The Best Swimming Spots in Texas: Lakes, Rivers, and More

Written by Alan Lemus
Updated: May 22, 2023
© Bradbury
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Texas is known for its scorching hot summers, making swimming an essential part of daily life for many Texans. Fortunately, Texas is home to diverse swimming spots, from lakes and rivers to swimming holes and water parks, offering something for everyone. 

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing dip in a natural pool or an adrenaline-filled adventure at a water park, Texas has it all. Today, we’ll explore the best swimming spots in Texas. We’ll provide detailed descriptions of each spot, including their features, location, and why they’re worth a visit. 


Cattle egret at Lake Travis
Lakes are a popular choice among the best swimming spots in Texas.

©Richard A McMillin/

Texas is home to many stunning lakes, which contribute to the best swimming spots in Texas. No matter which lake you choose to visit, you’ll have a great time swimming, fishing, or simply lounging on the beach.

Some of the best lakes for swimming in Texas include:

  • Lake Travis
  • Lake Conroe
  • Lake Texoma
  • Lake Buchanan

Let’s find out what each has to offer.

Lake Travis 

Located in Austin, Lake Travis is one of Texas’ most popular swimming spots in Texas. 

The lake’s crystal-clear waters are perfect for:

  • Swimming
  • Fishing
  • Other water activities

The lake is surrounded by beautiful hills, making it a scenic location to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Lake Conroe 

Located in Montgomery County, Lake Conroe is a 21,000-acre lake that offers a variety of water activities, including:

  • Swimming
  • Boating
  • Fishing

This lake is a great spot for a family-friendly day trip with its clear waters and sandy beaches.

Lake Texoma 

Lake Texoma is among the U.S.’s largest reservoirs on the Texas-Oklahoma border. With many beaches and parks along its shores, the lake is popular for:

  • Swimming
  • Boating
  • Fishing

Its crystal-clear waters and beautiful scenery make it a must-visit for any water enthusiast.

Lake Buchanan

Lake Buchanan is a serene and peaceful lake in Texas Hill County, perfect for swimming and relaxing. 

The lake is surrounded by breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and offers visitors a chance to escape the busy city life.


San Marcos River
Rivers in Texas offer great swimming, fishing, and exploring opportunities.


In addition to its many lakes, Texas is home to numerous rivers providing the best swimming spots in Texas. Some of the best rivers for swimming in Texas include:

  • Frio River
  • Guadalupe River
  • San Marcos River
  • Comal River

Let’s delve deeper into the details of each river.

Frio River 

Located in the Texas Hill County, the Frio River is one of Texas’s most popular rivers for swimming. 

The river’s clear, cool waters and stunning natural beauty make it a favorite destination for locals and visitors. 

Many campsites, cabins, and resorts are along the river’s banks, making it perfect for a weekend getaway.

Guadalupe River 

Located in central Texas, the Guadalupe River is another popular river for swimming. 

The river offers visitors various water activities, including:

  • Tubing
  • Kayaking
  • Fishing

The river also has many campgrounds and cabins. That makes it a great place to spend a weekend or even a week-long vacation.

San Marcos River 

Located in San Marcos, Texas, the San Marcos River is a spring-fed river offering crystal-clear water for swimming and other water activities. 

The river’s constant temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit makes it an ideal swimming spot year-round. 

The San Marcos River also hosts Spring Lake Natural Area, the world’s biggest spring-fed swimming pool popular for diving and swimming.

Comal River 

You’ll find the Comal River in New Braunfels, Texas. It’s another spring-fed river offering clear and cool water for swimming. 

The river is surrounded by beautiful scenery and offers visitors a chance to relax and unwind. 

The Comal River is also popular for tubing and kayaking, making it a great place for an adventure-filled day trip.

Swimming Holes

Jacob's well
Swimming holes in Texas offer peaceful environments to enjoy going for a dip.

©Larry D. Moore/CCBYSA4.0 – License

Texas’s swimming holes are a perfect choice if you’re looking for the best swimming spots in Texas with more secluded and natural swimming experiences.

Swimming holes allow visitors to escape the crowds and enjoy a more natural and secluded swimming experience. With their crystal-clear waters and stunning natural beauty, these swimming holes are a must-visit for any nature lover.

