Poolside fun forever

Elsewhere, autumn’s chill has already blown away the last vestiges of summer warmth. Luckily for us, it’s pretty much always summer in Miami. And we’ve got swanky poolsides to spare, with gorgeous backdrops ranging from elegant Mediterranean architecture to nostalgic yellow-striped umbrellas. Make your friends up North jealous by diving into some of Miami’s most iconic pools.

The Vagabond Motel

The pool at the newly renovated Vagabond Motel in Miami’s iconic MiMo district is a mid-century urban oasis worthy of a Rat Pack reunion. Mermaid and dolphin mosaic tiles restored from the Vagabond’s heyday adorn the pool floor, complemented by retro lounge chairs and a menu filled with classic cocktails. The Vagabond Pool is open for non-hotel guests through November, with a $25 charge on the weekends. And, of course, we’re especially excited that Vagabond is hosting our giant Halloween Pool Party on October 24.

The Shore Club

At the historic, soon-to-be renovated Fasano Hotel + Residences at Shore Club, you have two fabulous ponds in which to waddle. Featuring carved tin lanterns, breezy white-sheathed cabanas, and hand painted pillows, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a summer sanctuary straight out of the South Pacific. The Shore Club pool is always free, so set up camp on one of their tufted white canopy beds and order a cocktail or two from the Rumbar.

The Standard. (Courtesy of The Standard)
Courtesy of The Standard

The Standard Miami Beach

Swimming at the pool in the Standard is kind of like being the star of your own movie. A dip underwater echoes a surf-rock playlist, only it’s not in your head — The Standard’s pool actually has speakers set up under the water’s surface, providing a soundtrack for swimming in Miami’s favorite pool with a view. The Standard doesn’t skimp on the details, and your day pass (though definitely pricey at $125) includes all-access to the hotel’s world-class spa, which includes use of a marble hammam, rain water shower, and hydrotherapy tubs. And if you decide you can’t go on living without spending every weekend at the the Standard, you can always get yourself a membership.

The Venetian Pool

Fashioned out of a coral rock quarry, Miami’s only natural freshwater pool was opened in 1924 by the granddaddy of Coral Gables, Mr. George Merrick himself. The Venetian Pool is a Mediterranean escape in the center of an urban enclave, complete with romantic loggias, shaded porticos, cascading waterfalls, and two historic lookout towers. What else would you expect from a pool that gets it’s name from Italy’s most magical water-logged city? Despite such Italian splendor, entry to Miami’s historic pool is pretty cheap. At $12 for the day, we suggest getting there early to beat the crowds.

The Freehand

(Courtesy of The Freehand)
Courtesy of The Freehand

The home to everyone’s favorite handcrafted cocktail bar offers more than just some of the world’s best cocktails. The only thing better than sipping on your favorite rum punch is doing it in the Freehand’s brick-laden pool. The classic 1930s Art Deco hotel pool features striped lounge chairs, market lights, and tropical flora to provide the perfect backdrop for chilling out anytime of the year. Grab a drink at the Broken Shaker, order a snack from 27, or just spend the day lounging on a giant inflatable swan.

The Biltmore in Coral Gables 

An icon of the Jazz Age and the gathering place for celebrities and debutantes during the Roaring Twenties, the legendary Biltmore Hotel once boasted the largest pool in the entire United States. While it may not be able to cry the same claim to fame today, it’s still pretty damn big, and undeniably Miami’s most elegant lagoon. Rent a cabana for the day, bring your wide-brimmed hat, and spend the day relishing some old-school Miami regency.

By Nicole Martinez
Nicole is a freelance writer and crop top enthusiast based in Miami Beach. A lifelong 305-er, she loves finding new stuff to love in her city everyday.