With temperatures soaring into the hundreds, we all need to cool off.
While taking refuge in a movie theatre (perhaps at one of the Arclight's 21+ screenings?), having a cold drink or escaping to the north sounds appealing, the most satisfying option is to plunge into a pool or into the ocean. Here are our picks for the best ways to swim -- and cool off -- this summer!
Most of the public pools and some of the recreation areas that we feature do require admission fees, but they're usually nominal and in the range of $2-$4. Expect pricier entrance to any hotel -- refreshing drinks not included.
The Hansen Dam Aquatic Center
Out in the Valley, the Hansen Dam area comprises a swimming lake, a recreational lake, a large swimming pool (complete with a water slide!), and a playground. It's perfect for the family that wants to do everything while beating the heat. <a href="http://www.laparks.org/dos/aquatic/facility/hansendamAQ.htm" target="_hplink">11798 Foothill Blvd., Lake View Terrace, CA 91342</a>
The Annenberg Community Beach House
If the ocean is too cold for you, but you want its refreshing breeze, try out the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica. The stylish complex includes a large pool, an art gallery, a viewing deck, courtyards, and a café. Bonus: The Annenberg offers classes in yoga, paddleboarding, and more! <a href="http://beachhouse.smgov.net/" target="_hplink">415 Pacific Coast Hwy., Santa Monica, CA 90402.</a>
Stoner Park Pool
Located on the West Side, this pool is ideal for children. It has exciting water features -- such as a slide, a mushroom waterfall, and sprinklers -- that make it a veritable summer paradise. <a href="http://www.laparks.org/dos/aquatic/facility/stonerParkPool.htm" target="_hplink">1835 Stoner Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90025.</a>
Echo Deep Pool
If you want to escape the sun as well as the heat, why not try the Echo Deep Pool? Located in Echo Park, it's a gigantic indoor pool where one can take swim lessons, be trained to be a lifeguard, compete on a team, or just enjoy the water. <a href="http://www.laparks.org/dos/aquatic/facility/echoParkPool.htm" target="_hplink">1419 Colton St., Los Angeles, CA 90026</a>.
Pan Pacific Park Pool
What makes this public pool a standout is its location -- it's in between Third Street and Beverly Boulevard, making it close to family-friendly hits like the Grove, the Farmers' Market, and LACMA. <a href="http://www.laparks.org/dos/aquatic/facility/panPacificPool.htm" target="_hplink">141 S. Gardner St. Los Angeles, CA 90036.</a>
The Beverly Hills Hotel Pool
Alternatively, if you're looking for indulgence instead of family fun, try out the Beverly Hills Hotel's pool. Stars like Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor once lounged by these waters, giving the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/27/beverly-hills-hotel-historic-landmark_n_1631534.html" target="_hplink">historic landmark</a> the aura of Old Hollywood. <a href="http://www.beverlyhillshotel.com/swimming-pool" target="_hplink">9641 Sunset Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210</a>
The Standard Downtown
Or, if the Beverly Hills Hotel seems too stuffy for you, check out the Standard. Cool off with a drink and a swim high above Los Angeles. With an astroturf deck, vibrating waterbed pods, and a grassy knoll, edgy luxury knows no bounds here. <a href="http://www.standardhotels.com/los-angeles/restaurants-bars/rooftop-bar/" target="_hplink">550 South Flower St., Los Angeles CA 90071</a>. Check out more of our favorite LA hotel pools <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/19/best-la-hotel-pools-the-s_n_1607449.html" target="_hplink">here</a> and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/04/los-angeles-hotel-pools-t_n_857498.html#s273762&title=The_Chic_The" target="_hplink">here</a>.
Malibu Creek State Park
On the complete other side of the cool-down spectrum is Malibu Creek State Park, a lush oasis in the hills near Malibu, features 15 miles of stream-side trails and various ponds for wading and swimming. Book a campsite and sleep under the stars! <a href="http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=614" target="_hplink">1925 Las Virgenes Rd., Agoura, CA 91376.</a>
Leo Carrillo State Beach
While it seems almost hilariously obvious to recommend going to the beach in summer, Leo Carrillo is noteworthy. Why? <a href="http://www.leocarrillo.com/dogs.htm" target="_hplink">Dogs are allowed in certain areas!</a> Unlike most beaches in Venice, Santa Monica, and Malibu, this northern beach permits our furry friends. They need to cool down, too! <a href="http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=616" target="_hplink">35000 West Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, CA 90265.</a>