12 Top-Secret Swimming Holes


The start of summer means travelers will be flocking to beaches and lakefronts in droves. Sure, we love boardwalks and water skiing and volleyball as much as the next guy. But when it comes to purely and simply communing with the water, there’s no better place to take a dip than an all-American swimming hole. Swimming holes come in many shapes and sizes, but you’ll know one when you see it: a refreshing pool under a waterfall, a cool mountain stream, a crisp freshwater spring, a shaded grotto, a desert creek. No matter the locale, there’s an intimacy to the experience, fewer distractions, a deeper connection to nature. This is a place where every tiny detail—the color and temperature of the water, the type of rocks that line the pool, the height of the diving platform, the soundtrack of bird calls you’ll hear—combines to make a wholly one-of-a-kind experience. Truly, no two are the same.

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