Open Water AND Pool Training

FlowSwimmersFlowSwimmers Polson, MontanaMember

Looking for suggestions in North America with availability and easy access of both OPEN WATER and POOL training. Walking distance between the two would be awesome, but a short drive is workable.

Prefer open water temperatures from 65-75 degrees, and it does not matter if it's fresh or salt.

Anyone have any favorite locations or bucket list destinations?



  • rosemarymintrosemarymint Charleston, SCCharter Member

    Ocean City, NJ might fit that bill. The pool is indoors, but is in the center of town and has relatively decent hours. As for open water, you have the ocean, and if you hook up with the right people, you can also get bay in, though the bay this time of year is pretty warm. September and October are amazing times at the NJ shore. You also can drive inland on certain days and swim in an amazing cedar lake with the triathletes. They don't get in your way, though :-)

    Asbury Park, NJ might also work, but the pool is more biking distance or a short drive inland. Hours there aren't so awesome.

    Long Beach, California has a LCM pool right on the beach, so that might fit your needs even more. The California crew on here can probably tell you more about it :-) (and I want more info as I get to go to a conference there in December and one of the only reasons I said yes was swimming proximity.)

  • ruthruth New Jersey, USAMember

    @rosemarymint , tell me more about this cedar lake with the triathletes....

  • rosemarymintrosemarymint Charleston, SCCharter Member

    ruth said:
    @rosemarymint , tell me more about this cedar lake with the triathletes....

    When I lived up there, I basically did all my distance training once I moved away from the coast in that lake. Show up super early and you have tons of time to just swim circles around the buoys. Buy a pass if you live near there.

  • ruthruth New Jersey, USAMember

    Thanks! This is less than an hour from where I live, and these sessions are delightfully long (I'm looking at you, two hour open waters in Hightstown)

  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Mem​ber

    I can't think of anything warm enough....

    Seattle has a pool on the coast, but their ocean temps are chilly.

    There is also Turquoise Lake in Leadville, but again Turquoise is a bit chilly.

    Grant Ranch in Littleton is both a lake and a pool. Lake is a bit scuzzy, though it would be warm enough.

    There might also be a pool/lake combo in Durango. Gunnison has to have a pool, and it's close to both Blue Mesa and Taylor. Those can both hit mid to low 60s in the summer. :-)

  • emkhowleyemkhowley Boston, MACharter Member

    Depending on the time of year, Boston would be a good option. L Street/Pleasure Bay is relatively close to a couple of top-notch pools (MIT and Harvard) and accessible by public transport. There's also usually parking along Columbia Blvd there. Our harbor temps in summer will definitely be in the 65-75 range.


    Stop me if you've heard this one...
    A grasshopper walks into a bar...

  • ruthruth New Jersey, USAMember

    Thanks for the advice @rosemarymint . I went out this morning after the race I'd scheduled was cancelled (it was in the Schuylkill River, and we've gotten so much rain that it was running too fast to be safe). I had a lovely >3 hour swim in bath-temperature water, and figured out that I need more electrolytes for such a feat.

  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member

    The race Ruth mentions is one of the swims offered by French Creek Racing in the Philly area. ((I did the pool swim alternative, so got in the 5K and 800 swims, w lap counting done for me. Not a river swim, but a fun day all the same.)

    Sadly, weather has limited river access lately, but when we get the weather in our favor, there's both a 50 meter pool and the Schuylkill pretty near each other in King of Prussia. The French Creek Racing site linked above has a schedule of open water swims (not only races) and pool workouts supervised by @John_Kenny, who's on this forum and can give you more info. Newark Reservoir in DE has open water swimming Monday evenings, also a French Creek Racing venue.

  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member
    edited July 2018

    PS Schuylkill temp varies, but is often in the range you mentioned.

    This link contains info about temp, flow rate, and water quality.

  • caburkecaburke Charter Member


    How does this look? Downtown St. Petersburg, FL, we have two pools, side by side on the shores of Tampa Bay. We have a very active and welcoming open water swimming community with Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico in our backyard. Yes, water temp in the summer is too hot to train but 8 months out of the year we have the temperatures you're describing with 60f water in the winter. Come down and visit us this winter.

  • FlowSwimmersFlowSwimmers Polson, MontanaMember

    Just the type of place I'm looking for, @caburke I may take you up on your offer!

  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member

    FlowSwimmers said:
    Just the type of place I'm looking for, @caburke I may take you up on your offer!

    Maybe I need a road trip! :)

  • flystormsflystorms Memphis, TNSenior Member

    I think I mentioned it on the USMS thread you posted, but look at Coronado, CA as well. Nice outdoor pool and then the Pacific waiting for you. You can swim along the shoreline in/around the Hotel del Coronado or in Marietta Bay (the east side of the island). I think the Marriott there also has a 25y pool on property.

  • Sarah4140Sarah4140 DenverMember

    I will put in a plug for Marquette, Michigan where you can swim in Lake Superior and the Northern Michigan University pool (25 yards)is about 1/2mile away. Yes Superior is cold until late July but as of last week simply gorgeous and will be between 65-70 until mid-September!

  • rosemarymintrosemarymint Charleston, SCCharter Member

    I just got back from four days in St. Pete for vacation. I didn't know about the pool situation that @caburke highlighted, but the open water sitch is incredible. Highly recommend (though this time of year the water was in the 80s. Hot as hell for you, but same as Charleston, just a lot clearer.) I stayed at a lovely inn in Pass-a-Grille, which is not walking distance to pools, but probably cycling distance if you are willing to brave Gulf Blvd.

  • swimmer25kswimmer25k Charter Member

    The International Swimming Hall of Fame pool in Ft Lauderdale, FL is right across the street from the ocean. I did most of my swimming there from 1999-2002. Both are great venues. I trained in the pool during the week and would cross A1A on Saturday mornings for OW training. It's my favorite place in the world to swim.

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