The best swimming pools in the San Francisco Bay Area

Whether you’re a casual water baby or a serious lap logger, make a splash in one of the finest swimming pools in the Bay Area
Photograph: Yelp/Elaine C.
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Despite its shades-of-gray tendencies (thanks, Karl the Fog), the Bay Area possesses a solid number of must-visit pools. From tucked-away neighborhood spots and intense spa soaks to a rock’n’roll-tinged hotel redefining the local pool-party scene, dip your toes at these stylish pools around the Bay Area. Once you’ve dried off, grab a bite at one of San Francisco’s best restaurants or meet up with friends for happy hour.

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Bay Area swimming pools

1
Francis Ford Coppola Winery
Photograph: Yelp/Elaine C.
Bars, Wineries

Francis Ford Coppola Winery

You’ll feel like a movie star as you sip a blended cocktail while lounging beside the legendary director’s Wine Country pool. While reservations for the chairs can sell out months in advance, day passes (which include fresh towels, poolside service and a grassy knoll for sunbathing) are first-come, first-served.

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Photograph: Courtesy Indian Springs Resort and Spa
Hotels

Indian Springs Resort and Spa

icon-location-pin Calistoga

This nearly Olympic-size pool is fed by mineral-infused geysers and kept naturally warm—around 102°F in winter and 92°F in summer. Guests flock to this Wine Country escape year-round to soak in the restorative powers of the thermal water (though the poolside cocktail service might negate any health benefits)

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3
Banquet room
Photograph: Flickr/Wally Gobetz
Hotels

Palace Hotel

icon-location-pin Yerba Buena

Ascend to the fourth floor of this San Francisco institution to find a sunlit, three-lane pool under an arched atrium. It measures in at a long, lean 20 by 60 feet—just right for logging morning laps before attacking afternoon tea in the historic Garden Court. At night, relax your sore muscles in the adjacent whirlpool. 

4
Phoenix Hotel
Photograph: Courtesy Phoenix Hotel
Hotels

Phoenix Hotel

icon-location-pin Tenderloin

This egg-shaped pool, with a Francis Forlenza mural across its walls and floor, is as close as we get to a venue for Vegas-style bashes in the Bay Area. Cool out-of-towners like the Red Hot Chili Peppers have even been spotted mingling with staycationing locals during parties hosted by Chambers Eat + Drink, the adjacent restaurant.

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5
Claremont Club & Spa
Photograph: Courtesy Claremont Club & Spa
Hotels

Claremont Club & Spa

icon-location-pin Oakland

The aquatics offerings at the Claremont include heated recreational and lap pools and an outdoor whirlpool to relax in. For those seeking sun, there are dozens of lounge chairs for getting your tan on. Bonus: Parts of Mrs. Doubtfire were filmed here.

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Sava Pool
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/throgers
Things to do

Sava Pool

icon-location-pin Parkside

Housed in a gorgeous concrete-and-glass building with a south-facing, double-high wall of windows, this eight-lane, 25-yard indoor pool is a dream for serious lap swimmers. It can get busy during peak hours, so be prepared to share a lane. One swim costs adults $6; kids $1.

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7
Mission Community Pool
Photograph: Courtesy San Francisco Recreation & Parks
Things to do

Mission Community Pool

icon-location-pin Mission Dolores

Just a block away from café- and boutique-lined Valencia Street and a short stroll to popular weekend chill zone Dolores Park, this recently renovated swimming hole is the only city-operated outdoor pool in San Francisco. Lanes can fill up quickly, but that deck is a near-perfect spot for catching some rays. One swim costs adults $6; kids $1.

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Hotel Nikko
Photograph: Courtesy Hotel Nikko
Hotels

Hotel Nikko

icon-location-pin Tenderloin

This contemporary high-rise hotel, houses one of the city’s most picturesque pools. Float on your back as if you’re in guppy swim class, spend way too long in the hot tub or bask on one of the lounge chairs: The sun filtering through the peaked solarium ceiling will make you feel as if you’re lounging alfresco (albeit protected from rogue gusts of wind). Access to the pool and adjacent fitness center costs $25/day for non-hotel guests and hotel guests not staying on the Imperial Floor or in a suite.

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9
The St. Regis San Francisco
Photograph: Courtesy The St. Regis San Francisco
Hotels

The St. Regis San Francisco

icon-location-pin Yerba Buena

Kiddie pool hours aren’t exactly what you want out of a sophisticated stay, which is why we appreciate the 24-hour access to this swank hotel’s pool. The sexy, low-slung lounge furniture and pillow-topped window seats might have you believing you’ve been transported to a Miami beach club, but classic San Francisco stretches out below (have a look). You can dip to your heart’s content as a hotel guest; otherwise book a spa treatment at on-site Remede Spa for access. 

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Kabuki Springs & Spa
Photograph: Courtesy Kabuki Springs/Frankie Franekey
Shopping

Kabuki Springs & Spa

icon-location-pin Japantown

This tranquil, dimly lit bathhouse on an unassuming corner in Japantown feels not only like an escape from city life, but also from the city itself. As you soak in a steaming communal pool (104 degrees) or succumb to a sense-scrambling Eastern-influenced massage, you’ll have to keep reminding yourself that you are indeed smack dab in the middle of SF. Or maybe an invigorating plunge in the cool pool (55 degrees) will snap you back to reality. Bath rates start at $25; $15 with a treatment.

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