Updated June 2005
Asphalt Green Aqua Center has a 50-meter Olympic-size pool—a glass-enclosed swimmer's dream. When you tire of laps, check out classes or the juice bar. A rooftop sun terrace overlooks the river—how's that for a view? $25 for adults, $15 for seniors, $8 for kids under 17. Closed on weekdays, 3-8 p.m.
1750 York Ave., at 91st St. (212-369-8890).
Asser Levy Recreation Center
Hit the pool first thing in the morning for early-bird laps—or stop by after work (it's open until 9:30 p.m. on weekdays, 4:45pm on weekends). For a day of frolicking, pack some sandwiches and spend the day splashing around with neighborhood youngsters who congregate at this city-owned pool in the afternoon. Best part: it's totally free!
E. 23rd St. and Asser Levey Dr. (212-447-2020).
Carnegie Park has a cute, quiet fifteen-yard pool, huge windows, and a glorious sundeck and lawn. They don't sell food or drinks, but it's a top place to relax and take in some rays (and a post-sun sauna or steam in the particularly swank locker room). Members only, but bring in this page over the summer and you can try it once for $12, $6 for kids under 15.
200 E. 94th St. (212-423-0300).
The fee is a little stiff here—$50 a day—but it gets you access to all of the Piers' world-class facilities: For starters, there's a six-lane, 75-foot pool; an indoor sand volleyball court; a quarter-mile indoor track; and two sundecks overlooking the Hudson River.
West Side Hwy at 22nd St. (212-336-6000).
Le Parker Meridien
A full day of relaxation at this luxury hotel's pool-spa complex will cost you $50, but you'll get your money's worth taking in the rays, and views of Central Park, from the sundeck above the glass-enclosed pool. Guests have full access to the 17,000-square-foot fitness center and poolside food-and-beverage service.
119 W. 56th St. (212-708-7340).
Manhattan Plaza's bustling 25-yard pool also has a retractable roof; on sunny days, it goes alfresco. Hot tubs, steam rooms, saunas, a poolside shower, and a sundeck with café service make for a fab spa day. Members only; bring this page to try it once for $35, Monday through Friday only.
482 W. 43rd St. (212-563-7001).
Riverbank State Park
Perched 69 feet above the Hudson River, this spot features panoramic views of the George Washington Bridge and the Jersey Palisades, as well as an indoor Olympic-size pool. Bring the family, and make a day of it (kids under 4 years are free, under 15 years are $1, seniors, 62 and over are $1, and adults are $2).
679 Riverside Dr., at 145th St. (212-694-3600).
Sheraton Manhattan Hotel's twenty-yard glass-enclosed pool and sundeck area are nothing fancy, but you can't beat the location for a lunch-hour dip, tan session, workout, and sauna. Surrounding skyscrapers limit sunlight except at midday. $40 for adults, free for kids under 18.
790 Seventh Ave., near 52nd St. (212-621-8591).
Tony Dapolito Recreation Center
From June 25th to Labor Day, this 65-by 25-yard outdoor public pool is the best of its kind. It's on one of the leafiest, brownstone-iest blocks in the West Village. You can leave your wallet at home (it's free), but don't forget a towel and a lock for your locker.
1 Clarkson St., nr. Varick (212-242-5228).
Waterside Swim & Health Club, a country-clubby, kid-friendly place, has a twelve-yard lap pool, saunas, and a weight room. Snacks for the sundeck can be bought at a restaurant in the building. Bring your own towel. It's usually $20 for adults, $10 for kids 6 to 17, no charge for kids under 6 (one visit per person—after that, you have to join).
35 Waterside Plaza, FDR Dr. near 25th St. (212-340-4225).