Barton Springs is the best place to cool off near Austin this summer

Known as the “Live Music Capital of the World”, Austin, Texas is a vibrant and exciting city that has become one of the top tourist destinations in the western United States due to its cool vibes, epic cultural attractions and its trendy craft beer. culinary scene, not to mention its plethora of outdoor recreational activities. With plenty of places to hike and bike, it’s easy to explore Austin’s natural beauty by land. However, a whole other world exists in the heart of Austin, an aquatic wonder that is just as famous as the city’s famous music scene.


Nestled in the heart of the city, Barton Springs Pool has been delighting visitors with its deliciously cool, cool waters since the 1920s – the perfect place to beat the heat and take a dip during Austin’s sweltering summer season. But that’s not all – the pool house, Zilker Park, is packed with outdoor activities and fun attractions that will keep visitors busy long after they’ve left their slides and inflatables behind.

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About Barton Springs

Beloved by Austinites and often considered one of the city’s gems, Barton Springs is so much more than just a swimming pool. Existing at the confluence of history, traditions and cultural heritage, the natural water sources originate from the nearby Edwards Aquifer, which dates back to the Cretaceous period (approximately 100 million years ago) . Additionally, the springs were once known as a sacred site favored by native Tonkawa Native Americans, who often frequented the clear, pure waters.


Today, the springs may be more recreational than sacred, but they are still a cherished part of the city of Austin that is valued for both its environmental significance and its status as America’s most important aquifer. , providing drinking water to more than two million people. . The pool is also an important wildlife habitat and is home to the Barton Springs Salamander in addition to other species designated as both threatened and endangered.

Fed by the Parthenia Spring (one of four total springs that make up Barton Springs), Barton Springs Pool was built in the 1920s on the sprawling 360 acres of Austin’s Zilker Park. Over the years it has grown in popularity and continues to be one of Austin’s most visited attractions – around 800,000 people a year seek out its cool, clear 68-70 degree waters year-round.


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Barton Springs: the details

  • Address: Zilker Park 2201 William Barton Drive, Austin Texas
  • Hours: Open all year Monday to Sunday (except Thursday) 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. swim at your own risk, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. supervised swimming; Thursdays from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m., swimming at your own risk, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., closed, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., supervised swimming
  • Features: three-acre pool up to 18 feet deep surrounded by grassy areas for lounging. Located next to the pool boathouse, the Splash! educational exhibit where guests can learn all about the history and biology of Barton Springs
  • Admission fee: Daily and seasonal passes can be purchased online, and family passes can be purchased at the pool’s Aquatic Office, open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Read more about entrance fees and charges here
  • Must know: Alcohol, smoking, pets, food, coolers and glass containers are prohibited. Drinks are allowed but must be in resealable plastic containers with screw-on lids. Both entrances to Barton Springs are wheelchair accessible.
  • Things to do nearby: Barkin’ Springs (pet-friendly pool), Peter Pan Mini-Golf, Austin Moonlight Towers, Treaty Oak Tree


Things to do in Zilker Park

Located in downtown Austin, the expansive Zilker Park is not only home to Barton Springs Pool and its invigorating waters, but also hosts a number of other fun activities and events that make it a fun place to visit in the bustling city. and eclectic. In addition to recreational activities like biking, disc golf, and scenic walking/running trails, the park is also home to a number of famous attractions and festivals that make it an outdoor hub in the heart of Austin. And don’t forget those spectacular views of the city skyline! Below are some of the best ways to experience this beautiful green space before or after a visit to Barton Springs Pool. Zilker Park is located at 2100 Barton Springs Rd and is open daily from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.


  • Take a ride on the Zilker Eaglethe little park train
  • The Zilker Botanical Garden has been delighting visitors with its fresh plants and winding walking paths since 1955
  • Explore the indoor/outdoor museum and find some zen at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden
  • Take a walk on the Austin hiking trailthat winds around the neighbor Lady Bird Lake—perfect for paddleboarding, kayaking and canoeing
  • The Zilker Hillside Theater home to amazing outdoor entertainment including Shakespeare in the Park and the Zilker Summer Musical

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Restaurants near Zilker Park

Those in need of a snack break are in luck as there are plenty of restaurants nearby to grab a bite to eat before heading back to the pool for another dip.

  • Chuy’s is a classic chain serving delicious Tex-Mex food – the Elvis Presley Memorial Combo is a favorite at 1728 Barton Springs Road
  • Baby Acapulco puts its own delicious twist on Tex-Mex classics – and don’t forget to grab a famous Purple Rita while you’re at it. 1638 Barton Springs Road
  • strange duck is a fun place to dine after a day by the pool, and their eclectic and creative menu won’t disappoint. 1201, boul. S.Lamar
  • P. Terry’s Burger Stand Nothing beats a day at the pool than a delicious burger, and this chain is consistently voted one of the best around. 404, boul. S.Lamar
  • Austin Eastciders Refresh yourself with a signature cider and a casual bite – Capitol pizza is a crowd favorite at 1530 Barton Springs Road


Barton Springs Pool has an original history as eclectic as the city of Austin itself. Dating back to the Cretaceous period, the cool, cool waters of the pool are fed by the nearby limestone springs; ensuring the swimming hole stays at an average of 70 degrees even in the heat of summer. Home to the Barton Springs Salamander, close to all the Zilker Park attractions, and within walking distance of Austin’s best restaurants, Barton Springs Pool is an idyllic escape from the heat of the Texas sun and the perfect place to cool off and dig those cool Austin vibes all summer long.

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