We may scoff at the flamingo floaties in our Instagram feed (as we sip negronis in our all-black sundresses), but the truth is, New Yorkers love a good pool day as much as anyone. Fortunately, there are plenty of spots for a city gal to cool off—we found refreshing options for every type of pool-goer.
BEST FOR INSTAGRAM ADDICTS: MANHATTAN PARK POOL PARTY ON ROOSEVELT ISLAND
This hidden gem of a pool is a literal work of art. Every year an artist creates a mural on the pool’s surrounding lounge area, and this year’s installation features swirls of purple, pink and blue on a calming blue background by artist Gregg Emery. Wear your favorite suit, strike a pose and watch the like notifications roll in. Oh, right. And hop in the pool between posts.
BEST FOR COOL-KID VIBES: THE WILLIAM VALE
Speaking of Instagrammable moments, you’ll likely find a few at this Williamsburg hot spot. Much like at the hotel’s rooftop bar, Westlight, you’ll enjoy gorgeous views of the Manhattan skyline from the pool, situated on a roof just a few stories below. Scope out the stylish crowd (a mix of guests and hip locals) while ordering cocktails from a poolside daybed. Score a reservation online—but be warned, spots book up fast.
BEST FOR A FULL-ON STAYCATION: 1 HOTEL BROOKLYN BRIDGE
The bad news: This new rooftop pool is only available for hotel guests. The good news: You now have an excuse to take a much-needed staycation at this chic spot on the waterfront. In addition to the chill pool area (with top-notch views of, you guessed it, the Brooklyn Bridge), the rooftop also features a pool-adjacent bar and lounge that’s open to the public.
BEST FOR A QUICKIE: POP-UP POOL AT BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK
If you’re looking for a quick dip in the middle of the day, this popular Brooklyn pool is a good bet. The capacity here is for 60 swimmers, and in an effort to avoid overcrowding, free swim sessions are limited to just 45 minutes. At just three and a half feet deep, it’s not suited for anything too athletic but still makes for a refreshing soak. Line up for a wristband and then you’ll get access to the pool during your allotted time. If you have more time to spare, there’s a nearby “beach” (a sandy area complete with chairs and umbrellas) perfect for some post-swim lounging.
BEST FOR PLAYING HOOKY: PLUNGE AT THE GANSEVOORT MEATPACKING
If you’re going to take a “mental health day,” you might as well do it in style. Enter this hip rooftop pool in the Meatpacking District. The Gansevoort offers a “play hooky” package, which gets you access to the pool (from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), a drink voucher for the adjoining bar, a bottle of Fiji Water and a copy of the New York Post. Sure, at $200, it’s a splurge, but if it helps fend off work stress for a day, it’s totally worth it.
BEST FOR FAMILIES: ASTORIA PARK POOL
This massive (and free) pool in Queens features Olympic-size lanes and plenty of space for poolside lounging, so there’s room for swimmers of all ages. Plus, NYC Parks offers free swimming lessons for all ages, so your future Katie Ledecky or Michael Phelps can get a head start on training. Bonus: This pool also features dispensers of free, broad-spectrum SPF 50 sunscreen in case you accidentally leave yours at home.