When the weather is hot, there are few things that can provide relief like jumping in a large pool and enjoying the feel of the cool water upon your skin. If you live in Texas, especially in the southern part of Texas closer to the city of Austin, you know how important it is to have access to a good swimming pool. The temperatures in Texas often climb well into the upper 90s and it isn't at all uncommon to see temperatures of over one hundred degrees Fahrenheit for several days straight. When it gets that hot, there are only two places that any relatively sane person wants to be. The first is in an air-conditioned building and the second is in a swimming pool. Granted, you might argue that those two locations should be reversed in order, but you can't argue that a swimming pool could definitely make the summer feel much, much better. That's true even if you don't swim and you've never particularly been a fan of water.
There are a number of things that make certain swimming pools better than others. You might consider how crowded a particular swimming pool is, not to mention the way that the facilities are maintained. That being said, there is one swimming pool in Texas that is very special, indeed. It isn't just because it's well-maintained, but because of something much more interesting. As a matter of fact, there are no less than 10 reasons why you should make seeing this particular pool for yourself a priority.
1. It's unlike most other municipal swimming pools
Barton Springs pool, located in Austin, Texas, is unique because it comes from the fourth largest natural spring in the entire state, known as Main Barton spring. Granted, the swimming pool is a municipal facility that is operated by the city, but it's definitely not like most of the other municipal pools that you're likely to find there or anywhere else in the United States.
2. It has a rather unique history
Do you know that several lawmakers have even made the trip to the park where the pool is located, named Zilker Park, in order to make state laws? It's true, and the most interesting part is that it actually happens more often than you would probably think it does.
3. It's big
Zilker Park is certainly nothing to sneeze at, coming in at roughly 350 acres and change. That gives you plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the park without feeling crowded. You can certainly say the same thing about the pool as well. As a matter of fact, the pool is about three acres in size, meaning that even on the hottest of days, you're less likely to feel crowded there than you are in a lot of the smaller pools of the concrete variety.
4. You can swim there any time you want
When it comes to this pool, you don't have to wait for the hot months of summer in order to enjoy a good swim. Since the pool is spring-fed, the water is consistently between 68 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, you can enjoy swimming just as much during the cooler months of the year as you can during some of the hottest months like July and August.
5. You can enjoy the wildlife
This area even has a specific species of lizard named for it, known as the Barton Springs salamander. Who knows, you might go out for a swim and be one of the few people to have the honor of seeing such a thing, as this particular species isn't known to be found anywhere else in the world.
6. It's a destination that everyone can enjoy
People from all walks of life come to this pool. As previously mentioned, lawmakers have come there for years to make laws, possibly because it's inspiring or because it serves as a near-perfect backdrop. Artists, entrepreneurs, business professionals and students alike flock to the pool. More importantly, nearly everyone seems to recognize that each person has their own unique sense of worth. In other words, people just seem to be a little bit nicer when they're at the pool.
7. It's part of the Edwards Aquifer system
Even if you're not from Texas, anyone from a nearby state has at least heard of the famous Edwards Aquifer, a system that runs through a good portion of the state and is responsible for providing much of its water. This pool is ultimately fed by that aquifer, something that is important to remember.
8. The staff there works tirelessly to keep things clean
One day a week, typically on Thursdays, the pool is closed down for several hours while staff members work to ensure that it is perfectly clean for both the individuals that come there to enjoy it and the wildlife that lives there. Somehow, they seem to have managed to strike a balance between these two worlds and they're making it work, something that many other places could seem to learn from.
9. It's perfect weather you like shallow or deep water
Depending on where you're swimming in the pool, the depths range from less than one foot all the way up to 18 feet. Whatever tickles your fancy, you're sure to find something that works well for you when you swim here.
10. There's even a miniature train on site
If you like the idea of spending a great afternoon with friends and family, Zilker Park, where the pool is located, seems to have it all. There's even a miniature train that you can ride through the park. This gives you the chance to enjoy everything that the park has to offer without trying to walk through more than 300 acres yourself. Whether you enjoy music, people watching, grabbing a quick snack, or a day in the water, there is something for everyone here. You won't be disappointed.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn