New York City, the city that never sleeps, is a metropolis bursting with life and energy. And during the summer months, it gets even hotter — both literally and figuratively. That’s when New Yorkers start looking for ways to cool off and take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. And what better way to do that than by going for a swim?
But where can you go for a refreshing swim near the Big Apple? Here we’ll take you on a journey through the best spots for swimming near New York City.
From public pools to beaches, from lakes to rivers, and even swimming holes and water parks, we’ll give you the lowdown on the top places to take a dip and cool down. And we won’t stop there. We’ll also give you the inside scoop on the best time to go swimming and what safety tips you need to keep in mind.
So, grab your sunscreen and your bathing suit, and get ready to discover the best swimming spots that New York City and its surroundings have to offer.
#1: Public Pools
If you’re looking to cool off and take a swim without leaving the city, public pools are a great option. They offer an affordable and family-friendly way to enjoy a refreshing dip during the hot summer months. Here are some of the best public pools for swimming near New York City.
Lasker Pool in Central Park
Located in the heart of Central Park, Lasker Pool offers two separate pools with plenty of lounge chairs for sunbathing. It’s a popular spot for families and a great place to relax on a lazy summer day.
McCarren Park Pool in Brooklyn
This Olympic-sized pool is a local favorite and offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. Plus, it’s free to the public!
Hamilton Fish Pool on the Lower East Side
With its large, rectangular shape and ample space for swimming laps, Hamilton Fish Pool is a classic New York City pool. It also has a separate wading pool for children.
Astoria Pool in Queens
Astoria Pool is one of the largest public pools in the country, measuring 330 feet in length. It features a diving board, water slides, and plenty of deck space for lounging.
New York City is surrounded by some of the most beautiful beaches in the country, offering a sandy oasis for swimmers looking to escape the city heat. From the famous Coney Island to the picturesque Jones Beach, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are some of the best beaches for swimming near New York City.
Rockaway Beach in Queens
Rockaway Beach is a popular spot for surfers and swimmers alike, with miles of sandy shoreline and clear waters. It’s also easily accessible by subway or car.
Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn
This iconic beach is known for its amusement park and boardwalk. But it’s also a great spot for swimming. With its lively atmosphere and expansive beach, Coney Island is perfect for a day of fun in the sun.
Brighton Beach in Brooklyn
Brighton Beach is a quieter and more relaxed option than Coney Island. It has plenty of space for sunbathing and swimming. It’s also known for its vibrant Russian community and delicious cuisine.
Jones Beach in Long Island
Located just a short drive from New York City, Jones Beach is a popular destination for its crystal-clear waters and white sandy beaches. It’s a great place to escape the city and spend a day in nature.
If you’re looking for a more peaceful and secluded swim, consider heading to one of the many beautiful lakes near New York City. These natural swimming holes offer a serene environment to enjoy a refreshing dip in the cool waters. Here are some of the best lakes for swimming near New York City.
Lake Minnewaska in Ulster County
Located in the Shawangunk Mountains, Lake Minnewaska is a breathtakingly beautiful spot for swimming. The lake is surrounded by towering cliffs and lush forests, making it the perfect place to escape the city hustle.
Lake Tiorati in Harriman State Park
Lake Tiorati is a popular spot for fishing, boating, and swimming. The lake features a large sandy beach and crystal-clear waters, making it a great destination for a day trip.
Lake Welch Beach in Harriman State Park
Another popular swimming spot in Harriman State Park is Lake Welch Beach. This large lake has a sandy beach, playground, and plenty of picnic areas, making it a perfect place for families to spend a day.
Canopus Lake in Clarence Fahnestock State Park
Located in the Hudson Valley, Canopus Lake is a peaceful and scenic spot for swimming. Its calm waters and surrounding mountains make it the perfect place to relax and take a break from the city.
Rivers offer a unique swimming experience with their natural beauty and rushing waters. If you’re looking for a refreshing swim in a natural setting, consider visiting one of the many beautiful rivers near New York City. Here are some of the best rivers for swimming.
Delaware River in the Delaware Water Gap
The Delaware River is a popular spot for swimming, kayaking, and tubing. With its clear waters and stunning scenery, it’s a great place to spend a day in nature.
Esopus Creek in the Catskills
Esopus Creek is a pristine river that’s perfect for swimming and fishing. It features crystal-clear waters and scenic views of the surrounding mountains.
Hudson River in the Adirondacks
The Hudson River is a famous waterway that’s perfect for swimming, boating, and hiking. With its picturesque scenery and calm waters, it’s a great place to relax and enjoy the great outdoors.
