The 12 Best Places to Swim in Waco and The Surrounding Area

Discover the top swimming spots in Waco and surrounding areas, from water parks to natural springs and lake beaches. Perfect for cooling off in Texas heat!

two woman in bikini leaning over poolside

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Some of the best places to swim in Waco are not necessarily "in" Waco, but rather, in the surrounding areas around Waco. That's not to say that there are no places to swim in Waco, because there are. In fact, there are a lot of places to swim in Waco.

In fact, you can swim in Lake Waco!

But if you are willing to look out a little further than Waco city limits, you will find a ton of options for places to swim all around Waco.

Some of the places to swim that you will see featured are pools from naturally fed springs, some are natural - or manmade - lakes, and some are water parks (city or otherwise) that feature pools and other swimming options.

Places To Swim in Waco, TX

Let's get started with some of the best places to swim in Waco...

Hawaiian Falls Water Park

Hawaiian Falls Water Park is one of the coolest places to swim in Waco, because not only does it offer an awesome swimming experience, it also has lots of water slides and rides!

Whether you are a kid or an adult, Hawaiian Falls has something for everybody.

Regardless of whether you want to surf, float or swim in the first large-scale wave pool in Central Texas, take off down a freefall body slide from six stories up, or if you just want to chill in a cabana alongside the lazy river, Hawaiian Falls is loads of fun on a hot Texas summer day.

Hawaiian Falls Waco, one of the best places to swim in Waco.
Photo by ExpertTexan

But that's not all. There are a few more reasons why this is one of the best places to swim in Waco...

If you need to lock things up, they have lockers. If you get hungry, they have a restaurant onsite as well as snacks in their gift shop.

Forgot your towel or sunscreen? No worries - they've got you covered with everything you need for some fun in the sun.

They even have free tubs that you can use at various places throughout the water park.

Even if you have little kids, there is something for them to do too at the Waikiki Waterworks spray playground!

Important Hawaiian Falls Details

Parking: The parking at Hawaiian Falls is free. The parking lot is also very large, and easy to walk from your car to the park even if you're carrying a bunch of stuff (or kids). I've never seen the parking lot so packed that the entire parking lot is full - you can pretty much always find a parking spot.

Coolers: Permitted into the park with a $15 fee (restrictions apply)

Hawaiian Falls Pricing & Seasonal Passes

If you live in Texas or are going to be spending the whole Summer in the Great State, then you may want to take advantage of their Season Pass - especially if Hawaiian Falls becomes one of your favorite places to swim in Waco.

There are assorted options, and the pricing and promotions change periodically, so you'll want to check out their website to see what promotions are currently available.

The last time I checked, kids' daily passes started at $18, and adults started at $26. Season passes started at $60 per person (nothing indicates that season pass prices are determined by age).

Some of the additional benefits of having a season pass (aside from the cost savings if you go 3+ times per year) are:

  • You get to enter the park 30 minutes before it officially opens to the public.

  • You can rent a Cabana for $50 on the day of the rental - assuming they aren't already all reserved for the day.

  • 20% off food and beverages.

  • Special pricing for just about everything inside the water park.

  • You get access to all their water parks, not just the one in Waco.

Hawaiian Fall Cabana Rental Cost & Benefits

If you do not have a season pass for Hawaiian Falls, the cost of a cabana rental is $175 for the day, and it needs to be reserved at least 48 hours in advance. Keep in mind, that fee is in addition to the cost of entry (whether you have a daily or seasonal pass).

If you decide that this is going to be your preferred place to swim in Waco, and you do have a seasonal pass, you may be eligible for a discounted rate.

Also, if you have a seasonal pass, you can ask for a cabana rental the day of entry, and if they have one that's not been reserved for that day, you can rent it for just $50.

I do not know how often they have unreserved cabanas for "same day rentals", but it might be worth checking out!

Here are the benefits of a cabana rental at Hawaiian Falls:

  • You get your name put on the cabana.

