Best Of Dallas

The Complete Guide to Dallas Pools: Public(ish)

Editor: The days of constant sweat are upon us. Fortunately, Dallas has an especially fine array of pools. Some are easy to find, some are ... less so. Deb Doing Dallas has a way with these things, fortunately, and she'll be leading you on a tour of pretty much every pool you hope to dip a toe in this summer. They're divided into three categories: Hotels, residential and public(ish).

First up: Public(ish) and ornamental pools. These are the pools that are mostly open to the public, though some have a few rules. Maybe you can bend them? Just remember if you get caught, the Morning News told you to try.

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Fraternal Order of Eagles (F.O.E.)

Neighborhood: East Dallas. Like so many beautiful trees, East Dallas.

What to wear: This is an anything-goes kind of pool, but vintage one-pieces are generally on fine display. Something to show off any ink worth bragging about, short shorts, long shorts. The lady that comes to you with the Jello-O shots wears jeans even in August. Whatever you want, but no cut-offs.

What to drink: Jell-O shots and always with friends, new or old. A surprisingly impressive top-shelf margarita and a cold Lone Star. A perfect pool if you are feeling generous. Every time I have closed a tab at the F.O.E. it is somehow $10 less then I think it should be.

Who you will meet: Attractive single parents, Dallas liberals who still own guns, hipsters who always say they are going to "join" the F.O.E. and never do. Suggested pool toys and accessories: Oh! All of the above, bring your floaties, your tubes, your beach balls, your diving games. But know that the F.O.E. has plenty of kids with distracted parents -- you can also just play with their toys, because they will be bringing A LOT. Also, bring some OFF.

Tips and tricks: Pack a pair of shorts -- impromptu volleyball games are more fun when you join in! And don't forget that the F.O.E. allows guests to bring food and non-alcoholic drinks. A quick way to earn your spot as life of the party is to fire up that grill. Related: I have had a pizza delivered to the lawn.


Neighborhood: Downtown Dallas

What to wear: High heels with bathing suits is not a thing I readily encourage, but if you were ever going to indulge ladies, this is the pool.

What to drink: White sangria and Champagne by the bottle.

Who you will meet: Ku De Ta is a beautiful oasis in Dallas and to truly enjoy the surroundings I like to go during off-hours. That said, it's the closest thing Dallas has to a Vegas-style pool experience, so during peak hours ... expect the kinds of folks who enjoy Vegas-style pool experiences.

Suggested pool toys and accessories: Don't bring a thing. In fact, this members-only club encourages you to pare down and offers towel service to all of their guests. Oh, and about getting one of those memberships: It's all I know a guy who knows a guy.

Tips and tricks: No, but really, go with a small group that already includes a member or two, behave in all the right ways, misbehave in all the fun ways and your invitation for membership will hit your cabana before the afternoon is over.

Tietze Park Public Pool

What to wear: Whatever you can comfortably wear on your bike to get there. This is an East Dallas kid staple, heavy on the family demographic.

What to drink: This is a teenage-level pack-some-secret-liquor-and-put-it-in-a-Coke-from-concession-stand situation.

Who you will meet: East Dallas kids on summer vacation, loyalist East Dallas grown-ups playing hooky from work.

Suggested pool toys and accessories: If you come during the weekday off-hours bring a float. This pool is deep and long and covered in sun all day. Situate yourself and relax. Otherwise, some headphones. This pool isn't so crowded with kids it's a nuisance but all it takes is your own playlist and closed eyes to tune out the weekend gatherings.

Tips and tricks: My favorite way to enjoy Tietze park is after a long bike ride, but at only $2 a pop, it's worth it to stop by and visit a few times to find your favorite time to pool. Its lack of shade is appealing to the sun worshippers.

SMU Barr Pool/Perkins Natatorium

Neighborhood: University Park

What to wear: Speedos, athletic suits. Here you can even pull of a swim cap.

What to drink: Coconut water

Who you will meet: THE SMU SWIMMING AND DIVING TEAMS! Do you remember how attractive you always find the swimmers during the Olympics? Also, learn some proper form, that's more appropriate.

Suggested pool toys and accessories: Swim caps, nose plugs and those weighted exercise flippers to live out those swim team fantasies.

Tips & Tricks: Getting into the SMU Barr Pool is essentially going to require a pool pass/gym membership unless you have an in with students, faculty or staff. That said, you can probably meet some students, faculty or staff hanging out on Sunday at The Hotel Lumen. Also, even though this is a pool designed for lap swimming, there are lounge chairs surrounding it, so get in a workout and stick around for sunbathing in your Speedo. They can't all be shit-shows around the water -- you need to take care of yourself too.

The Men's Club OK. So this one is presented mostly without commentary ... but there is a pool at The Men's Club in Dallas. Just add it to the list of amenities provided at an already rather amenity-d gentleman's club. You are mostly only going to be invited to dine poolside, but why not? The food has garnered its own stellar reputation. Look, I am not here to tell you which pool to go to, I am just here to tell you that there are pools and in this instance possibly a steak and dance special if it's your cup of chlorine. But I will say this, poolside or inside you better tip well behind the doors of The Men's Club and let's all see if we can get a union or some health insurance for the beautiful mermaids who promise to make this trip to the water worth your time.

The Former J.Pepe's Pool

What to wear: Shoes, because you are going to have to climb a fence to sneak into this closed backyard.

What to drink: Bring your poison in a flask. Travel light, this is illegal.

Who you will meet: Possibly the old crew of regulars who are still longing for the re-opening, and by that I mean Granada employees and McCommas apartment residents.

Suggested pool toys and accessories: I mean, it would be fun to throw some noodles over the fence before you jump it.

Tips and tricks: Look, you don't know what you got till it's gone. This wasn't a pool anyone was clamoring to get in until it closed. For some reason it still hasn't been drained so if you are looking for a risky night swim, indulge. Also, make sure you have your lawyer's contact info on lock since you will technically be breaking and entering to pull this off.

The Fuel City Pool

Neighborhood: Fuel City is its own hood.

What to wear: Technically this pool is ornamental, so this is a free for all.

What to drink: Topo Chico.

Who you will meet: All Dallas kinds roam through Fuel City depending on the time and whether you came for tacos, a car wash or to tend to the steer out back.

Suggested pool toys and accessories: Elotes.

Tips and tricks: Guys, can't we all just decide to jump in this pool? What would happen? Who would stop us? ARE YOU WITH ME?

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Deb Doing Dallas
Contact: Deb Doing Dallas