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The Best Public Swimming Pools in Washington D.C.

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[Photo by Wayan Vota]

One of the best things about living in D.C. in the summer — being able to relax and splash around in the public pools. A D.C. license gets you in for free and they're open and hopping most days of the week. Although the entire system is pretty excellent, there are a few pools that stood out to our readers (including a few indoor facilities) and so we compiled a map of the top eleven free swimming options in the District. If you don't see your favorite place to swim on this list, there's a 100% chance that it wasn't mentioned during our call for nominations, so please do mention how awesome it is in the comments section. You can also find the full list of outdoor public pools right here.


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1. Anacostia Pool

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(202) 724-1441
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There are no shortage of public swimming pools east of the river, but this one in particular got a lot of love because it still has a diving board. Anacostia Pool also holds water aerobics classes.

2. Banneker Pool

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2500 Georgia Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 673-2121
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This pool by Howard University is another one that has a diving board, making it a popular choice for daredevil children and confident adults. This is also one of the pools that observes doggie swim day.

3. Upshur Pool

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4300 Arkansas Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC 20011
(202) 576-8661
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This is another pool that celebrates doggie swim day but the humans of Mt. Pleasant, Petworth and 16th Street Heights also speak highly of this location.

4. Rosedale Pool

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1701 Gales Street Northeast
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 727-6521
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While it's an easy move to include D.C.'s newest pool amongst the city's best, the children's water slide also held a lot of weight.

5. Takoma Aquatic Center

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300 Van Buren St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20011
(202) 576-9285
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The residents in D.C.'s northernmost corner have to travel southward for awhile to get to any public outdoor facilities but thankfully, this large indoor option in the Recreation Center is close by. The enormous facility hosts water polo matches and there's also a water mushroom to splash some of its younger patrons.

6. Francis Pool

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2435 N Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 727-3285
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DC Department of Parks and Recreation calls this D.C.'s busiest public pool, even though last year's bleeding paint fiasco meant that it was closed for a little while. Francis Pool has two lap lanes and offers lessons and water aerobics. It was also name dropped in the movie Minority Report although for some reason, the writers opted a) not to film there and b) to claim that the pool was located in Baltimore.

7. Volta Park Pool

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1555 34th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 645-5669
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The pool that serves Georgetown's residents has a dedicated lap lane at all times. That said, it's popular enough that getting there early on weekends is a necessity as seating can fill up quickly.

8. Wilson Aquatic Center

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4551 Fort Dr NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20016

Another one of D.C.'s public indoor facilities comes highly recommended by those looking to take a water aerobics class and those looking to just cool off and get out of the sun.

9. Harry Thomas Sr. Pool

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1743 Lincoln Road Northeast
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 541-7499
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This pool has also been named the best public pool by the folks at Washington City Paper.

10. East Potomac Pool

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972 Ohio Drive Southwest
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 727-6523
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While Hains Point is enough of an attraction in and of itself, one reader described this pool as "amazing" and "pristine."

11. William H. Rumsey Aquatic Center

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635 N Carolina Ave SE
Washington DC, D.C. 20003
(202) 724-4495
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This isn't terribly far from the popular (albeit, non-free) pool at the Capitol Skyline hotel, but this free indoor option also comes highly recommended by reading tipsters. Also, this pool hosts lap swimming, aerobics and programming for children.

12. Jelleff Pool

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3265 S St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20007

13. Langdon Park Pool

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2100 Hamlin St. NE
Washington, D.C. 20018

14. Theodore Hagans Pool

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3201 Fort Lincoln Dr NE
Washington, D.C. 20018

15. Randall Pool

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25 I St SW
Washington, DC 20024

16. Benning Park Pool

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53rd and Fitch Streets SE
Washington, D.C. 20019
(202) 645-3957

17. Ridge Road Pool

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800 Ridge Rd SE
Washington, D.C. 20019

18. Kelly Miller Pool

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4900 Brooks St NE
Washington, DC 20019

19. Douglass Pool

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1921 Frederick Douglass Ct SE
Washington, DC 20020

20. Fort Stanton Pool

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1800 Erie St SE
Washington, DC 20020

21. Oxon Run Pool

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Mississippi Ave, SE
Washington, D.C.

22. Park View Children's Pool

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693 Otis Pl NW
Washington, DC 20010

1. Anacostia Pool

1800 Anacostia Drive SE Washington, DC 20020

There are no shortage of public swimming pools east of the river, but this one in particular got a lot of love because it still has a diving board. Anacostia Pool also holds water aerobics classes.