  • You have a private, shaded area with capacity for up to 10 people.

  • You get a complimentary locker rental.

  • You get two complimentary lounge and upright chairs (4 total).

  • You get a small table and waiting service.

Camp Fimfo Waco

The newest arrival to Waco is Camp Fimfo Waco. If you're looking for places to swim in Waco, then Camp Fimfo should definitely be on your list.

While this location was built as an RV and camping destination, they also have cabins for rent, as well as day passes if you don't want to stay overnight!

What does a day pass get you access to? Glad you asked!

A day pass will get you access to amenities such as:

  • Outdoor Pool

  • Hot Tubs

  • Swim Up Bar

  • On Site Dining

  • Mini Golf

  • Interactive Water Playground

  • Jumping Pillow and more!

Getting the day pass is a little tricky because there's no direct link on their website that tells you how to buy it. So, if you want to spend a day swimming at Camp Fimfo Waco, you can buy a day pass one of two ways:

  1. Just go to the park the day of, and buy it onsite.

  2. Purchase online by following the instructions in their FAQ article (as seen below).

Screenshot of Camp Fimfo's FAQ Page

Based on the rates on their website, kids 3 and under are free. Anybody 4 and older will cost $44 (including taxes/fees).

While it may not be the cheapest place to swim in Waco, I think that the add-on value of all the other park amenities certainly make it one of the most fun-filled places to go swimming in Waco.

WACO Surf (formerly BSR Cable Park)

Another popular place to swim in Waco is Waco Surf (formerly known as BSR Cable Park). Waco Surf is home to the longest lazy river in the world. The one-mile-long lazy river at Waco Surf is a fantastic place to relax and enjoy the cool water on a sweltering summer day in Texas.

Waco Surf (BSR Cable Park) features:

  • The Surf Lagoon

  • The Cable Circuit

  • Water Slides (Royal Flush)

  • Lazy River

  • A Surfside Shack (food & beverages)

  • Cabana rentals

  • Overnight cabin rentals

Waco Surf is another great place to swim in Waco, surf, ride the cable circuit, or have a blast sliding down massive slide jumps into the water below.

BSR Cable Park in Waco, TX - a popular water park and swimming spot
Waco Surf (formerly BSR Cable Park) Facebook Page

And what better way to wrap up the day with a slow drift along the mile long lazy river before heading home for the evening.

Or you can just rent one of their overnight cabin rentals.

Waco Surf Access & Pricing

The last time I checked,the lazy river and slide pass is $39/day. If you have kids, the pass is $15 for ages 6-12.

If you just want to head to the Waco Surf beach, that will only cost $15 and the beach is open 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. daily.

The family pass for the lazy river and slide is $99/day, but if you just need the sunset pass which gives you park access from 4:00 - 7:00 pm (excluding Saturdays) is $25/day.

RV PARK: YES - Waco Surf has full RV hookups, including 30 and 50 amp electrical. They also have onsite cabins/rooms available for rent right near the water!

Lake Waco Swimming Spots

Lake Waco is a large, manmade lake - fed by the Bosque River - just to the west of downtown Waco.

An old abandoned bridge submerged under Lake Waco.
An old, abandoned bridge submerged under Lake Waco - Photo by ExpertTexan

There are two parks where you can swim in Lake Waco. Each park area features swimming beaches:

  • Airport Beach (near China Spring in NW Waco by the Lake Waco Dam)

  • Twin Bridges Beach (off Highway 6 just west of Waco)

Now, I use the term "beach" very liberally here. The Twin Bridges swimming spot at Lake Waco definitely has what you could consider a nice beach by the lake with plenty of seating, covered pavilions, picnic tables, and a covered kids playscape.

Twin Bridges beach at Lake Waco, one of my favorite places to swim in Waco.
Twin Bridges Beach and Pavilions

But the Airport Beach swimming spot is less of a "beach" than it is just fine dirt and small rocks leading into Lake Waco. However, it also has some great picnic spaces, pavilions and tables, as well as quite a few RV parking spots near the lake.

