There’s something nostalgic and uncomplicated about swimming pools. They’re usually affordable and accessible, the people (and swimsuits) watching is great, and the bonus – you get to work out and pretend you’re at a resort.
Here are the best places to show off your moves, muscles and taste in flip-flops.
Set in a modern concrete structure on the busy 19th path, Sava underwent a sparkling renovation in 2009 and now offers a slick, urban experience. Sava is a non-nonsense pool for semi-serious swimmers, with 8 lanes for laps and swimming lessons. Expect determined teenagers and neighborhood regulars.
2695 19th Ave, San Francisco (415) 661-6327
Albany Aquatic Center
An East Bay gem, the Albany center has an indoor and an outdoor pool, with lots of room for tanning, swimming and playing with family and friends. The pool is a part of a brand-new looking school and outshines other Bay Area options. Locals swear by it, and summer camps frequent it – so be sure to check the website for updates.
1311 Portland Ave, Albany (510) 559-6640
Greeting swimmers with one of the city’s most recognizable murals, the Mission Pool is the only outdoor pool in the city, and given the Mission’s sunny summer weather, it’s an active, fun hangout for those semi-warm months. Perfect for a field day when combined with the nearby Mission Dolores park.
1 Linda St, San Francisco (415) 641-2841
Strawberry Canyon Recreation Area
The 6 lanes, 33 yard pool is set in a green oasis, complete with locker rooms, kick boards, hot showers and grassy patches to stretch on. Students often favor this outdoor pool over the UC Berkeley one, and families come to picnic. The atmosphere is vacation-like, just a Bart stop away.
Centennial Dr, Berkeley (510) 643-6720
Tucked away in Visitation Valley, this renovated pool is clean, calm and friendly, with wide lanes and lots of natural light. Swimmers range from serious to recreational, and no one will judge if you’re just lounging poolside all day.
1701 Visitacion Ave, San Francisco (415) 337-9085
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