30 Best Natural Swimming Holes You Can Swim In

Ready to go for a dive? In a natural swimming hole? Have you been asking yourself where are swimming holes near me and how do I get there? Or where are the best swimming holes near me and how to swim in a swimming hole. You might even wonder about hidden swimming holes near me or natural swimming holes near me. Or free swimming holes near me and natural spring near me. With the amazing natural swimming holes on our list, you can make your next vacation something to remember. We’ve compiled the absolute best natural swimming holes that you can actually swim in! A few of them are within the USA and others are international locations. A few of them are top secret swimming holes, a few are easily accessible, some you’d have to hike to, and some might even answer your question of “swimming holes near me” because they’re local, but, keep reading to find the location that’s best for you! Chances are that you might actually find a swimming hole near you, or near your next vacation spot.  And if not, you at least find a new swimming hole destination to add to your bucketlist. 

1. Hamilton Pool Preserve, Dripping Springs, Texas

There are a few swimming holes in Texas, and Hamilton Pool is known as one of the best swimming holes in Texas. It’s located in Dripping Springs, just about 23 miles west of Austin, Texas. Hamilton Pool was designated an official preserve in 1990 and has been a favorite natural swimming hole every year since. The swimming hole contains an impressive fifty-foot waterfall that stays active all year round. Water levels are mostly always constant, meaning that you can enjoy a quality swim at this natural springs no matter what time you go!

Hamilton Pool - Best Natural Swimming Holes
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

One of the best things about Hamilton Pool is that it’s surrounded by beautiful wildlife and nature that will make every trip perfect! If you’re in the Austin area, this is probably one of the swimming holes near you. The water is cold though and there is no lifeguard on duty so you’re swimming at your risk. Hamilton Pool Preserve requires reservations starting from March 2020. Children 12 and under are free to get in, adults have to pay $8 per person entrance fee, and seniors 62 years and older, pay $3 per person. The pool is open from 9am to 6pm, but the last entry is at 5:30pm.

If you’re looking for that dreamy swimming vacation, check out this larger-than-life Texas swimming hole and considered one of the best Austin swimming holes! And if you are in Texas and have already visited Hamilton Pool and are looking for other swimming holes in Texas, try Jacobs Well in Wimberley, Garner State Park in Concan, Blanco State Park in Blanco, Barton Springs in Austin, Krause Springs in Spicewood, City Tube Chute in New Braunsfels,  Las Moras Pool in Brackettville, Balmorhea State Park, and Devils Waterhole in West of Burnet. All of these other natural pools in TX should keep you cool especially during the warm summer days! So if you’re wondering about waterfall swimming holes near me or good swimming holes near me, this is the place to visit. 

2. Cenote Dos Ojos, Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico

Looking for the ultimate Mexican vacation? Cenote Dos Ojos on the Caribbean side of the Yucatán Peninsula offers one of the best swimming and diving in Mexico! The site is home to two sinkholes that each approximate seven meters in length. The holes are connected by a 400-meter-long passage and are popular tourist attractions for those looking for something a little different. The holes are also nearby some of other hot diving spots in Mexico, making this destination, the ideal location for your next summer vacation.

Cenote Dos Ojos - Best Natural Swimming Holes

In English, Cenote Dos Ojos is translated as Two Eye Cenote. The “two eyes” refer to the two nearby sinkholes that connect into a shared cavern area. In addition to these holes, there are several underwater caves that are fascinating in their own right. Dos Ojos is one of the top three longest existing underwater cave systems, and the total length of the connected passages is about 38 miles long! The water is clear with year-round temperatures of around 25 °C or 77 °F. The maximum depth of the water is about 33 feet. People often wonder if they can dive, or snorkel in Dos Ojos Cenotes and the answer is yes!

It’s a popular spot for diving and snorkeling since the water is clear and visibility is amazing. Cenote Dos Ojos is open from 8am to 5 pm and the entrance fee is $14 per person (200 pesos). You don’t have to bring your own snorkeling equipment since you can rent one for $7 (100 pesos) at the site.  Cenote Dos Ojos is just about 13 miles (22 km) from Tulum and 31 miles (50 km) from Playa del Carmen, making it accessible when you’re visiting that area of the world! So if you’re in this part of town and wondering about hikes with swimming holes or cool swimming holes near me, we hope you consider this one!

3. Kilgore Falls, Pylesville, Maryland

Maryland might not sound like a place that would have swimming holes, but it does plenty of them too. Kilgore Falls is a scenic 17-foot falls that is part of the 67-acre Rocks State Park in Maryland. It is located at the Falling Branch area of the state park in Pylesville, Harford County, MD.  This falls is Maryland’s second highest waterfall! The area is purposefully underdeveloped as the park wants the natural integrity of this Maryland Swimming Hole. During the summer, this park can get busy and so reservation have to be made online prior to visiting.  Swimming is permitted in the swimming hole or creek but there are no lifeguards available for supervision so if you do decide to swim here with kids, be watchful to make sure they’re safe at all times. The park opens at 8 am and closes at sunset.

Kilgore Falls, Pylesville, Maryland
Credits: Kevin, Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Other swimming holes in Maryland that you might want to visit include Greenbrier State Park in Boonsboro, Cascade Lake in Hampstead, Deep Creek Lake in McHenry, Elk Neck State Park in North East, Lake Habeeb in Flintstone, Gunpowder Falls State Park in Middle River, Cunningham Falls State Park in Thurmont, Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis, and Terrapin Beach Park in Stevensville. So if you live in Maryland and looking for swimming holes near me, these swimming hole are where you should go.

