When you think of Texas, thoughts of cowboys, cattle, and country music may instantly come to mind. You might also think of the very warm weather. Every summer, this Southwestern state’s daily temperature climbs close to — and occasionally above — 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The state’s hot springs exude a similar heat. Nearly two dozen hot springs are documented and accessible in the state, but each is tucked away in its own unique, exotic landscape. From hot springs on the Rio Grande to Big Bend National Park, Texas is home to several of these natural wonders. Stay at one of many Texas vacation rentals to easily explore the region’s collection of hot springs. Take a dip in one of these incredible hot springs in the Lone Star State.
1. Chinati Hot Springs, Marfa, Texas
The hot springs at Chinati, sometimes called Ruidosa, are the central attraction at a privately owned oasis, which is conveniently near Marfa vacation rentals. The high desert town of Marfa is sleepy and remote, ideal for getting away from it all. The springs at Chinati are quite comfortable, hovering at about 113 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year. There are also cool pools to soak in nearby. In addition to the springs, hiking and biking trails abound, and October brings the Chinati Foundation festival for artists and art lovers. Just down the scenic River Road is the Big Bend National Park, home to even more natural hot springs. After a dip in the pool, grab a quick bite at Marfa Burrito, or head to Stellina for a sit down meal.
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2. Rio Grande Village Springs, Big Bend National Park, Texas
Rio Grande Village Springs, are near the park and Boquillas Canyon, on Overlook Trail. The distance from the village to the springs is about 10 miles. The village proper is situated on the banks of its namesake river. Cottonwood trees and mountain views flank the area, and there are tons of picturesque hiking trails en route to the family-friendly springs, which are a consistent 97 degrees. A Big Bend visitors center provides specific directions to the hot springs. The free hot springs are alternatively called the Boquillas Hot Springs and the Langford Hot Springs, the latter referring to the name of a resort that once sat near the site. While at the park, consider a rafting adventure or guided trip from one of the local outfitters, such as Angell Expeditions or Big Bend Overland Tours.
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3. Capote Springs, West Presidio County, Texas
Capote Springs are a group of springs located in near Marfa in West Presidio County. While visiting the springs, be sure to take a peek at the nearby 175-foot high Capote Falls, which the highest waterfall in all of Texas. Botany lovers can look for the multi-stemmed spider flower, which only grows in the swamps around the springs. The springs are about 99 degrees Fahrenheit, bursting through Quaternary gravel in a secluded area of Candelaria. After a visiting the hot springs, head back to your vacation rental in Marfa, or check out one of the art museums in town, such as the Judd Foundation or Chinati Foundation art museum. You can also learn about the area’s history at the Marfa and Presidio County Museum.
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4. Barton Springs Pool, Austin, Texas
Experience Texas’ geothermal springs in a manicured, landscaped setting at Barton Springs Pool. The pool measures three acres that are continuously fed by underground springs emitting waters at a reasonable 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The atmosphere is extremely jovial and frenetic, with crowds pouring in daily from sunrise to sunset. Grassy areas surrounding the pool are open for picnicking or relaxing. The pool charges non-residential admissions fees that vary seasonally. After a day at the pool, head out to explore the many treasures of Austin, including the vibrant music scene. You can find everything from the Austin Opera to small venues playing rock, soul and hip-hop, such as the Stubb’s Bar-B-Q and Threadgill’s. Round out your day in the city with a stop at the Blanton Museum of Art, or enjoy a meal at Ramen Tatsu-ya, Biderman’s Deli or Epicerie.
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5. Krause Springs, Spicewood, Texas
Krause Springs is a 115-acre private property with over 32 natural springs open to the public. Water temperatures are on the cool side, at 68 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, making the springs a viable dipping option only during warm weather. The property contains naturally-fed, human-made pools that are open 10 months each year, and tent camping is first-come, first-served. While visiting the property, you can also find barbecue pits for cooking, barrel rings for small bonfires, and restrooms. Waterfalls and trails make walking around the acreage an adventure of its own. You can also kayak and fish in the larger natural pools, ideal for making a full day at the property before driving back to your vacation rental. While on your way, consider stopping for good ol’ Texas barbecue at Opie’s Barbecue Restaurant or Smokin’ G’s BBQ, which are both located in or near Spicewood. If you prefer to cap your outdoor day with a fine dining experience, check out Apis Restaurant & Apiary, also located in Spicewood.
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