Just be careful at Airport Beach Park - even though it does not say "No Swimming Allowed", the last time I went, there was a sign specifically saying that there are "no designated swimming areas".

Airport Beach Park - Photo by

In fact, there are significant drop-offs in the water, and some of those drop-offs are only a few feet from the shore in some cases. So, use extreme caution, especially with kids and those who cannot swim.

Airport Beach Park is a great place to launch kayaks into the water, and because it's a small, protected bay area, the water is usually relatively calm. That makes it a nice place to do some peaceful kayaking on the water.

There are also actual boat ramps and docks in the small bay, so if you have anything that needs to be put in the water via the boat ramp, you can do that at Airport Beach Park too.

Airport Beach Park

Airport Beach Park is also a beautiful place to put up a canopy tent and relax, just listening to the sound of the water as each small wave rolls in.

Airport Beach Park is also right near the Lake Waco Dam and the walking trail there which crosses the dam. It's an extremely popular trail and you can ride bikes, walk, run, etc. It's a great place to watch the sun rise or set as well.

There are certainly other places around Lake Waco where you can relax and maybe even take a dip in the water, but they are not necessarily designated as "swimming" spots.

Koehne Park at Lake Waco, one of the best places to swim in Waco.
Koehne Park at Lake Waco

The picture above is from Koehne Park on the East side of Lake Waco. It's a very small park but features a good amount of public lake frontage space that looks like this.

Lake Waco Park Costs

The last time I was at either park, the cost to park was around $4 or $5. Neither park has a huge parking lot, so on weekends or holidays, it may be a little tight unless you arrive early before the crowds show up.

Both parks are now cashless, so you'll need to make sure you have a debit/credit card available to use to pay for admission/parking.

If you want to swim in Lake Waco, I'd definitely recommend Twin Bridges Beach! That's probably the best place to swim in Lake Waco.

RV PARK: YES - Lake Waco has RV spots, and more are in development in and around the Lake Waco area, including the Waco Creekside Resort.

Places to Swim in Whitney, TX

Whitney, TX is a small town located near Lake Whitney - a lake fed by the mighty Brazos River, and often referred to as the prettiest lake in Texas.

Brazos River supplies Tonkawa Falls; one of the best places to swim in Waco
The Mighty Brazos River in Downtown Waco - Lake Whitney is Formed by The Brazos

Whitney is located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country just 80 miles south of the Dallas-Ft.Worth Metroplex, and just 40 miles from Waco, making it one of the most popular weekend lake vacation getaways in Texas.

Whitney, TX is also full of historical sites, a historical fort, an underwater town, and much more.

Whitney: Lofers Bend Park

Lake Whitney has multiple places along the shores to go for a swim, and one of my favorites is Lofers Bend Park right near the Lake Whitney Dam. It's quick and easy to access off the main road and has plenty of parking for anybody wanting to go swimming.

Lofers Bend Park, a great swimming spot at Lake Whitney - a popular place to swim near Waco.
Lofers Bend Park at Lake Whitney

The water at Lofers Bend Park has a bay-like area that comes in off the lake, and it offers some great swimming for adults and kids alike. The water has a decent amount of shallow water for smaller kids but gets deep enough for adults to enjoy a swim as well.

Whitney: Lake Whitney State Park

The Lake Whitney State Park is another great place to get wet and go for a relaxing swim. It's a little further off the beaten path, but that contributes to some pretty scenery.

Whether you want to picnic, grill out, park your RV or just enjoy swimming in the lake, Lake Whitney State Park is a great place to spend the day - or a whole weekend.

Last time I checked, the cost to enter the park was just $5 for the whole day, and kids under the age of 12 were free. If you're bringing an RV, you'll want to check on current prices to see what it costs to stay in the state park.

