Good lord is it hot outside. Unfortunately, it’s only going to get worse. Amidst the next 100 or so days of 100-degree weather, it’s tantamount that you stay cool. From state parks to state-shaped lazy rivers, there are a number of amazing places to swim in Houston and beyond.
1. Double Lake Recreation Area
Nestled in the rolling hills of Sam Houston National Forest in Coldspring, Double Lake Recreation Area has been around since 1937. Here, visitors can enjoy fishing, swimming, hiking, biking, and camping. $7 entry.
2. Twin Lakes RV and Scuba Park
Located a short 25-minute drive south of Downtown, Houston, Twin Lakes RV and Scuba Park is a family owned and operated resort and recreation area. Twin Lakes features over 25 acres of private lakes, green space picnic sites, as well as ample space for RV sites in wooded waterfront locations.
Here, visitors can take a dip in clear, aquifer-fed lake water be it swimming, scuba diving, or fishing. The grounds are open from 2 pm to 7 pm from Tuesday to Friday, and from 8 am to 7 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
3. Huntsville State Park
Tucked inside the East Texas Pineywoods an hour north of Downtown, Hunstville State Park is a beautiful natural woodlands with 21 miles of trails where visitors can hike, bike, and bird. The area is also home to the 21–acre Lake Raven. Here, you can swim in the designated area from 10 am to 8 pm. Fishing, kayaking, and camping is also available.
The area is also home to the Blue Lagoon. Located at 649 Pinedale Road, the Blue Lagoon is a sterling swimming hole in a picturesque natural setting. Rates are priced at $25 for divers, $30 for non-divers, and $10 for children. Pets aren’t allowed.
4. Lake Longhorn
Lake Longhorn is a 49-acre freshwater lake and triathlon training facility in League City 35 minutes or so from Houston. Self-described as a “the Multisport Training Lake of Houston”, Lake Longhorn allows visitors to paddleboard, swim, kayak, scuba, whatever that water-powered jetpack activity is called, and more. Entry is $15. Kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are available to rent. Visitors must fill out a waiver and use a buoy.
5. Lago Mar
Lago Mar, the 12-acre lagoon in Texas City, is infusing super-soaked activities across a mile-length of shoreline this summer. Take a dip in its 24-million-gallon turquoise pool, soak up some sun in a private cabana, go out on a jet ski, or go for a run on the lagoon’s aqua course. Whatever water activity you can fathom, the lagoon’s got it; not excluding sailboats, stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, electric jet boards, and the largest floating obstacle in the United States of America (on a lagoon).
6. Lake Livingston State Park
Located an hour north of Houston, Lake Livingston is one of the largest lakes in the state of Texas. Known for its white bass population, the lake is a very popular fishing hole. Visitors can also swim, float, kayak or boat. The latter is available for rent at the park or through Paddle EZ rentals for $18. Entry is $5 a person.
7. Marriot Marquis
While lazy rivers are not so easy to come by in Houston, you can now swim over to the Marriot Marquis in Downtown, Houston, where visitors at the hotel can float the Texas border. If you’re not a guest at the hotel, you can buy a Day Pass for $50 which gives you access to the lazy river, the heated infinity pool, hot tub, poolside food and drink service, towel service as well as the fitness center.
8. Hotel Cowboy
The bar, located at Heights House Hotel, is a tropical oasis complete with vintage sun-brellas, colorful beach chairs, and a shimmering pool. The Palm Springs-esque watering hole is certainly a vibe, whether its the retro color scheme, vice-like mural, and effervescent lawn-scape.
El Segundo is a 21+ splash pad located at 5180 Avenue L in Second Ward. Complete with palm trees, lounge chairs, and a retro vibes, El Segundo offers sunbathers the chance to unwind or turn-up depending on the mood. With a full bar, private cabanas, and DJs on the weekends, the swim club is the place to make a splash.
10. Lake Houston Wilderness Park
North of Houston about 30 miles, Lake Houston Wilderness Park is a forested expanse with about 5,000 acres of lush natural beauty. The park offers over 20 miles of hiking, biking, and running trails. Camping, kayaking, fishing, horseback riding, and birding are also available experiences at Lake Houston Wilderness Park.