Hot? Not for long. Even when the temperature soars, you’ll be shivering in a jiff after jumping into this icy-cold natural spring pool. Located in Zilker Park and fed by the Edwards Aquifer, Barton Springs is a huge natural pool that’s 1000 feet long and a chilly 68°F year-round.
Partially shaded by century-old pecan trees, the lawn around the pool is a social scene in itself, and the place gets packed during the summer. Jumping into the cold water on a hot day is a long-time Austin tradition—a polar-bear plunge that often results in a fit of hysterical giggles for some reason that anthropologists should probably study.
The pool opens early and closes late, so you can freeze your butt off for most of the day. Do be forewarned, though, that the pool is closed Thursdays from 9am to 7pm for cleaning. In winter, admission is free.