For the lucky residents of these communities across Corcoran’s markets, the local pool just so happens to be Instagram-worthy.
A private pool is, of course, so very nice, allowing you to swim laps of luxury, but every now and then, even the most solitary of swimmers craves a more social experience. So, grab your towels, your cutest swimsuit, and get ready to strike a pose at these spectacular neighborhood pools with the most amazing backdrops.
Black Point Infinity Saltwater Pool | Honolulu, HI
Honolulu’s Black Point neighborhood is one of its most exclusive, home to Doris Duke’s Shangri La and Tom Selleck, during his Magnum, P.I. days. Living in Black Point also means access to a super-exclusive, super-private, and super-cool neighborhood pool: the Black Point Infinity Saltwater Pool. Local legend has it that the pool was built by a father whose daughter was too scared to swim in the ocean and lo, the devoted dad brought the ocean to her. Built into the cliffs directly next to the ocean, the waves crash into the stone pool, which has an untamed, savage beauty. The pool is free—the catch being that it’s only open to Black Point residents. Trespassers beware: The pool is guarded with private security and cameras.
Coral Gables Venetian Pool | Coral Gables, FL
The only pool on the National Register of Historic Places, Coral Gables’ Venetian Pool is straight out of a movie set—and in fact, Esther Williams made a splash here in her heyday. The pool was originally a rock quarry that produced much of the limestone to build the city of Coral Gables. In 1924, town founder George Merrick hired architect Phineas Paist and artist Denman Fink to transform what would have otherwise been an unsightly and abandoned cavity into a Venetian aquatic fantasia, complete with waterfalls, a Venice-style bridge, grottos, and palm trees. The pool is fed by underground freshwater aquifers—drained each night in a system that uses the aquifers to filter the water before pumping the 820,000 gallons back into the pool, making it the largest freshwater pool in the country. Float in the warm Florida sun, surrounded by bougainvillea in bloom, and the Venetian poles purposely set askew (for that touch of lagoon verisimilitude) for a mere $6.25 a day for Coral Gables residents (non-residents pay $15 a day).
North Shore Lagoon Swimming Pool | Bothell, WA
Take a trip to an island somewhere in the imaginary tiki archipelago right in the heart of suburban Seattle. That’s right—at the North Shore Lagoon Swimming Pool, there’s a full tiki bar decorated with treasures imported from all points of the tiki universe surrounding a full-size saltwater pool. The pool and bar are part of Anderson School, a former junior high that was renovated into a popular hotel and entertainment complex by McMenamins, a Pacific Northwest hospitality group. The indoor pool is heated to temperatures of 88 to 90 degrees year-round, with water cascading out of bamboo shoot-chutes mounted on the exterior of the second-floor tiki bar. After you enjoy a paddle around the pool, stop upstairs for a mai tai, a plate of coconut shrimp, or a Shirley Temple for the kids. The pool is open in one-hour sessions to the public, seven days a week and free to Bothell residents and hotel guests. (For non-residents, the rate is $7.50, plus tax, for adults, with a discount for seniors and children.)
Annenberg Community Beach House Pool | Santa Monica, CA
Famed California architect Julia Morgan designed this pool as part of the greater Ocean House estate in Santa Monica that was built in 1929. William Randolph Hearst commissioned Morgan to design the pool and the guest house as part of the opulent beach house created for the actress Marion Davies, Hearst’s long-time companion. Morgan drew up the plans for Ocean House while working on Hearst Castle, and Hearst and Davies divided their time between the two. After Davies sold the house to a hotelier in 1947, the property went on a journey worthy of a silent film, going through earthquakes, demolition, and neglect. Finally, in a Hollywood ending, philanthropist Wallis Annenberg stepped in with a $27.5 million grant to the City of Santa Monica in 2005, and the pool opened in 2009 with the historic tilework completely restored and a new pool house that echoes the original’s architecture. Today, for just $10 ($4 for kids and $5 for seniors), anyone can swim in the pool once enjoyed by the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Greta Garbo.
Centennial Beach | Naperville, IL
Despite its name, Centennial Beach is not a beach, nor a lake, nor a swimming pool, but rather a massive former rock quarry that’s the pride of Naperville. Originally a quarry that provided the limestone that serve as foundation for many of the buildings of Chicagoland, the pit was transformed into an enormous swimming hole by the WPA in 1932. The quarry has a natural amount of spring water trickling into it throughout the year, which made it a secret swim hole for those in the know in the early 1900s. Now, every summer sees the quarry filled with 6.2 million gallons of water (or more water than nine Olympic-sized swimming pools) from Lake Michigan. The water is chlorinated, re-circulated, and hand-skimmed to remove debris, but as the water is neither filtered nor heated, as well as lightly flavored by the surrounding craggy limestone walls, this is closer to lake swimming than a local pool. For residents, it’s rate of $9 ($14 for non-residents) or $4 ($6 for non-residents) after 5:00 pm. See our list of great Chicagoland swimming spots for additional swimming suggestions.