Earlier this summer, my daughters and I made a pact.

For a whole month, we would try to go swimming every day. It didn’t matter if it was a swimming hole, a pool or a water park so long as we could get wet and cool off.

What we discovered during out adventures is that Central Texas is brimming with fun, fresh and funky spots to make a splash. Here are 25 watery ideas complied primarily from our recent swims, with a few tried-and-true longtime favorites thrown in for good measure.

Ezra Lipson, 7, swings into the river at Camp Ben McCulloch. AMANDA VOISARD/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

American-Statesman Staff

SWIMMING HOLES AND LAKES

Camp Ben McCulloch

I couldn’t remember the last time I’d tried a rope swing, but the one here, flanked by crisp, blue-green water and conveniently located along the trail just to the right of the main parking area, was simply too inviting to pass up. Those traveling with smaller children or four-legged friends will also appreciate Camp Ben McCulloch for its shady, shallow spots — it’s the perfect place to linger on a hot August day. Camp Ben McCulloch, located in Driftwood, also offers camping. campbenmcculloch.com.

Son’s Island, Seguin

It was almost too good to be true — a secret island paradise just an hour from Austin? And yet Son’s Island was just as mesmerizing as friends told me it would be. Each reservation includes a private, thatched-roof lakeside cabana that comes with its own hammock, grill, tables and lounge chairs. You can rent a kayak, a canoe or a paddleboard on site, or enjoy beach volleyball, cornhole or a jumbo-size game of Connect Four. There are also tents available that come with two queen-size beds, two fans and lanterns. Cabanas, which cost about $150 for an eight-hour rental and include a private dock, go fast, so reserve early.  lakeplacidisland.com

Lake Travis

Every year, a group of my friends rents a party barge on Lake Travis, and every year it is among the highlights of my summer. This year was no exception. From the surprisingly cool breezes that waft across the upper deck of the barge to the speed of the slide that thrusts swimmers into the blue-green water below, you just can’t beat a day on the lake. The barge we rented with Lakeway Marina could hold up to 70 people. lakewaymarina.com

Blanco State Park

Located less than an hour from Austin, Blanco State Park is a solid choice for anyone, especially families, hoping to get back to nature. You can swim anywhere along the river, although children tend to congregate in the shallow area near Falls Dam. Fishing, boating and camping are also available. tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/blanco

Krause Springs

Located in Spicewood, about 30 miles west of Austin, Krause Springs is another favorite local swimming hole. You’ll find 32 springs on the property, which has been privately owned by the Krause family for more than 50 years, and there’s a manmade, spring-fed pool, too. Camping and RV hookups are also available. krausesprings.net

Hamilton Pool

Hamilton Pool formed after erosion caused the dome of an underground river to collapse thousands of years ago. What’s left is widely considered one of the most beautiful spots in Central Texas. It’s also one of the most popular — reservations are required to visit. parks.traviscountytx.gov/find-a-park/hamilton-pool

Lillian Florence, 8, tried to cross the lily pond bridge at Bartholomew Pool, which is located in the Mueller area. AMERICAN-STATESMAN 2014

American-Statesman Staff

SWIMMING POOLS

Landa Park Aquatic Complex, New Braunfels

The spring-fed pool at Landa Park Aquatic Complex has a steady year-round temperature of about 72 degrees and includes fun features such as a climbing net, slides and a rope swing, all overseen by lifeguards. Admission also includes access to an Olympic-size pool and kiddie area at the top of the hill, a nice option for little ones who find the spring-fed pool to be too chilly. Carve out some time to explore 51-acre Landa Park, too, where you’ll discover a miniature train, winding hiking trails, paddle boats, a playground and more. nbtexas.org/1434/Aquatic-Facilities

Bartholomew Pool

Diving board? Check. Lap pool? Check? Kiddie pools? Check. In addition to all the essentials, this Mueller area pool is home to tube slides and even a "lily pad bridge" for older kids to wiggle and wobble their way across. If you want to make a day of it in Mueller, start at the pool, then head to the Thinkery, the Alamo Drafthouse, Lick Honest Ice Creams or any of the many attractions in the area. austintexas.gov/department/bartholomew-pool-project

