The Finest Swimming Pools in America

The 15 Best Places to Take a Dip This Summer


Around this time every year, we experience a very particular kind of itch.

The kind of itch that says: Dip me in a chlorinated pool, then ply me with a cold alcoholic beverage.

Like we said: it's very particular.

But because we're slaves to these summertime desires—and we imagine you are, too—we've rounded up 15 of the hippest, prettiest, swankiest, booziest pools in the country for your consideration. 

Some are new; others are classics. All of them are worth a look.

(So take a look.)

The poolThe Backyard at The Confidante Miami Beach
The skinny: It's the recognizable pool and lounge space (recognizable because it was the backdrop of Dua Lipa's "New Rules" music video, which has been viewed literally a billion times) at one of Miami's premiere beachfront hotels. This season, they have a suite of new amenities, like on-demand floaties, some of which come with booze, and a retro treats cart, serving up pairings of artisanal popsicles and cocktails to poolside passerby.  

The poolThe Inn at Middleton Place (Charleston)
The skinny: This may be the quietest pool on the list. It resides on the riverside at Middleton Place, a 110-acre secluded sanctuary not far from Charleston that's home to the oldest landscaped gardens in the country. 

The pool: The Sentry (New York, New York)
The skinny: Opening May 23rd, this spectacular new members-only pool 360-degree views of the city skyline sits atop the iconic American Copper Building in Murray Hill. Should you requisition it for a private event of some kind, they'll happily turn the pool into a giant Jacuzzi. We don't know what kind of private event that would be, but that's good to know regardless.

The poolThe William Vale (Brooklyn, New York)
The skinny: For the first time, the sophisticated Williamsburg hotel will be offering a limited number of memberships to its rooftop oasis—the highlight of which is the longest outdoor hotel in the entire borough. Expect frozen Mai Tais, very delicious cheeseburgers and longer-than-usual afternoon naps.

The pool: The Pool Bar at the TWA Hotel at JFK International Airport (Queens, New York)
The skinny: The new 512-room TWA Hotel at JFK is...quite something. There's the cocktail lounge tucked inside a renovated 1958 Lockheed Constellation airplane. There's a French restaurant from world-renowned chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten. And then there's the infinity pool—open year-round and for reservations starting in June—perched on a 10,000-square-foot observation deck overlooking one of JFK's longest runways. It's enough to make us pray for delays.

The pool: The Drifter (New Orleans)
The skinny: This is the fancy dive bar equivalent of hotel pools, a shitty motel swimming hole made nice. Indeed, the '50s-inspired hipster hotel may be one of the scene-iest spots in NOLA. But when has that stopped you before...

The pool: The Cabana Club at The Robey (Chicago)
The skinny: On the sixth floor of The Robey—a new(ish) hotel built inside an Art Deco building in the heart of Wicker Park—you'll find 180-degree sunset views over the city, mid-century modern furniture and some very fine frozen beverages. You'll also find a triangle-shaped pool. It's tiny, yet necessary. 

The poolMiravel Austin
The skinny: This wellness resort outside of Austin has it all: an on-site sommelier; a 20,000-square-foot spa; Tibetan singing bowls; a Native American cleansing ritual known as "smudging." And on top of that, there's this: a wondrous pool overlooking the picturesque Texas Hill Country. It's much more straightforward, but no less essential.

The poolThe Joule Hotel (Dallas)
The skinny: The glass, cantilevered pool atop the Joule Hotel jets out eight feet from the edge of the building, 10 stories high. The only thing separating swimmers from the streets below is a single pane of glass. This answers that most common of tourist questions, "Where do I go to be both serene and terrified in Dallas?"

The pool: Kaos Dayclub at Palms Casino Resort (Las Vegas)
The skinny: You have more than enough outrageous pools to choose from when you go to Vegas. But this is the outrageous-est. The brand new, 73,000-square-foot Kaos Dayclub features two giant main pools, 39 cabanas (most of which have their own private pools), the largest LED wall in the city and a 60-foot bronze sculpture by Damien Hirst. And that's before you account for the personalized champagne valet service, the crazy water canons and the sound system, which is capable of putting on two major arena-size shows at once. Consider yourself warned.

The poolThe Private Rooftop at the Petit Ermitage Hotel (West Hollywood)
The skinny: It's a heated, therapeutic saltwater pool scented with the essence of pure damask roses with an unparalleled view of the Hollywood Hills. It's only douche-y if you let it be. 

The pool: Hotel Californian (Santa Barbara)
The skinny: Here's the kind of place you'd abscond to for a weekend replete with red meat, an in-room cocktail cart and ocean-slash-mountain views. That "slash" is key. 

Laure Joliet

The pool: The Rowan Palm Springs 
The skinny: It's the rooftop pool atop one of the first new full-scale hotel to open in Downtown Palm Springs in quite some time. And it's conveniently located next to the rooftop restaurant, where a former Marc Forgione chef is making you crispy Spanish octopus and duck confit. Not a bad deal.

The pool: Bodega Bay Lodge (Sonoma Coast)
The skinny: There are few better places to watch the sun set than in an infinity edge hot tub at a gorgeous spa along a two-mile stretch of Doran Beach. Very, very few.


The poolPhoenix Hotel (San Francisco)
The skinny: Sprung from the figurative ashes of a '50s-era motor lodge where Neil Young (supposedly) lived while recording Déjà Vu, the Phoenix still plays host to musicians and artists traveling through the Bay Area. If you're lucky, you may spot a few lazing around their pool...

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