Best Mid-Sized Cities in the PNW for Public Pools
Regardless of whether it is oppressingly hot or depressingly cold, a visit to your local pool is a fun distraction for kids and adults alike. Some of you prefer that your city have a good parks and recreation department. Most large cities will have lots of options for those looking for an aquatic experience, but in order for a small city to offer such amenities, they have to make it a city-wide priority.
Trying to find out what a city has to offer in terms of any forms of recreation is time-consuming at best, and next to impossible at worst. Sometimes the only way to find out if a city has a pool is the call public works and ask someone in the know. We researched and reached out to every city with more than 5000 people to find out how many public pools they had available.
So – let’s lay out a couple of definitions so everyone is on the same page. We are limiting our discussion to mid-sized cities (between 10,000 and 74,999 people) in the Pacific Northwest, which includes Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. We are also going to include Alaska. For a pool to count, it has to be public. A private pool with membership fees does not count. Here are three cities that take public pool access seriously.
Aloha, OR – Population 52,902. In first place on our list is Aloha, Oregon, and 2nd place is not even close. With 8 public pools, Seattle is the only city of any size in the Pacific NW that has more pools. Located on the outskirts of the Portland metro area, Aloha has more pools than most cities 10 times its size.
Fairbanks, AK – Population – 31,535. Located only 140 miles from the Arctic Circle, Fairbanks not only is the most remote mid-sized city on our list, but it is the coldest mid-sized cities in all of Alaska. Two indoors pools means you’ll be able to get your pool time year round regardless of how frightful the weather is outside.
Pullman, WA – Population 32,112. Rounding out our top 3 is Pullman Washington. Pullman is nearly as remote as Fairbanks, located near the Idaho border in eastern Washington state. Like Fairbanks, Pullman has two pools, one outdoor and one Olympic-sized indoor pool that is open year-round.
If you are looking to travel or relocate, It can be hard to try to find the perfect city for you. Everyone has a different idea of what the best means. Someone who owns a boat might want something different than someone who likes to swim laps. Someone who wants to be close to nature wants something different than someone who likes city life.
Maybe none of these cities are quite right for you. Or maybe there are a few other things on your “must have” list outside of pool access when choosing a place to live. That’s why we created the NextDiggs quiz so that you can decide what features are “the best” for you. We profiled every city in America with 5000 or more residents with 61 criteria. You can choose to answer all the questions, or only the ones pertaining to criteria that are important to you. So go ahead and take the quiz and find your own “top 3”.