Swim Fans

Brooklyn TexasComment

Summer’s here y’all! We’re ready for a serious dip. We thought about running a cold bath and donning our swimsuits at home; instead, we did the research and narrowed down our top methods of splashing around in and around New York City. Check out our favorites as well as a few swimming spots we haven’t tried but are excited to explore this summer.

Swimming holes

Last summer, we ventured to Peekamoose Blue Hole on County Rt. 42 just northeast of Grahamsville, NY and it’s very fun but there a few things to note. It was hard to find at first — we had to pull over and ask some friendly people if we were going in the right direction, and we kept driving and driving and thought we had certainly missed it. But, on a nice day, there are lots of cars parked and people out. It’s actually pretty hard to miss. Swimming holes are beautiful but even on the hottest day are extremely cold. You hike down to the river and the air temperature drops about 10 degrees — you have to be a real trooper to jump in. It’s really fun though, so just bring lots of towels, and don’t forget water shoes, if you have them. Just don’t expect to sunbathe. This summer, we can’t wait to try Enfield Falls at Robert Treman State Park (looks like Austin to us?!) and Stony Brook State Park.


We explored Sandy Hook Beach in New Jersey last year, and boy was that an adventure. This summer, we’ll try to head to the beaches in Queens. We hope to head to the Rockaways for fish tacos, swimming, and hipster-spotting. We also need to try biking to Jacob Riis beach, which is supposed to be relatively clean and quieter than the trendy Fort Tilden beach next door.

Free pools (!)

OK so it’s hard to research free public pools in New York, nay in any place, without also reading about diarrhea. I’m going to choose not to link you to any of the Gothamist articles that describe the McCarren Pool of days past as a “diarrhea filled cesspool of violence and despair,” and instead remind you of its fun past as a rock concert venue. We’ve heard that the last few years, it’s gotten to be a pretty nice place to swim. We’re also excited to try out the Red Hook Recreation Center, which is Olympic sized and allows you to reserve times to swim laps. We might even make the trek out to the Bronx this summer because Barretto Point Floating Pool looks completely amazing. It’s on a floating barge on the East River. Just don’t forget to bring a lock to any of these public pools, because you can’t get in without one.

Not free pools

Not to be confused with McCarren Park Pool, the McCarren Hotel across the street will charge you a cool $325 for a “Pool Bed for two” from 11:30 am to 4:30 pm. Dang! Tickets for a “Day Swim” will set you back $45 on a weekday, $60 on the weekend, but it’s cheaper than a trip out of town. Mr. Purple, the bar on top of the Indigo hotel, has a gorgeous pool with sweeping views of the city, but expect wait times — and you might have to buy a table. It’s $55 for a day pass to the Dream Hotel Downtown’s pool in the Meatpacking district, but it’s seriously classy: quiet, a real sandy beach by the bar, striped chaise lounges. It also has a glass bottom, so even if you don’t feel like dishing out $55 to swim, you can swig a cocktail in the hotel bar and look up to see people swimming above you.