Where Can I Cool Off Near Austin?
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It’s only the beginning of June, and already Austin is sweltering. Here are four places where you can beat the heat.
Less than an hour’s drive from Austin, Krause Springs is a chain of swimming holes nestled in the Texas Hill Country, in Spicewood, Texas. A daytime visit will cost adults $7 and children $5, but we argue that the 68-degree temperatures in the 32 springs are worth the admission price. The springs, which are listed on the National Historic Register, pool in rocky alcoves and are shaded by a canopy of tree foliage. You can swim in the springs or simply lounge in a tube.
Seventy-some miles from San Antonio is the mysterious Jacob’s Well, in Wimberly, Texas. This swimming hole is about 12 feet across and 35 feet deep, and—here’s the kicker—parts of it are shrouded in luxurious shade. Escaping the sun’s intense rays is entirely possible. The well also descends farther, into a complex of caves, which have been known to swallow scuba divers into its depths. However, if you swim near the surface, you can safely enjoy the cool waters of this spring-fed retreat.
Hamilton Pool Preserve
The Hamilton Pool Preserve is 30 miles west of Austin, in Dripping Springs, Texas, but it looks like it belongs on a different planet, let alone in a different state. A 15-foot waterfall drops from a stalactite-covered overhang into a jade-colored pool. Large swaths of limestone ring the enclosure, creating an otherworldly environment. However, this beauty comes at a cost—on warm days, the pool sees loads of visitors. You should expect an hour and a half wait. The price of admission is $15, and you need to call in advance (512-264-2740) to inquire about possible closures, as swimming is sometimes restricted because of water quality.
Don’t let this swimming hole’s name fool you. Devil’s Waterhole is a divine place to spend a hot day in Texas. Tucked inside Inks Lake State Park (near Burnet, Texas), it’s a popular spot to swim and cliff jump into waters that aren’t affected by drought. You can also hike, fish, canoe, and camp out at the state park, which charges $6 per adult for day use and $5 per adult for an overnight.