July 16, 2021
You wouldn’t assume I’d have a tough time discovering somebody to go swimming with me in July in Texas. However once I proposed an tour to Barton Springs Pool not too long ago, most of my household and associates stated no manner. Why? In spite of everything, Barton Springs Pool is taken into account the crown jewel of Austin, a treasured attraction usually known as the soul of our metropolis. The catch is, the spring-fed pool is chilly — 68 to 70 levels (20 levels C) year-round. For Texans preferring bathwater-temp swimming pools and lakes, that’s Arctic. As for me, I wish to be refreshed on a sizzling day and like cool water.
Fortunately for me, my daughter unexpectedly bought the break day work and agreed to go swimming with me final week. Swimming in Barton Springs Pool is like no different place. As a result of it’s spring-fed with a flowing present, the water isn’t chlorinated. The pool itself is HUGE at 3 acres, so you may swim with out feeling crowded. You get to get pleasure from a view of downtown Austin over the deep finish. And the pool is superbly naturalistic with rocks, cliffs, and grand previous pecan bushes along with lawns for sunbathing. Like a river, it’s alive with fish, geese, the occasional lake weed, and the endangered Barton Springs salamander.
A concrete sidewalk runs round a lot of the pool, however the far aspect of the shallower finish is edged by vertical rock, with a path operating alongside the highest.
Individuals-watching on the pool is great, with a mixture of Austinites and vacationers, youngsters enjoying and previous of us making regular laps, sunbathers and floaters and snorkelers. Topless swimming and sunbathing is allowed for each women and men, so don’t gawk for those who see a number of girls with out bikini tops. That is Austin. There’s all the time one or two, and extra energy to them.
At its deepest level the pool is eighteen toes deep. A diving board within the center sees regular use by youngsters and the occasional grownup.
It’s a outstanding place. Whether or not you reside right here or are simply on the town for a go to, it’s best to swim in it not less than as soon as. Perhaps an entire lot extra for those who like it like I do.
In case you don’t go usually, or have by no means been, determining the ins and outs of visiting the pool generally is a little difficult. So let me sum all of it up for you. As of this writing (July 2021):
Hours of operation. The pool is open from 8 am to 10 pm daily besides Monday and Thursday. It’s open each day for early-morning swimming, 5 to eight a.m., and it’s free at the moment however with out lifeguards, aka swim at your individual danger. Admission can be free for late-night swimmers from 9 to 10 p.m., daily besides when it’s closed on Monday and Thursday.
Reservations/Day Passes. Covid-era advance reservations are now not required. Nevertheless, you have to purchase a day cross (besides at no cost hours; see above) both on-line or at a kiosk once you arrive; bank cards or precise change solely. Current your cross on the gate to get in, and you’ll have your hand stamped if you wish to go away and return that day. Grownup admission is $5 for Austin residents and $9 for non-residents. Youngsters and seniors are charged much less; test ages and costs on-line.
Parking. Parking is proscribed however free on weekdays. Automated pay-parking machines should be used on weekends, holidays, and through particular occasions. Think about using ride-share to keep away from the trouble of parking on weekends.
What to not carry. No coolers, meals, smoking, alcohol, or pets allowed, plus varied different guidelines, so test the web site earlier than you go. You’ll be able to picnic exterior the pool grounds in Zilker Park.
I welcome your feedback; please scroll to the top of this publish to depart one. In case you’re studying this in a subscription e mail, click on right here to go to Digging and discover the remark field on the finish of every publish.
Digging Deeper: Information and Upcoming Occasions
Be a part of the mailing listing for Backyard Spark! Hungry to find out about backyard design from the specialists? I’m internet hosting a collection of talks by inspiring backyard designers, panorama architects, and authors a number of occasions a 12 months in Austin. Talks will resume this fall. These are limited-attendance occasions that promote out rapidly, so be part of the Backyard Spark e mail listing to be notified upfront. Merely click on this hyperlink and ask to be added.
All materials © 2021 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized copy prohibited.