Best Public Pool

Springdale Park and Pool

The peeling wooden signs and rustic shelters harken back to a simpler time in swimming-pool history, back when anyone could go to any pool for a reasonable price, and every pool was a neighborhood one. At Springdale, honest-to-goodness smiling people in money aprons and floppy hats collect your admission fee ($7 per person) as you pull onto the park grounds. Wind through Springdale's 50 acres, where picnickers fire up the built-in grills and groups play badminton and washers and volleyball, while others take a swing at mini-golf (which costs just $3 a round!). As for the pool, sun worshipers won't find a lazy river, sleek waterslides (the steel one they have for kiddos looks like it was plucked from a playground) or even loungers, but they will find a large, clean facility equipped with volleyball nets and good old-fashioned diving boards. It's a throwback to a humbler time, right down to the lifeguard we saw admonishing a teenager to put shorts on over her thong bikini. So cover up, and be sure to wave back to the nice, floppy-hatted folks on your way out.
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