Summer is heating up - check out our list of the COOLEST places to play in the water in Texas!
Texans are no strangers to the heat - it's one of the hottest places in the United States
, and this year we're setting records! But fortunately, Texans know how to make the best of a situation and find the fun in the summer sun! When the heat is on, it's time to cool off and take a dip in some of Texas' most popular water spots!
Texas is home to some of the most beautiful natural and artificial aquatic attractions and water parks, so it comes as no surprise that most of us are accustomed to finding creative and fun ways to cool down. However, if you’re new to the area, just passing through, or a long-time Texan looking to reacquaint yourself with fun places to go this summer, then you’ve come to the right place!
Here are some great spots to explore, along with three water activities to do in Texas this summer.
Diving and Snorkeling
If you’re in love with life underwater, diving or snorkeling may be a fun experience for you this summer! And with Texas offering many natural spots to sharpen your diving skills, we’re sure you’ll have no problem finding a spot you love.
Here are some great spots to explore for diving in Texas!
If you’ve ever searched “lake activities near me,” Jacob’s Well is likely the first thing to pop up for you. A 30-feet deep spring receiving several thousand gallons of water per minute, Jacob’s Well is a hot spot for fun places in Texas and less than an hour’s drive from Austin.
While many come out here to dive, it’s also known for being the longest underwater cave in Texas. Therefore, Jacob’s Well can also be quite dangerous. With reports of false exits and fine silt that have been known to cloud vision, you’ll want to practice extra safety when exploring this water spot!
- Monday - Sunday: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
While there is no fee to enter the area or park your car, current fees for swimming in Jacob’s Well are as follows:
- Adults: $9 per person
- Children 5-12: $5 per person*
- Seniors 60+: $5 per person
- Veterans or Service Members: $5 per person
*Children 4 and under are free of charge.
Another popular diving spot in the Lone Star State is Blue Lagoon in Huntsville! With crystal clear blue waters set against a stunning backdrop of tall pine trees and limestone rocks, Blue Lagoon is a natural freshwater attraction to those looking to get adventurous with snorkeling/diving!
An hour and a half outside of Houston, this watering hole doesn’t require reservations (unless you’re a diver), but it does limit the number of visitors. You’ll want to make sure and beat the crowd by getting there early so you can be guaranteed to enjoy this tropical retreat.
Hours for Non-Divers:
- Monday - Friday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
- Saturday - Sunday: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Hours for Divers:
- Monday - Thursday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
- Friday: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
- Saturday: 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.
- Sunday: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
- Divers: $21.00 per person
- Non Divers 10 years or older: $27.00 per person
- Children 9 years or younger: $10.00 per person
Before you jump into the chlorine waters, consider enjoying some of these natural water spots that Texas has to offer when looking for a place to swim!
Gorman Falls at Colorado Bend State Park
Colorado Bend State Park offers many great activities, such as camping
, biking routes, and hiking trails, but its biggest draw is Gorman Falls. This 70-foot waterfall falls right into Spicewood Springs and trickles down into smaller waterfalls throughout the park.
This not only makes it a beautiful place to enjoy a picnic with the family, but it also has many hidden pockets to enjoy a quiet and remote swim as you escape the hot summer sun.
Although not quite a hot spot and tourist attraction like Jacob’s Well or Blue Lagoon, the biggest draw of Gorman Falls and Colorado Bend State Park is that it’s something of a Texan secret (shhh!) With minimal traffic, this swimming hole can feel like a secluded place to call your own.
- Adults (13 and older*): $5
*Children 13 and under are free!
If the kids are looking for something a little more active than the beautiful Gorman Falls, and you still find yourself asking your smartphone for “safe places to play in water near me,” then you’ll want to consider adding Galveston Beach to your list of places to visit. Featuring the Pleasure Pier and Schlitterbahn Waterpark, Galveston Beach has become a youthful attraction for some fun in the sun.
Thanks to Galveston’s calm waters, you can feel at ease letting your kids play and swim in the water as you stretch out on the warm sandy beach. Just make sure to take a walk over to some of the favorite food stores for a treat and some live music once all the fun is done!
Water activities like jet skiing and parasailing are also available for older kids or adults.
Visit the Galveston Island Beach Patrol site to learn more about the rules, restrictions, and fees for enjoying your stay.
- Access to the beaches is prohibited from 12 a.m. - 5 a.m.
If you're looking for a little more amusement in your park, there's plenty of fun in the sun to be had at one of Texas' water parks! And with water parks offering an added sense of security with onsite lifeguards, it’s no question why they’re an appealing alternative.
Here are some of the best man-made water parks Texas has to offer to get the kiddos swimming!
With big-name sponsors such as Coca-Cola and Kraft Heinz, it’s no wonder why Schlitterbahn calls itself the world’s best waterpark!
Located in New Braunfels and with an onsite resort that encourages you to lengthen your stay, this waterpark offers attractions for all ages. From river rides to swim-up bars, lazy rivers, and so much more, there’s certainly some water-fun packed into this park for the entire family.
As park hours, as well as fees, are dependent on different things, we suggest visiting schlitterbahn.com
to learn more about planning your visit or special events taking place.
Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark
If you've had your fill of the sun but still want some aquatic fun, then Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark is perfect for you! Open year-round and noted as the largest indoor waterpark in North Texas, Epic Waters offers swimming pools, water slides with daring drops, a rascal round-up area for your little rascals, and so much more!
While children 3 and under are free, fees for those 3 and up do differ depending on your day of visit. Learn more here
Paddleboarding and more!
Looking for something not as adventurous as snorkeling but something more exciting than a cool swim? Then we think we’ve got something for you!
With many natural water spots creating perfect opportunities for other water activities and water sports, here are some places you can experience fun things like paddleboarding and more!
Rio Grande River
It’s hard to imagine that some Texans have never experienced the wonder of canoeing or paddling down the Rio Grande River. Originating in south-central Colorado and flowing into the Gulf of Mexico, this river stretches for 1,896 miles and creates the Big Bend National Park (one of the largest National Parks in the U.S.) we’ve all come to know and love.
With tall limestone walls, this free-flowing river provides Texans and tourists alike with a welcome water activity during the hot summer days! So make sure to ditch the “river activities near me” search and instead have some fun doing a scenic float or stand-up paddleboarding through the river’s many canyons like the Boquilla or Mariscal Canyon.
Floating on the Rio Grande River is accessible through Big Bend National Park. While the Park is open 24/7, access fees depend on various circumstances. Click here for more information
If you’re looking for something a little more laid-back, then Caddo Lake State Park in Karnack, Texas, might be just the thing you’re looking for. This quiet retreat with its cypress trees and Spanish moss towers will make you feel like you’re in a Louisiana Bayou without the lengthy drive or costly plane ticket! While it’s an excellent spot for kayaking, it’s also a fisherman’s favorite spot as it’s known for having trophy-size bass.
And the best part is with historic cabin accommodations*, you can turn a quick water day trip into a scenic getaway or use the campgrounds to make your own home away from home!
- Daily: 8 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.
*Children 12 Years and under are free
**Interested in renting a historic cabin? Get more information
We hope this list helps you see that the hot summer sun
shouldn’t deter you from enjoying your summer. With so many natural and fun water activities to experience, it should only encourage you to enjoy it more!
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