Where can I swim in Miami?
Not infrequently (hellooo double negative!) there is a question online (www.slowtwitch.com or www.beginnertriathlete.com) from people asking where they can swim in Miami. Perhaps they are visiting on vacation or maybe you’ve just moved here or even maybe you live her but just started training for triathlon.
It’s a good question. While I’ve lived in Miami since 1996 and been a regular swimmer since 2010 I will admit I found it very confusing to figure out what the swimming options were. The Miami Dade parks website isn’t a great source of information. Some of our local masters programs aren’t official and so aren’t listed at www.usms.com.
The Miami way is that you just have to know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy. Of course if you’re a traveler or if you’re new you may not, “know a guy.” At least I didn’t.
Plus, almost every house and apartment building has a pool. As a result we have relatively few municipal pools. Don’t forget we have the ocean which is open all year long basically for free.
For the purpose of this post I will focus on where to find lap pools and Masters Swimming programs in Miami. For open water swimming head east until you hit water … You’ll hit the Atlantic Ocean or Biscayne Bay. If there is public access you can most likely swim there. There are lifeguards along Miami Beach and the lifeguard stands are a standard distance apart so you can estimate your distance without a watch. On Key Biscayne between the William Powell bridge and the Miami Seaquarium is Hobie Beach unofficially renamed Tri Beach by locals. The white buoys there are approximately .1 of a mile apart. That’s a popular ows location.
Lap Pool Swimming in Miami, Florida
Three options here: 1. indoor gym with membership or pass 2. municipal pool with open hours or 3. private swim club pool.
Gyms with pools include LA Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness and Equinox. Check with them directly for membership, rules, passes and what not. I don’t personally swim in a gym pool at the moment because I prefer to swim outside.
Lap Pools – Masters Swim Programs
First, Masters just means grown ups. Please don’t be intimidated by the title.
Gulliver Swim Club www.gulliverswimclub.org This is where I swim. It’s a huge swimming program from Masters to students and club swimmers. All workouts are coached but you can always do independent swim in an outside lane. The pool converts from 25 yards to 50 meters depending on the season. This program has grown a lot in the past few years. We now have 200+ masters swimmers. Do not expect your own lane. Do expect to get faster if you join.
Ransom Everglades Pool – Located on Main Highway in Coconut Grove this aquatic complex has the best view of any pool I’ve ever been to. You can see the sunrise over Biscayne Bay. I’ve swum here when my pool is closed and while there was no coach it did have some of the fastest swimmers I know putting each other through their paces. Miami Swimming practices here in the evenings. There are triathlon groups who swim here but I don’t currently have any contact information about these groups.
Hurricane Aquatics – http://www.hurricaneaquatics.net – I think I have the details of this all wrong because I don’t swim here. The University of Miami has two pools on campus. The collegiate triathlon team: The Tri-canes practice there as well as the women’s swim team. There is no longer a men’s swim team. I think you mostly are supposed to have an affiliation with UM to swim there. I don’t have an affiliation with UM so I’ve only swum there a little bit for clinics but I do have a friend who swims there with a masters group in the evenings.
Open Swim at Municipal Pools
Miami-Dade College – www.mdc.edu Officially called Gibson Center which I only learned by looking it up online. Kendall Campus 1101 sw 104th Street. 305-237-2235 This is not really municipal because it’s part of a school not the parks department but it is open to the public. This pool I saw on my most recent trip (for a track workout) was closed for renovations so check back because when it reopens it might be fantastic. It’s always been a great pool, clean and well staffed and maintained just really old. In my experience it is also very busy with swim clubs but you can always find a place to squeeze in. Parking is an issue like every college campus I’ve ever been to in my life.
Tamiami Park 11201 sw 24th Street. 786-315-5295 This is a very nice 50 meter pool. I have swum here for a clinic a long time ago. It’s pretty far from where I live (especially at 5 am). At one point they did have a masters program with a coach named Boris but I don’t know if it’s still around.
The Hadley Pool. 4800 NW 12th Avenue. 305-638-8340. I have never been to this pool but I think it’s a full 50 meter aquatic center near Jackson Hospital. It is a municipal pool. It is also a crazy secret as it’s not listed under the parks department if you search for pools. I heard about it from another swimmer when our pool was closing for a break. Call them for details. I got the address from a website www.swimmersguide.com which I had never heard of until I was doing this search. Seems like it could be a great resource.
Flamingo Park Pool this is located in Miami Beach 999 11th Street. (305) 673-7750 This is a 50 meter pool open to the public. It is a wonderful option when you want to swim on South Beach only to find the shore covered with annoying jellyfish. At least that’s the only time I’ve swum there since it’s so close to the ocean. Call for hours and details of course.
Jose Marti 351 sw 4th Street. (305) 575-5265. I have never been to this pool. Once I tried to go to this pool for a Total Immersion clinic with Gary Fahey and my car navigation took me to Doral. oops – I did not make it to that clinic. However it is used for classes by two other triathlon coaches that I know about. It is a 25 yard pool and it’s open to the public. Call them for details.
AD Barnes Park 3401 sw 72nd Avenue 305-666-5883 has a very old and 25 yard public pool. They have a team and lessons. As of this writing there is a teacher there named Josie who does indeed work with adults looking to improve their swim. I have swum there with my friend Melissa. The pool is shallow and gets very warm in the summer. Also they aren’t big on using the lane lines so I did once totally plow into some sort of senior aqua exerciser floating on a noodle while I was lap swimming. I was emotionally scarred and have never been back. I’m kidding a little bit but that was the last time I was there. Call them for hours and details.
Key Biscayne Community Center– 10 Village Green Way. (305) 365-8900. I have never been to this pool. When I go to Key Biscayne I swim in the ocean. I never even knew this pool existed until this year when I asked Andres at Ultrabikex where he swam. But it’s there – call for details.
Have I left any out? There are other municipal pools and maybe country club pools that are around town. Let me know what I’ve forgotten by adding a comment and I’ll add them to this wonderful and comprehensive list of places to swim in Miami, Florida.