4. Kuang Si Falls, Luang Prabang, Laos

Kuang Si Falls earns the distinction of being one of the most beautiful locations in all of Laos. This popular tourist destination features a three-tiered brilliant waterfall and swimming hole that makes the perfect romantic or family vacation spot. The main waterfall drop is about 200 ft (60 meters) and is easily accessible via well-maintained walkways. The area is also home to some of the best picnic locations in Asia, and houses several swimming holes that you and your family will love. Kuang Si Falls is also known as Kuang Xi Falls or Tat Kuang Si Waterfalls and is located at Luang Prabang in Laos.

Kuang Si Falls - Best Natural Swimming Holes

You’ll want to make sure that you pay attention to the “no swimming” signs that you’ll occasionally see in the area. Swimming in those locations could get you in trouble since some of those pools are sacred, but you’ll be fine as long as you stick to approved areas. Kuang Si Falls is rated as one of the best things to do in Luang Prabang and Laos for a good reason. It’s magnificent! Kuang Si is open from 8am to 5:30 pm with an entrance fee of 20,000 kip ($2.25) If you’re looking for a place where you can swim, eat, and relax in the peace of a beautiful natural backdrop, you simply cannot go wrong with Kuang Si Falls in Laos! If you’re visiting, then this would be a great answer to your question of hiking trails with swimming holes near me, if you are the adventurous type.

5. Diana’s Baths, North Conway, New Hampshire

Diana’s Baths is popular amongst locals as well as visitors to New Hampshire looking for a swimming hole while visiting New Hampshire. Diana’s Baths is very family friendly and has a series of small waterfalls ending in little pools that kids can wade in! The final cascading falls are estimated to be around 75 feet high. To get to Diana’s Bath though, you’d need to complete an easy 0.6 mile hike to the waterfalls, something the kids should be able to handle pretty well.

Be aware that summer can be very busy and getting a quiet spot to chill can be hard during the months of June, July, and August, so if you’re planning on visiting this swimming hole in NH, you should plan to start your day a little earlier to get ahead of the crowd.  Diana’s Bath is also fun as there are plenty of hidden areas around the falls and pools and discovering them is half the fun! And the fact that Diana’s Bath is close to the White Mountain National Forest means you have plenty to do around the area.

Diana’s Baths, North Conway, New Hampshire
 Credits: muffinman71xx, Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Entrance is ample and free but parking is $3 per vehicle, cash only for the most part. This $3 parking fee includes a day pass which is good all day at any other national parks so if you’re up for an adventure, you could also visit other parks in the area when you’ve had your share of cooling down in this swimming hole. If you’re looking for something to do in this part of town, this would be an old but amazing swimming hole near me, if you were wondering about close by swim holes. It’s not a secluded swimming holes like some others on our list.

The hiking trail to get to Diana’s Bath is dog-friendly as long as you clean up after your pet, of course. Other swimming holes in NH that can make for a fun family vacation include Horseshoe Falls in Wilton, Sculptured Rocks in Groton, Humphrey Ledge in North Conway,  Paradise Falls in Saywer Brook), Falling Waters in Lincoln), and Old Wilton Reservoir in Wilton).

6. Tinago Falls, Iligan, Philippines

Located in the world-famous Iligan (City of Majestic Waterfalls), Tinago Falls is a reclusive waterfall set in a stunning natural ravine. The falls are famous for their blue water and the swimming hole they lead into, but keep in mind that the waters remain cold throughout large parts of the year. If you’re up for a workout, Tinago Falls in the Philippines is the swimming hole for you.

These beautiful 240 feet (73 meters) waterfalls offer one of the best views in the world—but you’ll have to climb over 400 steps to see it, after all Tinago means “hidden” in English.  Tinago Falls proves the perfect place for the adventurous to swim. And you can be sure that the swimming hole and the scenery themselves are well worth the climb. While you’re here, you’ll also have the option of floating on bamboo rafts—with life jackets, of course. 

Tinago Falls - Best Natural Swimming Holes
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Tourists are able to swim in this swim hole and encouraged to visit the cave behind the falls, where they can listen to the sound of the water.  At seventy-three meters, Tinago Falls is sure to impress you with its beauty and majesty. Entrance fee is 50 Laotian Kip ($0.005) and should include life vests and floaters for your safety. The falls is open as early as 6am and closes as late as 5:30p. Don’t forget to bring your swimsuit if you plan to swim here! 

7. Cummins Falls, Cookeville, Tennessee

Cummins Falls at Cummings State Park in Tennessee offers a fun, family-friendly way to swim, relax, and spend the day.  This wonderful state park includes almost 250 acres of the fun for the whole family. The main attraction is a 75-foot-tall waterfall that offers one of the most incredible views in all of Tennessee.  What’s really unique about this swimming hole is that, because it’s in a state park, it comes ADA-equipped. This means that nearly anyone can come out and enjoy an incredible day at Cumming Falls located at Cookeville TN. 

Cummins Falls, Cookeville, Tennessee
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

If you’re thinking about taking your kids out to Cummins Fall, be aware that children age 5 and under are advised not to go to the falls. Children under 12 years old are required to wear life vests and have an adult accompanying them. The hike to the waterfalls can be moderately difficult due to the fact that you’d have to wade or swim through water, hike for a bit, climb some slippery rocks. Even though you can rent life vest from the park, they recommend that you bring yours along. The park is open from 8am until 6pm and while visiting, apart from swimming in the hole, you can also have a picnic at their rustic picnic area, fish, hike, or just relax. Entrance is free to visit and swim in the falls.

8.  Little Missouri Falls, Arkansas

Situated in the Ouachita National Forest Park, Little Missouri Falls in AR comes complete with its own nature’s water slide! What else would children want? Little Missouri Falls a part of the 510 miles Ouachita River system that run through Louisiana and Missouri. The entire system also boasts of mountains and a 1.8 million forest that covers central Arkansas and Southeastern Oklahoma. Little Missouri Falls swimming hole also has its own winding stairs, which lead to the top of rock from where swimmers can jump in. Before you do this though, make sure you’re a good swimmer. Day swimming here is free of charge and the area is open year round to swimmers.

