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Austin Summer Getaways: Wimberley

Spring-fed watering holes and river adventures are less than an hour from Austin

Photo by Katherine Sturdivant

Jacob’s Well Natural Area

Jacob’s Well is an artesian spring that releases thousands of gallons of water a day. The crisp, clear water gushes from the Trinity Aquifer, which flows from an extensive underground cave system. Considered one of the largest fully submerged caves in Texas, the well is a popular spot to visit—both for its geological significance and the swimming water, which maintains a constant temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit. This high-demand swimming hole is less than an hour’s drive from downtown Austin. Reservations are required to take a dip.

7A Ranch

Unless you live right on the Blanco River in the heart of Wimberley, there is no public access to the cool, green water. Of course, there is always a way around everything. Head to the lodging and cabin destination, 7A Ranch, to get an all-day river pass available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (50 passes are first come, first served at the front office). Passes are $15 per person, but kiddos 5 and under are free.

Creekside Cookers BBQ

This is one of the best and most underrated barbecue restaurants in the Austin area. It’s an outdoor traditional counter-service spot right near the river where you can get Texas-style meat plates, plus fun dishes like a corn cake and a Bloody BBQ (a bloody mary with all the meats on top). Order the juicy brisket, turkey, brisket burger, mac and cheese, green beans and coleslaw. Look out for live music on weekends and river access in the summer.

Photo by Eli Cohen

Blue Hole

Cypress trees surround the crystal-clear water of this family-friendly swimming hole. It’s nestled inside Blue Hole Park, which offers plenty of hiking trails, picnic areas, community areas, a basketball court, a volleyball court and an
amphitheater. The swimming hole is sought after for its shaded waters, a refreshing reprieve from the Texas sun. Reservations, and a fee, are required for swimming.

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