Weekend Getaway: Find a Swimming Hole

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There are a lot of things I love about Austin, but near the top of the list are the swimming holes. When we were down there for our July catalog release party, it was sweltering – over 100 degrees. So the Saturday after our party, with a day off to explore, we went straight to Barton Springs.

Barton springs consists of four natural water springs, around one of which is a man-made pool that is one of the most popular places to hang out in Austin. The water is COLD – and the best way to deal with that is to gather your courage and dive in. When you do, the rush you experience is refreshing and rejuvenating. Some Austinites believe that not only is it good for your mental being, it’s also good for your health. I can definitely see how that may be true.

barton-springs-austin

On the near side of the barrier in the pool above is a smaller pool where you can take your pup swimming! Barton springs costs just $3 for a full day, and is open until 11pm (night swimming!)

We didn’t have time to visit this next one, but if I ever find myself back in austin (and I hope I do) this is on my list of things I MUST do.

hamilton-pool-austin

Yes, this is in Texas. Hamilton pool, located 30 miles outside of downtown Austin, is a natural pool that was created when the dome of an underground river collapsed from erosion thousands of years ago. The result is secluded pool surrounded by cliffs and huge slabs of limestone, into which a waterfall runs. Getting to the pool requires a steep quarter-mile downhill hike – but it’s more than worth it.

hamilton-pool-texas

hamilton-pool-texas

After seeing the amazing swimming holes that Austin has to offer, I thought, surely there are swimming holes near Philadelphia? Indeed there are, and while it might not be on the same level as the ones above, Devil’s Pool is a swimming hole right here in Philadelphia’s Wissahickon Creek.

devils-pool-philadelphia

devils-pool-philadelphia

devils-pool-philadelphia2

Chances are, where you live you have a swimming hole nearby as well – and with the crazy heat coming this weekend, this might be a necessary thing to do!

Check out swimmingholes.org, where you can view maps of all the swimming hole locations near you! The site was started by a man from Philadelphia named Tom, who runs the site purely as a hobby with the help of his friend Dave.  Why? “Tom and Dave like to explore, find and enjoy these hidden pools in natural settings they find a natural swimming hole in a beautiful setting to be very nurturing and soothing to the body and soul.”

Agreed.

click on images for sources.

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Comments

B. in the Know -July 22, 2011, 3:05PM

So fun – the swimming hole I grew up escaping to is on the site! Too bad the one that is closest to me now is still far away. Thankfully, I like in the city of lakes and there are plenty of lakes right by my house to go cool off in!
Much love,
B

BohoQueen -July 22, 2011, 10:21PM

I love the third picture which consists of the bird’s eye view of the spring, and the pool at night. Swimming at night in a place like that looks like so much fun, and so beautiful! The pictures of the Hamilton pool are just gorgeous! If I’m ever in Texas, I’m definitely going there for a day of mental and physical refreshment! xoxo

Rosa -July 23, 2011, 2:06AM

Sounds like a great idea! Only the weather in Vancouver is horrible for swimming right now :(

Danielle -July 23, 2011, 2:36AM

The smaller swimming area next Barton Springs pool for the pups is also called Barking Springs ;) and FREE FREE FREE <3

shea -July 23, 2011, 2:44PM

thats a great website! I absolutely LOVE swimming, I live right near the ocean which is wonderful but since I’m in the northeast it’s usually freezing

Anonymous -July 23, 2011, 4:39PM

check out vermont! there are so many here!

Katie -July 23, 2011, 6:39PM

I love Devil’s Pool! Me and my friends go there all the time. It’s perfect for these hot summer days!

Folk & Fairy Tale -July 25, 2011, 10:36AM

I put this to use this weekend and found a swimming hole off the website and dove in yesterday. It was FUN! I got bit by something on my bellybutton, but still fun :)

Sophia Rose -July 27, 2011, 2:57PM

Barton Springs is, indeed, the most healing water I’ve ever known. I grew up just a few blocks from there and every time I return to that icy water, all is right in the world once more.

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