Little Missouri Falls, Arkansas
Credits: Michael McCarthy, Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0

You’d need to hike to Little Missouri Falls but unlike a few other swimming holes on our list, this one is very family-friendly and just about a quarter of a mile from where you’ll park your car and the beginning of the hike. If you wish to go past the falls, Little Missouri trail is just a little over 10 miles of pleasant hiking.

The falls itself is not huge, but it cascades into a gorgeous swimming hole that’s perfect for kids. Other great swimming holes in Arkansas are Lake Ouachita in Hot Springs, White River in Ozark, Twin Falls in Ozark, Geers Ferry Lake in Geers Ferry, Blanchard Springs in Jackson Township, Lake Sylvia in Perryville, Little Missouri Falls in Langley, Mulberry River in Izark National Forest, Kings River Falls in Witter, and Cadron Creek in Herber Springs.

9. Nanda Blue Hole, Vanuatu

The Nanda Blue Hole in Vanuatu is a family-owned natural wonder that features waters so blue you’ll have to see them for yourself to believe how blue they are! The family invites guests to swim in the crystal waters of the natural swimming hole and to take part in the several activities that are available just offshore. Nando’s Blue Hole is also known as Jackie’s Blue Hole and is surrounded by jungle. The waters have tropical fish, thus making it a great place for snorkeling. It is about 20m deep (66 feet) but the water is so clear you can practically see the bottom. 

Nanda Blue Hole - Best Natural Swimming Holes
Credits: Simon_sees, Flickr

Come here for a great swim and after you’re done, perhaps you can walk the nearby boardwalk or simply set out to have the best picnic you’ve ever had. Or if you wish, have a drink at the nearby bar. The kids would probably love something cold after a dip in this pool. There is an entrance fee of 1000vt ($8.50) per person to visit this pool, but the great thing is that your fees include coffee or tea, along with a slice of cake. Nanda Blue Hole typically opens at 8am and closes at 4:30pm. It’s never really crowded, but if you want less crowd, then visit earlier than later in the day. Whatever you do though, you can be sure that the Nanda Blue Hole is the perfect location for that next romantic or family vacation.

10. Havasu Falls, Page, Arizona

Going to the Grand Canyon and wondering what to do? The Havasu Falls in Arizona also known as Havasupai Falls are just one of the several waterfalls within the Havasupai tribal lands. Incidentally, Havasupai means “people of the blue-green waters”. What’s amazing about the Havasu Falls is that it’s set against a backdrop of orange cliffs making the 100-foot falls a brilliant, light blue, an almost unnatural beautiful destination.

The Havasu Falls comes directly from the Colorado River and the water is so blue you’ll wonder if you’re in some tropical paradise rather than Arizona. To get access to this Arizona swimming hole and natural lake, you’ll have to pay $35 for a hiking pass and then begin your 10 mile hike to Havasu Falls. 

Havasu Falls - Best Natural Swimming Holes

The pool is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, around 4-5 feet in most areas, and has a little “beach area” where you can spread your towels and other belongings. What’s cool about here is that you can actually swim up to the waterfalls! The only unfortunate thing is that Havasu Falls is one of the most popular swimming holes in Arizona so tickets sell out fast. And if you plan to camp on site while visiting, as most people chose to, you’d have to make your reservations online only and for many months in advance.

So, if you’re looking for unbeatable falls set in a classic American landscape, it’s time to add Havasu Falls to your itinerary! If live in Arizona or visiting Arizona and looking for a swimming hole or swimming lakes near you or just in AZ, then this should be on your list of the best swimming holes and swimming lakes in Arizona. Other equally great swimming holes to visit while in Arizona include Grasshopper Point in Sedona, Water Wheel Falls in Payson, Seven Falls in Tuson, Tanque Verde Falls in Tucson, Bull Pen in Camp Verde, Fossil Creek in Camp Verde, and Wet Beaver Creek in Camp Verde. 

11. Jellyfish Lake, Eil Malk Island, Rock Islands, Palau

How many swimming holes also double as a UNESCO World Heritage Site? And how many jelly fish natural lakes can you really swim in? Take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim with Jellyfish and visit Jellyfish Lake, a stunning natural wonder in the heart of Micronesia. Jellyfish Lake also known as Ongeim’l Tketau, is located on Eil Malk Island and the marine lake itself is about 12,000 years old. It contains two types of jellyfish – Golden jellyfish and Moon Jellyfish. 

Jellyfish Lake - Best Natural Swimming Holes
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

So, the most important question you probably have is how can you swim with jellyfish and not get stung? Well, what makes this lake so unique is that the jellyfish here don’t have stingers! They evolved without their stingers and so are stingless! That means you can swim safely with them. You can’t however, dive deep here though since the lake has two layers – the top layer with oxygen and that’s safe to dive in, and the bottom later (past 15 meters or 50 ft) that is not oxygenated. You also can’t handle the jellyfish, kick them, or remove them from the water.

Of course, be sure not to use sunscreen as that can hurt the jellyfish. Jellyfish Lake is 30 meters deep and is filled with millions of picturesque golden jellyfish that you’ll definitely want to catch sight of. The species of jellyfish found here are unique to this natural lake and are not found anywhere else in the world. Swimming in this lake is not free and requires a 10-day pass for $100 but this covers the Koror State Rock permit that allows you to scuba dive, snorkel, kayak and swim in this area. 

12. God’s Bath, Clavey River, Sonora, California

Visitors from around the country love traveling to God’s Bath which is one of the best secret swimming holes in California. It’s off the beaten path and offers an experience unlike any other. For starters, depending on where you start from, you’ll need to hike about 3 miles to get this swimming hole.

