Sometimes summer can come and go without you ever setting foot in the ocean or a pool. If you like to be in the water, this can really be depressing. New England might not be your first thought for outdoor, year-round swimming, but if you're visiting during the winter months and want to swim outdoors without freezing your parts off at a Polar Bear Plunge, you actually have a few options. Here are some hotels and resorts that offer year-round, heated outdoor pools.
After a long day of tackling the slopes at Newry, Maine's Sunday River, skiers love the muscle-soothing warmth of the heated outdoor pool and hot tub at the Grand Summit Hotel (check rates and reviews). In nearby Bethel, Maine, the Bethel Inn Resort (check rates and reviews) also offers guests a year-round outdoor heated pool, which is kept at a toasty 90°F.
Budget-conscious Maine travelers who want to be able to say they swam outside in a snowstorm should check in at the Best Western Merry Manor Inn in South Portland, where rooms can be booked for less than $100 this winter. The hotel's heated outdoor year-round pool is wonderfully designed so you can swim out from inside, where your towel and clothing will stay warm and dry.
In North Conway, New Hampshire, you can swim outdoors all year long and enjoy fabulous views of the White Mountains. The year-round outdoor pool and hot tub at the North Conway Grand Hotel (check rates and reviews) has a heated patio area, too. And at the White Mountain Hotel and Resort (check rates and reviews), the year-round outdoor heated pool and Jacuzzi are inviting after a day of vigorous winter snow sports or outlet shopping.
In Bartlett, New Hampshire, the Attitash Grand Summit Hotel (check rates and reviews) offers slopeside access to Attitash Mountain Resort plus the après ski enticement of outdoor hot tubs and a year-round outdoor pool. The outdoor heated pool at Indian Head Resort (check rates and reviews) is lakeside, and winter guests at this century-old Lincoln, New Hampshire, retreat can catch snowflakes on their tongues while they practice the backstroke.
Mist rises to greet those who dive into the heated outdoor pool at the Green Mountain Inn (check rates and reviews) in Stowe, Vermont, on frigid days. And at Hawk Inn & Mountain Resort (check rates and reviews) in Plymouth, Vermont, they practically invented the idea of swimming outdoors in the dead of winter. Hawk Inn debuted Vermont's first year-round, heated outdoor swimming pool in 1997, and guests will find it heated to a comfortable 90°F in the winter months. With views of the snow-capped Green Mountains, you'll feel as if you're submerged in a dream...until you have to brush the icicles out of your hair.
Packing Tip: If you're staying at a New England hotel with a heated outdoor pool this winter, be sure to pack a cozy robe or cover-up to don when you step out of the water as well as footwear that is easy to slip on.