Remember the exhilaration of the rope swing, and the wind through your hair as you leapt into the water? Swimming holes are one of America's favorite summer pastimes, and these are the best ones worth visiting.
Best Swimming Hole In New York: Enfield Falls
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Ten miles outside of Ithaca lies this gorgeous Finger Lakes offshoot inside Robert H. Treman State Park. After hiking through Enfield Glen, cool off underneath the lower falls in a natural swimming hole outfitted with a diving board and lifeguard. (Side Note: Here's Why Swimming Is a Good Workout.)
Photo: New York State Parks
Best Swimming Hole In Alabama: Little River Canyon
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Located atop Lookout Mountain in the Southern Appalachians, this group of blue-green pools is set within steep canyon walls that reverberate ambient sound. (So maybe don't gossip too loudly, OK?)
Photo: Evangelio Gonzalez/Flickr
Best Swimming Hole In Texas: Hamilton Pool
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Once an underground river whose dome collapsed, this carved-out stone is one of the best swimming holes in Texas, making it a popular spot for out-of-towners and Austin locals alike. Just make sure to book a reservation in advance—it gets so busy that one is required during the peak months of May to September.
Photo: Rachel Kiser/The Clio
Best Swimming Hole In Arizona: Beaver Falls
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Best Swimming Hole In North Carolina: Sliding Rock
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Be prepared to wait in line to try out this naturally occurring waterslide in Pisgah National Forest. A 60-foot slick slab of rock plunges you straight into the cold water, where you're free to splash about in this not-so-hidden swimming hole. Just don't be surprised if you want to ride it just one more time.
Best Swimming Hole In Florida: Madison Blue Springs
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Out of all of the swimming holes in Florida, this freshwater spring bubbles up from the state's crystalline aquifers and pours into a 25-foot-deep stone basin. The crystal-clear water is the same used in Zephyrhills bottles—but maybe hold off on taking a sip unless you came equipped with a filtration kit. (PS: These Are the Best Swimming Pools Around the World.)
Photo: Florida Hikes/Flickr
Best Swimming Hole In New Hampshire: Diana's Baths
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Yes, there are plenty of swimming holes in New Hampshire to choose from, but this one—located in the White Mountains on the edge of Bartlett—has easy access and scenic views that make this a swimming hole perfect for all ages. Remember, the early bird gets the worm: It tends to get crowded in summer months, so an early wakeup is worth claiming the best spot.