10 of the best swimming holes across the U.S.

As the weather heats up, more and more travelers will be heading out, in droves, to the best beaches and resorts.

And as much as we enjoy water skiing, kayaking and volleyball, the beach can get a little too crowded for anyone trying to really enjoy being in the water. Thankfully, swimming holes, in every shape, form and size, exist in almost every state in America.

Swimming holes are usually not out in the open or not as easy to spot as public beaches are. Some swimming holes, like Jacob’s Well in Texas, require a strenuous hike, and some, like Havasu Falls in Arizona, can only be accessed by chartering a helicopter, hiking 10 miles and then hiring a pack animal. But all the effort is well worth it because swimming holes provide a natural, scenic escape for water lovers.

Whether it’s a waterfall, a grotto, a freshwater spring or a creek, swimming holes are refreshing and bring you closer to nature.

  • Hamilton Pool, Texas

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    Located in Austin, the Hamilton Pool Preserve has a 50-foot waterfall that plunges into a steep box canyon.

    The pool is surrounded by picnic tables and hiking trails.

    Image: Flickr, Marcus Calderon
  • Cummins Falls, Tennessee

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    Cummins Fall is the largest waterfall in Tennessee.

    Located on the Blackburn Fork Scenic River in Jackson County, it has been a favorite of both locals and visitors for more than 100 years.

    Image: Flickr, Brenton Rogers
  • Jacob’s Well, Texas

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    Jacob’s Well is the largest underwater Cave in Texas. Known as a dangerous diving spot, Jacob’s Well still attracts hundreds of visitors who come both to experience its beauty and also to explore the caves.

    The water stays at 68 degrees Fahrenheit all year round.

    Image: Flickr, Patrick Lewis
  • Brandywine Falls, Ohio

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    Ohio’s second largest waterfall, Brandywine is a treat for every visitor.

    The natural waterfall is surrounded by biking and hiking trails for anyone who wants to explore or exercise, but there are also picnic tables for a more relaxing visit.

    Image: Flickr, ellerbh888
  • San Solomon Springs, Texas

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    This collection of artesian springs is located in Reeves County, Texas.

    San Solomon pumps up to 28 million gallons of water daily, and divers can enjoy summer air temperatures which go up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Image: Flickr, Angi English
  • Havasu Falls, Arizona

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    This waterfall is located in Supai Village, an occupied settlement in the Grand Canyon.

    The hike to reach Supai Village is eight miles, but there are helicopter rides offered daily, weather permitting, and mules are available for personal transportation.

    Image: Flickr, Henrik Johansson
  • Ohiopyle Falls, Pennsylvania

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    The Ohiopyle Falls are one of the most visited places in Ohiopyle State Park and comes with its own large parking lot and viewing platforms.

    In the later summer, Ohiopyle State Park hosts the Falls Race where kayakers and water enthusiasts are invited to race and run the falls. This year’s Falls Race will take place on Aug 22.

    Image: Flickr, Don Burkett
  • Six Finger Falls, Arkansas

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    Located in Ozark National Forest in Arkansas, Six Finger Falls is one of the waterfalls along Falling Water Creek Road.

    The waterfall is 100ft wide and has six different falls within it.

    Image: Flickr, AR Nature Gal
  • Sliding Rock, North Carolina

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    Located in Pisagh Forest, North Carolina, Sliding Rock is a natural mountain waterfall. The waterfall is fueled by 11,000 gallons of water flowing down the rock each minute.

    Visitors are invited to slide down a 60-foot smooth rock waterfall into an 8-foot deep pool of chilly water.

    Image: Flickr, Ted
  • Bridal Veil Falls, Utah

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    This double cataract waterfall drops 607 feet into the Provo River.

    The falls can be viewed from U.S. Highway 189, or by taking the exit to the base of the falls to a parking area. Take the path from there for a closer view, or to take a dip.

    Image: Flickr, Tojosan