Six Amazing Pools Across America: The Unique and Unforgettable

Glenwood Hot Springs Resort

Six Amazing Pools Across America: Competitive Swimmer Edition

By Josie Wise, Swimming World Intern

Many swimmers are likely familiar with the struggle of finding a lap pool that is capable of accommodating a full swimming workout while out of town. While other athletes may be able to run down any old sidewalk or lift whatever weights are available in their hotel, it’s not always so simple for a swimmer. This list provides six pools spanning the U.S. that are not only ideal for a swimming workout but are also unforgettable and unique. Whether you want to load up some teammates and take a road trip around the country, add these locations to your bucket list, or keep the pools in mind when traveling to their cities, you’ve come to the perfect starting place for a training adventure.

1. Colman Pool in Seattle, Washington

Colman Pool

Photo Courtesy: Josie Wise

This hidden gem is a must-see feature when visiting the West Coast. Due to the pool’s location directly on the ocean, to get there requires journeying through Lincoln Park. A swimmer might get in a partial warmup simply by hiking to the check-in area of the pool. Once there, a day pass can be purchased to gain access. The truly unique part of this pool’s experience is the views; when you get to the wall in between sets, you can simply look over and out to Puget Sound to try to get a glimpse of a whale or other wildlife splashing around in the glistening waters. You become really close to doing your workout in the ocean itself: the taste of salt, the summer sun beating down on you… and there’s the benefit of heated water, lane lines, and the lack of waves. Your chances of a shark attack are also greatly decreased!

2. Barton Springs Pool in Austin, Texas

Barton Springs

Photo Courtesy: City of Austin

Located with a far-off view of Austin, this pool has attracted a lot of attention over its years. One of the great things about Barton Springs pool is that its water is all completely sourced from nearby underground springs.  Barton Springs spans over an area of three acres, so it would certainly have plenty of room to get laps in. One unfortunate thing for the visiting competitive swimmer is the lack of lanes: this could be remedied by arriving early enough that there would be space to go back and forth without running into other visitors. Who would sleep in on vacation when there are awesome pools to go workout in?

3. Glenwood Hot Springs in Glenwood Springs, Colorado

If you’re willing to do your workout in rather warm waters, then this pool is something that should not be passed up. The Glenwood Hot Springs pool is surrounded on all sides by the breathtaking Rocky Mountains. As you take a breath during a set, you could also get a glimpse of their snowy slopes. Additionally, you wouldn’t only be getting the benefits of exercise while you swim, because the spring water contains a variety of revitalizing and health-boosting minerals. Conveniently, this mountain range hot spring is equipped with lane lines and offers day passes. A workout in this spa-like pool doesn’t seem like it could possibly be too difficult or frustrating, no matter how many brackets are around a set.

4. John C. Argue Swim Stadium in Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles Swimming Stadium

Photo Courtesy: Ken Lund

This swimming stadium would be an ideal pool for any swimming geek. John C. Argue Swim Stadium was built and used for none other than the 1932 Summer Olympic Games. Therefore, the distance, lanes, and water would be crisp and familiar to any competitive swimmer. Getting to revel in the history of the place as you swim would be the most substantial bonus of this visit. John C. Argue Stadium is the only Olympic pool in America that is still in such pristine conditions, available to the public, and not home to a collegiate team.

5. InterContinental Indoor Pool in Chicago, Illinois

Intercontinental Indoor Pool - Chicago

Photo Courtesy: Intercontinental Hotel

It would be a shame not to include an indoor pool in this compilation, as they can be just as unique as their outdoor counterparts. This 14th-floor swimming pool in The Windy City would surely be a one-of-a-kind experience for the visiting swimmer. Either staying in the hotel or purchasing a day pass would grant you the chance to swim in a junior Olympic-size pool that resembles a place of the past. The pool itself and the area surrounding it feature Spanish Majolica tiles and fascinating architecture. An elevated carpeted platform with plenty of lounging chairs to accommodate relaxing guests or curious spectators is also included.  The space seems to resemble more of a miniature castle scene instead of the fourteenth floor of a hotel.

6. Lakeside Swim Club in Louisville, Kentucky

Lakeside Swim Club

Photo Courtesy: Lakeside Swim Club

Swimming in this pool in Kentucky would be an unusual experience. Though it’s called Lakeside in the name, in reality, the pool is not near a lake- it would make more sense to say it is a lake. The pool was built in what was initially a quarry. By chemically treating the water, it has been converted into a giant inground pool with competition lanes, and connected areas for leisurely swimming about. The pool is also home to the highly successful club team, the Lakeside Seahawks, who are lucky enough to practice sandwiched between 40-foot cliffs every day.

Due to the pandemic, a few of these pools have been temporarily closed to the public. Make sure to check before you go to pack your bags!

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

7 comments

  1. avatar
    Julie

    Check out mirror lake pool in Lake Placid. Used to swim long course there with fishes swimming under me.

  2. avatar
    WMP71

    Great article Josie!!!

  3. avatar
    Gloria Daniels Gostomski

    I swim on Lakeside swim team as did my 2 brothers back in the late fifties . We lived a block away from the club.
    Congratulations Lakeside for the article in swimming magazine.

  4. avatar
    D

    Lakeside is a private pool, while I am happy to see it’s on the list as it should be, it is not open to the general public

  5. avatar
    Rebecca Norys

    Lakeside Swim CLUB is private club. Not open to the public. Born and raised there. Lakeside was my babysitter in the summers back in the days when there was more kid freedoms. Shame they didn’t fact check. It’s exclusive, difficult to get a membership. Unless you know a member which has limited tickets per year the average person can’t just walk in. Miss spending my summer’s there! Love Lakeside.

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