Everyone has a favorite place where they like to escape the heat. Maybe it's a quiet local lake, a secret swimming hole, or a small beach you can only get to by boat. With the hottest days of summer still upon us, we gathered some recommendations from our fellow Fair Harbor fans. There's plenty of time left to discover them, so get out there while the weather is still warm.
Barton Springs, Austin, TX
"Barton Springs is an Austin tradition. The pool is made from very cool deep natural water fed from underground springs made into a three-acre public pool, so you get the best of both worlds. There are sloping sides to hang, and with an average temperature of almost 70 degrees, you can swim and hang all year round."
- Kevin B., Pelham, NY
Sennett's Hole, Durham, NC
"We love to bring the kids to splash in the Eno River—especially Sennett's Hole because it feels like a secret place. It's not marked, and you park at a dead-end road and hike 1/4 mile through the woods to get to it. It feels like that 1/4 mile transports you to another world where you don't have to worry about anything but slipping on a wet rock for the time you are there."
- Michaela M., Raleigh, NC
Washburn Island, Falmouth, MA
"Washburn Island is a rare hidden gem along the coastline of East Falmouth within Waquoit Bay. Since you can only access it by private boat, it's an undeveloped oasis from the crowds of tourists that visit Cape Cod in the summer. In the water, our kids search for clams with their toes and pull them up to enjoy immediately off the grill we fire up on the beach. After exploring the trails that wind around marshes and ponds within the island's lovely pine forest, you can spend the night in a rustic campground to complete the seaside adventure."
- Fiona and Ben Z., Brooklyn, NY
Seward Park, Seattle, WA
“Not only does Seward Park have a 2.4 mile bike and walking loop, old growth forests, and a myriad of smaller trails, but it is also perhaps one of my favorite semi-secret stretches of Lake Washington. We like to park our car in the lot next to the public beach access and walk about halfway around the peninsula. There, down a small trail is an epic rope swing that dangles from an old western cedar tree. From there, you’ve got views of Mt. Rainier and both the Seattle and Bellevue skylines. Bonus points if you find a boat to pick you up post-jump.”
-Paul R., Seattle, WA
Lac Gagnon, Duhamel, Quebec
"Lac Gagnon is a beautiful Canadian lake north of Montreal with crystal clear water. It's so magical swimming in this lake. The cool and warm pockets of water are my favorite. From my first icy swim in the spring to my last swim in September soothes my soul. As long as I live, I wish to swim in the still waters of Lac Gagnon. Who could be so lucky?"
-Elizabeth K., Hudson, Quebec
Upper Watson Lake, North Cascades, WA
"Up in the North Cascade mountains outside Seattle is an alpine trail to Upper Watson Lake. This trail features plenty of variety, with beautiful hemlock forest, meadows dotted with wildflowers, gleaming lakes, mountain views, juicy berries, and excellent camping. It is a fairly short hike (6 miles roundtrip), but few things are more invigorating and refreshing than cooling off after a hot day by jumping into a glacial lake and then kicking back with a handful of freshly picked blueberries."
-Adam W., San Francisco, CA
Priest Lake, ID
"Located just 15 miles south of the Canadian border in the Idaho panhandle, Priest Lake is the perfect destination for any visitor to the Pacific Northwest or anyone seeking a little peace and quiet from the everyday hustle and bustle. Wildlife sightings, crystal clear waters, and views of the Mountain range in the distance make for an incredibly scenic swim, and a huckleberry milkshake on the drive home is an absolute must."
- Ara S., San Diego, CA
Weir Creek Hot Springs, MT
“Southwest of Missoula, Montana, Weir Creek brings together folks of all ages along the highway east of Kooskia, Idaho. A short 0.7-mile walk along the creek leads you to natural hot springs pools of various sizes and temperatures along the hillside. Families picnicking, couples sharing quality time together, and tourists seeking a relaxing soak on a road trip converge at this peaceful refuge on any given day."
-Isabella M., Missoula, MT