See Y’all at the Watering Hole


The rain has passed and heat is back on. Now, the question that lingers on everyone’s mind is, “Where can I cool off and not have to swim in a sea of humanity?” It’s when the question gets stuck in the minds of those 12 and under that you’ve got a code red. If you want to avoid the relentless, “Can you take us to Mount Splashmore?” start taking notes.

Hamilton Pool

Plum Creek, Homes for Sale in Kyle TX

(Photo credit: Wild Texas)

Don’t let the drought get you down – Hamilton Pool certainly doesn’t. This creek-fed pool remains full no matter the lack of rain thanks to the never-ending waterfall that hangs above the pool. Make a day of it and take the scenic hour drive northwest through Drippings Springs by way of Farm to Market 150. Hamilton Pool is under a strict 75-person limit so if you arrive early enough and claim your spot, you know you don’t have to compete for space to dunk, play, swim and canon ball. Word to the wise: call ahead and ensure the park is open before hitting the road. Got a pen? The number is (512) 264-2740.

Wimberley’s Blue Hole

Plum Creek, Homes for Sale in Kyle TX

(Photo credit: Wimberley Visitor Center)

If you’ve been through Wimberley, you know it’s a special place. The town that works to keep big box chains outside city limits is the same town that works to keep their swimming spots pristine and enjoyable for all. Texas Monthly named Wimberley’s Blue Hole the second-best swimming spot in Texas in August 2008. In 2012, Travel & Leisure named it one of the top 12 swimming spots in the entire nation. Are we beginning to paint a picture? Even for an admission price of $7 for adults, Wimberley’s Blue Hole is worth every penny. Pack for an afternoon picnic on the spacious grass, stock up on the sunscreen and head the half hour east.

San Marcos River

Plum Creek, Homes for Sale in Kyle TX

(Photo credit: Trip Advisor)

If you want to stick closer to home, you’re in luck. Just 15 minutes down the road, the San Marcos River offers a full day of water recreation, however you like it. Weekdays are best for this trip; since the river is free and open to the public, expect a bit more of a crowd. However, it doesn’t mean the experience is diminished. Enjoy tubing, swimming, picnicking and all forms of summer fun at most any access point. The San Marcos River is the perfect spot to get a quick dip and be home by dinner.

For the best way to beat the heat that doesn’t involve succumbing to another day indoors, grab your swimsuit and head to one of our nearby swimming spots. Let us know where you are; tweet us a picture of your good times in the sun!

Barton Creek Greenbelt


The Barton Creek Greenbelt is an approximately 8 mile stretch of land reaching from Zilker Park to the City of Westlake.  It is divided up into three sections: Lower Greenbelt, Upper Greenbelt, and Barton Creek Wilderness Park, and is characterized by large limestone cliffs, dense foliage, and shallow bodies of water.  The Greenbelt offers rock climbing and trails for walking, jogging, hiking, or mountain biking.  After periods of significant rainfall, the river fills up and offers swimming, cliff diving, kayaking and tubing.  Cavers can also enjoy Travis County’s longest cave, Airman’s Cave, which measures 2 miles long.

Website

Directions

Five Mile Dam Park


Photo by Brad Rollins

Situated on the Blanco River in Hays County, Five Mile Dam Park has just been reopened since being renovated and expanded.  The new facilities offer access to the river via canoe launches, parking, new sidewalks, and 4 regulation-sized soccer fields.  Parks are open from 9am-9pm seven days a week.  As renovations continue a large concession and restroom building, hike-and-bike trails, landscaping, 6 additional soccer fields and landscaping will be put in.

Directions

Canyon Lake


Canyon Lake is a man-made lake on the Guadalupe River that offers many activities for all ages and interests.  Sponsored by the Army Corps of Engineers, there are 8 parks with 2 swimming beaches and 22 boat ramps.  Most of the parks offer camping, RV parks, shelters and picnic sites.  The lake itself has 80 miles of shoreline for you to enjoy in your boat or in a rental from Watercraft Rentals or the Canyon Lake Marina.  The Lake Canyon Yacht Club offers its members a 144 slip waterfront for dry sailed boats and over 150 dry storage spaces for motor boats.  The clubhouse also has a party deck, a swimming pool and a boat rigging tower.  Visitors to Canyon Lake can also spend the afternoon tubing down the Guadalupe River or fishing for Rainbow Trout.

In 2002 a large gorge was carved out of the limestone by a flood over the course of just 3 days.  Not only  is this a ridiculously short period of time for this kind of erosion to occur, but it left the gorge virtually devoid of life, which was good for geologists and other researchers.  This flood exposed 111 million years worth of fossils and rock formations.  In 2007, the gorge was opened up for public tours, which may be reserved here.

Website

Directions

New Braunfels


photo by ret0dd, Flickr.com

photo by ret0dd, Flickr.com

About:

Ok, so maybe New Braunfels is more of a Go30. But go. You’ll thank us later. Plus, you’ll save a good 20 minutes off people coming from downtown, and that’s if they don’t get stuck in traffic.

New Braunfels is a popular destination for tubing, water parks, and traditional German festivals. According to the town website, it’s “little bit of old Germany smack dab in the middle of the Texas Hill Country. New Braunfels is the kind of old-fashioned town that makes folks feel right at home. After all, in New Braunfels you can dine at bier gartens and dance to oompah music. Tube down cool, clear rivers or sail across deep, blue lakes.”

Tips:

  1. Check out Wurstfest. It’s NB’s version of Oktoberfest. It’s very family friendly and generally runs for a week around Halloween. [more on Wurstfest here]
  2. If you want to tube, check out the Comal River first. It’s cold year round and has several water shoots. [more on NB Tubing here]
  3. Schlitterbahn is an amazing waterpark, with fun for the whole family. Hit the park early to avoid the rush [more on the park]

Links:

San Marcos Tubing


Guadalupe River ~ by marticagle

Guadalupe River ~ by marticagle

About:

When the summers get Texas hot, head south from Plum Creek to relax on the Guadalupe River. And at a mere 9 miles drive, you can be in the water faster than it takes to order pizza. It’s a closer, less touristy, New Braunfels tubing experience.

Tips:

  1. You sit a tube differently than you usually do outside, so make sure to get some sunscreen on the insides of your legs, they tend to burn much faster than usual.
  2. If you plan to eat or drink on the river, check the local rules before going. In general the Guadalupe is less strict than the Comal, but it pays to plan ahead.
  3. See if your rental company will bus you back to the start. If you have more than one car, it helps to leave one at the end to bus people back.

Links:

Lions Club Tube Rental

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