7 Best Places to Get Your Feet Wet in Texas

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Hamilton Pool is one of the best Texas swimming holes
Photo credit: Photo Images on Canva


When the scorching Texas heat reaches its peak, Texans like me will tell you that the only way to cool off is to get your feet wet. From stunning beaches to tranquil lakes and winding rivers, Texas offers a diverse array of destinations to cool off. Whether you’re craving a relaxing day lounging by the shore or seeking an adventurous water sports experience, the Lone Star State has something for everyone.

Dive into the crystal-clear waters of South Padre Island, renowned for its pristine beaches and thrilling water activities. For a more serene escape, head to the scenic Caddo Lake or the majestic Guadalupe River, where you can float peacefully while surrounded by nature’s beauty. And if you’re looking for a family-friendly outing, Texas’ water parks provide a splashing good time, with thrilling slides, wave pools and lazy rivers to beat the heat.

Here are the best places in Texas to get your feet wet including some hidden gems that only the locals know!

The Guadalupe River is a great place to float with the family.
The beautiful Guadalupe river during the fall months. Photo credit: Photo Images on Canva

The Guadalupe River

This is easily the most popular river to float in Texas. Located near San Antonio in the Hill Country, this river has miles of tubing areas so there is enough space for everyone even on the busiest days of the year. This is one of our favorite things to do during the spring and summer months.

There are several places along the river that will rent you a tube to float on and they’ll shuttle you to a spot where you can get into the river. The flow of the river is always changing so it’s good to check the current elevation ahead of time to see the floating conditions.

Caddo–the most beautiful and mysterious natural lake in Texas. Photo Credit: Photo Images on Canva

Caddo Lake

Caddo Lake is an East Texas treasure, it’s one of the largest water forests in the world! This lake is unlike any other because of the Bald Cypress trees draped with Spanish moss that make traveling down this lake both beautiful and mysterious. In fact, Caddo Lake has been named the land of Bigfoot. There is even a Bigfoot Research Center in nearby Jefferson, TX. We highly recommend booking a boat tour to experience the beauty and wildlife at Caddo Lake.

One of the best Texas swimming holes is Hamilton Pool
Nasreen took a day trip to visit the beautiful Hamilton Pool Swimming Hole. Photo credit: Nasreen Stump

Hamilton Pool

Hamilton Pool is one of the best swimming holes in Texas. This famous swimming hole is located about 45 minutes from Austin. The historic jade green pool is made from the water coming off a 50-foot waterfall. It’s truly something to see. Reservations are required to enter the Hamilton Pool Preserve during the busy summer months.

Weather conditions and road construction cause the pool to close from time to time so check the website before visiting. This is a great place to bring family and friends to enjoy an afternoon relaxing, swimming and soaking in the beauty of this natural swimming hole.

Epic waters is the best indoor water parks in Texas
There are so many fun water rides at Epic Water in Grand Prairie, TX. Photo credit: Breeze Leonard

Epic Waters – Texas Water Parks

If you’re looking for indoor water parks to escape the hot sun in summer or trying to get out of the house during the winter months–this is the place to go. Epic Waters is known for its giant retractable roof and truly epic water slides. You can relax while floating the lazy river, learn to boogie board on the FlowRider and enjoy other water activities at this 80,000 square-foot facility.

South Padre Island is one of the nicest beaches in Texas when your not visiting one of the water parks in Texas
The beautiful South Padre Island is an affordable beach to visit with the family. Photo credit: Photo Images on Canva

South Padre Island

South Padre Island is a 34-mile long town on a barrier island on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Known for they’re sandy beaches, wonderful local restaurants and a wide variety of activities for the whole family to enjoy. This is one of the best affordable beaches in Texas.

SheBuysTravel Tip: Avoiding planning a visit to South Padre Island during spring break. This is a popular spring break destination for Texas college students.

Schlitterbahn is the one of the best water parks in Texas
My three kids love our visits to Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, TX. Photo credit: Breeze Leonard

Schlitterbahn – Water Parks in Texas

Everyone should visit the Schlitterbahn Texas family water park. The Schlitterbahn New Braunfels started as a resort; the rich history and story behind Schlitterbahn are what make it unique. Much more than wave pools, water slides and tube slides, the Schlitterbahn water parks are also home to the Master Blaster (an uphill water coaster) which has been voted the BEST water ride in the WORLD!

Get all the info you need from our complete guide for visiting Schlitterbahn with kids under 10. This is one of the best water parks in Texas!

Rockport, TX is one of the nicest beaches in Texas when your not visiting one of the water parks in Texas
Rockport, TX is one of the cleanest beaches in all of Texas. Photo credit: Photo Images on Canva

Rockport Beach

The beautiful Rockport Beach a small beach with a big story. We feel that it’s only right to add Rockport Beach to this list because this area was hit the hardest during Hurricane Harvey in 2017. The heart of Texas could be found during the relief efforts to help get this community back on its feet.

In addition to being a resilient community, many of the reviews online will rave about how peaceful and clean the beach in Rockport is. Did you know that it’s the first beach in Texas distinguished as a “Blue Wave Beach’? This means it meets environmental standards set by the National Clean Beaches Coalition. It’s a relaxing destination on the eastern coast of Texas.

Other Places to Get Your Feet Wet in Texas

Here are some additional places to cool off at in Texas:

  • Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine – an indoor water park
  • Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio
  • Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in Arlington
  • Schlitterbahn Galveston – an outdoor water park south of Houston
  • Seaworld San Antonio
  • Galveston Island
  • Splashway Waterpark – an outdoor water park
  • Hawaiian Falls Waterpark – an outdoor water park
  • Aquatica San Antonio – an outdoor water park
  • Castaway Cove waterpark in Wichita Falls
  • Wet’n’Wild Waterworld
  • Typhoon Texas Waterpark
  • NRH2O Family Waterpark in North Richland Hills

More Family Vacation Ideas in Texas

10 Things to Do in Waco that Aren’t Magnolia Market

Where to Find Texas Bluebonnets

Best Family Resorts in Texas

15 Great Texas Road Trips for Families

Breeze Leonard is a travel enthusiast and the affiliate manager for SheBuysTravel. A marketing and advertising specialist, she is also a social media strategist and travel writer, with several years’ experience writing for digital media. A Texan born and raised, Breeze left a corporate career to fulfill her passion for seeing the world with her three little girls. Their adventures have taken them across the globe, spanning visits to favorite Caribbean isles and motoring cross-country in an RV through some of America’s most beloved national parks. She believes that no adventure is too small and that every memory made, good or bad, is part of the family’s story.
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