I don’t know about you, but with summer drawing to a close, I want to spend as much of the next few weeks in the water as possible. It can’t be just any water, though. It has to be so crystal-clear that if I didn’t know better, I would think I had teleported to a far-away tropical paradise. Luckily, there are plenty such places here in Texas, so we can soak up the last of those rays in some of nature’s finest creations. These 11 swimming spots are so pristine you’ll hardly believe your eyes.
1. Jacob's Well (Wimberley)
This hidden gem in the hill country that isn't so hidden anymore is so crystal-clear that you can see your toes. The only downside to this is that you can also see precisely where the shallow swimming hole gives way to the 200-foot deep abysmal well in the center - but hey, who's complaining?
2. Blue Hole (Leakey)
This gorgeous, spring-fed swimming hole is part of Leakey's Riding River Ranch. Unfortunately, only guests can swim here, but that's just an excuse to book a few nights! The prices are reasonable and you'll have access to 3400 square feet of wildlife, mountains, trails, seclusion, and tranquility.
3. Padre Island
Although Galveston will always have a special place in my heart, sometimes I need a beach where I can actually see my feet underneath the water. Padre Island is exactly that - you'll think you've escaped to a tropical paradise with how blue-green the Gulf is here.
4. Barton Springs Pool (Austin)
Although swimming pools are typically clear due to the heavy filtration, this one easily has the most pristine water I've ever seen - an amazing feat since it's spring-fed. Even more awesome, the bottom isn't smooth and boring like normal pools. It's full of kelp, limestone, and even little fish! An unforgettable experience, to say the least.
5. Balmorhea State Park (Reeves)
Balmorhea State Park is an oasis in the middle of the hot, dry West Texas desert. Lots of travelers stop by on their way to Big Bend with no idea just how much of a treat they're in for.
6. Medina River (Bandera)
It's hard to find a clear river with the abundance of waste dumping that occurs, so this is a diamond in the rough. Most people associate this river with canoeing or kayaking, but there's an area just north of Bandera specifically designated for swimming. I highly recommend going in the fall so you can marvel at the vibrant foliage forming a canopy over the water.
7. Garner State Park (Concan)
Almost every Texan has been to or at least heard of this park, and rightfully so. This is some of the most beautiful water in the state, hands down. I also suggest coming here in the fall if at all possible. The picture is reason enough.
8. Devil's Waterhole (Burnet)
This ancient waterhole is part of Ink's Lake State Park and was formed by water erosion millions of years ago. Aside from swimming, the park even offers guided canoe tours of the lake! Although the water is so clear and inviting that I'd rather just immerse myself in it.
9. Krause Springs (Spicewood)
This tucked-away spring is reminiscent of a scene from Tarzan with the overhanging, lush green trees surrounding it. The magical feeling that incites combined with the see-through, blue-green water makes for an amazing experience.
10. Blue Hole (Wimberley)
It's no Jacob's Well, but this aptly named swimming hole is about as close as it's gonna get. The water is acclaimed as some of the most pristine in the entire state, and I think it's definitely worth a trip.
11. Cypress Bend Park (New Braunfels)
I've never been to this park myself - in fact, I only just discovered it a few hours ago after doing some research. All I can say is: boy, have I been missing out. Not only does it provide an absolutely breathtaking view of the rolling hills of Central Texas, but it's also free. And there are plenty of shaded picnic tables and even a playground so you can make your visit last all day. Seriously though, how much better of a "poolside" view can you ask for?
Have you been to any of these swimming spots in Texas? Did we miss any places with pristine waters?