NileGuide Expert Says:
Simply the best place to be on a hot summer day. Cool water, shade trees and guitar-playing hipsters.
2101 Barton Springs Road
Austin, TX 78704
Daily 5am-10pm except during pool maintenance (Thurs 9am-7pm). Splash! Tues-Fri noon-6pm; Sat-Sun 10am-6pm
NileGuide Expert tip:
On busy summer days, it's easier to park at the back parking lot, near Umlauf Sculpture Garden along Robert E. Lee Road.
The water in Barton Springs swimming pool hovers around 68 degrees year-round, which means that it feels cool -- even cold -- in the heat of summer. It feels relatively warm in winter, though, and a few rugged souls swim there every morning, regardless of the weather. If you're more into lounging than exercise, there's a part of the massive pool dedicated to floats and floaters. On the hillsides surrounding the pool, you will see a snapshot of Austin culture. There's usually a group of twentysomethings kicking around a hacky-sack ball, a sixtyish man doing yoga, and (kid warning) a woman of indeterminate age without her top. Occasionally, a drum circle forms at the top of the hill. Guitars are almost as common as smart phones. On summer days when the temperature can soar above 100 degrees, this is the only reasonable place to be.