2. Banneker Pool

2500 Georgia Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC 20001

This pool by Howard University is another one that has a diving board, making it a popular choice for daredevil children and confident adults. This is also one of the pools that observes doggie swim day.

2500 Georgia Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC 20001

3. Upshur Pool

4300 Arkansas Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC 20011

This is another pool that celebrates doggie swim day but the humans of Mt. Pleasant, Petworth and 16th Street Heights also speak highly of this location.

4300 Arkansas Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC 20011

4. Rosedale Pool

1701 Gales Street Northeast, Washington, DC 20002

While it's an easy move to include D.C.'s newest pool amongst the city's best, the children's water slide also held a lot of weight.

1701 Gales Street Northeast
Washington, DC 20002

5. Takoma Aquatic Center

300 Van Buren St NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20011

The residents in D.C.'s northernmost corner have to travel southward for awhile to get to any public outdoor facilities but thankfully, this large indoor option in the Recreation Center is close by. The enormous facility hosts water polo matches and there's also a water mushroom to splash some of its younger patrons.

300 Van Buren St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20011

6. Francis Pool

2435 N Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20037

DC Department of Parks and Recreation calls this D.C.'s busiest public pool, even though last year's bleeding paint fiasco meant that it was closed for a little while. Francis Pool has two lap lanes and offers lessons and water aerobics. It was also name dropped in the movie Minority Report although for some reason, the writers opted a) not to film there and b) to claim that the pool was located in Baltimore.

2435 N Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20037

7. Volta Park Pool

1555 34th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20007

The pool that serves Georgetown's residents has a dedicated lap lane at all times. That said, it's popular enough that getting there early on weekends is a necessity as seating can fill up quickly.

1555 34th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20007

8. Wilson Aquatic Center

4551 Fort Dr NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20016

Another one of D.C.'s public indoor facilities comes highly recommended by those looking to take a water aerobics class and those looking to just cool off and get out of the sun.

4551 Fort Dr NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20016

9. Harry Thomas Sr. Pool

1743 Lincoln Road Northeast, Washington, DC 20002

This pool has also been named the best public pool by the folks at Washington City Paper.

1743 Lincoln Road Northeast
Washington, DC 20002

10. East Potomac Pool

972 Ohio Drive Southwest, Washington, DC 20024

While Hains Point is enough of an attraction in and of itself, one reader described this pool as "amazing" and "pristine."

972 Ohio Drive Southwest
Washington, DC 20024

11. William H. Rumsey Aquatic Center

635 N Carolina Ave SE, Washington DC, D.C. 20003

This isn't terribly far from the popular (albeit, non-free) pool at the Capitol Skyline hotel, but this free indoor option also comes highly recommended by reading tipsters. Also, this pool hosts lap swimming, aerobics and programming for children.

635 N Carolina Ave SE
Washington DC, D.C. 20003

12. Jelleff Pool

3265 S St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20007

3265 S St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20007

13. Langdon Park Pool

2100 Hamlin St. NE, Washington, D.C. 20018

2100 Hamlin St. NE
Washington, D.C. 20018

14. Theodore Hagans Pool

3201 Fort Lincoln Dr NE, Washington, D.C. 20018

3201 Fort Lincoln Dr NE
Washington, D.C. 20018

15. Randall Pool

25 I St SW, Washington, DC 20024

25 I St SW
Washington, DC 20024

16. Benning Park Pool

53rd and Fitch Streets SE, Washington, D.C. 20019

53rd and Fitch Streets SE
Washington, D.C. 20019

17. Ridge Road Pool

800 Ridge Rd SE, Washington, D.C. 20019

800 Ridge Rd SE
Washington, D.C. 20019

18. Kelly Miller Pool

4900 Brooks St NE, Washington, DC 20019

4900 Brooks St NE
Washington, DC 20019

19. Douglass Pool

1921 Frederick Douglass Ct SE, Washington, DC 20020

1921 Frederick Douglass Ct SE
Washington, DC 20020

20. Fort Stanton Pool

1800 Erie St SE, Washington, DC 20020

1800 Erie St SE
Washington, DC 20020

21. Oxon Run Pool

Mississippi Ave, SE, Washington, D.C.

Mississippi Ave, SE
Washington, D.C.

22. Park View Children's Pool

693 Otis Pl NW, Washington, DC 20010

693 Otis Pl NW
Washington, DC 20010