Water Parks, Swimming Holes, and More Options to Keep You Cool
Beat the heat with these H2Options
By Eilish O'Sullivan,
7:00AM, Wed. Jul. 18, 2018
Who says you have to be miserable in these record-breaking Texas temperatures? Austin has an abundance of enjoyable outdoor water activities to choose from. From floating obstacle courses to nude parks and scenic swimming holes, we’ve gathered all the fun ways you can beat the heat this summer.
Lake Travis’ newest water park, Waterloo Adventures made it its mission to stunt on regular water parks with a floating one, because why not. For $50, customers get a one-day pass to the park. The excursion begins with a boat ride to “adventure island,” where you get the chance to spend 45 minutes on the park’s giant floating obstacle course and then have unlimited access to the island.
Typhoon Texas in Pflugerville has more than 11 attractions, ranging from a lazy river to a zip line. Daily admission upon arrival costs $34.99, but if you order online it’s just $29.99. Also, if you get to the park after 4pm, you can get in for a discounted rate of $16.99. Stay late on Thursday nights for its “Dive in Movies” series where you get to chill in the Tidal Wave Bay and enjoy family-friendly films like The Incredibles and Coco. The park also hosts live music all summer long.
Leander’s Volente Beach Resort & Waterpark on Lake Travis boasts sandy beaches, a massive waterslide, a pirate boat, and multiple dining options, with happy hour deals Wednesday and Thursdays from 5-7pm. You can even stay on the property after your day of fun in one of its ten bungalows, which sleep four to ten people. Regular ticket pricing is $19.99 on weekdays and $24.99 on weekends, while a season pass is $49.99. And, kids who are 2 years old and under get in for free. The water park is also hosting events all summer long, including three Beach Bashes with live music and adult beverages and the Rolling Roadshow’s weekly screenings of JAWS on the Water.
With 51 rivers, rides, slides, and chutes, it’s no surprise Schlitterbahn Waterpark in New Braunfels is a summer staple for water park enthusiasts. Daily general admission costs $54.99 online and $64.99 at the gate for individuals who are aged 12 to 54. After 3pm, you can save up to $15 on admission when you pay at the park entrance. Plus, every Saturday through Aug. 11, live bands (including Austin’s very own Bidi Bidi Banda and Henry + the Invisibles) play at the Lagoon for the park’s first ever Rock the Bahn Music Festival.
Surf + Wakeboard Parks
Opened in 2016, this man-made surf park makes Austin the only inland surfing destination in North America. Depending on the type of wave you choose to ride, surf passes range from $60 to $90 and grant you about an hour of surfing time. The park also has live music and yoga events happening all summer long, as well as a restaurant, juice bar, and on-site brewery.
Even though there’s only two, Quest ATX is the O.G. of cable wakeboard parks in Austin. A cable system pulls riders, of all levels, around the water as they try their hand at a variety of rails, jumps, and obstacles. The park is also hosting a plethora of summer camps for kids. And, it even has a floating obstacle course, where you can see if you have what it takes to be an aquatic ninja.
Next Level Ride is the new kid on the block when it comes to Austin’s wakeboard cable parks. This park has special “Women Wake Wednesdays,” where only women can wakeboard after 6pm.
Natural Springs + Swimming Holes
Did you know you could swim for free from 5-8am and 8-10pm year-round at Barton Springs Pool, Austin’s underground springs-fed pool that’s always chilling at a temperature of 68 degrees? As someone notorious once said: “If you don’t know, now you know.” During regular operating hours, 8am-8pm, the pool costs anywhere from $1 to $8 to get in. You can also enjoy the free side, which some may say is the “fun side” because there are usually puppies. And, what’s better than people watching? Puppy watching, that’s what.
If you're into aquatic workouts, or even just like watching other people work out, then Deep Eddy is right up your lane – or should I say multiple lanes? The entrance fee for this pool – the oldest in the state, built in 1936 – ranges from $1 to $8.
With 81 campsites, six cabins, and a youth camping area, McKinney Falls State Park makes for the perfect primitive staycation. You can also hike or take a bike ride through the park’s nearly nine miles of trails. If you’re not completely exhausted after that, you can take a dip in one of the park’s multiple swimming holes. The fee to get into the park is $6 daily for adults and free for children under 12.
If you want to enjoy a more low-key summer activity, then you should visit this "secret beach." The way you get to the beach is to arrive at Roy G. Guerrero’s Colorado River Park, park in the Montopolis Youth Sports Complex lot, keep right on the walking trail and head down the steep hill. It’s illegal to swim or float, but that doesn’t stop people from wading in the water or playing in the sand.
If clothes aren’t your cup of tea, then Hippie Hollow is the perfect place for you. This park is clothing optional, but you have to be over 18 to get in.
Don’t let the fact that this mysterious black hole in Wimberley has drawn multiple divers to their deaths deter you – Jacob’s Well can be fun! If you don’t dive too deep, that is. The second largest fully submerged cave in Texas, Jacob’s Well is open daily, 8am-6pm, with entrance fees ranging from $5 to $9. Reservations recommended.
With scenic waterfalls that make for the perfect Instagram selfies, it’s pretty hard to snag a reservation at Hamilton Pool Preserve in Dripping Springs. Reservations can be made online by paying $11, and then you will pay $15 per vehicle in cash upon arrival.
With 32 springs on the property, Krause Springs in Spicewood makes for the perfect place to float, rope swing, and jump off cliffs. Above the main swimming hole sits a man-made pool, but you can still be one with nature because it’s spring-fed. And, if you didn’t think this sweet summer spot couldn’t get any better, you’d be wrong because it also has a hidden waterfall and a campsite to appease your appetite for a pleasant primitive experience. Admission is $8 for anyone 12 years and older, $5 for children, and free for children under 4 years old.
Find more summer activity ideas in our Summer Fun issue.
May 17, 2019
Sept. 1, 2018
Waterloo Adventures, Typhoon Texas, Volente Beach Resort & Waterpark, Schlitterbahn Waterpark New Braunfels, NLand, Quest ATX, Next Level Ride, Barton Springs Pool, Deep Eddy Pool, McKinney Falls State Park, Hippie Hollow, Hamilton Pool Preserve, Krause Springs