Swimming Near Indianapolis: All The Best Spots

Written by Sandy Porter
Published: September 8, 2023
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Sun, sand, water, and a vigorous swim await you at these fun and beautiful destinations for swimming near Indianapolis. From lakes to rivers and beaches to water parks, you’re sure to find the perfect Indiana swimming hole for your crew. Be sure to check the weather before heading out, though, and bring full supplies if the location is more remote.

When is the Best Time to Go Swimming in Indianapolis?

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA skyline over Monument Circle

The city of Indianapolis may be large and metropolitan, but many amazing swimming opportunities abound in and around. Beat the heat in this subtropical climate at beaches, lakes, water parks, and more.

©Sean Pavone/ via Getty Images

Indianapolis usually experiences hot summers with a humid continental climate. The city is considered to have a borderline humid subtropical climate overall. Experiencing four distinct seasons, the city enjoys a host of lovely plants and trees that thrive in the USDA Hardiness Zones 5b and 6a, specifically. This means that summertime here is hot and perfect for swimming outdoors in natural bodies of water as well as human-made pools.

Average Temperatures in Indianapolis in Summer

On average, Indianapolis experiences hot, humid summers, perfect for swimming.

  • June highs around 81 degrees F to 61 degrees F lows
  • July highs around 85 degrees F to 65 degrees F lows
  • August highs around 83 degrees F to 63 degrees F lows
This image looks up the Tippecanoe River, through the branches of a fallen tree, at Tippecanoe River State Park in Indiana.

Tippecanoe River offers some amazing swimming, wildlife viewing, fishing, paddling, and more, without traveling too terribly far.

©Scott J. Kingery/Shutterstock.com

Multiple swimming pools, lakes, water parks, ponds, and other swimming holes draw folks from around the area every summer. The hot, humid climate of Indy calls for lots of swimming, and the locals have responded in kind with creating some where natural options lack.

You’ll find pools and other swimming options within the city limits, but most of the natural swimming spots reside outside the city. Crowds still gather each summer from May to September, seeking cool shade and a watery spot to cool off.

Swimming Holes Near Indianapolis

Deam Lake

Deam Lake is a fantastic day trip or an extended weekend with the kids, offering a range of activities. Swimming is just one of the exciting options here.

©Thomas Kelley/Shutterstock.com

Generally speaking, you’ll find plenty of swimming holes around Indianapolis. Some offer beaches, others grassy knolls on which to rest by the water. Many do not have lifeguards, either, so it’s best to swim in groups for safety reasons.

You’ll find these are the most popular swimming holes in and around Indy:

  • Tippecanoe River
  • Deam Lake
  • Patoka Lake
  • Hidden Paradise Quarry
  • Lake Michigan

Several are a few hours away, but folks around here don’t mind the drive when they make a day of it.

Swimming Lakes Near Indianapolis

Lower Cataract Falls, a wide waterfall in Owen County, Indiana, is surrounded by beautiful fall foliage.

Swimming at some of the nearby lakes is always a treat. But add in waterfalls and other natural wonders, and swimming near Indianapolis jumps to the next level.

©Kenneth Keifer/ via Getty Images

The deepest lake in Indiana, Tippecanoe Lake, rests within about 1 hour of Indianapolis. This lake, along with several others, have become some of the most popular swimming spots in the area. Folks frequently make day trips to the lakes for a day of swimming, exploring, and hiking.

Other lakes you can swim in near Indianapolis include:

  • Hidden Paradise Quarry
  • Cagles Mill Lake
  • Monroe Lake
  • Brookville Lake
  • White Rock Park
  • Hardin Ridge
  • Patoka Lake
  • Fort Harrison State Park Saxony Lake
  • Morse Lake

Rivers for Swimming or Floating in Indianapolis

White River State Park, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.

Only two sections of the White River within Indianapolis have been deemed safe for swimming. There are other rivers around, too, though, like Tippecanoe.

©Danita Delimont/Shutterstock.com

The primary river that flows through Indianapolis goes by the name of White River. Being in the midst of a large metropolitan area, however, the river is predominantly unfit for swimming. However, two locations have been designated as “safe” for swimming.

The river from 66th Street to 82nd Street and the river where it flows adjacent to the River Road Park have both been designated as safe. Otherwise, it’s best not to set foot in the White River. Ideally, check the White River Alliance’s Live Conditions page before diving in.

Instead, head out to Tippecanoe River for a swim at designated areas.

Beaches Near Indianapolis

The Upper Mystic Lake as seen from Shannon Beach in Winchester close to Boston, MA.

Plenty of beaches may be found near Indianapolis for swimming, too. Many are unsupervised, though, so swim in groups!

©Micha Weber/Shutterstock.com

Just because Indiana is landlocked doesn’t mean this beautiful city doesn’t have some amazing beaches. In fact, you’ll find plenty of swimming beaches around. Grab your sunblock and shades and head on out.

  • Morse Beach
  • Eagle Creek Park Beach
  • Geist Waterfront Park
  • Paynetown State Recreational Area
  • Hardin Ridge Recreational Area
  • Mounds State Park
  • Saxony Beach
  • Indiana Beach

Big Pools in Indianapolis

Two kids and an adult swimming in water

You’ll find plenty of public and private swimming pools for your swimming in Indianapolis.

©iStock.com/Caiaimage/Paul Bradbury

For those looking to swim in a more controlled environment, head out to the big pools around Indianapolis. Plenty of options exist, with big crowds to small, depending on the location, time of day, and season.

  • Markle Park Swimming Pool
  • Monon Community Center, Carmel
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Pool
  • Brookside Park Aquatic Center
  • Rhodius Park Pool
  • The Riviera Club Pool
  • Indiana University Natatorium
  • Willard Park Aquatic Center

Water Parks In and Near Indianapolis

Kids play in aqua park. Children at water playground of tropical amusement park. Little girl at swimming pool. Child playing at water slide on summer vacation in Asia. Swim wear for young kid.

If riding slides and splashing in fountains is more your speed, make your way to these amazing water parks in Indianapolis.


With a city as large as Indianapolis, and a climate as hot and humid, plenty of water parks exist nearby. Some water parks rest within city limits, but several skirt the city, easily accessible for locals and visitors alike.

  • Holiday World Splashin Park, Santa Claus
  • Deep River Waterpark, Crown Point
  • Freedom Springs, Greenwood
  • Murphy Aquatic Park Water Park, Avon
  • Pine Lake Water Park, Berne
  • Prophetstown Aquatic Center, West Lafayette
  • Splash Island, Plainfield
  • Seashore Water Park, Lebanon
  • Franklin Family Aquatic Center, Franklin
  • Splash House, Marion
  • French Lick Big Splash Adventure, French Lick

The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Caiaimage/Paul Bradbury

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About the Author

Sandy Porter is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering house garden plants, mammals, reptiles, and birds. Sandy has been writing professionally since 2017, has a Bachelor’s degree and is currently seeking her Masters. She has had lifelong experience with home gardens, cats, dogs, horses, lizards, frogs, and turtles and has written about these plants and animals professionally since 2017. She spent many years volunteering with horses and looks forward to extending that volunteer work into equine therapy in the near future. Sandy lives in Chicago, where she enjoys spotting wildlife such as foxes, rabbits, owls, hawks, and skunks on her patio and micro-garden.

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