This hike is moderately difficult and a bit dangerous as some rocks are slippery and some areas of the hike require you to rely on a rope for a few sections of the hike, something that’s probably not ideal for young kids or seniors.  So if you’re one of those adventure junkies or just need your adrenaline pumping, this is the place to be but be aware that you need to be safe at all times as swimming holes can be dangerous if proper precautions are not taken. 

God’s Bath, Clavey River, Sonora, California
Credits: Emme Hall, Pinterest

But that said, if you get to the waterfall and swimming hole, you’re certainly in for a treat as it’s absolutely beautiful! The water is crystal clear, surrounded by the Sierra Nevada Mountains and some amazing rock formations. But be very careful if you do decide to go to this swimming hole in California as the water current changes drastically, can be rapid, and can become dangerous, especially for younger or less experienced swimmers. But if you are in this part of the world and looking for swimming holes near me, you can plan to head out there. 

Enjoy diving, hiking, and a beautiful waterfall at this stunning location! And if you want to visit other swimming holes in California, consider, Oregon Creek Swimming Hole in Camptonville, Golden Quartz Swimming Hole in Nevada City, Middle McCloud Falls in McCloud, Whiskeytown Lake in Whiskeytown National Recreational Area and Hatchet Falls (also known as Lions Slide Falls) in Red Bend. 

13. To Sua Ocean Trench, Upolu Island, Samoa

To Sua Trench in Samoa might as well be the world’s coolest and most magical swimming hole, given that it’s really a hole in the middle of a tropical garden. It can best be described as an incredibly fairytale-like sinkhole and swimming hole because it’s an actual hole in the center of the earth! Or if you want to view it another way, it’s like an open underground cave, filled with water and connected to the ocean by tunnels underneath the water.

The waters in the trench reach a depth of 99-ft (30 meters) and can be accessed via a single 100-ft wooden ladder. If you’re brave and adventurous, or just impatient to wait your turn on the ladder, you can also simply jump into the water from the top. This method, however, is not advisable unless you’re a really strong swimmer. 

To Sua Ocean Trench - Best Natural Swimming Holes
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Either way, once you’re in the water, you’ll enjoy an average temperature of about 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius) since the swimming hole is connected to the sea thus it has about the same temperature as the sea. To Sua means “giant swimming hole”, a name that is so apt for exactly what this unique swimming hole is. It is filled with seawater and colorful fish, and water is clear.

Since this swimming hole has strong tides, you’ll find underwater ropes to hold on to for safety when needed. A trip to this stunning trench allows you to explore a lava tube cave, a lava field with fishing spots, visit incredible gardens, explore various gardens and visit kid-friendly rock pools. Entrance to the site is about $15 and includes access to a small beach called Fagaoneone, tide pools, access to picnic huts, and a great view of nature. 

14. The Blue Hole, Wimberly Texas

The Blue Hole is one of the most popular natural swimming locations in Texas. Like the Hamilton Pool Preserve in Texas, the Blue Hole is less than an hour away from the bustling city of Austin and is considered one of the best Austin swimming holes. It is located in Wimberly, Texas. The Blue Hole rests on a 126-acre location with lots of walking trails, and that is part of the Blue Hole Regional Park that boasts additional amenities such as a playscape and picnic areas. The swimming hole offers fun, and memorable swimming with an incredible backdrop of giant cypress trees.

Blue Hole - Best Natural Swimming Holes
Credits: Robert thigpen, Flickr

The Blue Hole, just like the Hamilton Pool Preserve in TX, is also very popular destination for people in Austin and its vicinities, and you can imagine it can get crowded during the summer. In order to manage traffic and preserve the integrity of the Blue Hole, you can only swim with a reservation, especially during the summer. During the summer, the park will probably turn you away if you don’t have a reservation. Kids under 4 years old can swim for free, kids between 4-12 pay $6, and adults pay $10 for entrance.

For local residents, you don’t have to search too hard for “swimming holes near me”, or “swimming holes in your backyard” as you get a discount on Tuesdays and Thursdays in this park since this swimming hole is basically in your backyard! The park doesn’t require hiking to get to, so it’s kid-friendly. It gets friendlier for kids as the park has swing ropes the kids will enjoy swinging on prior to jumping into the pool. The park is open from 5am to 10pm.

15. Berekhat Zefira, Southern District, Israel

One of the more secluded places and top secret swimming holes on our list, Berekhat Zefira in Israel, is also one of the most beautiful. Located in the country’s Dead Sea Region, Berekhat Zefira includes several swimming holes and other natural landmarks. You won’t want to go here without an experienced guide who would help you find all the hidden amazing spots around this desert area. This pool is so hidden it’s hard and secret you’ll hardly find any buzz surrounding it! If you want to do something secret, non-touristy, and special, this is one swimming hole to put on your bucket list. 

Berekhat Zefira - Best Natural Swimming Holes
Credits: Travel Channel

If you do decide to visit Berekhat Zefira which is located 317 meters above sea level and specifically in the Southern District of Isreal (HaDarom), you can find hotels and other accomodations stay along the Dead Sea area. You might want to base there and then arrange your tours to start from your hotel or accommodation. The nearest airport to this destination is the Masada Airport in case you’re flying into the area. While you’re here, you can also visit other national treasures around here, including the Arad Glass Museum, and the Tel Arad National Park.

16. The Homestead Crater, Midway Utah

The Homestead Crater also known as The Crater or The Homestead Caldera is one of the most unique swimming holes in the USA, as well as one of the best Utah swimming holes. This natural swimming hole in Midway Utah doubles as a swimming hole and a geothermal hot spring that took over 10,000 years to make. It supposedly formed by the action of melting snow seeping into the earth over thousands of years.

