RefreshingBeautiful Natural Swimming Holes Around the U.S.Condé Nast Traveler05.25.14RefreshingBeautiful Natural Swimming Holes Around the U.S.This summer, don't fight the crowds at the overly-chlorinated public pool. Instead, visit one of these natural swimming holes. You may even find a gentle waterfall or a lazy river. Condé Nast Traveler05.25.14 10:45 AM ETChena Hot SpringsFairbanks, Alaska For more than a century, visitors have been flocking to the springs to bask in the healing powers of its mineral-rich waters (and gaze at the unobstructed Aurora Borealis views that are visible 200 nights per year). If you're in need of a cooling-off period following your dip, take a tour of the on-site Aurora Ice Museum, the world's largest year-round ice museum, which keeps its shape by maintaining a 20-degree temperature at all times. Blanchard Springs CavernsFifty Six, Arkansas Often referred to as "living caves" because they tend to change and grow, the Caverns are a three-level cave system in the Ozark National Forest. The caves' average temperature of about 58 degrees will keep you cool during the hot months. Or you could take a dip: One of the state's best-known swimming holes just happens to be in the Blanchard Springs Recreation Area. Brandywine RiverWilmingon, Delaware Reserve an entire day to take a trip down the Brandywine River. Let the river's current do the work as you sit atop an inner tube and are automatically nudged from one pool of water to the next. When you're done, the area is filled with cultural destinations, such as the Brandywine River and Delaware Art museums, plus the Chaddsford Winery just up the road. Bridal Veil FallsTallulah Gorge State Park, Georgia Second only to the Grand Canyon in depth, Tallulah Gorge houses enough waterfalls—Bridal Veil Falls among them—to have earned it the nickname "Niagara of the South." Even from a short distance, it's easy to see where this popular swimming hole gets its name; white waters cascade down the falls' gently sloping face of rock to resemble the wedding wear in question. St. Anthony SandbarSt. Anthony, Idaho For more than six decades, locals and visitors have whiled away summer days at this swimming hole that features a floating dock, diving board, and old-fashioned metal water slide. White Rock ParkSt. Paul, Indiana Adventure-seeking water fiends can find plenty of diversions at this three-quarry water hole. When a simple dunk just won’t cut it, there’s high diving from three platforms (the highest of which is 10 meters), scuba diving, rope swinging, and zip lining to keep you busy. Big Hollow Recreation AreaWest Burlington, Iowa One of the most popular outdoor destinations in the Des Moines area, the Big Hollow Recreation Area boasts four shooting ranges, an astronomy observatory, a 3-D archery course, a model airplane field, and plenty of water activities. Boating, canoeing, and fishing are all on the menu at the nearly 200-acre lake, but a roped-off swimming area sees plenty of action in the summer months, too. Clinton LakeLawrence, Kansas With 16 boat ramps, eight docks, regularly stocked fishing ponds, and some of the state's most crystal-clear waters, there's never a dull moment at Clinton Lake. For those more keen on simply cooling off, the lake—part of Clinton State Park—offers a sandy beach and swimming area, too. Platte RiverEmpire, Michigan Some might consider it cheat—or counterintuitive—to recommend a swimming anywhere besides Lake Michigan in the midst of the beach-filled Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. But this shallow river, which cuts through woods and sand dunes before emptying into Lake Michigan, offers new adventures with each visit. In fact, Platte Point Beach—the point where the river flows into the lake—is one of the highlights of this near-30 mile body of water. The best way to see it all is to meander for miles, taking quick dips when the mood (or water) strikes you. Johnson's Shut-Ins State ParkMiddlebrook, Missouri An outdoor area that's all about shut-ins? The “shut-ins” in question are the areas where the Black River’s flow is blocked by ages-old volcanic stone, resulting in a collection of small pools that make for thrilling travels as you move from one eddy to the next. More From Condé Nast Traveler: 12 Private Islands That Cost Less Than an NYC Apartment The Most Patriotic Places in America The Friendliest and Unfriendliest Cities in the U.S. The One Dish You Should Never Order in Rome Boiling RiverGardiner, Montana An easy hike along the western bank of the Gardiner River—on a 45th-parallel trail that lies halfway between the equator and the North Pole—leads you to Boiling River, one of only two safe (and legal) places to soak in Yellowstone National Park. It's here that the opposing temperatures of the Gardiner River and Mammoth Hot Springs mix to create a perfectly stress-reducing temperature. Lake McConaughyOgallala, Nebraska Right in the heart of the Cornhusker State is this oasis, a lake with clear blue water and white sand beachfront. For more swimming holes, click here.