Other parks and swimming spots at Lake Whitney, TX

The two most popular swimming spots are definitely Lake Whitney State Park and Lofers Bend State Park. However, there are plenty of other parks along the lake that you will find some lesser-known places to swim and new things to explore.

Here are some other parks you may find interesting at Lake Whitney:

RV PARK: YES - Lake Whitney has a large amount of RV spots. There are RV resorts all around the lake, including some located at the parks mentioned above.

Places to Swim in McGregor, TX

McGregor is an old historic town located just 14 miles from Waco. It's home to the former Bluebonnet Ordnance Plant which was used to make munitions during World War II. Now, it is home to a SpaceX rocket manufacturing and testing site. It's common to hear (and feel) rocket tests taking place in and around the McGregor area.

Amsler Park Aquatic Center

The Amsler Park Aquatic Center is a public swimming pool located inside a park that you can swim in all summer long. Since the drive from Waco is so short, I'd consider this one of the best places to swim in Waco since it only takes 10-20 minutes to get to the pool if you are driving there from Waco.

While you're in McGregor, you might be interested in checking out Mother Neff State Park as well. Donated to the state by Isabella Neff in 1921, it's one of the oldest state parks in Texas, and it's a beautiful place to stay in your RV, or just go for a hike and explore everything the park has to offer.

McGregor is also home to the Mill-King Market & Creamery which is a famous local farm that produces nothing but the best milk, cream, and cheese. You can stop and shop at their store and get all of their top of the line products.

Places to Swim in Robinson, TX

Robinson, TX is part of the Waco Metropolitan Statistical Area, so it's ok to say that the swimming pool here is one of the best places to swim in Waco and the surrounding area. If you're driving to Robinson from Waco, it's a grand total of about 7 miles, depending on what part of Waco you're coming from.

Robinson Lion's Pool Access & Pricing

The pool in Robinson is called Robinson Lion's Pool and it generally opens around May 29th each year. Hours are generally Tuesdays - Sundays from 1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. and cost is $6. There are memberships available to purchase for the summer if you're going to frequently swim at this pool throughout the summer.

Places to Swim in West, TX

Founded in 1892, West, TX is known for its deeply rooted and tightly knit Czech culture - not to mention its famous kolaches!

It's also home to the largest spring fed pool in the state of Texas called the Playdium Pool. Which is one of the reasons why it is one of the best places to swim in Waco and the surrounding area.

The spring is natural, but the pool itself is manmade. It was originally built in 1945 and has been operating ever since.

Playdium Pool Access & Pricing

You can find the Playdium Pool at the corner of Playdium Rd and Cottonwood Rd in West, TX. It typically opens at the end of May and operates through mid-end September. It's generally around $14 for anybody over the age of 13, and $11 for anybody under that age.

While you're in West, TX, be sure to get one of their famous kolaches! There's nothing like it anywhere else.

Places to Swim in Gatesville, TX

Gatesville, TX is located approximately 35 miles from Waco, which easily makes it one of the farthest destinations if you're looking for a place to swim in Waco. However, Gatesville also has something else that helps make up for the greater distance - a drive in movie theater.

The Last Drive-In Movie Theater is located in Gatesville, TX. Unless you drive an hour or so North - to Dallas - it's the only drive-in theater in the Waco area. It was opened in 1950, which also makes it one of the oldest drive-in movie theaters in the state.

The Last Drive-In Theater in Gatesville, TX
The Last Drive-In Theater in Gatesville, TX

Despite its age, it has been updated and kept up over the years and is a beautiful place to watch a movie under the great Texas sky.

So, make a day of it!

Go for a swim at the Gatesville City Pool, and then go catch a movie at The Last Drive-In Movie Theater. It will be a fantastic day out that you and your friends and family won't forget anytime soon.

Gatesville City Pool Access & Pricing

The Gatesville City Pool is open daily during the summer. It typically opens around the end of May and closes around mid-September. The pool operating hours are Sundays 1:00 - 6:00 p.m., Mondays, Wednesdays, Friday, & Saturdays 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Tuesdays & Thursdays 12:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Daily passes are $3 for ages 4 and up. Kids 3 and under are free. There are also season passes available for $25. Rentals are available and pricing is on their Facebook page.

