Bywater resident Don Asay swims all over New Orleans — at both hotel and public pools — but he visits The Country Club’s saltwater pool most often.
“It’s three blocks from my home, it’s fun, the beer is cheap, it’s a tropical oasis, and I know people here because they live in my ’hood,” he says.
Pools offer a convivial environment, in addition to other obvious benefits. “It’s just so hot in New Orleans,” said Emily Schmidt Liuzza, area marketing manager for the W Hotel French Quarter and Le Meridien New Orleans. “People don’t want to be outside unless they have a place to cool off.”
Danielle Small, founder of Below Sea Level theater company, capitalized on that propensity last summer, when she staged a musical version of the 1995 film “Waterworld” in a pool. The spoof returns this summer for an extended run.
“People are looking to do activities in the water,” Small said. “’Waterworld’ is interactive — you can bring water guns to the show or buy one here and fight back with (the cast). I wanted it to be a definite pool party, even during the show, because it’s hot AF outside.”
Here are a few pools where locals can beat the heat and the summer doldrums.
Ace Hotel (600 Carondelet St.)
A $20 food and/or beverage purchase gets you access to Alto, Ace Hotel’s Edison bulb-hung rooftop pool and garden, which is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Le Meridien (333 Poydras St.)
A general-admission pass to Le Meridien Hotel’s petite rooftop pool costs $15 and includes a glass of wine or sparkling cocktail. The pool is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. On Sundays, a DJ spins tunes.
PATIOS AND COURTYARDS
The Country Club (634 Louisa St.)
The heated and chilled saltwater pool tucked behind this newly renovated Italianate raised center hall cottage is open from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily. There’s also a sauna, hot tub, cabana bar and poolside dining. Admission is $15.
Maison de Macarty (3820 Burgundy St.)
This Bywater bed-and-breakfast hosts “Waterworld: The Musical” Tuesdays and Fridays through Aug. 25. The pool opens at 6 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m. There’s a cabana bar, and Turkish pop-up The Tulip Café sells food. Admission is $20, and tickets are for sale at https://www.artful.ly/store/events/12570 .
W Hotel French Quarter (316 Chartres St.)
W Hotel hosts a free “Dive In” movie night series at its courtyard pool. “Notting Hill” screens at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 13, and “My Best Friend’s Wedding” screens at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 17. There’s free popcorn, and admission is first-come, first-served. On all other days, pool admission costs $30, which goes toward a food and beverage credit.
THAT ALLOVER TAN
The Drifter Hotel (3522 Tulane Ave.)
The rooftop pool at this newly renovated 1950s motel has a distinctly midcentury modern vibe. Toplessness is permitted, and admission is $5 on weekdays and $10 on weekends. Service industry workers get free admission on Mondays. The pool is open from 11 a.m. to midnight daily.
Indian Hills (2824 Gause Blvd. W., Slidell)
Experience sunbathing without the risk of tan lines at this nudist colony’s pool and hot tub. Admission costs $38 for a couple, $28 for a single man and $15 for a single woman. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Cool Zoo Splash Park at Audubon Zoo (6500 Magazine St.)
Audubon Park’s kid-centric Cool Zoo features a 750-foot lazy river, waterspouts, beaches, waterslides, a splash park and more. A ticket to the Audubon Zoo and Cool Zoo costs $29.95 for an adult and $24.95 for a child. Children younger than 2 receive free admission. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends through Sept 4.
NORDC pools (Citywide)
New Orleans Recreation Development Commission offers free public pools citywide. Indoor and outdoor pools host swimming lessons for adults and children, lifeguard programs, water aerobics classes and more. Pool addresses and schedules may be viewed at nordc.org.
Pontchartrain Landing RV Park and Marina (6001 France Road)
This pool at this waterfront RV park is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Admission is $10 or $5 with a purchase from the dockside bar and restaurant.
Johnny Jacobs Playground Pool (504-349-5000; 5851 Fifth St., Marrero)
It costs $2 to swim and $1 to hang out poolside at Johnny Jacobs Playground Pool, which is open through Aug. 6. Swimming sessions take place from 3:15 6 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekends.
Bayou Segnette Wave Pool (504-736-7140; 7777 West Bank Expressway, Westwego)
Catch a wave at this state wave pool, which features lifeguards on duty and free life vests. The pool is open through Labor Day from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. Admission to Bayou Segnette Park is $3 per person, and admission to the wave pool is an additional $10 for kids shorter than 4 feet tall and $13 for everyone else.
The Beach Club of Metairie (504-887-4000; 6000 Cleveland Place, Metairie)
An individual membership is $66.29 per month, and a family membership is $90 per month. Membership includes access to clay tennis courts, the fitness center, clubhouse and swimming pool. The pool is open year-round, and lifeguards are present through the third week of August.
Lafreniere Park Spray Park (504-838-4389; 3000 Downs Blvd., Metairie)
More than 4,000 square feet of water features, including water cannons and large misting water rings, are available daily through Aug. 9 with a $5 entry fee, which allows 90 minutes of play for children ages 10 and younger.