There’s no shortage of awe-inspiring pools around the world, whether natural or man-made. As you spruce up your Orange County home, you might have started scouring galleries about them to find ideas for your swimming haven.

To help you plan your project, here are a few examples of amazing natural pools from around the United States. They’re unique and beautiful but neither too wild nor majestic – meaning experienced pool builders can replicate their beauty for your home.

Sliding Rock, North Carolina

CNN describes Sliding Rock as “a water park designed by Mother Nature.” A waterfall unlike no other, Sliding Rock’s waters run down a 60-foot- incline of smooth boulder before finally streaming into a pool seven to eight feet deep.

A 60-foot slide might be too ambitious for your backyard, but pool contractors can devise a smaller-scaled version. A sleek, minimalist design keen on lines and angles could have your pool in two parts. An elevated jacuzzi and a proper pool would be connected by a gently sloping waterfall much like Sliding Rock. Whether you turn it into an actual slide or keep it a design feature is up to you.

Cummins Falls State Park, Tennessee

At this secret Southern treasure, water cascades down 75 feet of stair-like rocks into a 100-year-old pool. Soaking at the staircase’s feet, you could glance up and imagine you were amidst skyscrapers. Such is the geometric elegance of the surrounding rock.

Enjoy the same effect in Orange County by asking pool builders to landscape rock-lined fountains around your pool. Let one end be like your secret cove – you won’t need to hike through a national park to enjoy its privacy.

Blue Hole, Wimberley, Texas

According to Travel + Leisure, this hidden gem would be Hollywood’s definition of a good old swimming hole. The Blue Hole’s banks are lined with graceful cypress trees, which form a canopy over cool blue spring waters. Beyond them, verdant meadows add to the hideaway’s picturesque charm.

Imagine a poolside deck made of rustic wood planks, or a cabana or grill walled in by sinuous wooden pillars. Landscape your backyard so you could feel closer to heartland forests than SoCal beaches. There may be other ways to recreate a woodland ambience in your backyard – just ask your pool contractors for advice.

With these three ideas to build on, your pool might become the next hidden wonder of Orange County.


Take the plunge: 11 natural swimming pools around the world.

The world’s 12 best spots for wild swimming. CNN. August 6, 2015.

America’s Best Swimming Holes. Travel + Leisure.