It’s the first week of summer, but there’s still no sign of the sun. Sure, San Franciscans are used to their famously foggy summers, but this year, communities all around the Bay have experienced waaaaay too many chilly, windy and cloudy days in recent weeks.
Luckily, Bay Area residents can easily day trip to public pools in hotter spots in less than an hour. The Standard gathered a dozen of the best swim centers near the Bay that offer more than just a place to dip a toe in—and most $10 or less to dive in.
Whether you want a water slide, a high dive, a picnic spot or just a gorgeous, sunshine-y pool for lap swimming, check out The Standard’s map and guide below for the perfect splashdown.
The Sunniest Pools Near San Francisco
Menlo Park | Adults $10/Kids $6
The three pools cover a range of aquatic needs, including a lap, recreational and instructional pool for lessons. Mature oak trees provide ample shade over a picnic area. Day and seasonal passes are available.
Concord | Adults $7.25/Kids $6
Lap swimming takes place in the morning, and recreational swimming starts at 1 p.m. Without a designated baby pool, this site is better suited for older and more capable swimmers.
San Jose | Free at selected times
With a lap, family and child pool, Fair Swim Center is equipped for a variety of swimmers. The grassy space, picnic area and shade structures provide optimal out-of-the-pool time, too.
Novato | Adults $11/Kids $9
Summer swim is available from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Day passes are required for both recreational and lap swimming. A large wading pool offers a slide structure for the little ones, and another pool provides a place for laps and recreation. Check the schedule for designated lap and rec swim times.
Walnut Creek | Adults $7/Kids $6
Find ample lawn space, both lap and rec pools, inflatables, a baby pool and a diving well. Bring your inflatable for a small fee. Open to the public for summer swim from June 5 to Aug. 4.
Walnut Creek | Adults $7/Kids $6
Enjoy lap and rec swimming at Larkey Park. The separate Larkey Spray Ground for children features a slide and climbing structure. Check the website for hours of operation.
San Rafael | Adults $10/Kids $8
Pop in for recreational swimming this summer from April to October from 12-5 p.m. daily. Kids can take a ride down the tall, twisting slides after passing a deep-end swim test.
Arrive early for a full day of fun along the bay because parking is limited and the pool capacity is 100. Split your time between the warm sandy beach and the sprawling lawns after your dip in the pool.
After an extensive remodel, the Miwok Aquatic Center at the Indian Valley Campus of College of Marin boasts lap lanes, a warm-up pool for recreational swimming and a deep pool with multilevel diving boards and platforms for serious divers.
Morgan Hill | Adults $15/Kids $12
A trip out to Morgan Hill finds an aquatics center with an 18-hole mini golf course right next door. Purchase pool tickets and add on a round of mini golf for a full-day outing for all your friends.
Two main pools satisfy everyone’s aquatic needs. First, the lap pool doubles as a rec pool and hosts water exercise classes, too. The zero-depth entry pool is ideal for little ones. It features a play structure outfitted with waterfalls and water cannons, not to mention a 22-foot-long spiral water slide. Drop-in prices are a deal.
San Ramon | $7 per person
For just $7 per person, San Ramon’s aquatic park is a no-brainer for recreational swimming. The play structures in the kids’ wading pool will keep small ones busy for hours—or just bask in the sunshine at this summer vacation dream-come-true pool.
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