Summer is right around the corner, which means it’s time to plan out where your next favorite swimming hole will be. From the cool springs found in Florida to the hot southern waters of Texas, the swimming holes in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York to the natural waterslides in North Carolina—these underrated spots will be sure to make your summer unforgettable.
Devil’s Den Prehistoric Spring; Williston, Florida
Devil’s Den looks otherworldly with a sunken roof that lets the sun through to the crystal clear waters below. You wouldn’t even notice that there was a cave there if you were just walking by. This location is very popular for scuba divers since many of the features of the cave are in the dark and in the deep water. With a water temperature of a steady 72 degrees year round, this swimming hole is the perfect respite from the steamy Florida heat. Rent snorkel gear and explore the dark caves where you’ll find lots of fish and even a few turtles.
Barton Springs Pool; Austin, Texas
Everything is bigger and better in Texas and Barton Springs Pool is the perfect example of that. Located right in the heart of Austin, the natural pool stays a crisp 68 degrees all year round, which is the perfect temperature to cool off from the hot Texas summers. Huge crowds are drawn to the pool where you can sunbathe on the grassy hill or bring a pool floaty to lounge in the water.
Enfield Falls; Ithaca, New York
What’s better than swimming in a pool at the bottom of a waterfall? The Robert Treman State Park swimming hole is the perfect location to take a dip in a beautiful rugged landscape. You’ll even find a diving platform, multiple pools to choose from with different depths, and plenty of lounging room for tanning. It’s the perfect summer spot to take the kids for the afternoon. Make sure to pack a lunch to munch on while lounging beside the pool.
Little River Canyon; Fort Payne, Alabama
The Little River Canyon in northeastern Alabama is one of the deepest canyons east of the Mississippi. Surrounded by the natural beauty of Lookout Mountain, with large blocks of sandstone jutting from the water, you’ll find the perfect swimming hole — Hippie Hole. If you’re a daredevil and the water levels are at the right height, you can test your luck jumping from the top of the cliffs. Plus, swimming underneath waterfalls is one of the highlights of this location.
Cummins Falls; Cookeville, Tennessee
The summer heat in Tennessee is no laughing matter, so it’s important to know where you can cool off. Cummins Falls is a scenic, 75-foot waterfall which has been a hidden gem in Jackson County for more than 100 years. It’s a bit of a hike to get to the falls from the parking lot, so make sure you’re wearing proper shoes and have the right gear to make the trek. (It’s not recommended for small children as the trail is undeveloped.) The two tiers of the falls make this location unique and if you’re daring, you can walk along the rocks through the falls for the perfect Instagram shot.
Sliding Rock; Brevard, North Carolina
If you’re looking for a little adventure and a fun time for the whole family, then Sliding Rock is the place to be! About 60 feet of flattened rock dumps into a nearly 7-foot-deep pool at the bottom, making this natural waterslide a great place to visit with kids of all ages. Adults and children of all ages line up to patiently wait their turn to slide down the rock into the chilly (50 to 60 degree) waters below. On hot days it can get very crowded, but there are plenty of spots to post up if you just want to watch the fun.
Blue Hole; Santa Rosa, New Mexico
In the middle of the dry desert, halfway between Albuquerque and Amarillo, you’ll find the “scuba diving capital of the Southwest.” The Blue Hole is 82 feet deep and has 3,000 gallons of water that filter through it every day. The water is crystal clear with 100 percent visibility and stays at a chilly 62 degrees year round. If you’re not scuba certified, you can come to swim and even cliff jump into the water.