Texas Living

Roundup: Complete Guide to Bodies of Water in Texas

By Tyler Hicks 4.10.23

Calling all lovers of good vibes and aquatic adventures: It’s the most wonderful time of the year. You won’t see Santa, but you’ll see plenty of sun — and you can enjoy it aloft a floaty in any number of our state’s springs, pools, lakes, rivers, and beaches.

We’ve created a concise yet comprehensive guide to some of the many magnificent bodies of water in Texas available to you and your crew just in time for summer. Whether you love lounging in a pool, exploring a beach, or navigating the gorgeous Gulf, we’re here to break down your many options.

Swim safely, friends!

bodies of water in Texas

Natural Springs

While the rest of the state starts to warm up, keep cool at one of these natural springs. Did you know that most natural springs in Texas run at a perfect 70 degrees all year long? Refresh your mind and body with a relaxing dip at Barton Springs or visit the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool at Balmorhea State Park. For those looking for a thrill, look no further than Jacob’s Well, where you can explore one of the state’s longest underwater cave systems. Daredevils are welcome — especially if you love an invigorating swim. Explore our guide to natural springs in Texas here.

bodies of water in Texas
Photo by Elizabeth Lavin

Natural Pools

Texas has 367 miles of coastline and is perhaps best known for its picturesque lakes, but don’t overlook the hidden gems that are Texas’ natural pools. Natural pools, often fed by springs or formed by collapsed river canyons, offer some of the best swimming spots to cool off this summer. Explore our guide to natural pools in Texas here.

bodies of water in Texas


It’s tough to beat a good Texas lake weekend. So, fuel up the car, pack plenty of snacks, and bring the fam to one of the Lone Star State’s top-tier lakes. Lake Travis, nestled just outside of Austin, boasts more than 270 miles of spectacular shoreline suited for all lovers of boats, rafting, skiing, or the joy of fishing. For a more relaxing getaway, visit Lake Conroe, which is situated among a seemingly endless strand of picture-perfect pines. And last but certainly not least, Sabine Lake is a hit among fishing enthusiasts and professional anglers alike. Explore our guide to Texas lakes here. Bonus: Learn the forgotten history of Texas’ human-made lakes.

Go on an aquatic adventure this summer and explore Texas’ many springs, pools, lakes, and beaches.


We bet that when you think of beaches, you don’t necessarily think of Texas. But don’t be fooled —plenty of perfect beaches are within driving distance. Boca Chica Beach near Brownsville is a popular destination for kayakers and windsurfers, Crystal Beach is a birdwatcher’s haven and also makes for a great camping spot, and the more popular Galveston Island is a little slice of alluring Americana. Whether you prefer an active getaway or are more of a beach bum, these beaches have something for everyone. Explore Texas’ best beach spots here.

Check out our complete guide to Texas water sports here.

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