Where to Swim in Philly

Kelly Public Pool. Courtesy of PhillyPublicPools.com

Kelly Public Pool. Courtesy of PhillyPublicPools.com

If you’ve been outside today you know it’s hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk.

Before you go jump in the Schuylkill to cool off (not advisable), here’s the low-down on where to get your swim on in Philly.


There are 70 outdoor & 4 indoor public pools and they open for business Friday June 20th and most are open through August.


You can find the one closest to your house here.


Interesting info & historical tidbits here: http://phillypublicpools.com/


The North Shore Beach Club in Northern Liberties is a swanky new(ish) adults only club private during daylight hours, and open to the public on select nights and for special events.

It has private cabanas, a full bar and restaurant and is available to host private events.


The Lombard Swim Club is a family friendly pool with a large lap pool and separate wading pool for tots. There is also a full restaurant and bar on site.


The nicest gym pool we know of is at the Society Hill location of the Philadelphia Sports Club, it’s outdoors & has a nice sun deck perfect for post-workout socializing.


Here’s a short list of other gyms with pools in the city:

12th Street Gym
Acquatic & Fitness Center
Christian Street YMCA
Fitness Works Philadelphia
Sporting Club at the Bellevue

Sweat Fitness

Of all of the Universities in town, Drexel is the only one that allows non-students to use the facilities. Monthly and annual memberships are available, or you can pay a $15 day rate.



Parvin State Park in Elmer NJ is a 40 minute drive from center city (without traffic) and there’s a lake with a lifeguard on duty.


Wharton State Forest in Hammonton NJ is about an hour from the city and offers a variety of outdoor activities including lifeguard supervised swimming. Bring your kids, but no pets allowed.


There are a variety of Pennsylvania State Parks that have bodies of water that you can fish and boat in, and some have pools you can swim in. Open between Memorial Day and Labor Day, these parks offer pool access for a fee.


A Note on Swimming in the Fairmount Park System

It is not legal to swim in any Philadelphia rivers or streams, and anyone who does so faces both safety and legal risks. This is serious stuff; some people list Devil's Pool in Wissahickon Valley Park as a favorite swimming hole, but multiple swimmers have also drowned there.

Fun fact: Philadelphia has 74 public pools, all free & most open June-August.
There are several private swim clubs that have a year+ waiting list & $700-$3,000 seasonal membership fees.
Out of all the local universities only Drexel has membership options/ $15 day passes for people not affiliated with the school.
I've heard rumors that some hotels will let you swim if you know the secret handshake....
If you're lucky like me your gym has a postage stamp sized pool that's overheated and not ideal for laps.
If any of my Philly/South Jersey people know of a good pool/ have a good pool, I'd love to know about it!!!