The DC area’s best swimming spots

From free to exclusive, DC has a variety of swimming holes Photo: Sandy Point State Park

WASHINGTON, DC, June 1, 2013 – As summer in DC warms up, everyone is looking for a place to swim and cool off.  Luckily, there are all kinds of pools, pool clubs, and swimming holes for whatever you and your friends are in the mood for. 


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East Potomac pool

An Olympic Size swimming pool located on Hains Point between the Potomac River and Washington Channel, East Potomac Pool is a few yards from the East Potomac Golf Course.  This is a great place to swim laps in the 50-meter lanes, or tan and relax in a natural setting.  One interesting feature of this pool is that in order to enter and exit the pool area visitors must walk through continually running showers. 

Location:  972 Ohio Drive SW (between Francis Case Memorial Bridge & I-395) 

Schedule: Currently open on weekends.  Full operation hours start June 24th. 

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Cost: Free to DC residents, ID required 

More info:

Banneker pool

Banneker Pool is a public outdoor pool known for its diverse mix of people.  Banneker has showers and lockers and is conveniently located in NW DC.  It is close to metro and bus access and offers bike racks in front.  Even though large, it may not be the best place to swim laps on weekends or peak usage hours.  This is a great neighborhood pool to catch some rays and people-watch.   

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Location: 2500 Georgia Avenue NW 

Schedule:  Currently open on weekends.  Full operation hours start June 24th.

Cost:  Free to DC residents, ID required

More info:

Pay to Swim

Sandy Point State Park

Located along the Northwestern shore of the Chesapeake Bay, Sandy Point is a 786-acre state park with several beaches and picnic areas.  There is also a marina store and boat rentals.  Lifeguards protect South Beach at certain hours during weekdays and weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  South Beach has a bathhouse with showering and restroom facilities.  Snack, beach and picnic supplies can also be purchased inside the park.

Location: Northwestern Shore, Chesapeake Bay

Cost: $5 to $7 per person, park passes are also available.

More info:

Beaver Dam Swimming Club

Beaver Dam Swimming club was originally a marble quarry and is currently the only marble quarry in the area used for recreation.  With a rich history, Beaver Dam is much more than a swimming hole.  Covering about 25 acres, there are several picnic tables and grills.  The four-acre freshwater quarry has an average depth of 50 feet, equipped with rafts, a diving board, and a rope swing.  There are also two pools, a basketball court, and two volleyball courts.  No pets, or alcoholic beverages are allowed in the park. 

Location:  10820 Beaver Dam Road, Cockeysville, MD 21030 

Schedule:  Beaver Dam is currently open on weekends and will be open on weekdays starting June 14th. 

Cost: $15 to $17.  Full pricing and schedule  

More info: 

Capitol Skyline Hotel

One of DC’s party pools, the pool at the Skyline Hotel is famous for its huge crowds and festive atmosphere.  With a poolside bar and grill, this is a venue that is fun from morning to night.  Featuring wild parties on the weekends, there are still enough people on the weekdays to make it feel like a celebration.

Location: 10 I Street SW

Schedule: Now open

Cost: $15 Monday- Saturday, $20 Sunday

More info:

Washington Plaza Hotel

The pool at the Washington Plaza Hotel makes you forget that you are in the center of DC.  This pool tends to be a little less crowded and noisy, perfect for reading by the pool or relaxing under the sun.

Location: 10 Thomas Circle NW

Schedule: Now open

Cost: $50 + tax

More info:   

The Liaison

Located on the roof of the Liaison on Capital Hill, this pool boasts a unique open-air bar featuring handcrafted cocktails and light snacks.  A great place to relax, meet people, and see and be seen.

Location: 415 New Jersey Avenue NW 

Schedule:  Now open

Cost: $40

More info:

Members only

Penthouse Pool Club at Vida

The Penthouse Pool Club has been the talk of DC since opening in 2012.  Cabanas, full bar, great food, and VIP accommodations are only a few of the services and amenities provided to members.  The pool is 60 feet and heated, with great views of the city.    

Location: 1612 U Street NW, Rooftop of VIDA Fitness  

Schedule: Now open, accepting applications for membership.

Cost: Inquire about monthly fee

More info:

The Hilton Pool

A neighborhood favorite, the Hilton pool can be quiet during weekdays and festive on weekends.  Membership runs for the entire summer and members can bring guests for $15 each.  Complimentary towel service and lifeguard on duty.  There is one lane for swimming.  

Location: 1919 Connecticut Avenue NW

Schedule: May 1 to September 30, weather permitting

Cost: Contact for rates

More info:


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Laura Sesana

Laura Sesana is a writer and DC, Maryland attorney, joining the Communities in 2012.  She is the author of Colombia: Natural Parks, and has also written several articles on literary criticism.  She writes about food, health, nutrition, women’s legal issues, and the environment.  

In addition to writing for the Communities, Laura also works as an attorney and legal content writer.


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