Public pools always seem like a good idea; there’s nothing more refreshing than jumping into a rectangle of clear, blue water on a hot, humid day. In reality, however, public pools can be a crowded, smelly, noisy, dirty nightmare filled with chlorine (and, in all likelihood, urine). But luckily—even for those of us who can’t afford a membership to a fancy private pool—there is an alternative: fresh water swimming holes.
Swimmingholes.org is a website dedicated to helping people find the most beautiful fresh water swimming holes in the U.S. and Canada. For 17 years and counting, the website’s team has been keeping track of 1,200 creeks, rivers, springs, waterfalls, hot springs, lakes, quarries and bays. Just enter your current location and you’ll discover a long list of swimming holes to visit for a refreshing dip. If you’re feeling especially daring, you can check out the website’s list of prime spots for skinny dipping (“swimming holes which we know to be clothing-optional”). Also be sure to check out SwimmingHoles’ partner websites for campgrounds and public gardens.