There are a whopping 32 springs throughout the privately owned Krause Springs Park, most of which flow into a man-made pool and natural basin below before continuing into Lake Travis. As you enter, scope out the Butterfly Garden near the entrance for lush plants, fountains, a hammock, and wind chimes (all tuned to A, the most serene of keys). You won’t want to get out of that hammock, but you should, because the best is yet to come. Head past the man-made swimming pool (which is great in its own right), and down the staircase: Here you’ll find the gorgeous main pool surrounded by huge cypress trees and slippery limestone outcroppings. Hit up that rope swing and show ‘em what you’re made of.
Know before you go: The gates open at 9 am and close at 8 pm, but get there as early as possible and avoid the weekend crowd if you can. Admission runs $9 for adults ($15 to camp overnight), $5 for kids ($10 to camp), and it’s all cash-only. There's no smoking, no glass containers, and no pets permitted, while tent camping is first come, first served and RV reservations are advised.
Where to eat/drink: Celebrated smokeshack Opie’s BBQ beckons from down the street with its verifiably finger lickin’ good ‘cie. They close up shop when the meat runs out, so call ahead before you drop by. At the same intersection is Spicewood General Store—worth a visit for the cultural experience alone—a local icon that’s outfitted with all the day-tripping gear you’ll need plus food that far surpasses anything you’d expect from a glorified convenience store (including particularly enticing housemade fried chicken). If trusty Mexican cuisine is what you’re after, make a beeline to Beto’s Tacos y Mas a little further down Highway 71.