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Any outdoor lover living in Austin, Texas, knows most of the year is hot and dry. So how do Austinites beat the heat and still enjoy the outdoors? Pools, splash pads, shade, and swimming holes.

McKinney State Park and Barton Creek Greenbelt are well-known for their waterfalls and creeks. But these other sites have plenty of water for splashing and other things to do when the sun is out in Austin, Texas.

1. Lake Austin at Emma Long Metropolitan Park

This centrally located city park offers a beach-style experience along Lake Austin with cool water all year long. There is plenty of boating and swimming for everyone. If it’s crowded this weekend, find a more secluded spot by walking up the river a bit farther.

You can enjoy the quiet morning hours in one of the premium camping sites next time you’re visiting Austin, Texas.

  • 1706 City Park Road
  • Open 8 am to 7 pm

2. Bull Creek in and out of Bull Creek District Park

Bull Creek begins in Travis County and winds 12 miles down to Lake Austin. The family-friendly creek winds in and out of Highway 360 and traverses Bull Creek District Park and Greenbelt.

If kids are in tow, start in this county park to wade and splash. Once you’ve moved to Austin, Texas, explore the trails along Spice Road for new swimming holes.

  • 300 Old Spice Road
  • Open 5 pm to 10 pm

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3. St. Edward’s Greenbelt Park

This free city park is an excellent park for wandering. Stay on the well-marked trails or follow Bull Creek to find wading and swimming holes.

Hikers looking for new things to do in Austin can bring a bike or dog. You can find parking in a couple of small lots along Spicewood Road at this hidden gem.

  • 7301 Spicewood Springs Road
  • Open 5 am to 10 pm

4. Pace Bend Park

You can find nine miles of shoreline in Spicewood, a city slightly northwest of Austin. Pace Bend Park offers many of our favorite things to do in Austin, Texas—canoeing, horseback riding, hiking, biking, and camping. The cliffside lake provides a sandy rock beach suitable for everyone.

Adventurers may enjoy jumping from limestone cliffs at Pace Face when the water is high.

  • 2011 Pace Bend
  • Open sunrise to sunset

5. McGregor/Hippie Hollow Park

This nudist-friendly park is just the place when you are looking some adventurous things to in Austin, Texas. Since clothing is optional, patrons must be over 18 to enter. This sand and rock shoreline sits adjacent to Lake Travis on 109 acres.

The park also serves as a nature preserve, so access to some areas is forbidden. Check the website for detailed rules before arriving.  

  • 7000 Comanche Road
  • Open 9 am to sunset

Check out the city parks and recreaction website for more parks, public pools, and splash pads. Or ask your new local friends about their favorite spot. When it comes to cooling off, locals know what to do in Austin, Texas.

If you want to get out on the lake, check out Float on Boat Rentals for Lake Travis boat rentals in Austin, Texas.

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