With a combination of the earth’s core heating the water from two miles underneath the surface and valuable minerals being pushed upwards, a cool limestone deposit formed. The Crater is really a hole in the earth hidden within a 55 feet limestone (cavelike formation) and the mineral-rich water is constantly warm at an average of 95 degrees Fahrenheit, making it the perfect hot spring. The opening of the air keeps the hole ventilated. 

Credits: Homestead Crater

The Crater can be accessed from ground level by the tunnel created through the rock from the outside so you can simply walk into The Crater and enjoy the water and the views. While you’re here, you can also relax and swim, snorkel, scuba dive, or just relax. If you love scuba diving, then you might want to know that The Crater is the only warm location for Scuba diving in the entire continental USA so it’s worth visiting. It also probably answers your question of “swimming hole near me” if you’re looking for a swimming holes in this part of the world.

The Crater is located on the lands of The Homestead Resorts so guests have easy access to The Crater. Entrance is $13 for a 40 min swim on Mondays through Thursdays, and $16 on the weekends. If you want to snorkel, you’ll pay $18 on weekdays and $21 on the weekends. Scuba diving costs $22 on the weekdays and $27 on the weekends. Apart from water activities, you can also just take a tour of The Crater and learn about the history and geology of The Crater.

This is definitely one place to keep in mind when looking for swimming holes in Utah. Other fantastic swimming holes in UT you can consider when in Utah include Fifth Water Hot Springs in Diamond Fork, Mill Creek in Moab, Wall Lake in Uintas, Red Reef Natural Water Slides in St. George, Mona Rope Swings in Mona, Death Hollow Canyon in Escalante, and Upper and Lower Calf Creek Falls in Escalante Utah.

17. Bimmah Sinkhole, Oman

Located in Oman, the Bimmah Sinkhole also known as Hawiyat Najm is important on our list of top natural swimming holes that you can actually swim in. What sets the Bimmah Sinkhole apart is its location. Unlike some other isolated sinkholes, this natural swimming hole in Bimmah is not secluded or located too far from all the rest of the action. For instance, fun hiking trails and the beach are close by, making this just one of the many great places to visit in the area. The swimming hole itself has been beautifully outfitted with emerald-colored steps leading down into the sinkhole for an unforgettable viewing experience. 

Bimmah Sinkhole, Oman
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The swimming hole is about 20m deep and just about 0.3 miles (600m) away from the Gulf of Oman sea so you can come for a visit of the coast and other attractions and stay for the swim! The depth of the water varies, but the deepest areas are up to 300 feet deep. The blue swimming hole contains a mix of sea and fresh water and is full of harmless fish.

It was formed when the surface layer of the limestone rocks dissolved and formed the hole. A popular belief among the locals is that the swimming hole was formed when a meteorite fell on the earth in Bimmah so the name Hawiyat translates to “the deep well of the falling star or Meteor Falls”, the star referring to the meteorite. To get here, you first have to park in Hawiyat Najm park, then walk about 5 minutes to the sinkhole. Don’t forget your swimsuit if you intend to get wet.

18. Enfield Falls, New York

You probably didn’t know there are swimming holes in New York! So if you live in the East Coast, you won’t have to go too far to find an NY swimming hole near you. A trip to Enfield Falls in Ithaca, New York means heading over to the 1087-acre Robert H. Treman State Park.

This wonderful state park located in the Finger Lakes Region includes a number of family-friendly activities that make it well worth the visit. The highlight for many is Endfield Falls. These natural waterfalls meet to create a large swimming hole enjoyed by thousands of tourists every year. Unlike some other swimming holes on our list, Endfield Falls is large—giving you enough space to swim comfortably with many other families. 

Enfield Falls, New York

The park itself has a rugged terrain with 9 miles of winding trails that take you past 12 waterfalls, including the famed Lucifer Falls, a 115-foot multi-tiered waterfall.  Camping is allowed on the park and you can stay in a tent, RV, or a rent a cabin. Swimming at the base of the waterfalls is also permitted, but only in locations with lifeguards. The swimming hole, also known as Lower Enfield Falls, is crystal clear and naturally made.

The water depth ranges from 2.5 to 12 feet and can easily be accessed via a diving board, or an ADA-approved ladder. Since this park is family friendly, you’ll see plenty of families picnicking in the area. If you plan on visiting this swimming hole, be sure to call the park ahead of time as swimming is largely dependent on how the weather is.  The fee to swim at Enfield Falls which is considered the best swimming hole in New York is $8 per person. The pool is open from 11am to 7pm daily, but mostly inaccessible during the winter due to snow and ice. You should call ahead prior to planning your visit. This swimming holes is a great place if you’ve been wondering about swimming holes near me for some time.

19. Crystal River, Florida

Where else can you hang out with manatees in their natural habitat while enjoying a cool, refreshing swim? Florida! Florida is home to all things fun, so it’s no surprise that a lot of spectacular swimming holes exist in the sunshine state. Best of all, most of them are warm to swim or at least can provide coolness when you need a relief from the heat.

About 90 miles from Tampa lies one of the most beautiful destinations that you’d ever visit in Florida – Crystal River. Crystal River itself has several unique freshwater springs that makes this swimming hole in Florida worth visiting. One of the coolest best things to do in Crystal River is to swim in one of its springs, or in The Three Sisters Springs.

Crystal River, Florida
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The Three Sisters Springs contains three springs close to each other. The entirety of Crystal River itself is home to manatees, so if you ever wanted to swim with manatees or get close to them, this is one place you can do that! But be aware that it’s designated as a manatee sanctuary so you can’t do anything that could endanger the manatees.

There are quite a few other swimming holes in Florida including Ginnie Springs in High Springs, Juniper Springs in Ocala,  Rainbow Springs in Dunnellon, Silver Glen Springs in Ocala National Forest, Ichetucknee Springs in Fort White, Fanning Springs in Gainesville), Blue Spring in Orange City), and Wekiwa Springs (Apopka). So, if you want a swimming hole close to you where you’re in Florida, you won’t have too far go! And yes, FL swimming holes are great.

