Take the plunge.
It’s time for one last summer scorch before the Bay Area officially bids summer adieu. Of course, that may not so official given the area’s track record of toasty October temps, but now’s the time to dip your feet in a nearby pool and possibly keep them there for the duration of the long Labor Day weekend ahead.
Phoenix Hotel, Tenderloin
If there’s a single pool in the city of San Francisco that’s calling out to be partied in, it’s the pool at the funky, hip Phoenix Hotel. The pool’s distinct Francis Forlenza mural floor is at least part of the reason the hotel is such a popular stay-cation spot. The water is nicely heated and drinks are never more than a few feet away. Throw in live DJs, add cocktail umbrellas, and enjoy the weekend. // 601 Eddy St, Tenderloin, phoenixsf.com
Silliman Family Aquatic Center, Newark
Be still our hearts, you had us at “lazy river.” Beat the heat entirely in this 32,000 square foot indoor water park, where you can also reserve cabanas on the pool deck. There’s also a cafe to curb your hanger, a 15-person warm-water spa, and of course, a lazy river. // 6800 Mowry Ave, Newark; pool access fees ($3-9 daily), newark.org
Lake Anza, Berkeley Hills
Lake Anza is a freshwater lake with a sandy beach in Tilden Regional Park. Lifeguards monitor the swimming areas daily during the summer. It’s perfect for those who crave a little nature with their swim but still want the basic amenities of a concession stand and bathrooms. There’s also a short hiking trail nearby if you want to make a day of it. // Lake Anza Rd, Berkeley; beach access fees ($3.50), ebparks.org
Hamilton Pool, Lower Pac Heights
If you’ve ever wondered where you can find an indoor water slide in San Francisco with admission that costs less than a martini, the pool at the Hamilton Recreation Center is for you. The center, which recently underwent a major renovation, has six lanes, a shallow kiddie pool, and two waterslides. // 1900 Geary Blvd, Lower Pac Heights; drop-in fee ($6), sfrecpark.org
Nob Hill Spa, Nob Hill
If you’re all about the relaxation vibes and less about fighting crowds, indulge yourself with a lazy afternoon at the Nob Hill Spa. It’s fun and fancy but certainly not free. The spa, located inside the Scarlet Huntington Hotel, features an infinity wading pool and outdoor deck with pool chair food and drink delivery. // 1074 California St, Nob Hill; spa access fees (TBD), nobhillspa.com