Photo courtesy Pixabay/PublicCo

With summer in full swing, there’s no better time to load up the car and head to the nearest body of water to cool off. For those of you looking to cool off and refresh, we’ve compiled a list of watering holes to help you beat the heat. All less than an hour drive from our downtown Austin apartments, these are great weekend trips to take with family and friends.

Hamilton Pool Preserve

24300 Hamilton Pool Road, Dripping Springs

Open seven days a week, Hamilton Pool Preserve received its protected status in 1990 and has been a guaranteed way to stay cool ever since. A large pool combined with a mesmerizing waterfall, Hamilton Pool operates under a reservation system to keep the area pristine. You can make reservations each day from March through October, and again on weekends from November through February to accommodate visitors. Reservations cost just $11 online, along with a $15 parking permit fee that you will pay upon arrival. The preserve is cash only, so be sure to have some bills ready. For those of you looking to do more than just take a dip, you can explore the area with a wide variety of hiking trails, as well as enjoy a picnic with a beautiful backdrop as your setting. Hamilton Pool Preserve is about a 45-minute drive from our downtown Austin apartments. Pets aren’t allowed, so be sure to leave your four-legged friends at home!

Barton Springs Pool

2101 Barton Springs Road

Located in the heart of Austin, you won’t need to venture very far to reach this swimming area! Barton Springs Pool spans more than 3 acres in Zilker Park and remains at a consistent temperature of 69-70 degrees, making this the perfect spot for swimming for most of the year. Popular for both locals and tourists alike, Barton Springs is the ideal place for swimming, lounging in a tube and getting a proper dose of vitamin D. Open from sun-up to sun-down, Barton Springs reaches depths of up to 18 feet, providing you with plenty of space for all of your summertime festivities. Lifeguards will be on duty each morning beginning at 8am, so you can ensure the safety of your children is met. Just be mindful, Barton Springs is closed every Thursday from 9am until 7pm for cleaning.

Blue Hole Park

100 Blue Hole Park, Georgetown

Blue Hole Park is not to be confused with Blue Hole Regional Park, which can be found south of Austin in Wimberley. Part of the San Gabriel River, Blue Hole offers a cliff-like overlook, a rocky shoreline and warm waters the whole family can enjoy. With free admission, be sure to bring along snacks and drinks to enjoy a picnic (glass containers aren’t allowed)! Make sure you stock up on sunscreen and perhaps even an umbrella as shade is limited. Also as a reminder, jumping from the cliffs is not permitted in any way, shape or form. For those of you looking to bring your pets along, make sure they remain on a leash during your trip.

Pace Bend Park

2805 Pace Bend Road, North Spicewood

Just about an hour from downtown Austin, Pace Bend Park overlooks Lake Travis and is a great area for swimming, camping, boating and relaxing. Set on just over 1,300 acres of land, this peninsular area has plenty of beach area for you to sprawl out and get your tan on. There’s no lifeguard on duty here, so you’ll be swimming at your own risk, but just be aware of your surroundings and you’ll be just fine. For those of you interested in bringing along your pets, they must be kept on a leash. While it’s free to swim, there is a $10 cash fee to cover the cost of parking. Other activities at Pace Bend include kayaking, paddle boarding and fishing!

Interested in more blogs like this? Be sure to keep up with the AMLI Blog!