Take the Plunge! Best Bay Area Swimming Pools

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Summertime means swim time so get those swim suits packed up and ready for a day at the pool. From north to south we’ve gathered some of the best spots for you to get your guppies splashing. Cool off at a pool near you!

photo: Yatmandu via flickr

San Francisco

Charlie Sava Pool
Named after a famous local swim coach from the 1940s, Sava Pool is clean and well maintained and has an outdoorsy feel thanks to its glass ceiling and windows; special noise-reducing equipment keeps the echoes down. The water is four feet deep at its shallowest. Recreation swim times are Fridays 6:30-8:30 p.m., Saturdays 12:30-2 p.m. and Sundays 1-2:30 p.m.

2695 19th Ave.
San Francisco, CA

Hamilton Swimming Pool
This indoor recreation center has been voted one of the cleanest and most popular public pools in the city and the children’s area is a huge hit with its swirly water slide. Enjoy family swim time Monday through Friday, 2 p.m.–3:30 p.m., and Saturdays 1–3 p.m. Children have to be at least 48 inches tall to ride the water slide.

1900 Geary Blvd.
San Francisco, CA

photo: silvereye via Flickr

North Beach Swimming Pool
North Beach has two pools: one cool, for lap swimming, the other warm for family fun. Set at 85 degrees and 3 feet at its shallowest, the warm pool is perfect for young swimmers. There’s plenty of natural light from the many windows and skylights. You can change in one of the private curtained stalls and dry your swim gear in the spinner. The lockers are a decent size, but remember to bring your own lock. The staff are sticklers about having exact change for admission. Family swim times are Monday and Wednesday 3:30–5 p.m., Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 12:15–2 p.m., with an additional open swim Friday at 5:45–7 p.m., and Saturday 1:30–3 p.m.

651 Lombard St.
San Francisco, CA

Mission Pool
If you are going to brave an outdoor pool in San Francisco, it only makes sense that it be in the Mission, where the temperature is always at least five degrees warmer than any other neighborhood. The Mission Community Pool welcomes you with the iconic “New World Tree of Life” mural on it’s outside wall. It has four lanes and is open for recreation swim Tuesday through Friday, 2–3:30 p.m., Saturday 1-2:30 p.m. and Sunday 12:30–2 p.m. The pool is closed on Mondays.

1 Linda St.
San Francisco, CA

photo: Tim Dorr via flickr

East Bay

Richmond Swim Center
With the Richmond Plunge closed for the time being, families have switched their swim schedule to the Richmond Swim Center. Tot splash takes place Mon.-Fri., 9:45-10:45 a.m. Family swim hours are Sat.-Thurs. 1:30-3:45 p.m.

4300 Cutting Blvd.
Point Richmond, CA

San Ramon Aquatic Center 
Even if it’s outside your area code, this outdoor water wonderland is well worth a day trip for some serious summer fun. The huge pool complex offers an amazing splash pad featuring slides and shooting water, an Olympic-size pool with a goosebump-inducing water slide and a medium-sized pool perfect for tubing or kick-boarding around. There’s also a shaded grassy area ideal for picnic lunches. During the summer months, the schedule is packed with open swim times (up to three per day) with a mid-morning hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays dedicated to Toddler time.

9900 Broadmoor
San Ramon, CA
Online: ci.san-ramon.ca.us


photo: Kathyrn L via Yelp

El Cerrito Pool
This outdoor pool complex has three distinct areas: A lap pool, a shallow pool with fountain for playing around, and a splash pad. Heated locker room floors are just one of the many perks of this impressive public pool. Recreational swim is every day from 1:15–3:15 p.m. with extended hours on Saturday and Sundays.  The splash park is open morning and afternoon every day except Sunday, but check the schedule for hours and modifications.

7007 Moeser Ln.
El Cerrito, CA

Robert Livermore CC Pool Play Area w-kids_6x4-200

photo: Livermore Area Recreation and Park District

Robert Livermore Recreation Center
This pool is so spacious, it even offers kayaking courses! Surrounded by a deck and grassy area with lounge chairs and plenty of shade structures, this is a perfect summer hang-out. The lap pool is open year round and in summer there’s a fabulous shallow activity pool with play structure, waterfalls, water cannons, plus at 22-foot-long spiral water slide.  A special toddler time runs for two hours MOn-Thurs. for under fives starting at 9.15 a.m. Open swim time takes place Mon.-Thurs. 1-6 p.m. and Fri.-Sun. noon-6 p.m.

4444 East Ave.
Livermore, CA

Rankin Aquatic Center
This pool is both fun and affordable. Settle in with a cooler (there is no concession stand) and watch the kids have the time of their lives as they splash around in the amazing activity pool with slides and a giant water bucket feature. The place is clean and well staffed but go early to get the shade. Rec swim is Mon. 1-4 p.m., Tues.-Fri. noon-4 p.m. and Sat.-Sun. noon-5 p.m.

100 Buckley St,
Martinez, CA


photo: Kathryn R via Yelp


Giammona Pool
This gorgeous pool, which is part of the Westmoor High School, opened in 2010, and has been raved about ever since. It’s clean and warm and has a diving board and viewing deck, spacious locker rooms, plenty of showers and a handy spin dryer for all those soggy swimsuits you’ll be taking home. Recreational swim times are Friday 5:30–7:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 12:30–2:30 p.m.

