Heated to a constant 68 degrees, Austin’s Barton Springs Pool is a popular swimming hole that can be enjoyed year round. Located in Zilker Park, the pool is fed by water from the Main Barton Spring. Swimming during any season is allowed at the Barton Springs Pool, but costs a small fee in the summer months. With grassy picnic areas nearby and plenty of places to play and relax, Barton Springs is a must-see for every Austin visitor.
Once considered holy by the local Native American tribe, the Tonkawa, the springs were used for bathing and purification ceremonies. When the Spaniards discovered the large springs in the early 1700s, they built a mission near the site. Once settlers moved into the area, the springs became popular tourist attractions, and eventually it evolved into the swimming hot spot it is today. In its current management by the city of Austin, the Barton Springs Pool provides an invigorating and refreshing way to cool off, exercise, hang out and relax. It has quickly evolved into a hangout place for young adults, but bathers of all ages will enjoy themselves at the Barton Springs Pool.
At more than 900 feet long, Barton Springs Pool has a natural gravel bottom and is full of fresh, naturally warmed spring water. With diving boards, stairs and ladders, swimmers can easily enter and exit at several different points around the pool. Summer weekends might find the pool quite crowded, but the spaciousness of the place allows everyone a good refreshing swim no matter what.
Occasionally the pool is closed for safety concerns, such as when there have been heavy rains or the creek that feeds the pool is running high. In these instances, swimmers can call ahead to the Barton Springs Pool to determine if the pool will be opening. The hotline is operating 24 hours per day for the convenience of its guests.
The cost to get into the pool is minimal—just $3 for adults and $2 for young adults 12 to 17 and $1 for children under 12 and senior citizens. The doors open at 5 a.m. and usually close at around 10 p.m. Although the pool is billed as a family-friendly area, topless sunbathing is allowed at the pool and many patrons take advantage of that.
Barton Springs Pool is a wonderful way to combine history and recreation when checking out all the things to see and do in the Austin area. It’s especially easy to see this Austin landmark when it’s a hot Texas afternoon.Author Bio: Eric Bramlett is the broker & co-owner of One Source Realty in Austin, Texas. Eric currently manages his Austin Real Estate website, his Austin condominiums company's website, & his Austin Texas website.