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Best Public Pools In San Francisco

(credit: BRITTA PEDERSEN/AFP/GettyImages)

With space at a premium, and a shortage of in-home private pools, San Francisco Parks and Recreation Department operates a large network of public pools. Offering a respite from crowded city streets, many residents flock to these pools as a way to enjoy fun and exercise in the water. Most pools have a range of water activities available, and some enforce a strict exact change entrance fee policy. Here is a list of five of the best public pools in San Francisco.

North Beach Swimming Pool
651 Lombard St.
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 391-0407

The North Beach Swimming Pool actually consists of two pools. One is an unheated pool for lap swims, and the other is a heated pool used for recreational swimming and lessons. Located directly in the center of North Beach's restaurant neighborhood, the pool has an extensive list of swim lessons and water exercise classes. Bathrooms, showers and lockers are available for use.

Garfield Swimming Pool
26th & Harrison St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 695-5001

In the heart of the Mission District, Garfield Swimming Pool offers lap and recreational swimming, water exercise classes and lessons for everyone from toddlers to seniors. The extra-long pool provides plenty of room for laps, but serious athletes may find the extra-warm water off-putting. There are plenty of kickboards and other equipment available. Basic showers, lockers and restrooms are onsite, and don't forget to bring exact change for the $5 entry fee.

Rossi Community Pool
Arguello & Anza
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 666-7014

Rossi Community Pool is situated in the inner Richmond District. The pool has lap and recreational swim hours, as well as water exercise classes and specific senior swim times. Known for the comfortable water temperature and friendly staff, Rossi offers swim lessons for all ages. As an added bonus, pool patrons can also participate in scuba and snorkeling classes.

Sava Pool
19th Ave. & Wawona St.
San Francisco, CA 94116
(415) 661-6327

Renovated in 2009, Sava Pool is one of San Francisco's larger public pools. With the new modern construction, swimmers can enjoy the abundance of natural light let in by massive glass walls. The heavily trafficked heated pool is sectioned off for both lap and recreational swimming. The facility also holds swim fitness and physical education classes, as well as hosts swim competitions and Special Olympics training. Make sure to bring exactly $5 for the entrance fee, as the pool has a no change-no credit card policy.

Mission Community Pool
19th & Linda
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 831-2747

Originally built in 1916, the solar-heated Mission Community Pool has been recently renovated and expanded from two lanes to four. Mission is the only outdoor pool managed by the San Francisco Recreation Department, and is open mainly for lap swimming, with scattered recreational swim hours. Lanes are divided into fast swimmers and slow swimmers. Kickboards are available for use, as are showers, lockers and restrooms.

Joanna Metheny is a freelance writer covering all things South Bay. Her work can be found on
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