While it is true that Austin is a booming metropolis the city is blessed with natural wonders including two of the most beautiful natural swimming pools you will ever see. Both were held sacred to the Tonkawa Apaches and are held sacred to Austinites today. In the summer the temperatures often soar above 100 degrees but you can always beat the heat by taking a plunge in Barton Springs Pool which is a three acre spring fed pool that holds steady at 68 degrees year round.  Part of the crown jewel of Austin - the 358 acre Zilker Park which includes part of the extensive hike and bike trail, Barton Springs Pool is centrally located downtown a short distance from Congress Avenue, the Capitol and the Umlauff Sculpture Garden. Home to the endangered Barton Springs salamander, It is a natural wonder not to be missed especially on full moon nights when locals gather to howl at the moon. The good news- admission is often free and when admission is charged seniors get in for $4. austintexas.gov/department/barton-springs-poolHamilton Pool.jpgBarton Springs PoolBarton Springs Pool

Far from the madding crowd and hustle-bustle of the city is another natural wonder - Hamilton Pool Preserve located 23 miles from the city center.  The jade green pool is carved from limestone and was created thousands of years ago when the dome of an underground river collapsed.  A piece of Eden the pool has a 50 foot waterfall, stalactites hanging from the ceiling and moss and fern covered walls.  The preserve has hiking trails and is home to the endangered golden-cheeked warbler for birding enthusiasts. Reservations are required between May 30 and September 30 and senior cost of admission is $5.

parks.traviscountytx.gov/reservations/hamilton-pool 

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