20. Ojose del Salar, Chile

Looking for something simple? Ojose del Salar is the place for you! Ojose del Salar is also known as Eye of Salt flats because they look like eye-like. This free swimming location includes two sinkholes or fresh water lagoons—one so deep that you can even dive in it.  However, there isn’t much else to do in around here. This is because Ojose Del Salar is in the middle of nowhere!

Infact, there’s virtually no warning that you’re approaching the lagoons, until, well, you get there so be careful as you get closer to the lagoon. This fact, of course, adds to more thrill to the adventure of discovering the refreshing lagoons in the middle of the desert, somewhere around the famous Atacama area of Chile, specifically in Salar de Atacama.

Ojose del Salar, Chile
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The water is refreshing and therapeutic due to the saltiness, and trust us, in the middle of the Atacama desert, these deep blue waters are heavenly.  The cool thing about this swimming hole in Chile is that you are surrounded by the Andes landscape, volcanoes, and right in the desert. And if you love photographs, then these mirrored lagoons will offer you a chance for amazing pictures.

So if you’re in Chile and heading for the Atacama desert, Ojose del Salar should be on your list. And interestingly, you also have the Cejar Lagoon not far away. This lagoon is famed for being saltier than the dead sea so you can float without sinking! So add that to your list of places to swim in when heading to this swimming hole in Chile. So, come out for a swim or take some pictures in the beautiful scenery.

21. Buzzard Rock Hole, Front Valley, Virginia  (near DC)

There are plenty of swimming holes near Washington, DC., including swimming holes in Maryland and swimming holes in Virginia. Because of the proximity of Virgina (especially Northern Virginia) and Maryland to D.C., you will find it easy to visit a swimming hole near DC once you’re in certain parts of Maryland and DC. Buzzard Rock Hole is located in George Washington National Forest in Virgina and is kids-friendly and fun to visit.

Buzzard Rock Hole is at the base of Buzzard Rock cliffs, which is a great place for hiking and rock climbing. One cool thing about this place is the rock on one side of the swimming hole which most guests lay on to warm up and dry off after a cool dip in the water. Buzzard Rock is also known as Red Hole and the water is only about 5 feet deep, making it a safe pool for most swimmers.

Buzzard Rock Hole, Front Valley, Virginia (near DC)
Credits: Beyond The Capital

Since the water is not so deep in this swimming hole, we advise that you don’t jump in or dive to avoid getting hurt by the rocks that surround the area. There are two other swimming holes located around Buzzard Rock Hole – Blue Hole which is 7 feet deep at its deepest but there are plenty of shallow ends, and Passage Creek which is located near picnic tables and hiking trails, a perfect place to end your visit to swimming holes around Washington D.C. Buzzard Rock Hole and the other two swimming holes are located just a little over an hour drive from Washington DC so will make a great day trip from D.C.

Virgina has a lot more unique swimming holes for families and thrill seekers including Whiteoak Canyon in Shenandoah National Park, Roaring Run in Eagle Rock, Campbell Creek in Nelson County, Bisset Park in Radford, and Devils Bathtub in Fort Blackmore. Most of these swimming holes require a modest hike to get there, but once you arrive, it’ll be worth it.

22. Desoto Falls, Mentone, Alabama

Caves, waterfalls, rocky ledges, beautiful deep water, cliffs – all these describe a popular swimming hole in Alabama – Desoto Falls swimming hole located on top of the mountain. The climb to the pool can be difficult, so this might not be suitable for kids. At some point in your hike, you’d have to cut through a cave, but when you arrive the natural swimming hole, you’ll be glad you made the trip.

The falls, even though designated as being part of the Desoto State Park, is not located on the park itself. The falls are a series of three little falls and is popular;y visited in Alabama. During the summer, this swimming hole can get busy, so you want to come as early as possible if you don’t want to deal with the crowd.

Desoto Falls, Mentone, Alabama
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

There are other natural swimming pools in Alabama that you can also go to if you want to get away from the crowd  including The Hippie Hole in Fort Payne, Cahaba River, Upper Caney Creek Falls in Double Springs, Devil’s Den Falls in Lineville, Turkey Creek Falls in Pinson, The Blue Hole in Huntsville Meridian, Mardis Mill Falls in Blountsville, and Cheaha Falls in Cheaha State Park. All these other amazing natural swimming holes alone make AL worth visiting!

Desoto falls in about 45 minutes from Chattanooga, so if you’re in that area and “wondering about swimming holes near me”, this will be a great place to head out to. Desoto Falls itself is 104 foot and to get to the base of this fall requires going down a rugged trail. However, if you do get done, you will rewarded with a great swim. There is no cost to visit Deosto Falls at this time.

23. Emma Gorge Waterfall, Durack, Australia

Less than an hour’s walk away from the beautiful Emma Gorge Resort lies this beautiful waterfall that’s perfect for the family – Emma Gorge Waterfall. Showcasing the best of Australia’s beautiful natural scenery, the Emma Gorge waterfall offers one of the most relaxing swimming locations in the country. As part of a larger national park, the Emma Gorge Waterfall is just one of many beautiful attractions in the area. This is one of the few waterfalls easy for kids to walk to so get them up early, wear some comfortable shoes and set off for the waterfall. It’ll be worth your while.

Emma Gorge Waterfall
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The area of the waterfall also features an internal hot spring close to the waterhole, making this place an incredible relaxation spot. The water is refreshing once you’re in, and the rocky surroundings are equally breathtaking. If you visit during the dry season, know that the waterfall may not always flow, but when it flows, it’s spectacular. There is a nice cafe at the end of the when you return to your starting point and you can enjoy a beverage or two before heading back to your accomodations. Note that the temperature of the pool doesn’t change much throughout the day so you’re better off walking in the early mornings rather than later in the day when it’s much hotter.

