The Best Swimming Holes Near San Antonio

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Published: December 20, 2022
© Terri Butler Photography/
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There are many swimming holes in the San Antonio and the Hill Country region where you can cool down from the Texas summer heat. Whether you’re looking for a place to go cliff jumping, a lazy river for tubing, or a refreshing swimming hole – we’ve got you covered! 

Jacob’s Well Natural Area

Jacob's well
Jacob’s well is a swimming hole in Texas.

©Larry D. Moore/CCBYSA4.0 – License

An artesian spring called Jacob’s Well spews out tens of thousands of gallons of water each day. The public is welcome to visit Jacob’s Well Natural Area from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. However, for access to the water, bookings are necessary.

As per Hays County, it is the second largest entirely underwater cave in Texas. Thankfully, the temperature of the water never changes from a pleasant 68 degrees. The Trinity Aquifer, which originates from a vast network of subterranean caves, supplies the water. 

The cavern system’s deepest section is 140 feet underground. The major cavern measures 4,341 feet long. The secondary cavern, which splits off from the primary cavern, is 1314 feet longer!

Guadalupe River State Park

Guadalupe River State Park Texas
Although not extremely deep, the river is pure and clean and allows for some relaxed swimming.

© Males

The Guadalupe River dominates the park with four miles of river shoreline. Visitors can swim, fish, paddle, and float on the river. Both day use and overnight camping are permitted, but bookings are required. 

Although not extremely deep, the river is pure and clean and allows for some relaxed swimming. Please use care though, as the current is pretty strong. Water shoes are advised for greater convenience and stability in the swimming area.

You can explore the 13 miles of hiking and biking paths. Choose from various trails, like the Painted Bunting Trail to the River View Trail, which leads to a picturesque overlook. Visitors can find this swimming hole in Spring Branch at 3350 Park Road 31.

Barton Springs Pool

Free-spirited, bare-chested beachgoers made a splash in the 1970s at Barton springs pool. 

©Alizada Studios/

One of Austin’s hidden gems is located inside the 358 acres of Zilker Park. It goes by the name of Barton Springs Pool. Every day at 5 am, it opens bright and early. The pool itself is three acres in size! A subterranean spring fuels it, making it an optimum year-round swimming temperature of 68 to 70 degrees. 

Barton Springs Pool has attracted visitors from all walks of life throughout the years. Politicians have created state legislation there, and free-spirited, bare-chested beachgoers made a splash in the 1970s. 

Interestingly, when Robert Redford was five years old, he had his first swim lesson in this local pool. Barton Springs continues to draw a broad population of visitors today. In fact, it has recently achieved record-breaking visitor counts close to 800,000 a year.

San Marcos River

San Marcos River, Texas
Grab a tube and go for a float on the San Marcos River!


In the heart of the city, hundreds of springs ignite the San Marcos River. In San Marcos, Texas, where Aquarena Springs is located, the San Marcos River flows from San Marcos Springs. The Texas blind salamander, fountain darter, and Texas wild rice are just a few of the threatened species that call the springs home.

All year long, people enjoy the river, which is always a delightful 72 degrees. Grab a tube and go for a float! Utilize a canoe or stand-up paddleboard to travel its entire length. Because the river is spring fed, the water is pure, and you can see all the way to the bottom. 

This is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing day on the river. You can’t beat the refreshing temperature of the water on a scorching San Antonio afternoon. Thankfully, for those that don’t own their own canoes, inner tubes, or kayaks, you can find rentals and outfitters for tubing here. 

Garner State Park

Garner State Park, Texas
The park has a lot to see and do, with 2.9 miles of the Frio River meandering over 1,774 acres of beautiful Hill Country topography.

©Richard A McMillin/

Are you looking for another picturesque place to beat the heat? How about loading up the kids and taking a day trip to Garner State Park for an afternoon of tubing? This is an excellent area to go swimming or hiking. 

The park has a lot to see and do, with 2.9 miles of the Frio River meandering over 1,774 acres of beautiful Hill Country topography. Ride a paddle boat, swim in the Frifittero River, drift its waters on an inner tube, and stroll 16 miles of breathtaking paths. 

Because this river can move rapidly, please be confident in your swimming abilities. It is suggested that young visitors wear life jackets or arm floaties. There are no restrictions on day use or overnight camping, although reservations are required. 

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© Terri Butler Photography/

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About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs or her cat Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

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