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The Best Ways to Stay Cool This Summer

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Beat the heat at these watery destinations in and near Austin.

By Kaiti Neuman

It’s no secret Texas summers are brutal. Daily temperatures often top 100 degrees, and you could bet money on humidity levels exceeding comfortable levels. Austinites are known for being lovers of the great outdoors, but with weather like this, a picnic or a walk in the park can feel more like a punishment than a fun way to spend a sunny afternoon. Here are some of our favorite summertime spots to have fun and keep cool.

Hamilton Pool Preserve

Reservations are required to visit Hamilton Pool Preserve in Dripping Springs, Texas, but the breathtaking photo opportunities are worth it. Hike the stunning nature trails or swim in the sparkling pools. The preserve is the result of a collapsed underground river so there are many rules focused on maintaining the ecosystem. Sadly, this does include a no-pets policy, but once you set eyes on the scenery, it’s easy to understand why.

Fly Lake Austin

Are you longing to try something new? Grab a Flyboard or Jetovator at Fly Lake Austin and get the jetpack experience of a lifetime. Soar over the waters of Lake Austin with your best friend or arrange the most exciting corporate event of the season for your company. If this sounds like the idea you’ve been waiting for while trying to plan that adventurous friend’s bachelorette party, head to the Fly Lake Austin website to learn more. Whatever the occasion, there’s no way anyone will remember the ridiculously high temperatures while cruising in a jetpack above the lake.

Krause Springs

Less highly trafficked than some of its counterparts, Krause Springs in Spicewood, Texas, is a terrific way to enjoy a cool dip set against a stunning background. Krause Springs opened in 1955 and offers everything from swimming to a butterfly garden to campsites. So, grab your camping gear and head to Spicewood.

Jaws on the Water

If you’re a movie buff and have the guts, get tickets to one of Alamo Drafthouse’s Rolling Roadshow showings of Jaws on the Water at Beachside Billy’s in Leander, Texas. Get comfy in your inner tube, sip your drink and try not to wonder too much about what may be lurking in the waters below.

NLand Surf Park

Despite popular belief, it’s actually possible to surf in Central Texas. Head to NLand Surf Park, the only place of its kind in North America, which offers lessons for all ages and experience levels, in addition to events, a restaurant, a juice bar and even boasts its own brewing company. Now you finally can have a good excuse for using the phrase “Kowabunga, dude,” without having to travel all the way to California or Hawaii.

River Tubing with ATXcursions or Float Fest

If the thought of enduring another 100-degree day is too much to bear, rent a tube from ATXcursions and float down the refreshingly chilly San Marcos River in San Marcos, Texas. For music lovers, get tickets to Float Fest and listen to artists such as Tame Impala, Snoop Dogg, Modest Mouse, Glass Animals and more. For dates and ticket information, visit the Float Fest website.

Central Texas Waterparks

Spending a day at the waterpark is a classic summer choice, a family-friendly one as well. Fortunately, Austin and its surrounding areas have plenty to choose from: Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, Texas; Typhoon Texas Austin in Pflugerville, Texas; Volente Beach Resort & Waterpark in Leander, Texas; and The Rock’n River Family Aquatic Center in Round Rock, Texas. If you are feeling up for a road trip, find the world’s longest lazy river at BSR Cable Park in Waco, Texas.

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