Since the East Bay is always about ten degrees warmer than San Francisco—and a lot of these spots are heated anyway–why not head to a swimming hole across the bridge if you're looking to soak up a little sun?
Crown Beach, Alameda
This is the closest you're going to get to a real, sandy beach in the Bay Area. The water is warm and shallow, so you can feel free to frolic and swim without worrying about the frigid winds and freezing waves you'd encounter at SF's beaches. At the west end of Crown Beach is a bathhouse with changing rooms. And if you're not interested in getting wet, rent a sailboat, kayak, or inflatable raft and set out to sea, or you can even stay on the shore and fish. Next to the beach there are also picnic tables, barbecue pits, a lawn area for games, and scenic bike trails. // Open year round; Eight Street and Otis Drive, Alameda
*Please note that due to Covid-19, the parking lot remains closed as of July 14, 2020 and there is walk-in access only; the Crab Cove Visitor Center is also closed. For details and updates, please visit ebparks.org.
The Claremont Hotel pool, photo via the hotel.
Claremont Hotel, Berkeley
If you'd prefer to sip cocktails poolside, then consider signing up for The Claremont Hotel's recreational membership and you'll get much more than just a pool to splash around in. The aquatics include a heated recreational pool, a heated lap pool, a kiddie pool (with waterworks), and an outdoor jet-stream whirlpool to relax in. Other perks include tennis courts, a fitness center and weight room, extensive cardio, strength, and yoga classes, gorgeous views of the Bay at the bar and restaurant and more. And with discounted night stays, there's basically no reason to ever leave. Bonus points: This is where they filmed the pool scene in Mrs. Doubtfire! // Open year round; 41 Tunnel Round, Berkeley
*As of July 14, 2020, the Claremont Hotel remains closed due to Covid-19.
Robert's Pool, Oakland
Located near a lush grove of redwood trees off Skyline Blvd., the Roberts Pool complex has a 25 yard, heated (!) swimming pool with a depth of 8.5 feet. Although there's no diving board, you can still have tons of fun – bring a picnic, or grab something from the vending machines, and catch some rays on the lawn areas. Plus, the complex is fully accessible to individuals with disabilities, with an accessible lift into the pool. Special times are set aside for lessons, recreational swimming, and lap swimming, or you can rent the whole place out and throw a pool bash. // Open April through September; 10570 Skyline Blvd. (Oakland), ebparks.org/parks/roberts
*July 14, 2020: Robert's Pool is temporarily closed.
Lake Anza in Tilden Park, Berkeley
Tilden Park's Lake Anza (pictured above) is a bucolic East Bay getaway. Its sandy beach is open to the sun and sheltered from the wind – perfect for sunbathing – and Lake Anza is the perfect place to cool down after a morning hike. Make a day of it and bring along a picnic, there's ample grounds nearby, or grab refreshments from The Lake Anza Beach Cafe. And don't forget to check out the Botanical Gardens, the Little Farm, and the Merry-Go-Round. // Open April - September; Lake Anza Rd. (Berkeley), ebparks.org/parks/tilden
*July 14, 2020: Lake Anza and Tilden Regional Park remain temporarily closed due to Covid-19.
Strawberry Canyon, Berkeley
Located above Cal's Memorial Stadium in the Berkeley hills, Strawberry Canyon is a favorite hot spot for students and families alike. The 6-lane pool is heated to a toasty 80 degrees, and while three of the lanes are dedicated to lap swimming, the rest are for play. There's also lockers rooms, hot showers, kick boards and other pool toys, a pool lift, and ample parking in the lot. Bring your own towels, and come early to stake out a space on the grass where you can soak up some sun after your swim. // Open May through November; Centennial Dr. (Berkeley), ecsports.berkeley.edu
*July 14, 2020: Strawberry Canyon Pool is temporarily closed due to Covid-19.
Temescal Pool, Oakland
Dip your toes into the sunny Temescal pool or tan on the pool front property. Temescal Pool is located at Oakland Technical High School, adjacent to Studio One Arts Center and serves the Downtown and North Oakland community with fun, safe and recreational programs. Pool use includes swimming classes and lessons for tiny tots, children and adults, swim team practice, recreational swim and so much more. // Open June - September; 371 45th St. (Oakland), oaklandca.gov
*July 14, 2020: Temescal Pool is temporarily closed due to Covid-19.