As summer in Central Texas reaches its sweltering peak, we are so fortunate here in Dripping Springs to be surrounded by refreshing swimming holes. Within a half hour’s drive, you can plunge from a rope swing into the cool water of Blue Hole, leisurely float in a tube at Cypress Falls, or bask on the beach of Hamilton Pool’s stunning grotto.
Of the three, the most easily accessible is Cypress Falls in Wimberley, where you don’t need a reservation or have a trek to the water. Located at Cypress Falls Lodge and Event Center, it offers creature comforts you can enjoy without being a lodge guest. Cool down with a local beer from their 10-tap bar, grab a snack from the cafe, or rent a canoe or tube and paddle out to meet the goats on the island at the center of this spring-fed swimming hole. Created by the dam in Cypress Creek, this refreshing oasis is sure to provide a welcome break from the summer heat.
Just a few minutes away is Blue Hole Regional Park, a stunning swimming hole framed by hundreds of Cypress trees, whose shade keeps the water a refreshing 75 degrees. The rope swings are a big attraction here, with kids and adults lining up to jettison themselves into the creek’s clear, blue-green water. When you need a rest from the activity, the creek-side lawn provides a perfect spot to picnic and relax. You need reservations to enjoy Blue Hole, and they fill up quickly.
As do spots for the gorgeous grotto at Hamilton Pool Preserve, about 15 miles north of downtown Dripping. Part of the Travis County Parks system, the site has limited trail and pool access due to recent ice storms, but it’s still worth the effort. After about a quarter-mile descent by foot into the canyon, you’re rewarded with an idyllic scene with a 45-foot waterfall cascading into a turquoise pool. It’s the stuff summer memories are made of.
Crystal Falls Swimming Hole
50 Marina Circle, Wimberley, park at 1 Woodcreek Circle
No reservations required, wristbands are $6 for children, $8 for adults
Blue Hole Regional Park
333 Blue Hole Lane, Wimberley
Reservations required, $12 per person
Hamilton Pool Preserve
24300 Hamilton Pool Road
Reservations required, $12 per car, plus $8 per person