Best Swimming Town

IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member

I searched for a thread on this topic already and came up empty.

Say you were in the market for moving. You can move (just about) anywhere. You have one condition: must be able to OW swim in your new city/town/metropolis/village. Where do you suggest the person move?

Comments

  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member

    I'll start:

    We love all the things you get in a big town: shops, restaurants, public transportation. But we also love open water swimming. I prefer lakes and rivers to oceans, but I'll swim in the ocean too. I'm not that good at cold water (sub 55*F), but perhaps I just need to get used to it first. We also like to have seasons, even if the particular season is short. (Winter is a must, and we're not afraid of seriously cold winters or heavy snow winters.)

    Where do you advise we look?

  • slknightslknight Member
    edited May 4

    IronMike said: I'm not that good at cold water (sub 55*F),
    (Winter is a must, and we're not afraid of seriously cold winters or heavy snow winters.)

    Not sure these two are compatible. < shrugs >

    flystorms
  • malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member

    If by winter you mean endless grey and just a bit above freezing, then let me tell you about a place that has all the salt-water coastline you could want complete with whales and big ships, plus a few tasty lakes in the 10 to 18 mile range that get kindly warm in the summer, all nestled between three moderately-sized urban centers. And if you need snow, that's just a half hour drive east. Need I say more? I advise you look Northwest.

    curlyIronMikeForeverSwimflystormsssthomasKarl_Kingerywendyv34rlm

    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.

  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsCharter Member
    edited May 4

    The Netherlands what else? :-t

    We have everything. We speak English. No need to learn Dutch.

    IJsselmeer marathon, 22 km (but not limited to that distance), standing (choppy) sweet water.
    Waddenzee, xx km, tidal estuary with brackish/salt water.
    Tons of rivers with flowing sweet water.
    523 km Coastal waters, of which 353 km Noordzee coast, the rest Waddenzee and Westerschelde coast.

    water temperatures in the Netherlands

    Distances by road from Amsterdam:
    Medemblik (west start marathon)61 km
    Stavoren (east start marathon): 133 km
    IJmuiden: 46 km
    Gaasperplas: 13 km
    Dover (by train Calais) 450 km
    Dover (by ferry Zeebrugge) 262 km

    evmoIronMike

    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    Niek said: The Netherlands what else? :-t

    I went on a business trip to The Netherlands a few years back, and it ended up being 2 weeks. I really enjoyed it. I was disappointed when that assignment ended up falling through.

  • kejoycekejoyce Member

    Maine!

    Tons of lake options in greater Portland, and the ocean is above 55 for a few months a year. Definitely has four gorgeous seasons, fantastic restaurants, and it's also just the best in general :D

    evmoIronMikessthomasdpm50ViveBene
  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member

    Niek said: The Netherlands what else? :-t

    We have everything. We speak English. No need to learn Dutch.

    I should have added that I love learning languages, so actually learning Dutch would be a highlight. ;)

  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member

    malinaka said: If by winter you mean endless grey and just a bit above freezing, then let me tell you about a place that has all the salt-water coastline you could want complete with whales and big ships, plus a few tasty lakes in the 10 to 18 mile range that get kindly warm in the summer, all nestled between three moderately-sized urban centers. And if you need snow, that's just a half hour drive east. Need I say more? I advise you look Northwest.

    My son is currently stationed in Seattle and loves it. Not sure I could take all that rain, though. On the positive side, no state income tax. Hmmm...

    dpm50
  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member

    kejoyce said: Maine!

    Tons of lake options in greater Portland, and the ocean is above 55 for a few months a year. Definitely has four gorgeous seasons, fantastic restaurants, and it's also just the best in general :D

    The wife and I have talked about taking a trip up there to check it out. We like what we see from the internet, but need to see Maine in person.

    kejoyce
  • emkhowleyemkhowley Boston, MACharter Member

    IronMike said:

    The wife and I have talked about taking a trip up there to check it out. We like what we see from the internet, but need to see Maine in person.

    You'll have to let the Boston contingent know when you're headed that way and either stop off for a visit enroute or we can come to Portland to swim with you. It's a GREAT town in so many ways.

    IronMikegregocdpm50rosemarymintkejoyce

    Stop me if you've heard this one... A grasshopper walks into a bar... https://elainekhowley.com/

  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member

    Uhm, have you been to Denver?! Colorado is quite possibly the greatest state in the US- so many outside things to do all year 'round. We have a great OWS community here, so you can almost always find someone to swim with you. Granted, our open water swimming options in town are a bit limited, but there are some good lake options. And just a few miles west, there are any number of beautiful mountain lakes to keep you chilled and your heart happy. As for the winter, sure our lakes freeze- but I know a guy with a chain saw who will happily cut you a lane. ;-)

    IronMikerosemarymintlakespray
  • suziedodssuziedods Charter Member

    I'd say the Bay Area but it's just so dam expensive. Snow about 3 hours away. Sun about 1 hour and water swimmable year round. Most of us speak English...

