10 Texas swimming holes you should visit this summer

Enjoy natural water escapes within driving distance of San Antonio

Places that are open for swimming near San Antonio and Austin.
Places that are open for swimming near San Antonio and Austin. (KSAT, Barton Springs Pool)

SAN ANTONIO – Swimming holes are scattered throughout the Texas Hill Country and summertime is the perfect time to check them out.

Before you head out the door, however, keep in mind that Texas is a naturally diverse state and preserving the beauty of the land is important. Keep your footprint to a minimum and don’t leave trash or destroy the landscape while visiting these Hill Country hideaways.

Here’s a list of swimming holes within driving distance of San Antonio:

  • Aquatic Complex at Landa Park in New Braunfels is the shortest drive from San Antonio at about 40 minutes. The spring-fed pool is open Wednesday through Monday and is a constant 72 degrees year-round. According to the New Braunfels website, the pool was built in the early 1900s and is one of the oldest and most historic bathing pools in Texas.
  • Barton Springs is a spring-fed pool in Austin that spans three acres. The water is 68-70 degrees year-round and reservations are not required, unlike other locations on this list. The pool is open Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and entry passes can be purchased here.
This photo made Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2009 shows bathers at Barton Springs pool in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Harry Cabluck)
  • 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 is a daily entrance fee of $5 for adults. Day passes must be purchased in advance, according to the park’s website. Reserve them online or by calling (512) 389-8900.
  • Blue Hole is located in Wimberley, about an hour’s drive from downtown San Antonio. Day passes, which are required to swim, are available for one of two time slots and cost anywhere from $6 to $12. Purchase tickets here.
  • Garner State Park is open and has many spots along the Frio River to swim. Passes can be purchased online or by calling (512) 389-8900. The park typically reaches capacity so online reservations are highly recommended. Entrance fees are $8 a day for anyone age 13 and older.
The Frio River in Garner State Park. Image by Zereshk. (Wikimedia Commons)
  • Guadalupe River State Park is also open for swimming and is located in Spring Branch. Day passes are encouraged for guests wishing to visit the park and cost $7 for anyone age 13 and older. Passes can be purchased online or by calling (512) 389-8900.
  • Jacob’s Well Natural Area in Wimberley, about an hour’s drive from downtown San Antonio and a limited number of swimming reservations, which are required to visit, are still available online. Jacob’s Well is an artesian spring that releases thousands of gallons of water a day, according to the website. The area is also the second-largest fully submerged cave in Texas.
  • 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 of up to $9 for a day pass. The springs that feed the pools, according to the website, are 68 degrees year-round.
  • McKinney Falls State Park is closer to Austin and filled with waterfalls, great swimming spots and places for camping. Day passes and camping reservations are recommended for this park as well and cost $6 for anyone age 13 or older. Make reservations online or call (512) 389-8900.
  • Schumacher Crossing is located between Ingram and Hunt along Highway 39 and is about an hour-and-a-half drive from downtown San Antonio. It’s a popular spot for swimming along part of the Guadalupe River and is typically very clean because it’s not located near any major cities.

Day passes and reservations are required at some swimming spots. Always call ahead and see if reservations are required or available if you plan on visiting a Texas swimming hole.

Hamilton Pool, considered to be one of the most stunning swimming holes in the Hill Country, is closed for swimming for the foreseeable future. An update on the Hamilton Pool website says rocks have been falling “with increased frequency at many locations in and around the pool” following the big freeze in February.

Related headlines:


About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.