131 Westmoor Ave.
Daly City, CA

Herkner Memorial Pool
When Herkner opens its gates, it’s the official sign that summer has come to Redwood City. This popular solar-heated outdoor pool hosts a 45 minute baby session at noon Monday to Saturday to allow swimmers under five to get used to the water without too much splashing. Don’t forget the swim diapers! Alternatively, bring the whole clan for the summer rec swim, Mon.-Sat. 1:15-3 p.m. The pool is closed on Sunday.

1315 Madison Ave.
Redwood City, CA

Rinconada Pool
This pool has all the fun of the beach without the sand. The toddler pool can keep kids happily splashing for hours with its gentle gradient and myriad water features. There’s a slide, a jetty, water jets, a mushroom style waterfall, and some very cool aqua-bicycles with water squirts. There are lifeguards on duty and the pool is open Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sat.-Sun. noon-6 p.m.

777 Embarcadero Rd.
Palo Alto, CA


Burgess Pool Pic #2

photo: Menlo Swim and Sport

Burgess Park Pool Complex
Bring a picnic and set yourself up in the shade under the oak trees. There are three pools here, one for laps, one for open swim time and a baby pool. The tot spot is 3 ft at it’s deepest and kept at a toasty 87 degrees with plenty of fun splashy water fountains and falls. If the kids have outgrown the shallow end, the recreational pool is open for play noon until closing time every day of the week with doors opening at the earlier time of 11 a.m. on Saturdays.

501 Laurel St.
Menlo Park, CA

Palo Alto JCC
For non-members, a day at the Palo Alto JCC comes with a higher price tag than most other pools listed, but the facilities include an indoor and outdoor pool with lots of fun features. There’s a slide, fountains and a giant frog slide in the baby pool.

3921 Fabian Way
Palo Alto, CA


photo: Burlingame Aquatics

South Bay

Rengstorff Pool
Weekends here are busy with families enjoying everything this pool has to offer. Surrounded by parks and playing fields with BBQ grills that can be reserved ahead of time, this child-friendly pool has a shallow area, a swim zone and a slide. There’s limited lap swimming, and once the morning swim lessons are done, the open swim hours are 1-3:15 p.m. during the week and 1:30-6 p.m. at the weekend.

201 S Rengstorff Ave.
Mountain View, CA

Morgan Hill Aquatics
With two large waterslides, a water play feature, splash pad, diving boards, a full size competition pool and another pool for free swim, this is the hottest place to stay cool in the South Bay. There’s a grassy area with palm trees around the perimeter of the pool and lots of loungers, so stake out your spot and stay the day. Find the schedule here.

16200 Condit Rd.
Morgan Hill, CA

photo: Fair Swim Center

Fair Swim Center
This is a perfect spot for kids to get acquainted with swimming. Surrounded by a large grass field, picnic areas and lots of shade, the little ones can splash away in a shallow pool with beach entry that has a fun mushroom waterfall. There’s a slightly deeper pool with a squirt gun designed for recreational swimming. In addition, there’s a spacious lap pool. Bring a picnic and settle in to enjoy the hot summer days.

1350 Bacchus Dr.
San Jose, CA


photo: Kathryn R via Yelp

Marin County

Mill Valley Recreation Center Swimming Pool
Everyone loves this sparkling-clean indoor pool with its big windows and retractable roof for warm summer days. Little ones feel right at home splashing and playing in the shallow “cove” area where wide steps descend gradually into the water, and for kids 48 inches tall, the spiral water slide is always a big hit.

180 Camino Alto
Mill Valley, CA

Marinwood Community Center Pool
The double-flume waterslide is just one of the draws of this pristine community pool. Grassy area for picnics, a smaller pool dedicated to little ones 7 and under and poolside lounge chairs and umbrellas make this a perfect place to camp out as long as the SPF lasts. To get in on the crowd-free morning tot sessions (the 3 hours prior to open rec swim), you must become a member or purchase a punch pass.

775 Miller Creek Rd.
San Rafael, CA

marinwood pool_gabrielleL

photo: Gabrielle L via Yelp

McNear’s Beach Pool
This feels like more of a getaway than any other community pool, since it’s located right on the coast and also offers a rocky beachfront, sandy patches to dig and build, and even a fishing pier. The two pools—a main pool and a shallower toddler pool—are fenced in and clean, and only open during the summer months. A snack bar serves up hot dogs, ice cream, chips and candy, and a small video arcade offers some indoor fun. The pool is open Wed.-Fri., 11 a.m.–5 p.m. and weekends, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; it’s closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Lifeguards are on duty at the swimming pool, but not at the beach.

201 Cantera Way
San Rafael, CA

Hamilton Community Pool
This beautiful eight lane pool was revamped in 2010 and has a fun activity pool with a play structure and slide. Surrounded by lawns and sun loungers and with a great view of the bay, this pool is a perfect summer escape.  The pool is open from mid May through end of September, with public swim times during the summer from noon-6 p.m.. Check the schedule for details.

203 El Bonito Rd.
Novato, CA

hamilton Pool Novato

photo: Kathryn R via Yelp

Terra Linda Community Pool
Non-swimmers can spend a happy afternoon in the toddler pool here with it’s fountain sprays and spouts while parents relax on loungers nearby. The changing rooms were renovated and a new inflatable added in 2016. Check the schedule here.

670 Del Ganado Road
San Rafael, CA

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