Pittsburgh Swimming Pool Guide
Summer has officially arrived. It’s been a rocky spring, but the warmer weather has been met with open arms for many of us in Pittsburgh. We’re lucky to get 4 solid months of good weather a year, so we’ve gotta make the most of it. Compared to other cities, we have an abundance of public pools. You’d think this were California, but it’s not, it’s Pittsburgh, and so, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best places to pool it up this summer. Some well known, some hidden gems. Those of you who don’t know anyone with a boat or pool in their backyard, take heed. This is the only chance you’ll get to soak up other people’s germs while increasing your risk of skin cancer and listening to 100 children scream at the top of their lungs while they simultaneously splash you right in the eye…and you’ll enjoy EVERY minute of it.
We often wish the pools would open a bit earlier than mid-June, so we discovered this spot in Shaler called the Crawford Swimming Pool that’s $8 a visit and just what you need to get in your first dip of the season. And no, Shaler isn’t that far. It’s right next to Millvale, so if you don’t consider attending a concert at Mr. Smalls too out of the way, then this pool is just as accessible. The Dormont pool also opens early on Memorial Day weekend for all you water-loving fiends.
Then, there are the obvious spots. The Citiparks swimming pools. The trick here is to avoid the bratty pools. You know, the ones where kids go without their parents, bully each other and cause a general ruckus. The full list of Citiparks public pools can be found here. Adult pool passes are $30 but we recommend going in on a family pass with some of your friends. Groups of 4 or more can share the $60 cost for a family pass and save some major dough.
Pools of note include the Highland Park and Bloomfield pools – avoid these pools if you would like to preserve your eardrums, as they’re full of screaming children. We’d like to think this is how most of the public pools are, but these ones, Highland Park in particular, are not for grumpy cats. Despite our fear of giving up Pittsburgh’s best kept secret, the Polish Hill pool is the place to be in the summer. The atmosphere is laid back, and aside from the fact that this is probably the only bath many Polish Hill residents take on a daily basis, the small size keeps a majority of the masses away. We’ve been the only group at the pool on more than one occasion.
The wave pool at Settlers Cabin Park kind of terrifies us, but if that’s your thing, it’s quite the popular spot. The astro turf also throws us off a bit, but there’s plenty of shaded areas for your pasty asses if you’re fair skinned. Plus, isn’t the point to get IN the water?
There’s also Mineral Beach in Finleyville, which some may consider a hike, but there’s nothing better than blasting the AC in the car after a long day at the pool. Bonus: they allow rafts, which is a rarity in public bodies of water.
Lastly, Skybar next to Diesel on East Carson Street finally opened last night, and they have a rooftop pool. We like this idea in theory, but there will probably be a line of bros out the door to get in. We will remain skeptical until we visit this spot, but they get an A for effort.