Float Along This Stunning Texas Park's Crystal Clear River For A Soothing Weekend Escape

While most people outside Texas might assume that the state's soaring summer temperatures would keep everyone inside, there are a variety of ways that locals find relief from the heat. Whether it's checking off every bucket list beach in Texas or taking a family trip to a fun-filled outdoor waterpark, Texans are undeterred in their mission to find a reprieve from the hot temperatures. In fact, the locals know that the scorching heat is a perfect backdrop for their favorite summer activity: floating down an ice-cold river. You can find destinations all over Texas that celebrate this tradition, such as the Guadalupe River in New Braunfels or the San Marcos River that is south of Austin. These spots are always popular with tubers. However, one location in particular features a spectacular backdrop of chalky cliffs that border the beautiful clear waters of the Nueces River. The Chalk Bluff River Park and Resort is a scenic oasis of natural beauty that provides a refreshing retreat from daily life.

The park is located about two hours west of San Antonio, and it's the perfect destination either for a day trip or an overnight stay. Cabins are available, but campsites are also provided for tents and RVs. Reservations are required for most overnight stays, and weekends during the summer often sell out quickly. After a day spent in the crystal-clear water of the river beneath the shady trees, you'll long for the next hot Texas day to return.

Discover a cool oasis under the Texas sun

Texas was recently named by WalletHub as the number one state in the country for a summer road trip. The Lone Star State proudly tops this list after a consideration of three factors made it the overall winner: the costs of travel, safety, and the variety of activities available. At the Chalk Bluff River Park and Resort, guests can choose from kayaking, swimming, fishing, or a number of other fun adventures. Visitors also enjoy hiking or riding bikes along the nature trails of the property. These trails offer the perfect opportunity for bird watching while admiring the soaring bluffs above the river, which are comprised of limestone deposits that have become bleached in the Texas sun to resemble a chalky appearance.

The Nueces River was named by the Spanish explorer Alonso de León, who was describing the lush forests of pecan trees he observed by the water's edge. Floating in this beautiful water is probably the most popular activity at the park, whether you're in a kayak or an inner tube. Time slows down as you relax in the river and listen to the wind blow through the trees, watch the sun reflect off the water, and enjoy the view of the bluffs above. After spending some relaxing time in the sun, it's time to hop off your float and dunk your head underwater, and you'll be amazed to feel cold — cold! — under the warmth of the Texas sunshine.

Relax after a day of outdoor adventures

The river has a rocky bottom, so it's best to wear water shoes if you're planning to participate in any water activities. It also has incredible visibility, so it might be fun to pack a pair of swim goggles as well. Equipment rentals are not available at the park, but visitors are welcome to bring items such as inner tubes, kayaks, picnic canopies, and even portable barbeque grills. Golf carts are allowed, but off-road vehicles are not, and there is a strict policy of keeping any vehicles from touching the water that helps keep the river clear and clean.

The Chalk Bluff River Resort also features an onsite petting zoo, with animals such as kangaroos and a giraffe on the premises. Claim your spot on a safari hayride or go on a camel ride for a truly unique outdoor adventure. There's a playground for younger guests to enjoy, as well as a large outdoor jumping pillow. After dark, campers can make s'mores by roasting marshmallows over their barbeque pit, then snuggle into their sleeping bags and gaze up at the stars. As everyone knows, the best place to stargaze is in Texas, where the stars are bigger and brighter than anywhere else. Afterwards, guests can look forward to a rejuvenating sleep, refreshed from a day in the cold water under the hot sun and sheltered by the shade of the beautiful chalk bluffs that overlook the river.