Lyle Lovett and Matthew McConaughey swam here. Robert Rodriguez filmed onsite. And countless families have created wonderful memories at this family-owned oasis 30 miles west of Austin. The site made the National Register of Historic Places thanks to its Native American middens, but folks come for the 30-plus springs on these 115 acres.
Some of them frolic in a 70-by-30-foot manmade pool on the edge of a bluff. The water flows out of that and cascades over the bluff and an other-worldly, fern-draped grotto into an inviting natural swimming hole on Cypress Creek. Make your entry into the emerald-green, 68-degree water via a classic rope swing dangling from one of the towering shade trees. Upstream from the natural pool, a small concrete dam on the creek forms a series of small waterfalls and pools that, depending on water flow, make for great splashing and sitting. Downstream, the water braids through a maze of rocks and trees, eventually flowing into Lake Travis.
The property includes a generous supply of picnic tables, many made from stone, as well as barbecue pits, grassy spots from which to soak up the sun, and primitive tent-camping and RV sites.
Krause Springs is off of CR 404 in Spicewood, 830/693-4181. Open year-round; call for hours and admission fees.