    IronMikerosemarymintJaimie

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com

  • SpacemanspiffSpacemanspiff Dallas, TexasSenior Member

    My personal favorite: San Diego. More specifically: La Jolla! The water is perfect, you're surrounded by seals, dolphins, rays and even occasional sharks. Great restaurants, bars, shops. Beautiful hiking/scenery.

    flystorms

    "Lights go out and I can't be saved Tides that I tried to swim against Have brought be down upon my knees Oh I beg, I beg and plead..."

  • JimBoucherJimBoucher Senior Member

    Its a tie between Cork and Dublin.........you can race down their rivers once a year and you've got either Sandycove Island in Cork, or the forty foot or the north Dublin lot depending what side you're on to swim at every weekend all year round

    IronMike
  • swimrn62swimrn62 NY, NYMember

    I have to throw in a vote for NYC. You may live in exactly the right place, but if not, pretty much everything you need to make the city work for you is under an hour away: river, lake, ocean, ski. Many pools, indoors and out of varying quality and length, great bike rides, and you're in NYC and that's pretty much a good thing.

    Jaimie
  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoCharter Member

    I'm pretty dang happy with SF.

    Water temperatures are amenable to year around swimming (It allegedly went below 50 this winter but I don't think I was in anything colder than 51), without having to be superhuman or related to a pinniped. Summer water temps never get above ~65 which keeps you prepped for most any mass participation OWS anywhere else, and is a good training ground if you have ambitions for the longer crazier swims (e.g. EC)

    Aquatic Park is like an adventure playground for swimming, with lots of different routes to take, and different conditions to encounter. Being able to have a hot shower and a sauna after a swim is just amazing.

    Huge OWS community with lots of fun and iconic swims to do in the Bay (Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz etcetera) and plenty of folk to challenge you to do something further.

    Tahoe is only a 3 hour drive away if you want snow.

    IronMikeJaimie

    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer

  • j9swimj9swim CharlestonSenior Member

    Charleston SC is also a lovely place to swim and live, I'm a recent transplant from NYC. The ocean doesn't go below 55, there are lakes (haven't been yet) upstate that are clean and gator free. We run 2 OWS events - the Splash and the swim around charleston and while costs are going up here...it's nowhere near as expensive as ny,sf, boston,etc. Not an obvious contender as we don't have a huge OW community but it's getting growing. And finally I love living here, everyday I am blown away by the physical beauty of this place and my swimmie friends here are great.

    IronMikerosemarymintJaimieJay
  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member

    ssthomas said: Uhm, have you been to Denver?! Colorado is quite possibly the greatest state in the US- so many outside things to do all year 'round. We have a great OWS community here, so you can almost always find someone to swim with you. Granted, our open water swimming options in town are a bit limited, but there are some good lake options. And just a few miles west, there are any number of beautiful mountain lakes to keep you chilled and your heart happy. As for the winter, sure our lakes freeze- but I know a guy with a chain saw who will happily cut you a lane. ;-)

    Used to live in Denver, on the old Lowry AFB. ;)

    ssthomas
  • FilFil Derby, VTCharter Member

    OK, I'll bite. Any list of great places to live and swim has to include the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Lake Memphremagog is a mysterious and grand lake with a storied history of ultra marathon swimming and lake monster sightings. See, The Monster Within and Without. We are perched on a watershed that provides some majestic and pristine lakes, like Lake Willoughby. AND, unlike many other lakes in the Northeast, our lakes have relatively NO boat traffic (except for the bay in Magog.) Our winters are long, but we have our Memphremagog Winter Swim Festival, a two lane 25 meter pool cut in the ice. And we have just the best skiing in the Northeast at Jay Peak and Burke Mountain. If you get bored, and want to "live on the risk" a bit, you can join the "Plowboys" out on the lake, clearing ice skating trails with our trucks and ATVs. We "earn" our summers and when they arrive, they feel like miracles. The swimming is delicious. And so are the thirty beer on tap at Mike's Tiki Bar, in East Burke, just south of Lake Willoughby. Here's our 2017 NEKOWSA SWIM SCHEDULE. So when you plan your trip to Moose country in Maine, make sure to stop by for a swim in The Kingdom, one of the quietly most beautiful paces on earth! NB Closest airport is Montreal, just two hours away. Steve and Lexie at The Clubhous-003

    ViveBenessthomasIronMike
  • ViveBeneViveBene Member
    edited May 7

    Lake Michigan off Chicago hit 55 degrees about 2 weeks ago. Some years it has really struggled to make 60 degrees, though. It's helpful, in a way: swimmers get inured. (I confess to not finding the city particularly livable, but that was not the main question.)

