Texas is hot! The good Lord has a perfect plan and knew what he was doing when he gave them some amazing waterholes to cool down with. Let me tell you, just like it says in the song, “God Blessed Texas” and that he did with these aquatic beauties.
So when we decided to hit up Texas as our winter escape and fly south like the birds do, (thats’s a perk when you live in your RV) I was a little hesitant because I didn’t want to miss out on all these amazing places due to the off season of swimming. We decided in the end Texas had too much to offer and we will just go to them anyway!
There are some disadvantages of traveling to waterholes when you can’t swim in them…obviously. That’s the point right? On the other hand there can be some really great advantages as well and let me tell you what we discovered! Here are three amazing Texas waterholes that blew us out of the water. You see what I did there? I’m corny I know but hang in there it’s worth it. I promise.
While staying in Austin and the San Antonio area, I mapped out a day trip of a few waterholes close by that I could’t leave Texas until we checked out. First stop, Wimberly Texas, which is located in the heart of Texas Hill Country. Wimberly is a charming town that I fell in LOVE with. There are two waterholes there like none other as well as the cutest little downtown area you must see as well.
Known as the “Texas Treasure”, Blue Hole Regional Park is one of the most popular natural swimming holes in Texas. The water looks so inviting and magical running beneath a forested backdrop of Cypress tress that give the perfect amount of shade and enchantment. Hanging rope swings dangle from the tress and it makes you feel like you are meeting your buddy Tom Sawyer there to swim. It’s that cute people. I want to pinch it’s swimming hole cheeks. With 126 acres of natural forests, this park has trails, overlooks, picnic tables, a playground, full basketball court, a soccer field, and even a fire pit.
This area has been a beautiful oasis to swimmers for decades. After a threat of residential development, the city bought this land and turned it into a city park for all to enjoy and that we do! So thank you City of Wimberly! Since we came in the off season and swimming was closed we got in the park for free and we had the whole place to ourselves to picnic and take pics. In the summer months, the amount of visitors is controlled due to the number of excited swimmers. So get there early or you might have to wait.
Want to see something eerie yet beautiful mixed with adventure? Also located in Wimberly, is Jacob’s Well Natural Area. You have to check out this place and it is a short and fairly easy hike to the well. I will have to say from the videos and pics I checked out of this place before we came, I had pictured something bigger than it actually is. Although it’s small, it’s mighty in beauty.
Referred to as “The Well” this is a scuba divers holy grail of diving. This extremely dangerous cave system to explore has led to many past casualties. Thanks to their efforts, the cave system is charted to be around 140 feet deep and almost a mile in length. It is believed to have the longest underwater cave in Texas. The primary source of water to this well is Cypress Creek which flows through the famous Blue Hole Region mentioned above.
I have to say this place is not like anything I have ever seen and even though we were there in January, I couldn’t help myself but to jump in. This Tennessee girl couldn’t pass up an opportunity to make this plunge off the rocks into this artesian spring well even if it meant walking around in wet clothes the rest of the day. So worth it!
An added bonus of hitting up the waterhole in the off season was the free admission and very few fellow visitors that we encountered in both Wimberly attractions. The fewer the visitors makes for some great pictures and even better jumps! Although if you go during swimming season there is an entrance fee and reservations can be required because it isn’t a very large space, so check out the website for more info and don’t miss out on this beauty.
If I had to pick a favorite (which is so hard to do because I LOVED them all so much) Hamilton Pool Preserve would be mine of the three waterholes just because it was so amazingly magical! A 40 miniture drive from Wimberly and 23 miles west of Austin, find a way to make this on your to do list. Long ago the collapse of a large grotto formed this 50 foot waterfall that flows into a jade green pool surrounded by large slabs of limestone. Combine that with the stalactites that grow from the ceiling high above, it makes for a truly breathtaking view.
Getting to the pool requires a steep quarter-mile trek downhill (so wear good shoes) and a $15 cash or local check entry fee per vehicle to enter the park. Also, hike some of the trails that go along the creek downstream to the Pedernales River. The parking lot holds 75 cars, and when all spaces are taken, cars are held up at the gate until a space opens. The waiting line can be crazy and waits can be up to an hour or more and sometimes they even turn people away if the waiting line is too long so again arrive early. We had no line in the winter months and also makes for some great hiking weather.
Water quality is monitored regularly and swimming is allowed only when the water quality meets safe standards. So check ahead and see if swimming is permitted. It was not allowed on the day we visited, but it was still so worth the experience of seeing this amazing backdrop.
Three Amazing Texas Waterholes in 1 day! All unique in their own way, but the one thing they all have in common is how alluring and gorgeous these areas are. I am overwhelmed by how much beauty we saw in God’s creation today and he always ceases to amaze me. Even though it was a January day, the weather was perfect for this hiking and swimming hole adventure marathon.
Also, if you are in the Austin area Barton Springs Pool in Zilker Park is awesome and allows year round swimming and free admission in the winter. It was an exhilarating experience. In code that means it was cold but worth it! Check out our post and video here.