There are so many fun and amazing things to do in the city of Austin that it is almost difficult to name something as “must-visit.” After all, the city is full of must-visit attractions! However, one of the most unique places in an especially unique city is the Barton Springs Pool. This isn’t your standard public swimming pool. Barton Springs Pool is truly one of the crown jewels of the city and a testament to Austin’s commitment to preserving the natural landscape of the city.
Austin, Texas may be most famous for its music and art scene, but it has a few attractions that are unknown to the average tourist, such as the Barton Springs Pool. If you’re used to swimming laps at the Y, you will be pleasantly surprised by what this three-acre, the natural pool has to offer. It has an interesting history and many nearby activities that visitors can enjoy. Read more about the top things to do in Austin Texas below:
Barton Springs was originally considered sacred water by the Tonkawa Native American Tribe. The tribe used the springs for certain rituals. Many years later the city of Austin was incorporated, and Willie Barton settled the springs area. He promoted the springs to people as a place to swim. The pool continued to thrive in the 20th century. Robert Redford himself learned to swim at the pool and continues to be an advocate for its preservation. Today, both swimmers and salamanders enjoy the waters, which remain an average of 70 degrees all year round. If you’re interested in history, learning about this will probably be one of your top things to do in Austin Texas!
Planning a Visit
The pool is open every day, except for Thursday when it is cleaned. In recent years the pool has had problems with contamination and has been shut down several times. The contamination tends to happen after heavy rain and travelers are advised to call the hotline at 512 476-9044, to make sure that the pool is open.
Only experienced, adult swimmers should come to the pool early in the morning or late at night. Although the pool is open from 5:00 am to 10:00 pm, there is only a lifeguard present from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. The pool is flanked by two dams and floodgates on the dam are closed when visitors are swimming, to ensure the water level stays high. You get to decide the top things to do in Austin Texas!
Activities at Zilker Park
After your swim, you will want to check out all that Zilker Park has to offer. Visitors can rent boats or visit the park beautiful Botanical Garden. The interactive exhibit, “Splash” is located right near the pool. The exhibit uses hands-on methods to teach kids about the importance of pollution-free waters. The Austin Nature and Science center offers exhibits on many kinds of wildlife.
About Barton Springs Pool
Located in the middle of Zilker’s Park lies Barton Springs Pool. This three-acre public swimming pool—yes, you read that right—is truly an outdoor oasis in Austin. The water is not chlorinated or brought in artificially, but rather it flows from natural underground springs. This means that the temperature of the water is naturally maintained at 68 to 70 degrees all year round! The depth of the pool ranges from 0 to 18 feet. The pool attracts people from all walks of life and visitors and locals alike. The number of annual visitors averages about 800,000 people, making it one of the most popular destinations in Austin.
Visitor Information and Hours
Barton Springs Pool is not just a tourist destination for people; it is also home to the Barton Springs Salamander, a federally protected species. In order to maintain the pool for people and wildlife alike, it is closed every Thursday from 9am to 7pm for cleaning. The pool is open seven days a week, from 5am until 10pm.
From 8am to 9pm, the pool is monitored by lifeguards and you will be charged an admission fee. All other times it is free to enter, but swim at your own risk. Discounted tickets are available for Austin residents. For non-residents, tickets are free for children under one year, $3 for children 1-11 years, $4 for juniors 12-17 years, and $8 for adults 18 and over. Seniors 62 years and older enjoy discounted admission of only $4.
Located in the Barton Springs Pool bathhouse, Splash is an interactive exhibit about the Edward Aquifer and how it contributes to the creation of the Barton Springs Pool. Multimedia displays and interactive exhibits will delight both the young and old in this simulated limestone cave. This is a great little activity at the Barton Springs Pool that allows you to cool off inside and learn something new! Check out the Austin and Texas Hill Country Small Group Tour. Experience the Austin Live Music Crawl! Check out our welcoming 1-bedroom vacation rentals.
Top Things To Do In Austin Texas
A day of swimming, boating and learning can wear a body out. You will want a comfortable place to relax, eat and sleep after a day at the pool. We can help you find the perfect place to say at Austin Rentals. Please call us at 888-503-9661 or visit our website today. Check out our 1-bedroom rentals now!