24. Bristol Falls, Bristol, Vermont

Vermont is not going to be your typical warm swimming hole destination, well, because it’s Vermont and everything is cold! Now on a hot day, this will be a relief and we’re going for the hot days. A few swimming holes in Vermont include Bristol Falls in Bristol, Bingham Falls in Stowe, Dog River in West Berlin, Marble Street Quarry in Rutland,  Pike Falls in Jamaica, Cavendish Gore in Cavendish,  Buttermilk Falls in Ludlow,  Devil’s Gorge in Clarendon, Warren Falls in Waitsfield, East Middlebury Gorge in Middlebury, and Kenneth Ward Memorial Access Area, in Moretown. Our very favorite, for a family-friendly cold dip, is Bristol Falls.

Bristol Falls, Bristol, Vermont
Credits: New England Waterfalls

Bristol Falls is a natural waterfall that ends in a long channel. But what’s cool about this dramatic 15 foot drop waterfalls is that you have several spots where you can jump into the river in the area so you’re able to jump off at your comfort zone. So if you’re a thrill seeker, you might find an answer here. And if you’re not a big one on jumping off cliffs into water holes, you can still get into the water in a less dramatic way!

There are calm areas (the Circle Currant) where kids can swim and there is a hidden cave behind the waterfall! This means you can walk behind the waterfalls! What else can a kid ask for? Unlike a few of the waterfalls on our list, Bristol Falls is pretty easy to get to once you’ve parked your car in the ample parking spots close to the falls. And, in case you’ve got a dog, Bristol Falls is dog-friendly so the entire family can go along. The best time to visit Bristol Falls is the months of May to October, and it’s free to visit at this time.

25. The Giola Lagoon, Thassos, Greece

Known as one of the most beautiful swimming holes in the world, Giola Lagoon, a rocky pool, is a must-visit for those looking for the ultimate experience. It is one of the best natural pools in Greece and is located on Thassos island in Greece.  To get here you have to pass dirt road or be ready to hike or walk.

The walk to the Lagoon can be long so those with families are encouraged to drive past the beach and park as close as possible to the other end known as the Giola Tavern. Parking here should cost you about 2 Euros but will save you so much walking time. From there, you only have to walk about 0.1 miles (200m) on a steep stone road to get to the pool. If you walk from the parking lot, it’s a bit more steep and harder.

The Giola Lagoon, Thassos, Greece
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Wear some sturdy shoes and remember to take some towels and water with you, especially during the summer when it can get really hot, and if you’re planning on walking or hiking to the pool. When you arrive at this swimming hole in Greece, you’ll be glad you made the trip because the pool is beautiful, clear, and refreshing.  The Giola is great for swimming, selfies, and just a good time. Giola Lagoon is one of the best natural swimming holes in the world. And for the best experience, it’s better to go in the morning before it gets too hot and crowded. The Giola Lagoon should be on your list if you visit Thassos because it is one of the best natural swimming holes in the world.

26. Paradise Cove, Guffey, Colorado

Paradise is the apt name for this swimming hole in Colorado. Though there are a ton of other Colorado swimming holes, but the Paradise Cove, also known as Guffey Gorge, wins our vote. This swimming hole is just about 50 mins drive from Colorado Springs and just about 2 hours from Denver. What’s so cool about it is that you have a couple of cliffs to jump into the water from, depending on how adventurous you are.

So if you’re into cliff jumping, this swimming hole near Denver and Colorado Springs is for you!  The swimming hole is secluded, yet a lot of locals know about it and so it can become very crowded in the summer when people need to cool off. At its peak, Paradise Cove can see as many as 350-400 guests every day during summer weekends. Other times of the year, the pool is so quiet you would think you’ve arrived in your own very private and secret swimming hole.

Paradise Cove, Guffey, Colorado
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Most people that come here also plan to have a picnic while they’re here, so pack yourself a nice picnic bag and make the 0.5 mile hike that it takes to get here after you’ve parked in the nearest parking area. Paradise Cove is small and might seem unexciting, but the natural beauty that surrounds the water is enough to make you feel you’re in paradise. Entrance is free, but you’ll have to pay $6 per day to park your vehicle.

Other great swimming holes in Colorado that are near Denver, Colorado Springs and other parts of Colorado include Big Dominguez Canyon in Grand Junction, Pacific Tarn in Breckenridge, Lost Man Lake near Aspen, Mystic Island Lake in Eagle, Devils Punch Bowl in Aspen, Boulder Creek in Boulder Creek, and Strawberry Hot Springs in Steamboat Springs. Plan to spend a few hours visiting these amazing natural swimming holes in CO!

27. Oneonta Gorge, Portland, Oregon

Portland has way too many beautiful swimming holes, and so it’s hard to pick just one. However, our favorite is Oneonta Gorge, which is just about 37 miles from Portland. If you love a great walk that include wading in water before getting to a pool at the base of a waterfall, then this is the place for you. But be warned that the water is a bit cold, something you might like or not, depending on the weather. But even if you’re up for a cool swim, the walk alone to Oneonta Gorge is totally worth it for the simple fact that it’s beautiful and features crystal clear water cascading down rocky walls!

Oneonta Gorge, Portland, Oregon
Credits: Wikipedia

Oneonta Gorge is located on the Columbia River Gorge and is just about half a mile from where you park your car the water fall. Be aware that this hike is best done when water tides are low since you have to wade through water. High river tides can make this difficult and even dangerous to navigate. So although this is a beautiful hike, it’s not appropriate for young children for this reason.