    I would probably pick a coast, though.

    IronMike
  • CamilleCamille Member

    As a Midwesterner I can say we are some of the most friendly peeps around, but our weather is the pits (unlike you, I hate cold and snow). I am outside Chicago, and our swimming communities are top notch, and the open water swimming is growing. If you love the change of seasons, Michigan is great and gets ALOT of snow.

    That said -I have to agree with SSthomas - that Colorado is amazing, I would move there in a heartbeat! (I would also move to Charleston S.C. but I would really need to up my workouts since I would be eating so much yummy food!!!!)

    ssthomas
  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member
    edited May 10

    Colorado just bumped up near the top of our list after my wife read that Coloradans have the longest life span in the states. We left Denver back in 1998, only living there two years. We moved there from Anchorage, which we loved. Denver didn't get enough snow, but there are other Colorado cities that fit. We also fell in love with some small towns in and around more famous (read: expensive) ski towns, like Georgetown, CO. So beautiful.

    ssthomas
  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member

    IronMike said: Colorado just bumped up near the top of our list after my wife read that Coloradans have the longest life span in the states. We left Denver back in 1998, only living there two years. We moved there from Anchorage, which we loved. Denver didn't get enough snow, but there are other Colorado cities that fit. We also fell in love with some small towns in and around more famous (read: expensive) ski towns, like Georgetown, CO. So beautiful.

    YES! We live about 35 miles SW of Denver proper, at about 9000 feet. We get A LOT more snow than Denver does, and still have access to all the great things Denver has to offer. We're off the I70 corridor (not near the ski towns), but that just means less traffic and less people (which we like). We were tempted to move to Glenwood Springs a few years ago- that's a neat little town. They have a lap pool in the hot springs. It'd be too hot for me, but pretty fun to go swim in a few feet of snow. There's also Steamboat Springs, which is a fun town. They get plenty of snow (and there are smaller towns nearby to get you away from all of the ski traffic). Colorado has so much to offer. DO IT!

    IronMikelakespray
  • lakespraylakespray Senior Member

    @ironmike Consider Gunnison, Colorado a small college town, near but not next door to Crested Butte ski resort. They have two 25-yard six lane pools, one on campus the other is at the town's rec center. Per my niece that lives there, not many lap swimmers. To seal the deal you're right next door to the beautiful Blue Mesa Reservoir, also known as the poor man's Tahoe. @ssthomas did swim the length of it a couple of years ago, in a swim she doesn't talk about much, lol. At best Blue Mesa gives you about a 3 maybe 4 month open water season, it does get darn cold in winter but if you live in Moscow, it's probably no big deal.

    IronMikessthomas
  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsCharter Member
    edited May 11

    IronMike said: You have one condition: must be able to OW swim in your new city/town/metropolis/village. Where do you suggest the person move?

    All those towns with snow are disqualified! Was not in the job description. :)

    Amsterdam;
    With care free bicycling (like the rest of our country).
    With real 50 m pools. (not meagre 25-yards)
    With all tastes of water within 50 km ( only 2,5 hours by bike)
    With the best ballet in the world.
    With real history. [Amsterdam's got their city rights in 1306 compare that with 240 years ;) ]

    And ok Winterberg Germany 343 km for skiing. :D

    IronMike

    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member

    Thanks all for the suggestions.

    I'd like to remind everyone that this thread is not just about me! Let's hear about other swimming towns and why you think they're the best! (Chattanooga, TN; Flagstaff, AZ; Berlin, Germany; NYC, NY...just some ideas)

    ssthomas
  • Leonard_JansenLeonard_Jansen Charter Member

    Scratch Pennsylvania off your list since it's illegal to swim almost everywhere.

    -LBJ

    rosemarymint

    “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” - Oscar Wilde

  • brunobruno Barcelona (Spain)Member

    In Holland they have a nice skating race through canals and rivers: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elfstedentocht . A few years ago other guys created a race for solar powered boats, following the same circuit. I've always thought that it would make a great swim: 200 km in 5 days. (The one skating is non-stop, but that's too much I guess...).

    In Spain we have some amazing coastline, but you have to swim up and down: no straits, not many islands to cross towards... Great for swims up to 10 km, but boring for "real" marathon swims. The good thing: we are in that Arcadia where the water hardly reaches 14ºC in the winter!

    SoloIronMike
  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsCharter Member

    It's been done by a 5 team relay in 2011 link in 4 days in wetsuits.
    Skating depends on the weather. https://www.elfstedentocht.frl/en/
    There's an annually 235 km, 1 day bicycle tour on Pentecost Monday. http://www.fietselfstedentocht.frl/
    Or sailing

    The solar race is more for university teams but who stops you from forming your own team? :)

    Tracy_Clark

    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

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