Six Great Open Water Swimming Locations

Photo Courtesy: Engin_Akyurt / 6388 images

By Kelsey Mitchell, Swimming World College Intern.

Open water swimming is a wonderful way to explore our world while also getting in a good workout. From serene lakes to the majestic oceans, there are many beautiful and memorable places to train. Here are some of our favorite open water locations.

1. Kailua Pier


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Located in Kona, Hawaii, Kailua Pier is a heavily frequented open water swim site. With an average water temperature between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, Kailua Pier is home to coral reefs and an abundance of ocean wildlife. Swimmers are able to watch the many tropical fish and possible dolphins before returning to land to explore Hawaii’s biggest island. This location is also the start of the famous Ironman Kona. With Ironman Kona’s reputation, there can be no doubt that this is a great place for open water swimming.

2. La Jolla Cove


Photo Courtesy: CyndS

La Jolla Cove is hidden between the beautiful sandstone cliffs of La Jolla, Calif., about a 20 minute drive from San Diego. Though the beach is relatively small, it is surrounded by a lush park with breathtaking views of the ocean. The water temperature is at its warmest during September, ranging from about 66 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. There are also rocky outcroppings in the cove, so it is important for open water swimmers to be aware of their surroundings. These rocks are not all bad though, as many Pacific fish and plants can be seen between them. Sea lions also frequent the area and will often join swimmers in their workouts. Besides swimming, La Jolla offers visitors some incredible photo ops and great dining locations.

3. Noosa Main Beach


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One of Australia’s only north-facing beaches, Noosa Main Beach has calm waves and gentle waters perfect for open water swimming. Located on Australia’s Sunshine Coast in the city of Noosa, the Noosa Main Beach offers its visitor’s clear water and soft sand. The water at Noosa Main Beach is warmest in February, with the average temperature ranging from 79 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. After swimming, visitors can visit Hastings Street, famous for its shopping and dining.

4. Seven Mile Beach


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Located on Grand Cayman Island, the Seven Mile Beach is perfect for open water swimming. With a water temperature between 78 and 86 degrees, the Seven Mile Beach is good for swimming without a wetsuit all year round. With coral reefs underneath, swimmers can see a variety of marine wildlife, including many types of fish and rays. The water surrounding Grand Cayman Island is crystal clear, and the beaches have white sand. After swimming, one can spend their time shopping at the many local gift shops or lounging at one of the many high-end beach resorts.

5. Torch Lake


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Torch Lake is well known for its bright blue waters and beautiful sunsets. Located in Michigan, Torch Lake has low boating traffic and is relatively calm and serene. Torch Lake has relatively cold waters due to its depth, averaging from 48 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a great place to practice in open water with a wet suit. After a workout, swimmers can stop by Torch Lake’s sandbar, home to many boat parties during the warmer months.

6. Mono Lake


Photo Courtesy: chenhengyu

Nestled into the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California lies Mono Lake. Like the Great Salt Lake, Mono Lake is full of salt, causing no fish to live there. Instead, there are trillions of brine shrimp, also known as sea monkeys. For both of these reasons, it is important to wear goggles while swimming. Mono Lake also has rocky outcroppings of limestone, known as tufa. These strange conditions make Mono Lake an exciting destination to go open water swimming and exploring, and the high salt levels will cause swimmers to float high upon the surface of the water.

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

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