Astoria Park Pool
Astoria Park, 23rd Dr. and 19th St., Astoria
Although Astoria Park proudly lays claim to the city’s largest pool—a 330-foot Art Deco showstopper—it’s not just the size that makes this facility so spectacular, but the backdrop against which it’s set: a panoramic vista of Manhattan’s midtown skyline, Hell Gate, and the Triborough Bridge. Designed to hold up to 3,000 people, the pool can’t help but draw a diverse crowd, from neighborhood families making use of the park’s tennis courts and baseball diamonds to local hipsters catching some sun before hitting the Bohemian Hall, a landmark beer garden (and No. 4 on our list of 25 outdoor eats), just a hop, skip, and jump away.
2. $50 PER DAY
Le Parker Meridien
119 W. 57th St., nr. Sixth Ave.
Those wishing to sample summer’s pleasures without committing to the time and expense of a share house should check out this stunning glass-enclosed penthouse pool and sundeck overlooking Central Park. There are enough options to fill an entire day: racquetball and basketball courts, free weights and cardio equipment— and when you’re done with your workout, you can order up brunch to the pool from Norma’s or an afternoon snack from Burger Joint.
3. $1,104 PER YEAR
421 Hudson St., nr. Leroy St.
Members prefer to keep this West Village gem under wraps for fear that the crowds will descend en masse. By signing up for the immaculate, full-service, 35,000-square-foot gym, you also get access to the building’s tranquil rooftop pool and adjacent 3,000-square-foot sundeck. The pool looks out across the freshly gentrified West Side Highway onto New Jersey, and the sundeck is the perfect spot from which to view a sunset. Most of the clientele are locals, or, as Printing House boasts, “lots of artists and some movie stars,” which given the West Village’s demographic are, we suppose, one and the same.
4. $400 PER DAY
18 Ninth Ave., at 13th St.
A previous generation had the ladies who lunched, this one has the ladies who lounge—at the pool. From now until September 30, the price of high tea at the St. Regis—times ten—buys you access to the 45-foot rooftop pool and deck, a salad-and-sandwich lunch for two, a complimentary New York Times best-seller book, “essentials” like Evian spritzer, sunblock, SPF lip balm, all the gossip magazines your heart desires, and all the Popsicles you can eat—they’re not crumpets, but they’ll do.
5. $2,020 PER SUMMER AND UP
Catalina Beach Club
2041 Park St., Atlantic Beach, Long Island
Stepping into the Catalina Beach Club, one of fourteen private clubs in Atlantic Beach, is like traveling backward through time to land firmly in the fifties. So fully realized is the club’s genteel, retro aesthetic that it was featured in Todd Haynes’s Far From Heaven. Like all things vintage, Catalina is experiencing a Renaissance, particularly among young families who like its proximity to Manhattan and kid-friendly fare (Mommy & Me and Nursery Day Camp). Beachside cabanas can be hard to come by—many have been in the same family for generations—but a locker near the Olympic-size pool is certainly nothing to sneeze at.