You can’t run every day, and swimming is great cross-training. There are a large number of pools around San Antonio. There are municipal pools, private pools, club pools, and neighborhood pools. I’ve done the swimming for you and checked out over a dozen pools around San Antonio.
Here is where I swam:
Now, what makes the best lap swimming pool? If you have a neighborhood pool, those can be the most convenient. For the rest of us, it comes down to which pools are close, which have lap lanes available, and which are clean and nice to swim in. Many pools around town are great to cool down in the summer, but if you want to get in and do 20 or 30 laps, on your own schedule, you have to be a bit selective.
For most of us, we have two options. Either the City and Schools’ Natatoriums or a fitness club pool.
Before I came to San Antonio, I had not heard the word Natatorium. Now I am here, I love that word! The city runs the San Antonio Natatorium and the George Block Aquatic center. Throw in High Schools and Universities, and you add in the NISD Natatorium and the Palo Alto College pool (currently closed for repairs). The City also operates 24 outside, seasonal pools. But lets be honest – the outside pools are huge playgrounds for kids, and they are not open all year round, so not a great option if you want to do some laps.
The Natatoriums are great facilities. They do, however limit the times for lap swimming. You need to check ahead and see if they will fit your schedule.
There are a ton of fitness club locations around San Antonio, so likely there is one close to you. The three chains I’ve bee to are LA Fitness, Gold’s Gym, and Lifetime Fitness.
Most locations have lap pools, but you’ll want to check. Many of these clubs were acquired and re-branded, so the facilities can vary greatly. Two other things to check for before you go: Pool Aerobics Classes and Kids Swimming lessons. The Pool aerobics can close down the whole pool. Kids lessons are usually reserved to a lane or two, so you still might be able to get a swim in.
The Top 4
# 4: LA Fitness North Loop 1604
LA Fitness is a national chain that brings a reasonably priced and reasonably maintained facility to the market. The location at 1339 N Loop 1604 W, San Antonio, TX 78258 has a good pool that is usually not busy at all. Clean locker rooms, a hot tub, and the normal fitness equipment makes this location a good solid choice to swim. All LA Fitness pools are short course, yards (25 yards). This pool seems a little nicer than other LA Fitness pools, so it made my list.
# 3: Gold’s Gym – Rogers Ranch
This is an awesome facility. They have an indoor and outdoor pool, towel service, and a small café on site. This is one of Gold’s Black level locations, which means it is Luxe, and costs a bit more for membership than other Gold’s locations. Rogers Ranch location: 2711 Treble Creek, San Antonio, TX 78258
A lot of people have discovered how nice this pool is, so the indoor pool can get a bit crowded. This short course pool (25 yards) is a bit deeper than the LA Fitness Pools, so offers a bit faster swim. Great pool; highly recommended!
# 2: NISD Natatorium
This facility is the Queen Pool Complex of San Antonio. Olympic try outs and training have happened here. This complex actually has three pools: Indoor long course (50 yard), Outdoor long course (50 yards), and Outdoor diving tank and warmup pool (short course 25 yard). Address is: 8400 N Loop 1604 W, San Antonio, TX 78249
Depending on the Season, both the indoor and outdoor pools are good bets. The long course pools will switch configuration between long course and short course, so you are never quite sure what you’ll get here.
There have been lanes available every time I have gone. But- the hours here can vary, both the time of day and days of the week. If the hours were consistent, this pool would be at my #1 spot.
This is truly a stunning pool, and you might be in the same water with an Olympian!
# 1: Lifetime Fitness the Rim
Lifetime Fitness is an awesome club that falls into my Luxe category. As well as the 3 pools, there is a café, massage service, towel service, and even a beauty salon.
The indoor lap pool is short course, metric (25m). All three of the pools here are salt water, which I love to swim in. Don’t think ocean salt water, just a touch of saltiness without the chlorine.
The indoor pool has five lanes and a timing clock at the far end. One lane is almost always in use for individual’s walking and doing pool exercise, but you have a really good chance of a lane here. The water is always a bit on the cold side, so you will need a few laps to get comfortable.
If you prefer a warmer pool, the second indoor pool is good, as long as you are not worried about lap times. The “kiddie pool” as I call it has about 6 lanes set aside for laps, but it is not a standard size. Maybe 60 feet, give or take. But if you are just swimming for time as opposed to distance, this pool is nice.
If it is warm enough outside (most of the year in San Antonio), the outside pool here is my favorite in San Antonio. Short course metric (25m) with salt water under the shining sun – beautiful! I’ve been going here over a year, and only had to wait for a lane twice. If you are in a hurry and the outside pool is full; just go back to the inside pool.
Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts. Do you have a favorite pool in S.A.?