Florida's Coolest Pools
Swimming in the pool is fun in the sun but without the saltwater, rip currents, and possibly wild animals! If the sunny beaches of Florida are not your idea of a preferred vacation, then visit the many impressive pools of the Sunshine State. These pools provide a safe environment for children and a relaxing spot away from the sand to soak up the sun. Some have a rich history that attracts visitors from out of state and country! Here are pools that will give you the necessary plunge into the State of Florida.
Surveying an abandon coral stone quarry, on land purchased by George Merrick, architect Phineas Paist, and designer Denman Fink saw the potential, and, thanks to their efforts, the Venetian Pool of Coral Gables came into being in 1923. The pool is recognized as the largest freshwater pool in the United States, holding 820,000 gallons of water, and due to its historical significance, the Venetian Pool is the only pool to be on the National Register of Historic Places – it existed before the founding of Coral Gables!
The pool bares the signs of Merrick’s devotion to the design style, Mediterranean Revival. The facility houses palace-styled buildings, porticos, pool-side villas, wrought iron fences and balconies. Palm trees dot the land and, to top it off, a Venetian-styled bridge. The pool itself is unique in that it holds natural spring water that filters through the limestone and back into the aquifer. The border of the Venetian pool was formed from the original coral rock from the quarry with grottos and two waterfalls.
This next one is a bit of a cheat. The Hawks Cay Resort, located on Duck Key of the Florida Keys, contains SIX aquatic areas to suit your fancy! The Resort Pool, Tranquility POOL, Pirate Ship Pool, Coral Cay Pool, Sunset Pool, and the Saltwater Lagoon. The Resort Pool, while not the crown jewel of the list of pools, hosts live music and entertainment and is spacious enough for a good swim and sunbathing. The Tranquility Pool is an adult only area dedicated to a relaxing experience of lazily drifting in the water – sort of like going nowhere but not worrying about it!
The Pirate Ship Pool is an interactive aquatic attraction for children with water slides, water cannons, raining palm-trees to hide under, and, with its low-depth, it is the perfect environment to teach new swimmers! Next to the Pirate Ship pool is the Coral Cay Pool. Families with children can move between each pool to fit their swimming preferences. The Sunset Pool was made with the idea of peace and solitude – a good place to get away from the manic energy of the previous pools on the list. Bask in the morning or late-afternoon sun with a light swim surrounding in the Florida Keys scenery.
The Saltwater Lagoon is unlike the others. This enclosure has water fed directly from the ocean so that it raises and lowers with the tides. The lagoon is where you need to be if you need a nature-fix. From here, you can observe wildlife such as turtles and dolphins, snorkel for small tropical fish in a safe area, and do a bit of paddling around on a tiki boat.
Contained in Fort Lauderdale is a repository of famous moments in the history of swimming, from ancient to modern times, in the United States and around the world. From art to memorabilia, if it is there, it is a part of swimming history. The International Swimming Hall of Fame was the first hall of fame for any sport and has been deemed the official hall of the aquatic sports by FINA - the International Swimming Federation a century-old organization, based in Switzerland, with authority from the International Olympic Committee to oversees aquatic sports in an official capacity.
The pools themselves are worthy of the title! The two pools span 164 feet (the length of the original Godzilla!), with 75-foot-deep diving well, and a training pool to prepare you for the long swim. The impressive facility is used for diving, water polo, competitive swimming, marathon swimming, artistic swimming, and master-level swimming. But, of course, that does not exclude public patrons – all week you can pay a low entry fee to swim to your heart’s content, or when they close, whichever one comes first!
A water park with families in mind – the center piece of the Cypress Springs Water Park is a multi-level water treehouse with a huge tipping bucket at the top – your only warning of an impending splash is the faint ringing! If that doesn’t convince you, the water park has four water slides, drop slides and racing slides, the Flow Rider surf pool, a plunge pool, and a lagoon area for water basketball. With a family-focused theme in mind, the waterpark provides plenty of private pool-side cabanas with wait staff to deliver food and drinks. If your children are not old enough, a small kiddie pool with swings will make the most out of their day! For those going solo, become one with the flow of the water by floating down the 10-minute long lazy river.
This is an ideal environment to teach children to swim, whether on your own or with professional swimming lessons. During the summer, you can expect the pool to be open all week, typically morning till the late afternoon! Winter hours are subject to change- despite the promise of Florida’s eternal summer, a few chilly days can sneak in making swimming the least desired activity.
Recognized as one of the “World’s Coolest Hotel Pools” by Forbes, the Falls Pool Oasis at the Orlando World Center Marriott fits the bill boasting four heated indoor and outdoor pools, waterfalls, whirlpools, and its most famous attractions – two 200-foot-long whirling waterslides and a 90-foot speed slide! Snake through trees and over the other waterslides or become a momentary unstoppable force, barreling towards the water! Bringing kids? Children under the height restriction have their own dedicated zero-entry pool with aquatic pool activities with water toys. Children who can swim can enroll in the Mermaid Academy to experience life as a mermaid or shark in a safe environment with swimmable tail attachments!
To accompany your aquatic adventures is a nightly laser show that pierces through the darkness for an unforgettable experience but be on time as this light show only lasts 8-12 minutes. Also, included is live pool-side music Thursday through Saturday with free snow cones every Saturday!