Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Austin >
May 19, 2009 08:02 AM

Swimming Hole

My husband and I are going to be visiting Austin soon and I am trying to plan a fun daytrip. I think that we would love a morning of swimming in a beautiful swimming hole followed by lunch at some really good BBQ / TexMex / Hamburger joint.

So anyone know of a great lunch spot located somewhat near a really good swimming hole? I am hoping to find something within an hour from South Austin.

Preferred ambience would be dirt floor with patio tables, maybe some live music - something along those lines. Nothing touristy like Salt Lick.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Opie's, right next to Krause Springs in Spicewood, off of Highway 71.

    2 Replies
    1. re: pankofish

      I'll second the vote for Krause Springs. It's perfect!

      1. re: jjs21582

        It used to be my favorite...until the Chronicle blabbed two years in a row and "broke the secret". It's just too damn crowded with Yah-hoos these days. Sigh.

    2. Barton Springs followed by Shady Grove might not be a bad choice if staying in town. I've never been, but I hear good things about the blue hole in Wimberly

      Never eaten out that way, though.

      1 Reply
      1. re: TroyTempest

        Just got back from a short trip to Austin from SA, Just want to say thank you. The family and I had one of our best days ever at the Blue Hole. What a great day and I am so sore. We didn't eat in Wimberly, but we did eat at the South 1st St Trailer Park on Saturday... whoppie pie, chicken and waffles, tacos and all. Thanks all.


      2. with an hour or so drive from S. Austin as the goal, the Blue Hole swimming hole in Wimberely followed by a stop at Juan Henry's might be the ticket if you want okey-doke Tex-Mex, but better food is to be had at the Leaning Pear. Local music was found at a nearby local cafe but has been put on hold while Cypress Creek Cafe is up for new ownership, last I heard.

        dirt floor, patio tables, and excellent free Tex music can be had at Gruene Hall in Gruene on a Sunday afternoon, but, as far as swimming goes, you'd be more tubing than swimming, and the throngs of tourists would probably not be yer style. However, if you're music-lovin' gets the best of you, the nearby Gristmill serves passable burgers, etc., but better food, again, is to be found elsewhere, say the River House Tea Room, a block over.

        4 Replies
        1. re: xalapenocharlie

          Actually, now that Coopers opened up in Gruene, I'd say it's become my all time favorite day trip. Lunch at Coopers (seriously already very close to the flavors of the original) and then down to the bridge to float in the creek, then to the biker bar at 3:30ish to sit out on the patio with a beer and watch the drunk tubers come wipe out in the waterfall/rapid at the end.

          1. re: amysuehere

            That sounds fun - where is the biker bar? I've geen to the Gristmill and Greune Hall several times but other than that, I don't know Greune.

            1. re: Rene

              Next time try the Gruene River Inn next door to the antique shop. I like the food much better than Gristmill and the jalapeno corn chowder is amazing.

              1. re: Rene

                I don't know the "real" name for it, but it's hard to miss. After lunch at either C's, GM or GR (amykragan, do they have an outside patio too?), go down the big hill to the bridge. Across the bridge and directly to your right is a ramshackle bar with oodles of motorcycles parked in the lot. There'll be more as the day progresses. Everyone gets there around 3 - 4 and grabs a spot on the patio. If you don't get there early, they'll all be taken up. It's absolutely hi-larious watching the drunk tubers try to maneuver the rapids right in front of the patio. Everyone cheers and scores the whipouts.

          2. wow, those are really good suggestions. Being a native Austinite, I have been to Krause Springs (great place), Blue Hole (another great place), Barton Springs (what can you say). I would mention Hamiton Pool out off of Hwy 71. Beautiful spot. I don't know if there is any water in Onion Creek right now, but Camp Ben McCullough is a place I used to go camping and swimming, it's right next to the legendary Salt Lick BBQ. But now that I know that Coopers is in New Braunsfels, I would go for a tube ride there. You can tube the rough and rowdy Guadalupe, only for the tough and young or you can tube the Comal for a relaxing trip down the river. Take you an ice chest and rent an extra tube to carry your refreshments. That is what I would do.

            Mike Carlson