Thank you to Swimply for sponsoring our guide to all the great places to swim in the East Bay and greater Bay Area. This guide is evolving. Save 20% off your first swim with the code EastBay!
Most summers, we love to share our favorite swimming pools, lakes, lagoons, and beaches. This summer is still a bit unusual, but we have lots of great options to put on a swimsuit and do laps or splash around. Public swimming pools and beaches are reopening, and your family can rent a private pool from someone’s backyard, too. Capacity limitations apply. You may need reservations.
Swimply Lets You Rent a Private Pool by the Hour
Swimply.com lets you have your own swimming pool for the afternoon in a totally genius, socially distanced for families way! Swimply is a marketplace for swimming pools, listed and loved by neighbors; people not using their swimming pool can list it and the rest of us can rent it when we want to take a dip. Depending on the listing, pools can accommodate anywhere from one person to a big group of friends and family.
Browse through the app (available on both Apple and Google app stores) or on the website to see what is available and convenient for you. Search by location, group size, or extra features. Swimming pool rental starts at about $50 per hour, which makes for a pretty affordable swim party if you can buddy up with another family — and the place is all yours!
Use the promo code: EastBay for 20% off your first swim. Rent a beautiful private pool today >
Some local East Bay Private Pools on Swimply
We found several wonderful-looking East Bay swimming pools that look lovely and dozens more if we’re up for a road trip to Marin or the South Bay. Some backyards have premium amenities that you can add to your bookings like an outdoor kitchen, trampoline, movie screen, or hot tub.
Would you rather swim at:
- a city retreat in Oakland with pool toys and a trampoline that can hold up to 25 guests?
- a saltwater pool and spa in Alamo with a water slide and outdoor kitchen for up to 20 friends?
- a quiet pool in Hayward with a movie screen and BBQ for a smaller group?
Why not all of them on different days?!
Favorite East Bay Outdoor Swimming Pools (open seasonally)
Generally, locker rooms are closed now, so come ready to swim with your suit on and plan to leave the building wrapped in a towel.
El Cerrito Swim Center, El Cerrito
Family swim time is available with advanced reservations. With many shallow entry points, families will enter from different areas they will be assigned while COVID restrictions are in place. Now open without reservations. Check the hours >
Fees are $8 for the first family member ($10 for non-residents), $6 for additional.
7007 Moeser Lane, El Cerrito
King Pool, Berkeley
Located at Hopkins Park adjacent to a playground and tennis courts in North Berkeley, this public pool is nothing fancy but has a shallow area and family swim hours during specific times of the day. Create an account and check the City of Berkeley Aquatics program to see current Family Swim hours. $6 for adults; $3 for children; cash or check only. It seems only kids with parents are welcome for Family Swim.
1700 Hopkins Street, Berkeley
West Campus Pool, Berkeley
At the quiet intersection of Browning and Addison, you can find another Berkeley public pool. Family and Public swim times vary. Since it is outdoors, this pool can be chilly. Check the schedule for hours. $6 for adults; $3 for children; cash or check only.
2100 Browning Street, Berkeley
Worth the Drive: Walnut Creek and San Ramon Pools
Castle Rock Swimming Pool, Walnut Creek
Castle Rock Swim Area is part of a larger EBRPD regional recreation area. The Castle Rock pool complex at Diablo Foothills features a 30 x 70 foot chlorinated swimming pool and deck area. Drop-in and swim! Castle Rock Swimming Pool info >
Clarke Memorial Pool, Walnut Creek
Clarke Pool is taking reservations for pods of 5-10 swimmers, meaning a group that comes together for 90 minutes of access to the pool. 5 swimmers cost $56 and each additional swimmer is $10. Available dates begin 5/8. (The Clarke pool is in Heather Farm Park, so it’s a great day trip for families!)
Larkey Pool, Walnut Creek
Larkey is a favorite and is offering sprayground rental for pods of 5. The time and price are half of the pool, so $26 for 45-minute sessions, and $5 per additional kiddo. Register in advance here. Spots fill up.
The San Ramon Olympic Pool and Aquatic Park is another favorite of 510 Families readers who are looking for a warmer destination in which they can enjoy a pool. Reservations are not required. This pool features an awesome play area for toddlers and preschoolers.
Favorite Beaches Where You Can Actually Swim (open seasonally)
- Crown Beach, Alameda – Crown Beach is open year-round with no lifeguards or fees; changing room onsite. Check the water conditions before you go; swimmer’s itch has been reported. Ick.
8th Street & Otis Drive, Alameda
- Keller Beach, Richmond – This gem is located in the Point Richmond District at Miller/Knox Regional Park in southwestern Richmond; no lifeguard but lots of sand, water, and pretty views. See Whitney’s review of Keller Beach.
Dornan Drive & Western Drive, Richmond.
- CLOSED FOR 2021 SEASON: Cull Canyon, Castro Valley – A human-made 1.5-acre swim lagoon with a real sandy beach all around the edge in a natural setting surrounded by trees features a bathhouse, vending machines, free life jackets, and lifeguards. Terrific for families with small children with shallow water and white, sandy beach. There’s also a dock for stronger swimmers to visit. Check restrictions and hours.
18627 Cull Canyon Road, Castro Valley
- RESERVE FOR WEEKENDS AND HOLIDAYS: Contra Loma Lagoon, Antioch – It’s a hybrid pool where half of the pool is sandy and the other deep half is not. It looks cool because it’s right next to a big reservoir and it’s surrounded by golden hills. Our visit to Contra Loma Lagoon >
1200 Frederickson Lane, Antioch
- CLOSED FOR 2021 SEASON: Don Castro Swimming Lagoon, Hayward – A sandy beach with a machine-made lagoon gives the best of both beach and swimming pool vibes. We love the toddler-friendly shallows. Don Castro is a family favorite. Our visit to Don Castro Lagoon with four kids >
22400 Woodroe Avenue, Hayward
See also more great Bay Area beaches available with a little drive outside the East Bay.
Check out our guide to Bay Area water parks >>
Find pools doing swimming lessons for East Bay kids >>
Use the promo code EastBay for 20% off your first Swimply swim. Rent a beautiful private pool today >
Big thanks to Swimply for sponsoring our guide to East Bay swimming pools and giving us nearly endless options for a little family swim party. Use the promo code EastBay for 20% off your first swim. Rent a beautiful private pool today >
[Photos: DepositPhotos, Swimply, Kat Choi, Anna Azimi, all rights reserved]