Barton Springs, a collection of 4 different natural springs (together they are the 4th largest in Texas), has been a popular gathering spot for swimming and picnicking since it was founded by Native Americans back in the 1800’s. In 1918, Andrew Zilker donated the land to the City of Austin, where it stands today as a public park. Over 26 million gallons of water flow from the Edwards Aquifer to the springs each day. Barton is the largest natural swimming area located within an urban area.
Inside downtown Austin’s Zilker Park, you will find this wonderful natural attraction called Barton Springs Pool. The natural spring water is 68-70 degrees, meaning it will feel freezing cold unless you visit on a really warm day. This isn’t your typical “hot springs,” as the water is very, very cold. However, it is cold and exhilarating at the same time! Plus crowds will be much fewer on cool days. This popular summer recreational activity sees more than 800,000 visitors a year. It is a fantastic family friendly activity as the water ranges in depth from shallow to 18 feet. You will also find diving boards and places to relax.
Several wildlife species call the springs home, including the endangered Barton Springs Salamander. In addition, you may see a few ducks and/or fish during your visit.
Because the water is fed by a natural spring, you have the absence of chemicals. The water is believed to possess natural healing powers and ancient people believed that the water was able to cure a variety of different ailments. Whether or not the water can cure any problems, it sure feels energizing and rejuvenating!
Overall, it’s a great way to cool off during those hot Texas summer afternoons. The water stays chilly year round, so you will definitely feel refreshed on hot, humid days. Barton Springs is a fantastic summertime activity to add to your itinerary. It is located right downtown, nearby many other great attractions. It’s a great gathering spot with friends to cool off on a hot day. There is plenty of room in this humongous pool as well as room to lay out on the grass surrounding the water. Make sure to plan for a stop at Barton Springs Pool on your next trip to Austin.
Address: 2201 Barton Springs Rd. Austin, TX 78704
Hours: 5am-10pm (except for Thursday when it is closed from 9am-7pm).
Locker rooms and showers are available.
Tip: Visit at night or early morning for free admission! (5am-8am and 9pm-10pm).