A Picnic at Hamilton Pool

Jack and I took a day trip to Hamilton Pool, near Austin Texas. Check out our picnic perfect menu!

A picnic at Hamilton Pool

Since Jack and I first moved to Austin, we’ve loved exploring all of the local natural springs and watering holes. The heat here in the summertime is no joke and the best way to beat it is by getting around some water.

A few weeks ago, we took the day off and spent a lovely afternoon hiking and picnicking at Hamilton Pool. For this post, we’re partnering with Bota Box to share our little local adventure. Hamilton Pool is SO beautiful.It’s a natural pool with a gorgeous 50-foot waterfall. It’s about a 40 minute drive outside of Austin – an easy half-day trip.

A picnic at Hamilton Pool

There’s a quarter mile hike down to the pool. It’s scenic, but be sure wear decent walking shoes that will probably get a little muddy. Another quick tip: pack a lighter picnic than I did above unless you have as nice a husband as I do who will carry it all. (note: glass containers actually aren’t allowed, as we discovered later. Bota Mini’s are perfect to bring along since their alternative packaging contains no glass). 

Here we go!

A picnic at Hamilton Pool, Dripping Springs TX A picnic at Hamilton Pool, Dripping Springs TX

The pool was naturally created thousands of years ago when the dome of an underground river collapsed due to massive erosion. It’s fun (and totally safe!) to hike around the massive limestone formations. Be sure to grab a walking stick at the beginning of the trail, it was surprisingly helpful.

A picnic at Hamilton Pool, Dripping Springs TX A picnic at Hamilton Pool, Dripping Springs TX

The day we were here, swimming wasn’t allowed, but that didn’t hold us back from enjoying our picnic on the small beach. I packed my favorite picnic sandwiches, hummus & veggies, a lemony chickpea & radish salad, and these vegan chocolate chip cookies. We brought Bota Minis because what’s a picnic without wine? The Bota Minis are so convenient and easy to pack. Because the weather was warm, I packed their Mini Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay white wines.

A picnic at Hamilton Pool, Dripping Springs TX A picnic at Hamilton Pool, Dripping Springs TX

I just loved spending this day with Jack. It really reminded me that we should get away from our computers and go explore something new, yet nearby, more often.

A couple of tips before you go: be sure to make a reservation, they only let a certain number of people in at a time and, especially in the summer, it gets full. If you can take off a weekday afternoon, I highly recommend it!

This post was created in partnership with Bota Box. All opinions are my own!


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  1. Genevieve Valdes

    I have made these sandwiches at least four times and my husband loves them. I used a demi baguette with black olives. I know you and your hubby are not to crazy for olives but the olives add a bit of a savory flavor. The chick pea salad is delicious. My husband and I fight for the last bite. Thanks so much for sharing your recipes. I just received your cookbook and can’t wait to dive into it.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Thanks Genevieve – I’m so glad you like the sandwiches – I hope you love the book too!

  2. Jakob from bomanconsulting.dk

    That looks awesome! Love the location and the picnic basket.
    I would love to go there with my girl friend!

  3. Dee

    Hi, hike and picnic look like a lot of fun. My mom and I are traveling to Austin next week, who do you call to make a reservation? Thanks! 🙂

  4. Christina from theblissfulbalance.com

    Wow!! I’ve lived in FL for 16 years and I feel like there are so many beautiful places in other states that I would never expect. So fun to find gems like this and explore your own city!

  5. Laura from middleofadventure.com

    Such an amazing location for picnic! I wouldn’t mind being there right now 🙂 xx

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

  6. Pia

    I’m not going to lie, there’s some envy arising within me right now. This place looks amazing and like THE place to be!
    It’s a bummer you weren’t allowed to swim, though 🙁 What was the reason for that, by the way?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      🙂 the Austin area had recently had a TON of rain and they don’t allow swimming when the levels get too high.

  7. This entire post is so cute! I’ve been wanting to go on a picnic all summer; maybe this is the boost I need to make it happen. 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      thanks Savannah! 🙂

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.