Barton Springs Pool

Barton Springs, the 68ish-degree, 3-acre spring-fed pool inside Zilker Park, is the epicenter of summer in Austin, with everyone from endurance swimmers and sunbathers to people-watchers and adventurous youngsters finding their place here. It’s a must-do for anyone who lives in, or visits, our city. It’s also conveniently located across the street from the Beverly S. Sheffield Zilker Hillside Theatre, where this year’s free Zilker Summer Musical, "All Shook Up," is running though Aug. 18. Arrive around 6 p.m. to save your spot on the hill with a blanket, swim at the springs, then return to the hill around 8:30 p.m. for the show. austintexas.gov/department/barton-springs-pool

RELATED: Zilker Summer Musical celebrates 60 years with ‘All Shook Up’

Northwest Pool

You have to love the laid-back vibe of this Northwest Austin pool, which courts families of all ages with its wide, shallow kiddie pool, many open-swim areas and huge deep end, complete with a diving board. The adjacent Beverly Sheffield park, with its basketball courts, tennis courts, trails and playground, is also worth a visit. austintexas.gov/department/northwest-pool

Deep Eddy Pool

From its blue-and-green-hued mosaic mural to its perfect-temperature water, Deep Eddy is another Austin classic. Once the centerpiece of a popular resort, these days you’re likely to find yourself surrounded by families here who flock to its beach-entry shallow end. Its lap lanes are a favorite of endurance swimmers, too. The pool can get busy, but it rarely feels overcrowded. austintexas.gov/department/deep-eddy-pool

Kyle Pool, Kyle

Located about 30 minutes from downtown in Kyle, the Kyle Pool is understated yet satisfying. From slides to water features to lap lanes, you can find fun here. cityofkyle.com/recreation/general-information

Big Stacy Pool

This spring-fed pool keeps it simple, offering a low-key place for lap swimmers and families to cool off near downtown Austin. The best part? Admission is always free. austintexas.gov/department/big-stacy-pool

Mark Navaro, 11, shoots the basketball at the Rock’N River Water Park in Round Rock in 2017. NICK WAGNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

American-Statesman Staff

WATER PARKS

Rock’N River Water Park

This Round Rock water park underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation in early 2017 that doubled its physical size and increased capacity from 600 to 1,200. The lazy river, frog slide and train-theme water feature that enticed visitors before the renovation are still there, joined by features such as a humongous tipping bucket that provides monsoon-like downpours in the Splashville water playground and a rock wall where there’s no need for a harness — the pool below will break your fall. Time your visit with a Round Rock Express baseball game at the Dell Diamond, which is just down the street. roundrocktexas.gov

Quest ATX

Monkey bars! A rock wall! A giant inflatable seesaw! When we saw pictures of the new Quest ATX water park in Southeast Austin, we couldn’t resist the temptation to go. We’re glad we did. Our 50-minute session was filled with fun for every member of our family. The open water obstacle course can get hot in the summer sun, though, so wear water shoes. questatx.com

Waterloo Adventures

Waterloo Adventures is similar to Quest ATX but located on Lake Travis — a boat takes you to Adventure Island, where your 45-minute session on the challenge course awaits. Visitors also receive unlimited access to the nearby aqua park, and food and drinks (including alcohol) are available. Make a reservation in advance. Life jackets are provided and required. waterlooadventures.com

RELATED: 4 things to know about Austin’s floating water parks

Schlitterbahn New Braunfels

Schlitterbahn New Braunfels, which opened in 1979, courts visitors from around the United States thanks to its 70 acres of attractions ranging from the Cliffhanger tube chute and Soda Straw body slides to the Polywog Pond Kiddie Park and Kinderhaven wading pool. Our favorite feature is the Torrent River in the Blastenhoff section of the park, where crashing waves rock your tube at every turn. You can even stay the night at the Schlitterbahn Resort New Braunfels — resort guests receive special benefits including early access to the Blastenhoff section before the park opens to the public each day. schlitterbahn.com/new-braunfels

