Texas summers are hot! When the heat hits, the people of Austin flock to the Barton Springs Pool to cool off and chill out. The $8 summer entrance fee (for nonresidents) buys you a whole day of fun. Get your hand stamped for reentry if you need to head out to hit one of the many restaurants along Barton Springs Road (food and drinks are not permitted at the springs). The pool is popular year-round because the water temperature remains a constant 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius). The people-watching at the free-spirited pool is spectacular, and you can count on hearing acoustic music and drumming on the lawn.
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Hilly banks flank Barton Springs, a 1,000-foot-long, spring-fed swimming hole just south of the river in Austin. Crystalline waters keep a steady chill at 68 degrees all year round, which makes the pool Austin’s unofficial living room during summer’s scorching heat. A historic site, wedged into Zilker Park, the springs attracts a cross section of swimmers year round: Expect to see both triathletes training and kids splashing. Keep an eye out for its most famous resident—an endangered albino salamander.