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7 outdoor marvels to explore in Central Texas this summer

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Once again, Texas’ famously warm weather is upon us which means it is time to get outside and enjoy it.


Nature in Central Texas is one of the biggest contributors to the magic and in the Lone Star State, there is a lot to see and do. From the only earthquake cave, to the oldest swimming pool, to the second-largest submerged cave in Texas, it can all be found in Austin or a few miles beyond.

Both near and (sort of) far, here are just a few of the outdoor marvels to enjoy nearby.

Deep Eddy Pool | 401 Deep Eddy Ave., Austin

Built in 1915, Deep Eddy Pool is the oldest swimming pool in Texas. The pool gets its name from an eddy formed by a large boulder in the center and the concrete pool was built around it. The shallow end is currently closed until further notice but the pool is still open for lap swimming. Tickets are $5 for residents.

Enchanted Rock | 16710 RR 965, Fredericksburg

Whether you like to camp, backpack, hike, rock climb, geocache or stargaze, Enchanted Rock is an Austinite’s rite of passage. There are more than 11 miles to traverse, which you can explore with an interactive trails map, plus rock climbing instruction. Entrance fees are $8 for adults and no swimming or biking is allowed.

Jacob’s Well | 1699 Mt Sharp Rd., Wimberly

If you’re willing to make a day trip out of it, Jacob’s Well is an unforgettable natural pool experience. The second-largest submerged cave in Texas, you can gaze over the deep blue spot that stretches more than 140 feet deep and is fed by the Trinity Aquifer. Visitors brave enough might even try cliff diving into the abyss. Reservations are required for swimmers and tickets start at $5.

Lake Travis Waterloo Adventures | 13987 FM2769, Leander

Opening May 14, Waterloo Adventures offers over two football field’s worth of floating waterpark activities, floating obstacles, beach games, lakeside lounges and lakeside views as far as the eye can see. Reservations are required and tickets are $63 per person.

Mount Bonnell | 3800 Mount Bonnell Rd., Austin

Some of the most incredible panoramic views of the city are found at Mount Bonnell. Despite being one of the most scenic spots in the city, climbing to the peak is a very short hike and has plenty of seating at the top. Stay for awhile for a picnic or make the short trip west to the Pennybacker Bridge Trail to see it from the other side.

Sculpture Falls | 3755 S Capital of Texas Hwy B, Austin

A hidden gem inside the nearly 8-mile Barton Creek Trail, Sculpture Falls is one of many sights to enjoy along your hike. Several small waterfalls will guide you to the much larger falls, where you can spread out on a beach towel and enjoy the cool of the pool that stays 70 degrees year-round.

Wonder Cave | 1000 Prospect St., San Marcos

Inside the famous Wonder World Park in San Marcos, a visit will take you inside the Balcones Fault Line Cave, which is reportedly the only real earthquake cave open to the public. Along the one-mile tour, visitors will see strata formations, fossilized prehistoric life and gigantic boulders suspended in time. Tickets start at $21.95 and include access to all Wonder World attractions.

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