THE SWIMMING HOLES
Julie Wernersbach & Carolyn Tracy
Genre: Travel / Outdoors / Swimming
Publisher: The University of Texas Press
Date of Publication: May 16, 2017
Number of Pages: 240, 100 color photos
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Nothing beats a natural swimming hole for cooling off on a scorching summer day in Texas. Cold, clear spring water, big old shade trees, and a quiet stretch of beach or lawn offer the perfect excuse to pack a cooler and head out with family and friends to the nearest natural oasis. Whether you’re looking for a quick getaway or an unforgettable summer vacation, let The Swimming Holes of Texas be your guide.
Julie Wernersbach and Carolyn Tracy highlight one hundred natural swimming spots across the entire state. The book is organized by geographic regions, so you can quickly find local places to swim—or plan a trip to a more distant spot you’d like to explore. Each swimming hole is illustrated with an inviting color photo and a description of what it’s like to swim there, as well as the site’s history, ecology, and conservation. The authors include all the pertinent info about admission fees and hours, parking, and on-site amenities such as showers and restrooms. They also offer tips for planning your trips and lists of the swimming holes that are most welcoming to families and pets.
So when the temperature tops 100 and there’s nothing but traffic in sight, take a detour down the backroads and swim, sunbathe, revel, and relax in the swimming holes of Texas.
I am not a native to Texas, so imagine my surprise when I went through this book and saw some real, beautiful gems in Texas. When I first moved to Texas, I figured all of Texas was brown unless it was Spring, then it’s this bright green color. I never really saw anything eye catching. But looking through this book, reading about these beautiful places, I’m ready to go for a trip and see these beauties first hand.
First thing I want to point out, is that I love how this book is organized. It’s organized by North, South, East, and West Texas. There’s also a segment early on that states Planning Your Trip, followed by other helpful information such as swimming etiquette, rules for the parks, and the history behind everything. And if that wasn’t enough to convince you that you need this book, just look at all the amazing pictures taken in the different ares of Texas along with all the answers to the questions you may ask about that particular swimming hole.
Another thing I loved is the maps of each of the regions that shows you where the swimming holes are located. Then it lists the swimming holes and goes into details about them along with pictures of each of the swimming holes. It lists helpful information such as amenities, park rules, camping, the hours it’s opened, what the fees are. After reading through this book, I really want to visit Dinosaur Valley State Park. BEAUTIFUL. It’s made me realize how diverse Texas is and how much Texas has to offer concerning nature.
At the end of the book it lists Top 5, of which include Top 5 Kid Friendly places, Top 5 Dog Friendly places. Those are just a few examples, there’s quite a few more. This would be extremely helpful if you are planning a trip with a furry friend, or want to go some place that’s fun for the kids!
This book is a must guide for anyone planning to visit a Texas swimming hole. I cannot recommend it enough!
Julie Wernersbach, Austin, is the literary director of the Texas Book Festival and a former marketing director at BookPeople, Austin’s largest independent bookstore. Carolyn Tracy, Austin, is a freelance photographer who works for an animal welfare nonprofit. They are the authors of Vegan Survival Guide to Austin.
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