Barton Springs

Written by’s Local Expert
Barton Springs hanging sign.
Entrance to Barton Springs.
Educational signs.
The food truck area next to Barton Springs.
Picnic area at Barton Springs in Austin, Texas.
Barton Springs pool.
Memorial statue at Barton Springs.
The beautiful spring pool.
Engraved plaque in front of the statue.
The educational center at Barton Springs.
Inside the Splash Exhibit.
The Splash Exhibit entrance sign.
Educational wildlife sign at Barton Springs.
An exhibit inside the Splash cave.
A cool interactive exhibit at the Splash cave in Barton Springs.


Barton Springs is located in the 358-acre Zilker Metropolitan Park. The pool is huge, and I was super impressed with how much space it has—over 3 acres! 

It’s fed by an underground spring, which creates the perfect 70-degree temperature to enjoy. Because of that, it is also available around the year. The pool has various depths ranging from just a few inches of water to about 18 feet. 

In addition to the incredible pool, it has an indoor man-made cave experience. This is a fun area to explore, with numerous interactive learning exhibits that are easy enough for kids to enjoy and detailed enough for adults.

If you are visiting for the first time, there are some rules about the pool area. For example, no coolers, food, or glass is allowed in the pool area (you’ll need to keep lunch and everything else on the picnic tables nearby instead). You cannot bring alcohol into the park, and there is no smoking. Also, you cannot bring balls into the area.

Aside from the pools, there’s so much more to do here if you have the time. Make sure you check out Splash! Which is a bathhouse next to the pool. In it, you’ll find an exhibit that provides insight into the history of this fabulous location (and there is so much really cool geological information about the location, including photos of its creation. It also provides information on the Edwards Aquifer, which is what feeds the springs and keeps them nice and warm.

And depending on when you visit, you may also be able to grab lunch at the food truck. The food truck is sponsored by Zilker Park itself and is a super easy way to get something to munch on as you come out of the pool tired!

You don’t need to make reservations to visit, but you definitely want to get there early. As big as it is, it still gets crowded!

Fun and Interesting Facts About Barton Springs

In the 1970s, numerous state laws were put in place that tried to limit freedom of speech. 

Some people came to Barton Springs in protest, swimming topless. That includes various celebrities. The pool is also known for being the location where Robert Redford learned to swim (we heard that he was just five years old!)

The springs are incredible, but they are also vital to the Barton Springs Salamander, which makes this area a federally protected habitat. It’s a good idea to keep it clean!

Getting There

Barton Springs is located in Zilker Park. To get to the park, navigate to Congress Avenue and then turn right onto Barton Springs Road. Follow it to William Barton Drive to reach the pool. The pool is near Peter Pan Mini-Golf and the Spyglass Barton’s Bluff area.


There is a cost to visiting, and it ranges depending on age. 

  • Kids under 1 are free. 
  • Kids 1 to 11 pay $2 as a resident of the city or $4 if not. 
  • Kids 12 to 17 pay $3 or $5, depending on residency.
  • Adults 18 to 62 pay $5 or $9, depending on residency. 
  • Seniors get in for $2 as a resident or $5 if not.
  •  Veterans are always free.

Local Tips

  • As a lover of the outdoors, I made sure to visit the Zilker Botanical Garden, which is down the road from Barton Springs, on our way out of the area.
  • If you have kids that need to burn off some energy, head to Zilker Playground. Relax while they play.
  • Check out if there is anything happening at the Beverly S. Sheffield Zilker Hillside Theater. Throughout the summer, there are often performances of all types.


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