Three Amazing Outdoor Pools


This is the Village Pool in Georgetown, Tx.

It is not an “amazing” outdoor pool. It’s just where I grew up swimming all year round, and I loved it.

Swimming World ran a multi page article about the potentially negative effects of bad air circulations in indoor pools. Indoor air quality proved significant enough for SW to warrant an acronym – IAQ, and out door pools do excel in most areas for air quality, but that’s not why I love swimming outdoors.

The benefits of getting plenty of vitamin D and having a year round tan go right along with the joy of being able to look up and see sky above you. When it gets cold out side you push your team mates to move even faster than normal in sets. There is something very close to my heart about swimming front crawl as it snows or sleets on your back with little prickles of cold hitting you in the warm water as you glide along.

As I travel different places and train, I get to see quite a few pools that I like, but most are indoors. The olympic pool in Atlanta that is now used by Georgia Tech was incredibly exciting to get pictures of, but it wasn’t a great place to swim. UNC, Duke, High Point, Elon, NCSU, Asbury, McMurry, Hardin Simmons, ACU, Appalachian State, A&M, UT all have varying degrees of great pools, but truthfully that list is easy to narrow down to UT and Texas A&M. NCSU’s pool is decent and Appalachian State had a chance to have a great pools but they really are no where near as good as UT. A city run pool in Cary, NC – the Triangle Aquatics Center – is pretty fantastic, but again, UT just wins over all.

UCCS in Colorado Springs has a pool with an unbelievable view, but alas it too is indoors.

But now I’m on a quest for great outdoor pools. My home town had the pool above and Williams drive pools that were both adequate but nothing to really write home about. Don’t get me wrong, I loved them, but there wasn’t anything spectacular about their setting or their water.

While Austin should be a mecca for nice pools, I must have missed out on them while growing up and training/competing. So, the next time I get some time down in Austin, I plan on exploring. San Diego is also on my list and my hunt will begin when I get there for a week later this year. It may be side tracked a little by some open water time…

But so far I’ve found three pools and I’ve made it to one to swim at.

1. Steamboat Springs’ Old Town Hot Springs – Good temperature and a view of the mountains, what else could you really want? Sure, it’s not really going to be a place to set any world records – the pool is a little shallow and the walls are a bit tricky, but an olympian did come out of Steamboat Springs  for London. While in Steamboat, I loved swimming with a view although the view from where I’m standing is much better than the view from the pool.

The next two are places I want to swim, but I haven’t made it to yet:

2. Ouray Pool – Located in Colorado this pool just seems like a load of fun. I mean look at the mountains, it looks like you could just hop out of the pool and climb the mountain. I definitely want to go here and swim.

3. Garden City Pool – Garden City, KS – Just like the Ouray Pool, this may not be the best place to do competitive swim training. It does look fun and spectacular. It may not be open year round like Steamboat, but open water training here might work just fine. Either way, who wouldn’t want to swim in a gigantic pool.

If you have any ideas or places to contribute please jump in!



About Sean Smith

Husband, Father, Pastor, Swimmer, Writer, Reader, and attempted Adventurer!
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