Some of the best swimming holes in Texas include:

  • Jacob’s well
  • Blue Hole
  • Barton Springs
  • Hamilton Pool

Let’s find out more about each hole.

Jacob’s Well

Located in Wimberley, Texas, Jacob’s Well is a natural spring-fed swimming hole offering crystal-clear waters for swimming. 

The swimming hole is surrounded by towering cypress trees and limestone cliffs, making it a picturesque and peaceful spot to relax and swim.

Blue Hole 

Located in Wimberley, Texas, Blue Hole is another natural spring-fed swimming hole offering clear and cool waters for swimming. 

The swimming hole is surrounded by a large grassy area, making it a great spot for a picnic or a game of frisbee.

Barton Springs Pool 

Located in Austin, Texas, Barton Springs Pool is a natural spring-fed pool that offers year-round swimming opportunities. 

The pool’s clear and refreshing water is maintained at a constant temperature of 68-70 degrees Fahrenheit. That makes it a perfect spot to cool off on a hot summer day.

Hamilton Pool Preserve 

A collapsed grotto in Dripping Springs formed this natural pool. 

The pool is surrounded by a lush green ecosystem and a 50-foot waterfall, making it one of Texas’s most picturesque swimming spots. 

Visitors must make a reservation to visit the preserve, but it’s worth it for the breathtaking views and unique swimming experience.


Beaches can be a road trip away in Texas, but the swimming opportunities are worth it.

© Overton

Texas may not be known for its beaches, but it has some beautiful stretches of coastline perfect for swimming and sunbathing. They allow visitors to relax, enjoy the sun, surf and experience the natural beauty of Texas’s coastline. 

Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to sunbathe or an adventure-filled day of water activities, the beaches offer the best swimming spots in Texas. There is something for everyone.

Here are some of the best beaches in Texas:

  • Padre Island National Seashore
  • Galveston Island
  • South Padre Island

Let’s look at each in more detail.

Padre Island National Seashore 

Located on the Gulf Coast, this is one of the world’s longest stretches of undeveloped barrier islands. 

The beach offers visitors 70 miles of pristine white sand and clear blue water, making it a popular spot for:

  • Swimming
  • Surfing
  • Fishing

The seashore is also home to various wildlife, including sea turtles and migratory birds.

Galveston Island 

Galveston Island is another popular beach destination on the Gulf Coast, Texas. 

The island offers visitors 32 miles of beaches, along with various attractions like:

  • The Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
  • The Schlitterbahn Waterpark

The beaches are perfect for:

  • Swimming
  • Sunbathing
  • Building sandcastles

South Padre Island 

Located on Texas’s southern tip, South Padre Island is a popular beach destination for both Texans and visitors from Mexico. 

The island offers visitors miles of white sand beaches and clear blue water, along with various water activities such as:

  • Kiteboarding
  • Parasailing
  • Jet skiing

Extra Large Pools

Enjoy a day of fun in the sun with pools in Texas.

©Alizada Studios/

If you prefer the convenience and amenities of a swimming pool, Texas has some extra large pools perfect for swimming laps or splashing around with friends and family. 

They offer visitors a chance to enjoy the convenience and amenities of a swimming pool while still having plenty of space to swim and play. With various attractions and activities, these pools are perfect for a day of family fun or a solo workout.

Some of the best extra-large pools in Texas include:

  • Deep Eddy Pool
  • Texas Pool

Let’s take a look at what each has to offer.

Deep Eddy Pool 

Located in Austin, Texas, Deep Eddy Pool is the oldest swimming pool in the state. 

The pool is fed by a natural spring. It’s 600 feet long, making it the perfect spot for swimming laps. 

The pool also features a wading area and a diving board for those who want to show off their skills.

Texas Pool 

Located in Plano, Texas, Texas Pool is a historic 168,000-gallon saltwater pool. Its shape resembles that of Texas State. 

The pool features:

  • A diving board
  • A water slide
  • A shallow area for younger swimmers

The pool is open to the public during the summer months and offers various events and activities for visitors of all ages.

Water Parks

Person in an inner tube sliding down a water slide into a large pool area
Water parks offer more fun in addition to swimming in Texas.


For a full day of water fun, Texas has various water parks that offer everything from water slides to lazy rivers. These water parks offer visitors a chance to enjoy various water attractions and activities in one convenient location. 

