The Washington Post
Best pools photo
(Chesapeake Beach Water Park; Mark Gail/The Washington Post)

Best pools

Lavanya Ramanathan  |  Updated 05/15/2012

Make a dash for a summertime splash: If you're looking for the perfect pool this summer, check out some of these tried-and-true favorites.


Volcano Island Waterpark at Algonkian Regional Park

Sterling, VA

Looking for Downpour? You've found it. Downpour Waterpark at Algonkian received a Polynesian-themed makeover a couple of summers ago -- meaning the park has a new sand play area, more shade, and a smoking volcano towering over it all. Like many pools, it opens for the season on May 26.


Water Park at Bohrer Park

Gaithersburg, MD

This popular Montgomery County pool got a kid-friendly makeover in time for the 2012 season. Where once its most compelling features were the 250-foot slides -- a fast one for daredevils and a slower one for the faint of heart -- this year toddlers will reap the benefits of an overhauled tot pool and more play features. The season opens May 26.


Chesapeake Beach Water Park

Chesapeake Beach, MD

This Southern Maryland water park can cost a whopping $18 to enter if you're not from Chesapeake Beach, but the amenities, including a waterfall, lazy river and slides, make up for the price. Built on the edge of the Chesapeake Bay, this pool boasts faux palm trees, but real bay breezes. The 2012 season opens May 26 for weekend fun; the pool will be open weekdays June 14-Aug. 17, then on a reduced schedule through Labor Day.


Old Town Pool

Alexandria, VA

This no-frills public outdoor pool, one of only a handful in Alexandria, is near a playground and boasts a kiddie pool that tops out at three feet. It's also near the Metro and the heart of Old Town. The 2012 season runs weekends beginning May 26, and weekdays June 23-Aug. 19.


Water Mine Family Swimmin' Hole

Reston, VA

This Reston water park isn't a rural "swimmin' hole" at all: It's a gold-mine-themed wonderland, with slides, a tubing river and other attractions aimed at elementary-aged kids. It's no wonder it's a family favorite. For the 2012 season, it's open weekends beginning May 26, and weekdays beginning June 20.


Great Waves Water Park at Cameron Run Regional Park

Alexandria, VA

With its giant wave pool (eight feet deep in places) and array of slides, Great Waves is the flagship pool of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority. But the park also features a batting cage and golf, and you can get a pass for all three and save.The 2012 season kicks off beginning May 26; Great Waves is then open Fridays-Sundays June 1-June 15; and open daily June 20-Sept. 3.


Banneker Pool

Washington, DC

This is pool-going reduced to its simplest, most pleasurable form: There are no slides, no mushroom-shaped water umbrellas, and if you're a D.C. resident, no reason to pull out your wallet. Bonus: It's close enough to Columbia Heights to please the scenesters and the families who frequent it. It opens weekends beginning May 26, and operates on a regular schedule beginning June 18.


Bethesda Pool

Bethesda, MD

This pool is z-shaped, so you can literally find a corner to call your own. Bonuses include a diving well and separate junior and tot pools. The pool opens for the 2012 season on May 26, going daily beginning June 11.


Upton Hill Regional Park Pool

Arlington, VA

This outdoor complex is centered around Ocean Dunes, one of Northern Virginia's ubiquitous, souped-up water parks, with slides and other attention-getting features. The massive mini-golf course and batting cages at the park make it a great summer date spot; get a pass for all three for little more than the price of a movie ticket.


East Potomac Pool

Washington, DC

This D.C. public pool is on Hains Point, which means that even though it's in a city, it's blissfully quiet. Fifty meters long and with depths up to 13 feet, it's popular with adults, including lap swimmers. It opens weekends beginning May 26, and operates on a regular schedule beginning June 18.


Go Out Lists
A fun way to save and share your favorites

These are Post writers' picks, but what are yours? Make your own list to show others what you recommend. Here's how to get started.

What You've Recently Viewed On Going Out Guide

E-mail This List to a Friend

Best pools

(Enter the e-mail address of the recipient(s), separated by commas. Please limit to 10 recipients. )

chars typed

Save to Go Out List

You must be signed in to complete this action. Sign In or Register

Editors' Picks: Best pools
What is this toolbar at the bottom of my screen?
It's a new way to save your ideas about places to go and shows to see in Washington, and it can help you find things to do with your friends.
See something interesting?
Click on the I want to go button to add it to your Want to go list. The number on the button shows how many people want to go. If you're signed in with a Facebook account, your friends can see where you'd like to go.
Already been there?
If you have been to a place or event already, click the I've been there button to add it to your Been there list. The number shows how many people have been there. If you're signed in with a Facebook account, your friends can see where you've been.
Where are my lists?
The things you add to your Want to go and Been there lists will be saved for you. Click on your username anytime to view your list and see all those ideas.
When you want to keep your plans private, turn off the sharing toggle. You'll be able to save items to your lists without sharing them on Facebook.
Why should I sign in with Facebook?
It can help you make plans with friends for things to do together. When you share your Want to go and Been there lists with your Facebook friends, it's easy to see when you and your friends want to go to the same place.
For a better experience, Please login with Facebook
What are the benefits of connecting with Facebook?
Sharing your ideas about places to go and things to see just got easier. Share your Want to go and Been there lists with Facebook friends and see where your friends want to go or where they've been and make plans together.
Ready to get started?
Log in to Facebook