Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve
Find us a Texan who hasn’t posted about this place on social media and we’ll show you someone who can’t tell their Instagram from their Instacart. Few can rival this majestic pool, which is fed by a natural spring and sits below a 50-foot waterfall. Lie down and watch the waters trickle over dramatic limestone outcrops or treat yourself to a dip in the turquoise expanse—that is, if you can bag a spot. Hamilton Pool has gotten so popular that a reservation system had to be introduced five years ago, and slots book up quickly in the summer.
Know before you go: Reservations are required, with slots opening one month at a time. There’s a morning time slot (9 am to 12:30 pm) and an afternoon time slot (2 pm to 5:30 pm). Cash-only reservations run $8 per adult, $3 per senior (children under 12 swim free), and $12 per vehicle. Pets, overnight camping, and glass containers are prohibited.
Where to eat/drink: You’re in Hill Country, so make the most of it. Hamilton Pool Vineyards is a family-owned and -operated winery just up the road. They sell boutique wines processed in a French style, and there’s a fabulous tasting room to round out a lazy weekend afternoon.