupe River and is typically very clean because it’s not located near any major cities.
Landa Park in New Braunfels is the shortest drive from San Antonio at 40 minutes. There’s swimming, fishing, wading pools, hiking, playscapes, BBQ pits and more.
Blanco State Park is a quick trip out of San Antonio, just an hour north of the city. Fishing and swimming are permitted but there are daily entrance fees for adults. You can rent tubes or bring them with you.
Guadalupe River State Park is less than an hour from San Antonio. The park has swimming holes but it is also great for camping, fishing, hiking and more.
The last three water escapes, McKinney Falls State Park, Barton Springs, and Hamilton Pool Reserve are a little over an hour from San Antonio and located closer to Austin.
McKinney Falls State Park is filled with waterfalls, great swimming spots and places for camping.
Barton Springs is a three-acre spring-fed pool. Admission fees differ depending on what day you visit and it’s rumored Robert Redford learned to swim there when he was 5 years old according to Austintexas.gov.
Lastly, Hamilton Pool Reserve is a favorite swimming hole for locals. Check the website for swimming times and be aware the pool sometimes closes due to high bacteria levels. Reservations are required for swimming at Hamilton Pool and there are fees for entry.
Respect Texas and its natural beauty by keeping your footprint to a minimum. Don’t leave trash or destroy the landscape while visiting any of these Hill Country hideaways.