Things to Do

Staying Cool in the Heat: Local Pools to Swim In

Nothing brings back summer childhood memories of melted ice cream cones and belly flops quite like the smell of chlorine. Poolside is the destination for area residents who can’t bear the heat and humidity of Washington’s summer. City and county recreation departments list neighborhood pools, but unexpected spots to cool off also can be found at area hotels. Read below for where you can take a dip.

The Hilton Washington on Embassy Row (2015 Massachusetts Ave., NW; 202-265-1600) is half a block away from the Dupont Circle Metro station. The Hilton started offering day passes for $15 to its rooftop pool on June 21. The pool is open from 9 am until 9 pm and has ample seating and a skyline view of the city.

Marriott Wardman Park (2660 Woodley Rd., NW; 202-328-2000) near Woodley Park offers a $10 day pass for all-day poolside comfort. The pool is open from 6 am to 11 pm.

Courtyard Marriott (1900 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-332-9300) has a long outdoor pool—ideal for swimming laps—surrounded by lounge chairs. A day pass is $15. The pool is open from 10 am to 8 pm weekdays, 10 to 9 on weekends.

The Marriott Key Bridge Hotel in Arlington (1401 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA; 703-524-6400) has an indoor and an outdoor pool. It’s $10 per person to use either  pool; passes can be purchased at the front desk. Pool hours are 6 am to 11 pm.

A rooftop pool and jacuzzi crown the Embassy Suite’s Chevy Chase location (4300 Military Road, NW; 202-362-9300). For $20 visitors get to lounge near the penthouse and fitness center. The pool is open from 5:30 am to 10 pm.

As we reported in our Best Bites blog, the Omni Shoreham (2500 Calvert St., NW, at Connecticut Ave.; 202-234-0700) offers a Dine and Dip on Sundays, when from 10 am till 2 pm you can get a three-course brunch (with champagne) and use of the pool for $21. UPDATE: We've confirmed that the Dine and Dip promotion will stop on July 8.

Maryland’s Montgomery County public pools are worth checking out. Many of the indoor pools are equipped with water slides, bridges, and toddler pools. Some outdoor pools offer special features—the Martin Luther King Jr. Pool in Silver Spring, for example, has a circulating Lazy River for inner-tubing and a shallow lagoon. For more information about Montgomery County pools visit here.

Pools in the District of Columbia are free for residents and are open from June until early September. The Department of Parks and Recreation divides the pools into three categories: indoor, outdoor, and walk-to-learn outdoor pools—essentially neighborhood children’s pools. For more information on District pool hours and fees, visit here.

Other public pools in the Washington Metro area:

Prince George’s County, MD pools

Fairfax County, VA pools.

Arlington, VA pools.

Alexandria, VA pools.