It's hot. The beach is crowded, and you don't have a pool. Don't fret. There are plenty of places to get in the water when the heat of the concrete jungle becomes unbearable. These are your best bets for an LA splash around cool off.
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor: Hurricane Harbor is a real deal, high-octane waterpark, meaning there are myriad opportunities to plunge several stories while holding on for dear life and screaming. There's also a wave pool and lazy river, for swimmers seeking a more relaxed Harbor experience.
26101 Magic Mountain Parkway, Valenica (661-255-4527 or sixflags.com/hurricaneharborla)
Annenberg Community Beach House: Built in the 1920s, this beach house was formerly the abode of actress Marion Davies, the longtime paramour of William Randolph Hearst. The historic space is now a Hollywood-style ocean front public beach house featuring a pool, fitness and game rooms, a café, gallery and a calendar of activities including yoga and beach volleyball. Admission is free and parking runs $7-$8.
415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, (310-458-4904 or beachhouse.smgov.net)
Stoner Park Pool: The allure of the public pool is that it's local, clean, (usually), and cheap to get in. $2.50 buys adult access to West LA's Stoner Park pool, which is accessorized by a waterslide and one of those giant mushroom things that rain down on giddy swimmers. Yes, a giant mushroom at Stoner Park. Stop snickering and get your bathing suit on.
1835 Stoner Avenue, at Nebraska Avenue, (310-575-8286 or laparks.org)
Eaton Canyon Park and Nature Center: Get up early and hike out to the 50-foot waterfall in this Pasadena park. Start at the parking lot and take the two-mile, intermediate level hike across the stream and up the slight incline. Pack a picnic for when you get there, and then hang out in the swimming pool. Avoid crowds by getting there early or going on a weekday.
1750 North Altadena Drive, at Veranda Avenue, Pasadena, (626-398-5420 or ecnca.org)
LA River Kayaking: Yes, kayaking on the concrete-lined Los Angeles River sounds like a farce, and a gross one at that, but it will soon be possible. The river was declared a navigable waterway last year, and a three-mile route along the Sepulveda Basin flood control channel alongside the 405 and 101 Freeways will open for floaters in early July. Tours for the Los Angeles River Adventure will run $50 and are expected to begin around July 8.