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The Colonnade
Photograph: Courtesy The Colonnade The Colonnade’s rooftop pool and bar

The best Boston pools

Looking to cool off or enjoy a dip? Here are the best options around Boston that are open to the public

By Linda Laban and Time Out Boston Staff
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Boston isn’t exactly known as a pool town, but in-the-know types have several notable pools to choose from, including slick hotel pools and casual public facilities. Whether you're looking for a NYC-style rooftop pool or a see-and-be-seen vibe that wouldn't be out of place in L.A., these destinations have what you're looking for. If chlorine isn't your thing, consider the best beaches in the Boston area. For those who prefer to relax on the water — rather than in it — choose one of the best Boston cruises. As the city progresses through its reopening phases, be sure to check with each venue directly to confirm availability and details.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Boston

Best Boston pools

The Colonnade
Photograph: Courtesy The Colonnade

1. RTP at The Colonnade Hotel

Hotels Boutique hotels Back Bay

The Colonnade Hotel’s iconic rooftop pool (RTP) is not only a place to swim, but also to party outdoors, high above the city, all summer long. This is one of the few hotel pools to allow non-guests; entrance is on a first-come, first-served basis, even for hotel guests. Lounge chairs are soon snapped up; the rentable cabanas are snagged quickly, too. There are morning yoga classes and occasional nighttime promotional events. On weekends, the pool is only open to hotel guests, condo residents, and for cabana rentals. 

Magazine Beach Bath House & Pool
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Erin E.

2. Veteran Memorial Swimming Pool at Magazine Beach

At around 15 acres, Magazine Beach (668 Memorial Dr) is Cambridge’s second largest park, and this one has the advantage of a waterside location on the beautiful Charles River. It also boasts a busy community outdoor pool, the Veteran Memorial Swimming Pool, and a 1950s-built bathhouse. The historic granite powder house, currently not in use, was built in 1818 to store munitions and rifle magazines, and gave the beach its name. The pool and spray deck are open June through August, and are free for all.

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Equinox Sports Clubs
Photograph: Equinox Sports Clubs

3. Equinox Sports Club Boston

Equinox Sports Club Boston is part of the swanky Ritz-Carlton complex (4 Avery St) near Downtown Crossing. In fact, it doubles as the hotel’s fitness center for guests. But, apart from that, it's a membership gym with state of the art fitness facilities, a spa, and a very large lap pool classified as a junior Olympic swimming pool. This isn’t a posing-by-the-pool pool; rather, this is for people who want to swim, build upper body strength and get a great whole body cardio workout.

Reilly Memorial Swimming Pool
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Paige C.

4. Reilly Memorial Swimming Pool

This municipal pool — a community mainstay at Cleveland Circle (355 Chestnut Hill Ave) in Brighton — is open June through August, catching Boston at its steamiest, and it’s free of charge. The facility has lockers, restrooms, and showers, and is adjacent to Chestnut Hill Reservation and its lovely walking loop round the reservoir.
Hours: Daily 11:15am-6:45pm

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InterContinental Boston pool
Photograph: Courtesy InterContinental Hotel Group

5. InterContinental Boston

Hotels Downtown

Non-guests are allowed to use this Downtown hotel’s natural light-flooded, year-round 2,500- square-foot indoor heated lap pool. There are two options: buy a daily pool pass, or purchase membership to the fitness or spa facilities.

Boston Harbor Hotel
Photograph: Courtesy Boston Harbor Hotel

6. Rowes Wharf Health Club & Spa at the Boston Harbor Hotel

Hotels Waterfront

The BHH's subterranean fitness center and spa includes one of Boston’s largest swimming pools and a gigantic hot tub, too. At three-lanes and 60-feet long, it satisfies even the most serious of city swimmers. The spa floor includes full fitness equipment array, steam and sauna, and a full service spa. While the pool is open year round and is complimentary to all hotel guests, a Rowes Wharf Health Club membership is required for non-guests.

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Rooftop@Revere
Photograph: Courtesy Rooftop@Revere

7. Rooftop@Revere

Bars Hotel bars Bay Village

The 16,000-square foot roof deck adjacent to the covered swimming pool at Revere Hotel Boston Common is open to all comers. However, this Theater District pool is tiny. What it lacks in size, the outdoor deck more than makes up for, adding lines of loungers, a bar, and a party atmosphere. This is the summer pool party for people who don’t like pools and prefer to stay dry.

Mirabella Pool
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Tony S.

8. Mirabella Pool

This municipal pool in the North End (475 Commercial St) is a favorite for its fabulous location with harbor views. In the summer swelter, this is where the North End cools off. It is open to non-Boston residents, but membership is required and the fee is double.

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