Whether you’re looking for a thrilling water slide or a lazy river ride, Texas’s water parks have something for everyone.

Some of the best water parks in Texas are:

  • Schlitterbahn Waterpark 
  • Six Flags Hurricane Harbor
  • Typhoon Texas

Schlitterbahn Waterpark

Located in New Braunfels, Texas, Schlitterbahn Waterpark is one of the largest water parks in the state. 

The park has over 40 water attractions. Some of them include:

  • Water slides
  • Wave pools
  • Lazy rivers

The park also features various restaurants and shops, making it the perfect spot for a full day of fun.

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor  

Located in Arlington, Texas, this harbor is a water park that also features extra-large pools. 

The park features various water slides and attractions, including a wave pool and a lazy river.

Typhoon Texas 

Located in Katy, Texas, Typhoon Texas is a water park that features over 30 water attractions like:

  • Water slides
  • A wave pool
  • A lazy river

The park also features various food and drink options, making it the perfect spot for a full day of family fun.

The Best Season for Swimming in Texas

Texas is known for its hot summers and mild winters, making it an ideal location for swimming almost year-round. 

But the best season for swimming in Texas depends on your preference and the location you plan to visit. Some factors to consider when deciding the best season for swimming in Texas include:

  • The weather
  • Water temperature
  • Crowds
  • Seasonal events and activities

Let’s delve into each factor in more detail.


Texas summers are well-known for their scorching heat and high humidity. Temperatures often reach above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. 

While this makes swimming popular, some people may find the heat too intense. 

In contrast, Texas winters are mild, with temperatures ranging from 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a comfortable time for swimming if you prefer cooler water.

Water temperature 

The water temperature in Texas varies depending on the location and time of year. 

Lakes and rivers tend to be cooler in the spring and early summer when the water levels are high. However, during the peak summer months, the water temperature can reach the mid-80s in some locations, making it ideal for swimming. 

But some people may prefer to swim in cooler temperatures, which can be found in the fall and winter months.


The best season for swimming in Texas can also depend on the crowds. 

During summer, popular swimming locations like beaches and water parks can get crowded, making it challenging to find a quiet spot. 

If you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere, consider visiting when crowds are thinner during the off-season.

Seasonal Events and Activities 

Texas is known for its seasonal events and activities, including:

  • Spring wildflowers
  • Fall festivals
  • Holiday lights

If you want to combine swimming with other seasonal activities, consider visiting during the appropriate time of year.

Four kids enjoying a swimming day with inflatables
You can have fun at the best swimming spots in Texas.

©Sergey Novikov/

Key Takeaways

Texas offers many options for those looking to beat the heat and enjoy some swimming. 

Whether you prefer the natural beauty of a lake or river, the convenience of a swimming pool, or the excitement of a water park, Texas has it all. 

Some of the best swimming spots in Texas include the beautiful lakes and rivers scattered throughout the state and the various swimming holes, beaches, extra-large pools, and water parks available for visitors. 

No matter where you go, you’ll find a spot perfect for swimming, relaxing, and having fun in the water. 

Summary of the Best Swimming Spots in Texas: Lakes, Rivers, and More

NumberSwimming SpotActivity
1Lake TravisSwimming, fishing,
other water activities
2Lake ConroeSwimming, boating, fishing
3Lake TexomaSwimming, boating, fishing
4Lake BuchananSwimming and relaxing
5Frio RiverCamping, cabins, resorts
6Guadalupe RiverFishing, tubing, kayaking
7San Marcos RiverDiving, year-round swimming
8Comal RiverSightseeing, tubing, kayaking
9Padre Island National SeashoreSwimming, surfing, fishing
10Galveston IslandSwimming, sunbathing, building sandcastles
11South Padre IslandKiteboarding, parasailing, jet skiing
12Deep Eddy Pool600 feet long, diving board
13Texas PoolDiving board, water slide, shallow area for younger swimmers
14Schlitterbahn Waterpark Water slides, wave pool, lazy river
15Six Flags Hurricane HarborExtra-large pools
16Typhoon TexasWater slides, wave pool, lazy river

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Two kids and an adult swimming in water
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About the Author

Alan is a freelance writer and an avid traveler. He specializes in travel content. When he visits home he enjoys spending time with his family Rottie, Opie.

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