Gatesville also has a kids splash pad in case your family prefers that over the pool.

Places to Swim in Clifton, TX

Clifton, TX is the largest town in Bosque County, located just slightly North and West of Waco, TX. The town has deep connections with Norway and is frequently referred to as the Norwegian Capital of Texas. In fact, the state legislature formally designated it as such back in 1997.

In 1982, King Olav V visited Clifton for a commemoration ceremony. And one of the most popular restaurants in Clifton is called Olaf's Bar & Restaurant. It offers a unique dining experience specific to the Norwegian cultural heritage that the city is incredibly proud of.

An antique truck in downtown Clifton, TX
An Antique Truck in Downtown Clifton, TX - Photo by ExpertTexan

That being said, if you are looking for a wonderful place to go swimming in this Norwegian-founded city in the heart of Texas, you will only find one.

The only public pool in Clifton is called the Olsen Pool, and it's located at 1103 Key Avenue, Clifton, TX. It is not just the only public swimming pool in Clifton - It's the only public swimming pool in all of Bosque County.

Before - or after - you go for a swim, you may want to stop in downtown Clifton and catch a movie at Cliftex. It's the oldest, continuous operating movie theater in Texas. It's been showing movies since 1916.

Olsen Pool Access & Pricing

Because it is the only public pool in Bosque County, you may want to call ahead to make sure that you will be permitted to use the pool based on your legal residence as shown on your state ID. They may have restrictions based on your address.

The cost was last listed as $5 per person ($2 for senior citizens), and annual passes are available. They also have swimming lessons available if that is something you are interested in.

RV PARK: Yes, Clifton has several RV Parks, many of which are very nice.

Places to Swim in Crawford, TX

You have probably heard of Crawford, TX before. It's where the Bush family has owned and operated a family ranch for quite some years. If you bring your drone, you'll want to check the FAA's flight restrictions in the Crawford area. Last time I checked much of the Crawford area was a no-fly zone.

What you might not know, is how close Crawford is to Waco; it's only about 18 miles away.

If you're looking for places to swim in Waco, Crawford might be a great swimming spot for you to check out.

And actually, I saved the best swimming place in Waco for last, because Tonkawa Falls is absolutely a one-of-a-kind swimming hole.

To start with, Tonkawa Falls features petroglyphs from the time when the Tonkawa Indians lived in the area. If the area has seen a lot of rain recently, then you'll have a harder time seeing them. But if it's been dry for some time, you'll be able to find the petroglyphs pretty easily.

Tonkawa Falls is a swimming spot located on the Bosque River - one of the rivers that flows through downtown Waco, and many other towns in the area such as Valley Mills, TX (home to the filming location for Joanna Gaines cooking show).

This swimming spot is called Tonkawa Falls because there are medium size "cliffs" (or drop-offs) that range from 10' - 15' feet into the water below. They form pretty waterfalls right in the middle of the city park, and it makes for an incredible day of swimming, splashing, and having fun.

Tonkawa Falls City Park Access & Pricing

Tonkawa Falls Park is located at 524-550 E 4th St, and typically opens around the end of May each year and does not close through the end of the Summer or beginning of Fall.

However, last year it closed abnormally early around the beginning of August for no apparent reason. So, you will want to check their Facebook page or give them a call in advance to make sure it's open before you head that way.

Also, keep in mind, swimming and/or diving is not available year-round because the level of the river is greatly impacted by the amount of rain the region gets each year. If the rain level has been low, and you're not able to swim at Tonkawa Falls, that's the best time to go down and check out the Petroglyphs!

The last time I was at Tonkawa Falls, the cost was $10 per vehicle.

Also, depending on what day you're in Crawford, stop by and check out Chaney Brothers Coffee Company and get a delicious coffee drink!