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Dive in to summer with Camp Austin360

Staff Writer
Austin 360
You’ll need to make a reservation to swim at Hamilton Pool, but it’s worth it.

We’re at the midpoint of summer — have you checked out Camp Austin360? It’s not a place, but an invitation to you to recapture the spirit of summer camp fun. This is your chance to try something new and maybe feel like a kid again.

Earn your swimming badge by checking out one of these Central Texas watering holes.

(Note: It’s always a good idea to call or check websites for updated information about hours and closings before you venture out.)

Savor the springs in Spicewood. With its knobby rocks, shell-filled sand and cool water, Krause Springs remains a fun place for a summer splash. Owned by the Krause family for more than 50 years, the property includes springs that feed both a natural and man-made pool, both of which are available for swimming. The springs are in Spicewood, about 30 minutes from Austin. krausesprings.net

Dare to dive in. The swimming area at Blanco State Park, about an hour from Austin, is centered on a dam, courting everyone from daring teens who splash in its rushing waters to youngsters who traverse the top of it as they squeeze the hands of their adult companions. Originally used as a campground by early Texas settlers, the 105-acre park now offers swimming, kayaking, fishing, boating and camping. tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/blanco

Reserve your swimming spot. From its native birds to its 50-foot waterfall to the quarter-mile hike you take to get down by the water, Hamilton Pool and its 232 acres are a joy to discover. In fact, it’s become so popular that you now have to make a reservation to visit. It’s worth it. parks.traviscountytx.gov/find-a-park/Hamilton-pool

Laze around on Lake Austin. Sure, you’re in the heart of Austin, but when you visit Emma Long Metropolitan Park, also known as City Park, you might feel like you’ve been transported to the beach. This park on Lake Austin is ideal for family picnics and lazy weekend swims in the dedicated swimming area. You’ll also find a boat dock, motorcycle trail, fishing pier, basketball and volleyball courts and 12 miles of trails. austintexas.gov/department/city-parks

Discover Secret Beach. No visit to Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Metropolitan Park is complete without a stop at Secret Beach, a stretch of sand within the park along the Colorado River that’s great for wading, sunning and finding shells. Other amenities include baseball and softball fields, disc golf, picnic shelter and tables, 2.3 miles of trails and volleyball courts. austinparks.org/our-parks.html?parkid=325

— Kristin Finan

Check out more ideas for summer fun at specials.mystatesman.com/camp-austin360.

Coming next week in Austin360: Nothing cools you off quite like a frozen cocktail. Arianna Auber has your guide to finding the frosty drinks around town.

On “Statesman Shots”