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Natural Watering Holes

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Sure you can go to a swimming pool when the summer heat sizzles, but at Texas’s natural swimming holes cooling off may prove a highlight of your trip. Some are in old quarries while others are natural ponds; some are fed by mountain’s streams and others by underground—and reportedly healing—springs. Whichever one you visit, just bring your bathing suit and a towel and you are guaranteed a great afternoon at these cool spots.
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2131 William Barton Dr, Austin, TX 78746, USA
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...
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100 Blue Hole Ln, Wimberley, TX 78676, USA
In the picturesque town of Wimberley, this nostalgic swimming hole evokes harmless mischief, Tom Sawyer, and summertime—general old-school fun. Part of a 126-acre park complex, the tree-hugged, spring-fed pool has broad lawns for picnics and spots...
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9207 TX-17, Toyahvale, TX 79786, USA
Scuba dive in the desert? You bet. One of the grandest natural spring-fed pools in the world, San Solomon Springs, is in Balmorhea State Park. Fluctuating between 72 and 76 degrees, with a constant influx of pellucid spring water, the pool needs...
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Arguably the most attractive place to swim in the lush Piney Woods, the natural beauty of 45-acre Ratcliff Lake was enhanced in the 1930s. At this natural, jade-colored lake, the crews added a bath-house, amphitheater, and picnic areas. Found...
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It’s hard to find diving boards and slides at swimming pools anymore, but Burger’s Lake revels in retro. Six diving boards, a 25-foot trapeze, a 20-foot slide, and two shaded beaches add to the fun. Equally old-fashioned rules, such as no alcohol...
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2200 N Flores, San Antonio, TX 78212, USA
San Pedro Springs is located just northwest of downtown San Antonio. The springs were a gathering place for native Americans (the Coahuiltecan Indians called the village located there Yanaguana) and later were a gathering place of a different sort...
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8854 Park Rd 74, Lumberton, TX 77657, USA
Lumberton was established at the end of the 19th century as a railroad stop serving nearby sawmills and lumber camps. Today, however, its principal claim to fame is as the home of the Village Creek State Park which draws visitors from both Texas...
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You’ll know you’ve arrived once you see the expanse of people lounging in the water in inner tubes. They can’t be resisted—you'll want to don a swimsuit, dive in, and claim one as your own. That’s why people float in Rio Frio—especially at Neal’s...