This is the only place you can swim outdoors for free in SF. Each lap (out-and-back) is about a 1/3 of a mile.

Take an early morning swim and watch the sunrise over the east bay or catch an afternoon swim on a sunny SF day. A full lap around the buoys (out-and-back) is about 1/3 mile and the perimeter of the park is 1 mile. Bring your dog for a swim too! Afterward, you can head up Columbus to one of the many coffee shops in north beach to warm up, or even better, an irish coffee at the Buena Vista.

Pack List

  • Goggles
  • Swimsuit / Wetsuit
  • Wetsuit or neoprene cap
  • Towel
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Activities Swimming, Fitness
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Bathrooms
Beach
Food Nearby
Scenic

Reviews

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chilly outdoor swim, SF classic

it can be cold, but on a sunny day and with a little bit of coverage this can be a fantastic place for a swim. I usually go with a neoprene cap + silicone cap plus goggles. It is a good workout!

In the city it's pretty tough to find a place to swim outdoors. I'll be honest, Aquatic Park is a little frigid for me sometimes, but on warmer days, it's a great spot to get out for a few laps. Wearing ear plugs helps to keep the cold water out and after a lap or two odds are you won't be quite as cold. Afterward you can reward yourself with an Irish Coffee at Buena Vista.

On the Olympic Club Water Polo team we often use this facility for training in the off season. We run out to the end of the jetty (0.25 miles) then jump off the pier (really fun to scare tourists) then swim in (0.35 miles) - We call these "Park Walks' and the most I've seen someone do is 10 (@zmonsees)


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