We think Austin has some of the best places in the world to swim (musician Loudon Wainwright agrees). Here are some of our favorites!
Barton Springs: The heart and soul of Austin! Spring fed, more than 200 meters from one end to the other -- perfect open water practice for beginners and experienced triathletes, alike! Best enjoyed in the morning, especially in summer. Water temperature is always ~ 68 degrees. In winter, plenty of triathletes don wetsuits, but many do not. Admission is $3 for residents and $8 for non-residents. Lifeguards on duty from 8 AM to 9 pm. Free swim-at-your-own-risk from 5 AM to 8 AM and from 9 PM to 10 PM. Also free October through February. Closed Thursdays for cleaning and after a heavy rain. The Springs is located in Zilker Park, just south of the River.
Deep Eddy Pool: A favorite of local swimmers and triathletes. Spring fed lap lanes, slightly warmer than Barton Springs. The pool overlooks the Colorado River and is a short stroll from the Hike and Bike Trail at Ladybird Lake. Each pool length is 33 1/3 yards, so 53 lengths make a mile. Even when the pool is at its busiest, you usually only need to wait a few minutes to find a spot in a split or circle-swim lane. There is also a recreational pool for non-lap swimmers. Like Barton Springs, Deep Eddy has changing rooms, showers, and water fountains. The pool is open daily from 8 AM to 8 PM, and lifeguards are always on duty. The same fees apply as Barton Springs.
Quarry Lake at LifeTime Fitness: This North Austin jewel provides excellent open water swimming opportunities, from solo practice to race swims. A full loop of the lake is 750 meters. The lake is surrounded by a 1K dirt running trail, making it the perfect place for a brick workout. Quarry Lake is available for public use if you purchase a day pass with the gym (around $25). Located at 4210 West Braker Lane.