Shhh! It's a Secret! By Jovana Gojkovic

Yes, it is unbearably hot in Texas in the summertime. If the word “drought” instantly turns you into a puddle and sun sickness hits you at the mere thought of waiting hours (let’s be dramatic!) in line to get to jump into the delightfully cold yet congested Barton Springs, there might be a solution.

On a typically blistering summer day, some friends and I decided to meet up at the Secret Beach. I had only heard of it before but my friends knew the place well. Their directions led me to a sandy spot on the Colorado River. After driving in East Austin to the end of the road, leaving the car in a parking lot and getting lost a few times (tip: ask the people with towels and coolers to take you to the water), you get to a secluded location.

Down a dirt path and hidden behind the bushes, there it is: a real beach in the heart of the city. The trees conceal the buildings, and city noises slowly disappear as you walk down the trail. Perfect if you need to relax, away from your hectic everyday life, even for only a few hours. Swimming can be difficult at times as the current is strong, and, when it has not rained in a while, the river gets shallow. Alternatively, bring a picnic or a couple of beers and you are golden. It is not uncommon to see people enjoying their beverages inside the water, sitting on large rocks.

Through word of mouth, the “Secret Beach” is now transitioning from Austin’s best kept secret to a popular spot. However, although it gets quite crowded on sunny, sweaty days, it still is a refreshing way for families, groups of friends or just you and a good book to spend a lazy day.

(Photo Credit: Mary Kathryn Martin)

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