Jun 2, 2024 - Things to Do

Best places to swim in Seattle

Two paddleboarders in Green Lake.

A couple paddleboards on Green Lake during a heat wave in Seattle in 2021. Photo: Chona Kasinger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Whether you're a weekend warrior at lap swim or a casual pool partier, swimming is better when it's outside, and Seattle has no shortage of outdoor pools and beaches to get your flutter kicks.

Yes, but: These places aren't open year-round in our soggy city — or necessarily safe to swim in when it's cold out — so summer is the best time to enjoy them.

Pro tip: If you want to go somewhere on this list, other people do too, so give yourself plenty of time to park.

Here are some of Seattle's best pools and beaches for swimming and lounging in the hot months to come, from comfy kid-friendly pools to the city's lap-swim gem.

Clear paneling surrounds Colman Pool, where people stand next to the water.
Visitors gather at Colman Pool in West Seattle. Photo: Chona Kasinger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Colman Pool

The specs: A 50-meter, heated outdoor pool in West Seattle's Lincoln Park, with a corkscrew slide and diving board, right on the edge of Puget Sound.

Good for: People who don't want to decide between the beach and the pool.

The vibe: Truly one of the city's gems, Colman Pool offers a mountain view on clear days and saltwater instead of chlorine.

Pro tip: There's no parking right at the pool, so be prepared to park at Lincoln Park — which can get crowded — and walk in.

Mounger Pool

The specs: Magnolia's Mounger Pool is actually two — a big five-lane pool heated to 85°, and a smaller one set at 94°, plus a corkscrew slide.

Good for: Families, kids' birthday parties, lap swimmers taking their workout outside.

The vibe: Mounger Pool offers plenty of kid-friendly programming like "Pool Playland," and that's the vibe — outside of dedicated lap swims, it's a great spot for families and little ones learning to swim.

Pro tip: Unlike most pools in the city, Mounger Pool has concessions, so you can truly live out your summertime leisure dreams here.

People play volleyball and sit in the grass next to Green Lake.
Green Lake: where you can play volleyball, swim and just lounge in the grass. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

Green Lake

The specs: Green Lake attracts thousands of visitors every day to its 2.8-mile walking path, boat launches and beaches populated with great blue herons, turtles (!) and power-walkers.

Good for: Families, picnickers, lounging around in the whimsically shaped float of your choice, anyone training for a triathlon.

The vibe: Green Lake has everything — open spaces for picnics, boat rentals, paths for bikes and people, perfectly-spaced trees for hanging your hammock, easy access to coffee shops and restaurants and grassy beaches to while away a summer afternoon.

Pro tip: Green Lake also sometimes has algae bloom warnings — if you see one, do not go in the water or let pets swim.

Denny Blaine Park

The specs: Denny Blaine is one of the best places to swim in the city, with gorgeous views from the water and a community vibe that doesn't exist anywhere else.

Good for: Grownups, open-water swimmers, weekend revelers.

The vibe: Nonstop beach party — Denny Blaine is like the beach equivalent of when you're out dancing and find yourself exchanging compliments and your best anecdotes with strangers in line for the bathroom.

  • It's friendly, fun and extremely PNW.

Pro tip: Denny Blaine is a clothing-optional beach, and a part of Seattle's LGBTQ history.

  • Denny Blaine is extremely popular, so be prepared to park far from the entrance and walk in.
  • The city parks department is looking to protect the beach after efforts to shut it down.
avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Seattle.

More Seattle stories