Stony Clove Creek in the Catskills
Stony Clove Creek is a lesser-known swimming spot that’s ideal for those looking for a secluded and peaceful experience. With its clear waters and surrounding forests, it’s a beautiful place to spend a hot summer day.
#5: Swimming Holes
For the more adventurous swimmer, swimming holes offer a secluded and natural environment for swimming. These hidden gems can be found throughout the New York area and offer a unique and refreshing swimming experience. Here are some of the best swimming holes for swimming near New York City.
Peekamoose Blue Hole in the Catskills
Peekamoose Blue Hole is a crystal-clear swimming hole that’s surrounded by lush forests and towering cliffs. It’s a popular spot for swimming, cliff jumping, and picnicking.
Split Rock Hole in the Shawangunk Mountains
Split Rock Hole is a picturesque swimming hole that features a waterfall and clear, cool waters. It’s a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, and exploring the surrounding forests.
Vernooy Kill Falls in the Catskills
Vernooy Kill Falls is a beautiful waterfall and swimming hole that’s perfect for those looking for a secluded and peaceful swim. The clear waters and stunning surroundings make it a great place to relax and unwind.
Millbrook Quarry in Dutchess County
Millbrook Quarry is a popular spot for swimming and cliff jumping. The deep, clear waters and rocky cliffs make it a thrilling and exciting place to take a swim.
#6: Extra Large Pools
For those looking for a pool with plenty of space, extra-large pools are the perfect option. These pools offer ample room for swimming, lounging, and playing games. Here are some of the best extra-large pools for swimming near New York City.
Tony Dapolito Recreation Center Pool in Manhattan
This large indoor pool features six lanes and is perfect for those looking to swim laps. It’s a great spot for serious swimmers and those looking to get some exercise.
Thomas Jefferson Park Pool in Harlem
With its 55,000-square-foot pool area, Thomas Jefferson Park Pool is one of the largest outdoor pools in the city. It’s a popular spot for families and features plenty of space for swimming and sunbathing.
Chelsea Recreation Center Pool in Manhattan
This large indoor pool features a separate diving pool and is perfect for those looking to practice their diving skills. It also offers plenty of space for swimming and lounging.
St. John’s Recreation Center Pool
With its Olympic-sized pool and ample deck space, St. John’s Recreation Center Pool, located in is a popular spot for swimmers and sunbathers. Located in Crown Heights, it’s a great place to spend a hot summer day.
#7: Water Parks
For a fun and exciting way to beat the summer heat, water parks offer various water attractions and activities for all ages. From lazy rivers to thrilling water slides, water parks are the perfect destination for a day of family fun. Here are some of the best water parks for swimming near New York City.
Hurricane Harbor in Jackson, New Jersey
Hurricane Harbor is a popular water park located in Jackson, New Jersey, an hour’s drive from New York City. It features various water attractions, including wave pools, water slides, and lazy rivers. It’s a great place for families and thrill-seekers alike.
Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown, Pennsylvania
This popular amusement park and water park is located in Allentown, Pennsylvania. It’s perfect for a day trip. Its water slides, wave pools, and children’s areas make it a great destination for families.
Splish Splash Water Park in Riverhead, NY
This is a fun and exciting destination for a day of water park fun. It features a variety of water slides, wave pools, and other attractions, making it a great place to beat the summer heat.
Best Season for Swimming
Swimming is a popular activity in the New York area, especially during the hot summer months. However, the best season for swimming can vary depending on the type of swimming spot you’re looking to visit. Here’s a breakdown of the best season for swimming in different types of spots.
Public Pools and Water Parks
The best season for swimming in public pools and water parks is typically during the summer months, from late May to early September. This is when most outdoor pools and water parks are open, and the weather is warm enough to enjoy the water attractions.
Beaches and Lakes
The best season for swimming on beaches and lakes is also during the summer months, from late May to early September. This is when the water is warmest and most pleasant for swimming. However, some beaches and lakes may be open for swimming in the spring and fall months, depending on the weather and water temperature.
Rivers and Swimming Holes
The best season for swimming in rivers and swimming holes is typically during the late spring and summer months, from May to August. During this time, the water is typically warm enough for swimming, and the weather is mild enough to enjoy the natural surroundings. However, it’s important to be aware of any potential hazards, such as strong currents or underwater rocks.
As our journey through the best spots for swimming near New York City comes to an end, we hope that you’ve found some inspiration for your next refreshing dip. Whether you’re a fan of public pools, sandy beaches, calm lakes, rushing rivers, or adventurous swimming holes, we’ve got you covered.
When it comes to the best season for swimming, the choice is yours. Take into consideration the factors we’ve discussed, such as weather, crowds, and water temperature, and choose the time that suits you best.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © StacieStauffSmith Photos/Shutterstock.com
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