Where to swim in Oakland this summer
on July 19, 2011
The summer is more than half over, and Ben Sheppard, coach of the Oakland Undercurrent Swim Team, still has parents contacting him to see if summer swim lessons are available. “That’s the funny thing,” Sheppard said. “It’s still not a huge swimming community [in Oakland], so in late July, it finally dawns on them, and it’s like ‘I’ve got to go swimming.’”
The typically foggy East Bay summer days don’t inspire a trip to the pool for most, but for the occasional day the sun does come out, there are still plenty of options to cool off with a dip, swim some laps or sign kids up for swim lessons in Oakland.
“The weather usually tells people that it’s time to swim,” Temescal Pool manager Brian Tang said with a laugh on a bright Monday afternoon, as about 30 people swam laps in the pool behind him.
Here are a couple swimming holes we tracked down:
Each pool maintains its own schedule, but every one has lap swimming for ages 14 and up ($5 for adults, $2.25 for seniors); an open swim for all ages ($1 for kids, $3 for adults); swim lessons for kids 18 and under ($30 for most half-hour lessons, four times a week for two weeks); and a Junior Lifeguard training program.
The Aquatic Center at the new East Oakland Sports Center stands apart from the other pools, however, because it’s the only one that also has an indoor water park, complete with a slide, lazy river and play area for kids. Day passes are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for kids and teenagers. Monthly and annual passes are also available.
The Roberts pool, on Skyline Boulevard, offers recreational and lap swimming from April 30-September 9. Pool access for recreational swimming is $3 for ages 16-61, $2 for ages 1-15, $2 for seniors and free for kids younger than one year old. Lap swimming is $3.50 for adults.
Lake Temescal was originally built as a storage facility for drinking water, and it opened to the public as one of the district’s original parks in 1936. Swimmers and sunbathers have flocked to its sandy beach and shallow waters ever since. There’s a lane for lap swimming and plenty of space for kids to splash around. The fee is the same as at Roberts, though there is no extra charge for lap swimming.
Lap swimming is available at three college pools in Oakland — Holy Names College (which requires a gym membership), Laney College, and Mills College. Click on a school name to be taken to their websites for more information.
There are a number of pools in Oakland that are only open to members. Here are a few, click on the pool name to be taken to their websites for more information.
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