Weekly Top 5: Places to Take a Dip in Nashville
There are a ton of great things about being an adult. For starters, you can consume alcohol. You can also stay out as late as you want, you’re allowed to fill your brain with as much garbage television as it can possibly handle, and you don’t have to worry about next week’s looming long division, or European history, or organic chemistry test. And then some...
But in my relatively short span of life as a bona fide adult, I’ve come to realize that while, yes, there are a lot of benefits to living north of 18 years, adulthood does unfortunately come with a few trade-offs. First of all, punching the clock each and every day during the months of June, July and August isn’t nearly as enriching as frollocking at leisure about the outdoors. Furthermore, late-afternoon backseat car naps are a thing of the past; neither Santa Claus nor the Tooth Fairy will bring you that special something you so desire [and can’t afford]; and unless you live in a plush new apartment building or are a member of a club, finding a place to take a dip during the summertime can be a bit of a challenge.
Fortunately, I’ve sniffed out some local spots that do allow public pool-goers, either for a small fee or even better, for free!
This weekend’s looking like a scorcher, so check out my Weekly Top Five Places to Swim in Nashville and find yourself a place to cool off!
For six years now, Pinewood has been one of the best *free* covert spots to bag some rays and take a dip when the weather is nice. While the two pools are on the smaller side -- technically they’re “dipping pools” -- their petite size more or less limits guests from any serious, disruptive horseplay and overall lends the spot to low-key vibes. With an adult-style snack bar at your disposal (we’re talking booze and tacos, people), plus ping pong tables and a bocce court, Pinewood’s patio is the kind of place you could stay all afternoon. Plus, they offer towels for rent, have sunscreen aplenty, and also keep sunglasses available for purchase should you need them.
PS - The pool area is 21 and up = adults only.
“Things have gotten a little bit crazy at the pool parties,” said the friendly receptionist when I called the hotel to ask about their seemingly too-good-to-be-true Sunday Soiree. “So this Sunday [July 21st] will be our last Sunday Funday Pool Party...for a while at least.” Guess it really was too good. Regardless, we ought to go out with a bang, right? Located on 8th Avenue smack in the middle of Broadway and Demonbreun, the Cambria Hotel’s 5th floor rooftop pool not only boasts stellar views of the Music City skyline, but it also features a full bar and an adjacent music venue. Entry to the pool is free, and is available for both paying guests and freeloading locals, like me. But only this Sunday!! Cash me outside [at the pool] -- how bow dah?
3. Percy Priest Lake
Ok, the jig is up: Percy Priest Lake is not actually a pool. But it is a large body of water in which you can play, frolic, swim, and even bring your dog if you’ve got one -- you can’t do that at the pool. I’ve come to really adore spending a sunny afternoon on the pebbly beaches out in eastern Davidson county: with a sandwich-filled cooler in tow, plenty of sunscreen, and a pair of Chacos (water shoes are crucial here; this isn’t a sandy situation, like at the Gulf), the beaches at Percy Priest are the closest thing Nashville has to a “real beach,” and I’m taking a stand for it. I’m fond of the peace and quiet at Cook’s Beach when I want to chill out, and alternatively enjoy high-quality people watching while sunning at Seven Points Campground. There are plenty of choices for lakeside lounging: click here to see them all.
4. The YMCA
Yeah, yeah, yeah - the YMCA may sound a little bit bland, but almost all YMCA’s in Middle Tennessee have a pool and that’s what we’re after! And for just a cool $15, non-members can purchase a guest pass for access to the pool all damn day. Better yet, if you’ve got a friend who is a member, they’re allowed to bring one buddy for free! Alcohol and food are not *technically* allowed on the pool premis, so this won’t likely turn into your new Sunday Funday hang, but if you have little monkeys who are learning to swim, or just want to submerge yourself in a large body of water that doesn’t necessitate a 20 minute drive (see #3), your neighborhood YMCA is just the ticket.
For all the cool points that the Y lacks, The Dive Motel & Swim Club makes up in droves. Or so we suspect. Located on Dickerson Pike between Trinity and Douglas, the Dive Motel isn’t actually open yet, but there’s been plenty of anticipation about this undoubtedly hot spot. The brainchild of the same duo who brought us Urban Cowboy B&B, The Dive Motel & Swim Club harkens back to the classic drive-in, roadside motels that punctuated American family road trips during the 50’s. The spot will feature 23 reasonably priced and uniquely decorated motel rooms, a dive bar and restaurant, and most importantly, a pool. “The Swim Club will be open to guests for free and to the public with day passes and annual memberships available for sale,” reported The Tennesseean. “The 60-foot pool, hot tub, and locker rooms will be open year-round. There’s a stage performance area for live music and DJ’s and there will be private cabanas.” Sign me up for a membership!