If you're like me, you have two options during summer.
Option 1: Stay inside and relentlessly complain about the heat. Option 2: Suffer through the excruciating preliminary period of a car ride (you know, those few minutes when the back of your legs get stuck to the seat) and transport yourself to a body of water where you can sit for hours — and subsequently complain about the heat from there.
Though I most often resign myself to Option 1 due to laziness, there sure are a lot of swimming holes around here that can help take the edge off of these long, hot days. In fact, we (more specifically, contributor Peter Lewis) spent a great portion of last summer compiling a list of the best social swimming spots for all of you water babies.
With the return of triple-digit-temps just around the corner, now is a good time to revisit these gems o' nature and begin planning your weekends around them.
"Though the biggest draw for most are the beautiful upper and lower falls along Onion Creek, the park is a big draw for cyclists and hikers. With around four miles of multi-use trails, it's a great place to expend a little athletic energy before sinking into the placid waters."
"The pool itself is fed by Hamilton Creek, which cascades over the limestone outcropping and into the pool some 50 feet below. Though the creek flow can be severely hampered by summer droughts, the waterfall never truly stops."
"As for the water, Blue Hole is a cathedral of trees. Arcing over the fairly placid water, they ensure a nice respite from the heat. If you have a noodle or an inner-tube, Blue Hole is perfect for lolling about."
"While the park is far from perfect, the minimal crowds and plentiful space make it a nice respite from the summer heat. That it's located just minutes away from the city center makes it even more remarkable."
"A trip to Jacob's Well is a trip out to the boonies. But once you make the trek, it's one hell of an experience. The water is pristine. Perched along the rock edge above the well, you can see down deep into the green waters."
"There are several access points along the shore that are worth exploring, but the main swimming area appears along a dam just beyond the park entrance and to the right. Just below the dam there is a man-made pool that offers a much more domesticated experience."
"While the website touts 32 springs on the 115 acre property, the main attraction is a swimming area punctuated by a small waterfall and grotto area."
Woah. By compiling this article, I think I might have just talked myself — the largest summer Scrooge around — into visiting at least half of these natural wonders this summer. And that's a big statement.