This would have to be one of those hikes you take with another adult, or an adult child.  If you come to this part of the world and want to do more, Multnomah Falls, the tallest waterfalls in Oregon is just a short distance away from Oneonta Gorge.

If you’re already in Oregon and want to try other swimming holes, Salmon River in Mt. Hood National Forest, Jefferson Park in Mt Jefferson, Opal Creek in Willamette National Forest, Siouxon Creek in Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Bagby Hot Springs in Mt. Hood National Forest, Serene Lake in Mt. Hood National Forest, and Oxbow Regional Park near Troutdate should be on your list of top natual swimming holes in OR! We recommend Salmon River for its secluded holes and the fact that it’s also very child-friendly. There are no entrance fees for Oneonta Gorge.

28. Laguna el Dudu, La Entrada, Dominican Republic

In the middle of beautiful natural cliffs, Laguna el Dudu, an ecological park boasts some of the most fantastic natural scenery in the Dominican Republic. This swimming hole is perfect for those who want an unforgettable natural experience unlike any other. The water remains exceedingly clear and beautiful, making it the perfect spot to stop and connect with nature—or to take a selfie or two. And best of all, this location is mostly unknown so you won’t be struggling to find a spot with tourists.

Laguna el Dudu, La Entrada, Dominican Republic
Credits: Laguna el Dudu

Instead, you’ll find more of locals having a great time jumping from the 10 meter diving board or using the zipline cable that’s over the water. The diving board and zipline cable are two ways to get in if you’re feeling daring and adventurous. If you prefer, you can also get into the pool by the use of stairs which directly lead ingo the water. 

Next to Laguna el Dudu is a small cave system that you can explore. There is also a smaller lagoon nearby that you can visit as well. Laguna del Dudu is one of the best swimming holes in Dominican Republic, and also one of the best in the Caribbean. You will have to pay a 150 peso fee ($3.50) to get in and the opening hours are from 9am to 5:30 pm. 

29. Hooker Falls, Cedar Mountain, North Carolina

Ashville can get pretty warm in the summer, but thankfully, there are a bunch of swimming homes in Ashville NC. One of the spectacular NC swimming holes is the Hooker Falls at DuPoint State Recreational Forest. Hooker Falls is very family friendly and great for kids who are beginner swimmers. The swimming hole is at the base of a 12-foot waterfall that is part of the Little River system. The river flows to a rocky ledge and then drops off majestically before cascading into a lake downstream. The waterfalls itself, is already something for the kids to enjoy. Add that to a swing rope for jumping into the cool water, and you can see how this place is charming and fun.

Hooker Falls, Cedar Mountain, North Carolina
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

If you want an adrenaline rush, then get behind the waterfalls to feel the cool water on your skin. Hooker Falls, previously called Mills Shoals Falls, was named for Edmund Hooker who owned a mill that had been located at the base of the falls in the 19th century. Hooker Falls is just about an hour drive from Ashville, North Carolina. There is however a swimming area right in Azalea Park in Ashville if you don’t want to drive to Hooker Falls.

Other swimming holes in NC and close to Ashville include Elk River Falls in Elk River,  Wild Lake in Banner Elk, Silver Runs Falls in Nantahala National Forest, Skinny Dip Falls in Blue Ridge Parkway, Turtleback Falls in Gorges State Park, and Midnight Hole in Great Smokey Mountains National Park. Sliding Rock swimming hole is also another great family-friendly swimming hole near Ashville and has a cool natural water slide that flows towards a pool that’s about 8 foot. This is a great alternative swimming hole in NC that you could visit!

30. Yuba River Swimming Holes, Yuba River, Nevada

Whereas most of the swimming holes we’ve been discussing are one or two holes, Yuba River in western Nevada boasts of not one, or two, but five swimming holes! These five holes are varied and located along the length of the Yuba River in the following areas: Bridgeport, Edward’s Crossing, Purdon Crossing, Jones Bar and Highway 49 Bridge. If you’re local to western Nevada, you probably already know these areas and don’t have to wonder about the nearest swimming holes near you. But if you’re new in town or heading to Nevada and want to do something cool, then you should have these five swimming spots on your radar.

Yuba River Swimming Holes, Yuba River, Nevada
Credits: Bureau of Land Management California, Flickr

Bridgeport is unique since it has the longest covered bridge in the USA, something to see even if you didn’t want to swim in this area. There is a beach underneath the bridge and this place is very kid-friendly as the water is shallow and still. If you want something more adventurous, head across the road to Kneebone Beach where you will still find a similar beach, but with deeper waters that are still family-friendly.

Edwards Crossing is somewhere most locals know and have swam in. The trails along the river can be challenging, but with careful navigation, you should be able to make your way safely to the ultimate reward of a cool pool.

Purdon Crossing is another location that has a history with bridges, but not a covered bridge. You want to park before the bridge and then take a quick hike on either of the two trails that lead to yet another reward of pools and greenery.

Jones Bar is a place for those who want to be alone or want to avoid the crowd. The road to get here is rough, so if you don’t want to drive, you can hike. When you arrive at Jones Bar, three pools await you with little or no crowd.

Highway 49 Bridge is yet another location for swimming holes and beaches. This area is more popular because it has more activities for families. Right underneath the bridge, you’ll find lots of family beach space. If you go up a bit more, you’ll come across a large natural swimming pool.

So if you’re looking for top swimming locations near Vegas or just in NV in general, consider some of the ones on our list!

 

The Bottom Line

Don’t miss out on these top twenty natural swimming holes that you can actually swim in. Great for the whole family, couples, and lone travelers alike, this nature-made swimming holes are the perfect vacation spot.  Keep this list in mind as you plan your next vacation—and remember to pack your bathing suit.  And if you ever wonder about swimming holes near me, refer to this link and find a swimming hole that is probably just around the corner from you. And don’t forget your sunscreen either. 

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