AUSTIN (KAMC/KLBK) — As the school year comes to a close with summer and its heat right around the corner, people may be searching for ways to keep cool with swimming pools and springs in Austin.
While options are limited on what pools or springs are set to reopen as COVID-19 pandemic guidelines change and restrictions ease, Austinites can still find safe ways to take a dip and cool down this summer.
City of Austin public pools
Springwoods Pool at 13320 Lyndhurst St., opened in March and is the only pool in north Austin that is open. Currently, Springwoods Pool is not charging for entry and the Aquatics Division is not processing season passes at this time, according to the City of Austin website.
Bartholomew Regional Aquatic Center, at 1800 E. 51st St., opened in April with limited hours and is the only pool open in the east Austin area, according to the city website. Slides and activity pools will not be open.
The Big Stacy neighborhood pool in south Austin, at 700 E. Live Oak Drive, opened in April and is operating with limited hours. Big Stacy is the only pool open in south Austin.
Deep Eddy Regional Aquatic Center at 401 Deep Eddy Drive is the only pool open in west Austin four days a week. Currently, Deep Eddy Pool is not charging and the Aquatics Division is not processing season passes at this time.
The City of Austin said it wants to remind the public to continue to follow COVID-19 guidelines while using any of its parks of aquatic facilities.
“Currently Austin Parks and Recreation requires the use of a mask while inside all pool facilities unless you are actively swimming. Additionally, we screen guests prior to entry and anyone with COVID-19 symptoms is asked not to enter,” the city said in a statement.
Springs are open, but be ready for changes
While Barton Springs Pool in Zilker Park will reopen, Austinites will have to reserve their spots beginning May 21, according to the city website.
Reservation time slots will be available in two-hour increments beginning at 8 a.m. until the pool closes at 10 p.m., the website said.
Don’t want to wait for a reservation at a spring? There are other options.
The Barton Springs Greenbelt trail is another option for people who don’t want to wait to get in at Barton Springs.
According to Austintop50.com, the trail follows Barton Creek for eight miles from Zilker Park to the trail end at Scottish Woods.
Austinite Blake Calfin said he enjoys swimming at the greenbelt, because he said there is less foot traffic, and he and his girlfriend, Latisha Francis, feel more comfortable with social distancing.
“Even on a busy day there’s plenty of room to spread out,” Calfin said. “It’s also very scenic, the water’s usually not too cold, and it’s just a beautiful place to swim, as there are multiple swimming holes along the trail.”
Additionally, Calfin and Francis said the water in the greenbelt is not as cold as Barton Springs.
Calfin and Francis said they also enjoy kayaking at Lakeway City Park.
Besides kayaking, there are other water activities, such as swimming in designated areas and fishing, according to the City Park website. The city park is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Lady Bird Lake is also a popular spot for kayaking or paddle boarding, with a number of rental places nearby.
Day swimming passes are available at various Austin hotels
According to resortpass.com, day passes to go swimming at Austin-area hotels are available ranging anywhere from $25 to $100 per person. It has a list on its website with reservation options and COVID-19 safety protocols in place.
Hotels with day pass options include the Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt, Westin Austin Downtown, Omni Austin Hotels, JW Marriott Austin, Lakeway Resort and Spa, Canopy by Hilton Austin Downtown, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol and the Fairmont Austin.
The website said another option is to search for locations that are open and see if day passes are available. If dates show as unavailable, that means either the hotel is booked on passes for the day or not being offered at that location.