Texas Swimming Holes

Long before modern water parks became popular, Texans had sought out many natural "water parks" to help beat the summer heat. Today, many visitors still prefer these natural "swimmin' holes" over concrete pools and water slides.

  • 01 of 10

    Garner State Park

    Autumn Colors
    ••• Rio Frio River, Garner State Park Texas. Donovan Reese/Getty Images

    Located on the Frio River in Concan, Garner State Park is one of Texas' most popular summer getaways. Whether it's swimming, fishing, paddling, or tubing, most visitors to Garner find a way to get on or in the water.

  • 02 of 10
    Child Swimming in Austin Park
    ••• A child swims in Barton Springs at Zilker Park in Austin, Texas. Kelly/Mooney Photography/Getty Images

    Located in Austin's famed Zilker Park, Barton Springs was formed when Barton Creek was dammed. Since its inception, Barton Springs has become one of the most popular swimming holes in the state.

  • 03 of 10
    Swimming hole at Krause Springs
    ••• Swimming hole at Krause Springs. Trek Texas/Flickr

    Located a short distance outside of Austin, Krause Springs is located near the headwaters of Cypress Creek. Krause Springs encompasses two large swimming holes and numerous campsites.

  • 04 of 10
    Hamilton Pools in Austin Texas
    ••• Hamilton Pools in Austin Texas. WIN-Initiative/Getty Images
    One of Austin's favorite spots to cool off, Hamilton Pool is a 200+ acre hole in Hamilton Creek. The hole was formed years ago when a cave below the creek collapsed and filled with water.
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  • 05 of 10
    Blanco State Park
    ••• Blanco State Park. Tracy Keller/Flickr

    Located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, Blanco State Park is one of the smaller state parks in Texas. However, what Blanco SP lacks in acreage, it makes up for in charm and user-friendly amenities, such as a series of weir dams which create several ideal swimming areas.

  • 06 of 10
    Lake Whitney Dusk
    ••• Lake Whitney at dusk. Nicolas Henderson/Flickr

    Located in north/central Texas, Lake Whitney is a deep, clear impoundment on the Brazos River. Within Lake Whitney State Park there is a buoyed swimming area. Diving and snorkeling are also popular ways to enjoy Whitney's clear waters.

  • 07 of 10
    Pedernales Falls, Pedernales Falls State Park, Texas, USA
    ••• Pedernales Falls in Texas. Danita Delimont/Getty Images

    Located outside of Johnson City in Central Texas, Pedernales Falls offers unique swimming opportunity for Texas water enthusiasts. Shallow rapids, deeper holes and, of course, falls, comprise this section of the Pedernales River.

  • 08 of 10
    each camping in Mustang Island State Park, Texas
    ••• Beach camping is a popular activity in Mustang Island State Park. Witold Skrypczak/Getty Images

    Mustang Island State Park includes five miles of beachfront and offers visitors fishing, camping, beachcombing, swimming, surfing, birding, and other outdoor recreation options.

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  • 09 of 10
    Bald cypress trees along the river, in fall foliage, Guadalupe River State Park near Bergheim, Texas, USA
    ••• Guadalupe River State Park near Bergheim, Texas. Witold Skrypczak/Getty Images

    Located in Comal County in the Texas Hill Country, Guadalupe River State Park encompasses a nine-mile stretch of the Guadalupe River, offering park visitors plenty of swimming and tubing opportunities.

  • 10 of 10
    Colorado Bend State Park, Texas
    ••• Colorado Bend State Park, Texas. Witold Skrypczak/Getty Images

    Located on the Colorado River above Lake Buchanan, Colorado Bend State Park offers visitors some of the best river swimming in the state, as well as hiking, camping, fishing, birding and mountain biking.