Volente Beach Water Park, Leander

Located on the shores of Lake Travis, this small but entertaining water park features a family-friendly pirate ship, a relaxing lazy lagoon and some higher adrenaline rides that thrill-seekers will appreciate. There’s also a beach, volleyball courts and picnic tables. When you’ve worked up an appetite, grab dinner at the adjacent Beachside Billy’s restaurant. Volente Beach Water Park also hosts the Alamo Drafthouse’s Jaws on the Water — as in you watch the movie "Jaws" while floating in Lake Travis. Check website for future dates. waterparkaustin.com

RELATED: ‘Jaws on the Water’ is a scary good time

Typhoon Texas, Pflugerville

If you want the thrills of a big water park but only have a few hours to spare, Typhoon Texas might be for you. Located 40 minutes from downtown Austin in Pflugerville, Typhoon Texas features a Gully Washer children’s playland with seven slides, 100 spray areas and an 800-gallon water bucket that douses the entire space; Tidal Wave Bay, a wave pool that generates waves as high as 3 feet tall; and the Lone Star Racers head-first competitive waterslide. There’s a second Typhoon Texas in Katy near Houston. typhoontexas.com/austin

Flophouze Hotel in Round Top has a pool made from a shipping container. Kristin Finan/American-Statesman

American-Statesman Staff

ROAD-TRIP WORTHY

SeaWorld Aquatica, San Antonio

It goes without saying that a trip to SeaWorld can get hot in the summer. Thankfully, SeaWorld Aquatica lets you make like a penguin and chill out. This water park located on SeaWorld San Antonio property is filled with splashy family fun, including a 48-foot-tall tube ride, 450-foot-long body slides and Stingray Falls, which takes visitors on a four-seated raft into an underwater grotto where stingrays and tropical fish are waiting to greet you. Go early to avoid the crowds. aquatica.com/san-antonio

Morgan’s Inspiration Island, San Antonio

Morgan’s Inspiration Island is the world’s first ultra-accessible splash park, designed with special-needs individuals in mind but available and welcoming to everyone. The water park, which cost $17 million, includes rides and play areas that incorporate water cannons, geysers, tipping buckets and more. Plan to spend a day here — your ticket includes admission to its sister property, Morgan’s Wonderland theme park, too. morganswonderland.com/inspirationisland

Flophouze Hotel, Round Top

This newish hotel in Round Top, located about an hour and a half from Austin, is made entirely of shipping containers, so it’s only fitting that its pool would be, too. The pool is small, but with one side that’s completely clear, it’s also an awesome place to snap a photo or two. flophouze.com

RELATED: You won’t believe this Texas hotel and pool made of shipping container

JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa

My husband and I left Austin at 5 p.m., and less than two hours later were lounging poolside, drinks in hand, as our three children splashed in the sprawling pool at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa. Think you don’t have time for a vacation this summer? This resort will make you think again. One can’t-miss feature? The 9-acre River Bluff Water Experience, where a 1,100-foot lazy river, two hot tubs, five water slides, two body slides and numerous pools await. Our daughters, 9 and 6, enjoyed repeated trips down the Cibolo Falls Tube Slide, while our 5-year-old son enjoyed digging in the sand at the on-site beach. marriott.com/hotels/travel/satjw-jw-marriott-san-antonio-hill-country-resort-and-spa

RELATED: Only have 24 hours? Escape to the Hill Country

Great Wolf Lodge, Grapevine

If you’re traveling with kids, Great Wolf Lodge, located a little over three hours from Austin in Grapevine, is a must-do. Because the water park is indoors, weather and temperature are not an issue. The hotel is also home to an outdoor Howlers Peak Ropes Course, where you can fly through the air in the safety of a climbing harness (closed-toe shoes required); the Scooops Kid Spa, where our daughters enjoyed manicures from atop a banana-split throne; and nightly dance parties. greatwolf.com

Hotel Derek, Houston

It’s hard to beat the location of Hotel Derek, a boutique hotel that’s part of the Destination Hotels collection in Houston’s Galleria and River Oaks District. It’s also hard to beat its inviting modern pool, which comes complete with its own movie wall. destinationhotels.com/hotel-derek