Editor’s note: Oregon’s COVID-19 restrictions have eased, but businesses may ask you to wear a face cover – bring one along and be patient and kind if asked to wear it. It’s also wildfire season – plan ahead and do your part to prevent wildfires.
Sure, you can paddle on a river, swim in a lake or hike to a waterfall to cool off in the summertime. But if you’d just like to splash around without breaking a sweat, sometimes the easiest (and dreamiest) option is a lazy day by the pool — waterslides and cannonballs optional. Oregon is home to dozens of fresh-air, outdoor pools that are open seasonally at hotels and motels across the state.
Each property has its own COVID-19 safety protocols for pool use; it’s best to call ahead to know what to expect. Here are some of the outdoor pools in each region of Oregon, so you can plan that perfectly blissful summer road trip. Don’t forget the sunscreen.
Located just south of the Portland State University campus and just off Interstate 405, University Place Hotel and Conference Center hosts the only outdoor pool in downtown Portland. It’s a true-blue urban gem; a great base camp for exploring the city on foot or by bike.
The chlorinated saltwater at McMenamins Kennedy School Hotel in North Portland makes the water extra buoyant and relaxing. Guests can book a complimentary one-hour soak in this heated oasis up to a week in advance. It’s also open to the public for a fee of $8 (ages 12 and up) or $4 (ages 3 to 11). Children under age 2 are free. The heated pool is a ceramic work of art, located in a private outdoor courtyard surrounded by gardens.
Planning an extended stay in the city? The large seasonal outdoor pool at the Residence Inn Portland North is surrounded by the cheery yellow facade of the property. It’s just 8 miles east of the Portland International Airport, and all rooms are spacious, pet-friendly suites. (Sorry, no pups allowed in the pool.)
The Allison Inn & Spa in Newberg offers the ultimate luxurious pool experience, with its vanishing-edge swimming pool flooded with sunshine from the large skylight and sliding glass doors that open to lounge chairs and umbrellas on the sun terrace. Soak up the scenic views from the whirlpool, book a spa appointment and enjoy the property’s private art collection, featuring the works of 100 local artists.
Cool off during your summer stay in Oregon wine country at The Vintages Trailer Resort in Dayton, where the outdoor pool gives everyone plenty of room to splash around before tucking into your cozy Airstream trailer at night. Kids can ride bikes around the property, and you can visit a number of family-friendly wineries nearby with outdoor patios and even farm animals.
Located on the east bank of the Willamette River, the outdoor pool at Valley River Inn in Eugene invites fun in the sun all summer long. From the easy-access hiking, biking and running trails to the vibrant food, drink and shopping scene, Eugene makes for the perfect urban wellness getaway for the whole family.
No need to get your feet sandy at the Coast when you can dip into the outdoor heated pool at The Tides by the Sea in Seaside, just a block from the ocean. (It’s currently open to one household at a time; book your spot in advance.) When you’re done splashing around, stroll or bike along Seaside’s famous Promenade, which celebrates its centennial anniversary in August 2021.
You can gaze at the blue ocean and driftwood-filled coastline just beyond your chaise lounge at the heated pool at the Inn at Spanish Head in Lincoln City. Book a reservation for your time slot in the pool and the hot tub, since they’re in high demand at this beachfront resort, each unit with oceanfront views.
See the waves crash while you lounge in the outdoor pool and hot tub at Beachfront Inn in Brookings, at the very bottom of the Southern Oregon Coast. The hotel is steps from the sandy shoreline and the Chetco River, where you can book a guided kayak or raft trip.
Mt. Hood/Columbia River Gorge
Come for the sparkling Columbia River views, stay for a dip in the heated outdoor pool at Celilo Inn, perched on a scenic overlook in The Dalles, at the east end of the Gorge. Pool times are open by reservation per family. Take in the sunset with your favorite Oregon wine on the poolside patio.
If it’s relaxation you want, the soft, buoyant saltwater soaking pool heated to 102 degrees at McMenamins Edgefield Hotel in Troutdale is the balm you need. Bask in the outdoor pool with a tumbler of wine or pot of tea, sold on-site. The pool is open to overnight guests and spa guests 18 and over.
Yes, it gets hot enough for swimming at the mountain, too. The heated outdoor pool at Timberline Lodge in Government Camp is open to no more than 12 hotel guests at a time, with physical distancing guidelines in place. Double-dip in the hot tub, available to one party at a time for a 15-minute soak.
It’s a tradition to bike to the pool from your vacation rental at Sunriver Resort in Sunriver, a family-friendly favorite. Thanks to a new renovation, The Cove aquatic facility features an indoor-outdoor pool space that can be enjoyed all year long. Look for the jetted spa, children’s splash pad, waterslide and poolside dining.
For a luxurious vibe, the heated outdoor pool at Tetherow in Bend oozes glamour but is still family-friendly, with its family changing room and plenty of space for lounging. Enjoy the hot tub, cabanas, fire pits and lap swim available at certain times.
You can almost hear the peals of delight from the families splashing around at Black Butte Ranch in Sisters, where the recreation center features an outdoor pool along with an indoor pool, wading pool and children’s fountain area.
You can swim or float to your heart’s content at the outdoor pool overlooking the Rogue River at The Lodge at Riverside in Grants Pass. Expect to find enhanced safety precautions here, with physical distancing between parties enforced. Book a boat tour at Hellgate Jetboat Excursions, which is just across the street — another fantastic option for summertime thrills.
Located in a park-like setting a stone’s throw from the South Umpqua River, the outdoor pool at the Riverfront Inn in Roseburg is a picture-perfect sanctuary during the warmer months. Visitors are encouraged to follow physical-distancing rules while enjoying the pool space, which is cleaned several times per day.
If it’s wellness you’re looking for, take a dip in the outdoor pool at Lithia Springs Resort in Ashland, then book a spa appointment on-site to enjoy the healing benefits of Ashland’s famous natural spring mineral waters. Wind down in the evening at the resort’s lovely outdoor wine garden, which features many of the Rogue Valley’s acclaimed wineries.
Whether you’ve come to Eastern Oregon for the Pendleton Round-Up or just to explore the shops, history, culture and outdoor spaces, the outdoor pool at America’s Best Value Inn in downtown Pendleton will put a smile on any kid’s face. The hotel is located at the center of town, a block from the Umatilla River and a five-minute drive from even more splashes at the Pendleton Aquatic Center — just one of an endless number of family activities in Pendleton.
Who says the water has to be cool to be refreshing? The five hot-spring soaking pools at The Lodge at Hot Lake Springs offer the ultimate in indulgence. The outdoor pools — which range in temperature from 98 to 108 degrees — are open to overnight guests only, including children 12 and older. The historic lodge reopened in 2021 with remodeled rooms and many other property upgrades.
When the mercury rises and the dust settles in Southeastern Oregon’s high desert, the outdoor pool at Days Inn by Wyndham Burns welcomes families for a much-needed cool-down. The hotel is in downtown Burns, within walking distance of grocery stores, coffee shops, pizza and Mexican food, and excellent pub fare at Steens Mountain Brewing.