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

The 8 best Boston pools for swimming and summer fun

Looking to cool off and enjoy a dip? Here are the best options around Boston

Olivia Vanni
Written by
Olivia Vanni
&
Linda Laban
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Boston isn’t exactly known as a pool town, but we've still got several notable places where you can get your water on—from posh hotel pools to casual public facilities. Whether you're looking to lounge around at a hip rooftop pool or simply to cool off at a community setup, these destinations have what you're looking for. If chlorine isn't your thing, consider the best beaches in the Boston area. For folks who prefer to relax on the water—rather than in it—choose one of the best Boston cruises. Be sure to check with each venue directly to confirm availability and any health precautions they may still be taking.

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

Best Boston pools

  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • Back Bay
  • price 3 of 4

The Colonnade Hotel’s iconic rooftop pool (RTP) is a place not only to swim, but also to party outdoors, high above the city all summer long. This is one of the few hotel pools that allows non-guests, but entrance is on a first come, first served basis, even for folks staying there. Lounge chairs are typically quickly snapped up, so you might want to rent one of their cabanas well in advance. There are morning yoga classes and occasional nighttime promotional events. On weekends, the pool is only open to hotel guests, condo residents and cabana renters. 

  • Things to do
  • Cambridgeport

At around 15 acres, Magazine Beach is Cambridge’s second largest park and is situated right beside the beautiful Charles River. It also boasts a busy outdoor community pool, the Veterans Memorial Swimming Pool, and a bathhouse. There's a historic granite powder house, which is currently not in use, that was built in 1818 to store munitions and rifle magazines, giving the park its name. The pool and spray deck are open June through August, and are free for all.

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  • Bars
  • Hotel bars
  • Bay Village
  • price 2 of 4

The Revere Hotel Boston Common boasts a stunning, 16,000-square-foot roof deck and covered swimming pool open to everyone on a first come, first served basis. While the overall rooftop is expansive, be warned that the Theater District pool itself is pretty tiny. Luckily, in between taking dips in the water, you can always spread out in one of the deck's many lounge chairs, couches or bar, which will almost certainly be swimming with beautiful people. And if you prefer to stay poolside and dry, then even better.

  • Things to do
  • Allston/Brighton

This municipal pool—a community mainstay located within Brighton's Cleveland Circle neighborhood—is open June through August, when Boston is at its steamiest. It’s outdoors, free of charge and its facilities feature lockers, restrooms and showers. This cooling oasis is situated right next to the Chestnut Hill Reservation, which means you can cap off a day of swimming with a lovely stroll aound the reservoir.

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  • Hotels
  • Downtown

Hotel guests aren't the only people who can enjoy a day at the InterContinental's 2,500-square-foot indoor heated lap pool. Anyone can visit this downtown spot, which is filled with natural light and overlooks the Rose Kennedy Greenway, by one of two ways: by buying a day pass, or by purchasing a membership to the fitness center or spa. These facilities are open year round, and there's even the option of ordering poolside food and drink by phone, so you can refuel post-swim.

 

  • Hotels
  • Waterfront
  • price 4 of 4

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 an array of fitness equipment, a steam room and sauna, as well as 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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  • Things to do
  • North End

This municipal pool in the North End is a favorite for its fabulous location and harbor views. In the summer swelter, BCYF Mirabella Pool is the place where downtown dwellers consistently cool off. Preference is given to Boston residents, but outsiders can become members for an additional fee. Be sure to pre-register for a time slot before you head over, as walk-ins are currently not welcome. 

  • Sports and fitness
  • Downtown

Equinox Sports Club Boston is part of the swanky Ritz-Carlton complex on Avery Street near Downtown Crossing, where it doubles as the luxury hotel’s guest fitness center. But, apart from that, this high-end gym is open to members, who can all use its state of the art fitness facilities, its spa and its very large lap pool that's technically classified as junior Olympic-sized. Now, do keep in mind that this pool is part of a gym, which means that it isn't the place to lounge around and pose for all of those bikini-clad Instagram thirst traps. However, it's perfect for anyone who wants to swim, build upper body strength and get a great whole body cardio workout.

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