Why go through the trouble of finding (and likely sneaking into) a pool when the best Miami beaches offer miles of sunbathing opportunities? For starters, there are the cabanas, some of which come fully furnished with TVs and Wi-Fi, and great club parties—think cocktails and DJ sets. Then there’s the going home with a bag full of sand thing, which you can thoroughly avoid by booking an overnight stay at a Miami hotel with a pool so grand it’s exclusive to guests (Miami loves its velvet ropes). Whatever your reason, we suggest paying a visit to the best swimming pools in Miami.
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Best swimming pools in Miami
Ian Schrager’s latest Miami Beach masterpiece has two separate pools, but we’re fans of the landmark Sundial Pool, part of the original property. The towering, Art Deco diving board from the 1950s has also been preserved and is now flanked by rows of loungers and the pool’s namesake bar. Only those who to stay at the Miami Beach Edition are lucky enough to gain access to the pool and its amenities, as well as entry to various events. Daily sunrise–sunset.
You’re more likely to bump into a celebrity while lounging poolside at the Fontainebleau than you are anywhere else in Miami. Rows upon rows of lounge chairs line the oceanfront poolscape, as do furnished cabanas, which were recently renovated and feature flat-screen TVs, wireless internet, a safe, butler service and slatted wood panels for added privacy (cabanas are available to rent for an additional charge). Splash around in architect Morris Lapidus’ signature bow-tie pool, but don’t feel like you need to commit: There are a total of 10 pools all within feet of one another, most of which are shallow enough to stand in and sip cocktails. Nonhotel guests can make use of the pools with the purchase of a day pass or a spa treatment of 50 minutes or more. Daily sunrise–sunset. $175 “A Day at Fontainebleau” pass.
A day at the Confidante pools—both are heated, located side by side and identical in size—can feel like a remote island retreat, in part because you can book a private cabana ($600) or bungalow ($100) and pretend you're on vacation. But if it's a budget-friendly escape you're after, its bright umbrellas and loungers are free and accessible to locals any day of the week (a minimum food and drink purchase is required). Stop in during the hotel's Backyard Saturday party to take advantage of $40 bottles of French rosé, barbecue specials and a live DJ. Daily sunrise–sunset.
You'll need to be a guest of EAST, Miami to make use of its 20,000-square-foot poolscape with four swimming pools. But wouldn't the opportunity to pool hop make you want to book an overnight stay anyway? Once in, you'll get to lounge beneath brightly colored cabanas and lounge chairs, order poolside snacks and drinks from the property's Uruguayan restaurant Quinto La Huella and soak up some rays perched high above Downtown. Not a bad way to spend the afternoon. Daily sunrise–sunset.
Retro, woven lounge chairs in sunny yellow line this decidedly hip pool that overlooks the bay. Everyone’s welcome, as nonguests can purchase a day pass that grants them access to the pool and various spa amenities. Expect a chill vibe even on weekends, when locals make their way to the adjacent deck and bar area for happenings such as the Lazy Sunday barbecue. (What better way to wind down the weekend than with discounted drinks and a DJ-spun set?) Mon–Thu, Sun 8am–10pm, Fri–Sat 8am–midnight. $75 day pass Mon–Thu, $150 Fri–Sun.
Guests of the historic Biltmore Hotel won’t find a more relaxing oasis in the city than the 23,000-square-foot pool. The storied locale was a favorite of “Hollywood Mermaid” Esther Williams, who frequently performed water shows at the hotel, and was where the original Tarzan served as lifeguard. The hotel gym, restaurant and courtyard overlook the pool, as do nine private cabanas shaded by palm trees. Daily sunrise–9pm.
Coral Gables developer George Merrick built the Venetian Pool out of coral rock quarry back in the 1920s; since then it’s been host to pageants, the Miami Symphony and throngs of people looking to splash around in the country’s largest freshwater pool (which explains why the water is almost always cold). It’s got something for everyone: a sandy area for sunbathers, an impressive waterfall, a grotto with water-filled caves and several shallow areas for kids. Hours vary by season. Check website for details.
Though it technically has two pools, the National’s iconic, 205-feet long infinity pool is arguably its most famous—namely for its use in everything from fashion shows during Miami Swim Week to Art Basel Miami Beach installations. Nonguests can pay a nominal fee for access to both pools (the second is a heated leisure pool) and towel service. Use of the cabanas is extra, but totally worth it. Daily sunrise–sunset. $35 day pass (based on availability).
Perfect for when one day of lounging just isn’t enough, this upscale take on a community pool lures (repeat) visitors with inventive cocktails, a trendy restaurant and an adjacent hostel. The pool is open to all guests of the Freehand, as well as customers of 27 restaurant and The Broken Shaker, which hosts a number of daytime barbecues around the pool, complete with DJs. Daily 7am–6pm.
The pool at this historic, boutique hotel in MiMo has been restored to its 1950s splendor—complete with arching water streams and iconic dolphin and mermaid mosaic, which was surfaced and restored using tiles found on site. Only guests are permitted to take a dip, but locals are welcome at the pool bar, where there’s live entertainment (salsa, jazz, etc.) on weekend nights. Daily 8am–8pm.