Perfect Summer Pools

Splashy or serene, they're essential to the season.

Ah, the smell of chlorine. It brings back childhood memories of wonderfully exhausting days swimming with friends, and then devouring loads of Cool Ranch Doritos without consequence, right? As an adult, pools may be merely a backdrop while you sun yourself in a deck chair. Or, you may have wee ones of your own, in which case you're likely getting splashed by the aforementioned (thankfully) chlorine-filled water. No matter your age or stage of life, pools are an un­deniably essential part of summer.

This summer, adults and kids will flood Seattle's outdoor swim spots: West Seattle's Colman Pool (8603 Fauntleroy Way S.W., 206-684-7494, and Magnolia's Mounger Pool (2535 32nd Ave. W., 206-684-4708, Both are heated and open for business this month. Mounger boasts two pools—one is shallower and thus better for "tadpoles." Colman is a saltwater pool with sweet beach and Sound views.

It's hard to love the manic energy of water parks, but if you're game, line up at Six Flags' Wild Waves & Enchanted Village (36201 Enchanted Pkwy. S., Federal Way, 253- 661-8000, or the smaller scale Henry Moses Aquatic Center (1719 Maple Valley Hwy., Renton, 425-430-6780, The Henry Moses facility has two water slides, a wave machine, and a lazy river; the Wild Waves water park has giant water slides, flashy splashy water rides, and multiple activity pools. Seattle's wading pools are saner and cheaper outdoor options for relief from the heat—a good, jumbo-sized one can be found at Capitol Hill's Volunteer Park (1247 15th Ave. E., 206-684-4555,

If the weather is sucky, many families head north to Mountlake Terrace's Community Center Pool (5303 228th St. S.W., Mountlake Terrace, 425-776-9173, It's the best kid-friendly indoor pool around, offering a lazy river with a moving current, a shallow-water leisure play area, a toddler island, water toys, and a basketball hoop.

Let us not forget that summer pools don't have to be about swimming and splashing; in the form of fountains and reflecting pools, they can offer solitary moments of refreshing inner peace, too. The recently reopened Cal Anderson Park (1635 11th Ave., 206-684-4075, on Capitol Hill has a funky-but-cool-looking fountain that gurgles near its calm reflecting pool. A serene pool at Chapel of St. Ignatius (901 12th Ave., 206-296-6000, stands before the mod, Steven Holl–designed chapel. Likewise, a glassy oblong of water invites you into the cool recesses of the Frye Art Museum on First Hill (704 Terry Ave., 206-622-9250, Warning: Deep thoughts may arise at these pools, giving your lazy summer brain quite a shock.

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