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9 Fun Swimming Pools in Sonoma County

Pool at Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Every once in a while a summer day rolls around when there is nothing I’d rather do than run off to a pool, swim a few laps, and then stretch out on a comfy chaise with a good mystery. Aside from providing a relaxing escape from a too-busy life, pools are also enjoyable and easy places to take summer house guests.

I don’t live with a pool, but I’ve been keeping a list of great Sonoma County pool escapes that welcome day visitors. Each has a distinct personality, so it’s easy to choose a pool that will please your visitor or suit your own mood.

Here’s a rundown of where to go this summer when you hanker for a pool day:

Flamingo Conference Resort & Spa

With its sleek Mid-Century Modern architecture and two Olympic-sized swimming pools--not to mention poolside dining on the patio--the Flamingo is a great swimming and sunning destination on a summer's day. Hotel guests automatically have pool access, but non-guests can also enjoy the pool by purchasing a 6-hour Pool Day Package, which includes use of a guestroom for changing and showering from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Here are a few details:

  • The Pool Day Package is available Monday-Thursday only, from May through October.
  • The cost is $125 for 6-hour use of a Superior guest room or $150 for an Executive King room.
  • The package includes admission for up to 5 guests.
  • A $25 food and beverage credit is included, as well as use of lounge chairs and towels.

Details: 2777 Fourth St., Santa Rosa, CA; 707-523-4745; www.flamingoresort.com.

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa

This luxurious  resort has an Olympic-sized outdoor pool with both lap and recreational swimming. The pool water comes directly from the natural hot springs below ground; for centuries, Native Americans considered these waters to be so curative that distant tribes would travel for days to bathe in them.

The pool is available to guests year-round. If you're not a guest, come to one of the Fairmont's festive summertime pool parties. "Splash After Dark" parties at the outdoor pool--with a DJ, dancing and entertainment--run from 7-10 p.m. on Thursday, July 7; Thursday, August 4; and Wednesday, September 21. You must be over 21 years of age to attend (there is a cash bar). Admission is free, with no cover, and valet parking is complimentary. "Beer Garden" pool parties will be held around Fairmont’s pool from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, June 30 and Thursday September 29 (Oktoberfest). Admission is free and valet parking is complimentary.

Details: 100 Boyes Blvd, Sonoma, CA; 707-938-9000; www.fairmont.com/sonoma

Morton’s Warm Springs

Morton’s Warm Springs Resort, with 22 acres nestled into a bucolic setting of forested hills and a lively creek, is located in Sonoma Valley about four miles from Glen Ellen’s village center. The property’s geo-thermal mineral springs, once sacred to the local Wappo Indians, remain accessible today in three mineral spring pools; water averages between 82-84°, and pool depth ranges from 4.5 to 9 feet. The pool area is furnished with comfortable chaises, lifeguards are on duty, and you can safely store your possessions in shower room lockers.

To enter, just buy a one-day pass (they range from free for infants 2 to $12 for Adults over 18). While there you can also enjoy Morton’s hiking and biking trails, the baseball field, beach volleyball courts, and other sports areas. There are also plenty of picnic and BBQ sites.

Details: 1651 Warm Springs Road, Glen Ellen 95442; 707-833-5511; www.mortonswarmsprings.com.

Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Film director Coppola wasn’t exaggerating when he described his Geyserville winery as a “wine wonderland.” With a design influenced by Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens amusement park-—and awesome views guaranteed to take your breath away—-the family-friendly winery is all about having fun. Aside from various wine-tasting venues, you’ll find two connected swimming pools (they total 3,600 square feet) bordered by European-style cabines with showers, a sunbathing terrace, a movie gallery, a performing arts pavilion and a park with game tables and bocce courts.

The pools and cabines are open from May through October. Individual pool passes and 4-person cabine packages are available. Read all details here.

Details: 300 Via Archimedes, Geyserville, CA; 707-857-1471; www.francisfordcoppolawinery.com

R3 Hotel

Triple-R’s high-spirited, gay-friendly weekend pool parties--with drink specials, jello shots, and music--are wildly popular. This is definitely a party scene, so if you're looking for a pool where you can finish that sci-fi novel and enjoy a peaceful nap in the sun...well, maybe this isn't the place for you. But if you're up for party-hearty fun, you'll love this scene. The Pool Bar is open from noon-6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday (as well as Friday and/or Monday on holidays), and you’ll enjoy daily BBQ specialties from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. (longer hours on holidays). Entry is free (but bring your own towel).

Details: 16390 4th St., Guerneville, CA; 707-869-8399. www.ther3hotel.com

Highlands Resort

The large outdoor pool here, which is beautifully situated amidst soaring redwoods and flower-filled gardens (in summer), is clothing optional. In other words, you’re free to sunbathe and swim in the nude. Or not, since many guests wear swimsuits. It's entirely up to you. Use of the pool is free if you're staying at Highlands. If you're not, day-use fees—offered from May through October (subject to availability)—give access from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. to the pool, BBQ area, hot tub and library. Bring your own towel, please. The fee is $15 on Saturday, Sunday and during events; and $10, Monday through Friday. More info.

Details: 14000 Woodland Dr., Guerneville, CA; 707-889-0333; www.highlandsresort.com 

City of Santa Rosa Public Swimming Pools

Two meticulously-maintained pools in Santa Rosa offer fun-in-the-water time for people of all ages, with lifeguards on duty, lockers to store valuables, and concession stands offering food and beverages. Fees are $5 for adults 18-54 and $4 for children 2-17 (various passes are available). More details here.

  • The Ridgeway Swim Center is open for public swimming this summer from June 13 to August 19 (Mon-Fri, 12-4 p.m.; Friday Nights, 7:30-9:30 p.m.; Sat-Sun, 1:15-6 p.m.). 455 Ridgeway Ave., Santa Rosa, CA; 707-543-3421
  • The Finley Aquatic Center is open for public swimming this summer Mon-Fri, 1:30-4:45 p.m. (June 6-August 19) and Sat-Sun, 1:30-6 p.m. (June 11-August 21). 2060 W. College Ave., Santa Rosa, CA; 707-543-3760.

Spring Lake Regional Park

This 320-acre gem of a park, surrounded by beautiful rising hills, is home to a lake, ponds, woodlands, grasslands and spring-through-summer wildflowers. Among many popular attractions here: the park's 3-acre spring-fed swimming lagoon, which is open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. The lagoon has a nice beach and lifeguards on duty. This place is extremely family-friendly, admission is free (there is a $7 parking fee, though).

This year a new inflatable water park opened near the swimming lagoon. Designed for children 6 and older (adults, too), it features slides, bounce islands and bridges, a trampoline and more. It’s open from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and requires an all-day entry fee of $10/children, $15/adults and $45/family of four.

Details: 393 Violetti Rd., Santa Rosa, CA; 707-539-8092; www.parks.sonomacounty.ca.gov

Find more things to do in Sonoma County in summer.

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