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Cool Off with a Dip in a City Pool

They’re (mostly) free and easy to get to by T


Many would argue that the ocean is by far the best way to escape from the summer’s heat and humidity, but it isn’t always possible to make the trek. Consider heading to one of several local community swimming pools. Maintained by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, the pools provide a close-by opportunity for an afternoon of sun and summer reading and a refreshing dip. Best of all, most are free and they’re all easy to get to by public transportation.

Reilly Memorial Swimming Pool

355 Chestnut Hill Ave.
Cleveland Circle

The pool, in the heart of Cleveland Circle next to the MBTA C Line stop, is open through August 21, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Take an MBTA Green Line B trolley to Chestnut Hill Avenue or a Green Line C trolley to  Cleveland Circle. Call 617-277-7822 or 617-698-1802 for more information.

Francis J. McCrehan Memorial Swimming and Wading Pool

359 Rindge Ave.

The pool is open through September 5, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Take the MBTA Red Line to Alewife. Call 617-661-0670 for more information.

Veterans Memorial Swimming and Wading Pool

719 Memorial Drive

The pool, on Magazine Beach, is open through August 21, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Cross the BU Bridge to Cambridge, take a left on Memorial Drive, and go four blocks down on the left. Call 617-661-0564 for more information.

A complete list of pools maintained by the Department of Conservation and Recreation is here.

If location is a bigger priority than cost, try this spot in the North End with great views of Boston Harbor.

Mirabella Pool

475 Commercial St.

This pool is operated by the city of Boston and is open from June 18 through September 5, Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Starting August 7, the pool will close at 7:30 p.m. Adults (20–61) pay $15; children and young adults (6–19) and seniors (62+) pay $5; and children under six and active military members (with ID) are free. Take an MBTA Green Line B trolley to Park Street, change to the E line to Haymarket, cross over to the North End, walk down Hanover Street, and turn left on Commercial Street. Call 617-635-1275 for more information. 

Note: Bathers are required to take showers before entering pool areas and must bring their own towels. Alcohol is strictly prohibited.

This story was originally published on July 6, 2011; it has been updated to include current information.

Leslie Friday, BU Today, Boston University
Leslie Friday

Follow Leslie Friday on Twitter at @lesliefriday.

6 Comments on Cool Off with a Dip in a City Pool

  • Anonymous on 07.06.2011 at 9:45 am

    public swimming pools

    Are there any public swimming pools in Boston?

  • Anonymous on 07.06.2011 at 9:55 am

    Pool # 1 is in Boston

    Dear “public swimming pools”, the first pool listed in Cleveland Circle is in Brighton, which is a neighborhood in Boston. It’s actually not too far from BU-you can take the B line and get off at “Chestnut Hill Ave” and talk a left on Chestnut Hill Ave, and the pool is only about a block away from there.

  • north end on 06.22.2012 at 9:32 am

    There is also a public pool in the north end just a few blocks from north station. It has a beautiful view of the harbor.


  • lsim on 06.22.2012 at 12:44 pm

    Don’t forget about about the pools at FitRec – right on campus and available for all at a very reasonable price!

  • Ginnette Powell on 07.30.2013 at 2:14 pm

    BCYF pools are great with longer hours during the summer, children’s swim, water aerobics etc. not free but very low cost…http://www.cityofboston.gov/BCYF/Summer.asp

  • Withnessie on 08.20.2015 at 5:44 pm

    Swim in lots of strangers’ pee! For free! Uh…. no thanks.

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