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Ask Adam: Arlington Swimming Pools

by ARLnow.com June 5, 2012 at 1:00 pm 22,371 117 Comments

Editor’s Note: This periodic sponsored Q&A column is written by Adam Gallegos of Arlington-based real estate firm Arbour Realty. Please submit follow-up questions in the comments section or via email.

Question:  I’m moving to Arlington and would like to find a neighborhood with a pool.  Do you have any advice?

The majority of single family home neighborhoods in Arlington do not have a homeowners association (HOA), and therefore do not include amenities like swimming pools. I’ve found that this can be a letdown for families moving from Fairfax and Loudoun Counties.

The good news is that there may be other pool options available. The bad news is that it may take a few years to work your way up the local pool’s waitlist. Who knew pool memberships were in such high demand in Arlington?

I’ve put together the following guide to help you out. The information provided is deemed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. Please reach out to the individual pools you are interested in to learn more about the waitlist process and the cost details.

6030 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA

Waitlist:  Currently there are 666 families on the waitlist.  The estimated wait is 3-5 years.  You must be a resident of Arlington, Falls Church or McLean to join.

August passes are available for non-member at a cost of $325 / family.

Cost:  A non-refundable initiation fee of $2,000 (as of February 2011 — this amount is subject to change), plus $1,000 construction fee is required. In 2012 the annual dues are $700.

Arlington Forest Club
400 North Harrison Street, Arlington, VA

Waitlist:  Currently there are over 400 families on the waitlist. Priority is given to applications from residents of Arlington Forest Community, Barcroft, Glen Carlyn, Bon Air, and other area within the priority area boundaries. (see Priority Area Map)

The estimated wait is 4 years for the priority area and at least 8 years for those residing outside the priority area.

The Club also offers August/September memberships to 30 individuals/families on the waitlist.

Cost:  The cost of a membership certificate is $975, which is returned (less a $50 transfer fee) when the membership is sold. In addition, when you purchase the membership certificate, you must also pay a non-refundable $200 initiation fee. In 2011 the annual dues were $425.

Upton Hill Regional Park
6060 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA

Waitlist:  none

Cost:  One year pass for Individuals are $80 if a residents of Alexandria City, Fairfax City, Falls Church City, Arlington County, Fairfax County and Loudoun County.  Non-residents pay $90.

Dominion Hills Area Recreation Association
5960 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA

Waitlist: Currently there are 186 families on the waitlist.  The estimated wait is 2-3 years.

Cost: The member share is a one-time purchase of $850, plus annual dues and any member-approved assessments.  Annual dues are $660 this year.

Knights of Columbus
5115 Little Falls Road, Arlington, VA

Waitlist:  none

Cost:  Single council members pay $225. Council member families pay $400.  Non-Member Families pay $850.  You can also purchase 20 swim passes for $180.

Yorktown, Washington-Lee and Wakefield high schools

Waitlist:  none

These indoor pools offer public swimming facilities, but are are more oriented towards lap swimming.

I hope this helps. Please add to comments any pools that I may have left off of my list.

Continue to send your real estate-related questions to: [email protected]

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com. Community discussion guidelines: While we encourage a spirited exchange of views in the comment section, comments that are deliberately mean-spirited will be removed.

  • Cakes

    All add this one to avoid the terrible shtick that is sure to follow: Donaldson Run

    • charles

      “Ask Adam” is free advertising for Arbour Realty.

      • Swimmy

        I doubt it’s free.

    • RebeccaK

      Other options: Membership in the Fort Myer Officers Club pool is open to federal government employees, GS7 and higher (and their families). Several apartment complexes also allow pool membership or usage by neighbors or members of the public; probably easiest just to call ones near you to find out. There are also two country clubs in Arlington with pools, Army-Navy and Washington Golf and Country Club.

  • larry beeman

    donaldson run

  • KalashniKEV

    Which Public Pool has the classiest strain of Athlete’s Foot?

    • Michael Phelps

      Which pool has the best weed?

      • DarkHeart

        The bong shaped one.

  • ArlinGuy

    Adam ,are you sure that WLHS pool no longer charges? I know for a fact that the old pool did; you got a red paper punchcard. Arl residents got a discount. This was just a few years ago. I can’t imagine they decided to make the brand-new pool free for everyone.

    • That was something we added accidentally, that wasn’t Adam. We’ll remove it immediately.

    • Swimmy

      ALL Arlington Public school pools have a $5.50 Arl resident charge and $7.75 for non residents (adults)

  • BluemontFred

    All three high school pools charge. In fact, they are proposing a fee increase for next year. http://www.apsva.us/cms/lib2/VA01000586/Centricity/Domain/98/Proposed%20Community%20Swim%20Fees.pdf

    • That was something we added accidentally, that wasn’t Adam. We’ll remove it immediately.

    • Overthrow the County Board

      The public high school pools are by far a much better deal. Although indoor, the new pools at W-L and Yorktown are the nicest in the area (in terms of cleanliness, design, and user comfort). I have swam at Overlee and Dom. hills too. When I went to Upton Hill the water was as cloudy as milk.
      In my opinion, it is much nicer to swim laps at the public pools as opposed to an outdoor pool…and you can swim there all year round! Kids get in free on Saturday afternoons and Seniors get in free on Sundays!

      Of course, if money is no issue and you have a house-wife who just needs social-time with other rich housewives to occupy her calendar, then join one of the private pools.

      • Swimmy

        I have *swum*…just like it’s “I have drunk” and “I have run.”

        (Don’t feel too badly; not many people get “swum” right.)

        • drax

          “Bad” not “badly.” Bad is an adjective; badly is an adverb.

          Don’t feel too bad that you made a grammar mistake in a post correcting someone else’s grammar.

          • Swimmy

            You know, you’re right; “bad” describes the feeling, not the effectiveness of his/her perception of that feeling. I was going to write “bad,” but then I thought, “Oh, I better be super-careful, ’cause I’ve seen how often people make a grammar boo-boo on here while correcting others’ grammar!”

  • Sticky Wicket

    If only Overlee was open

    • Arlington, Northside

      For sure, and the Overlee waitlist is FAR shorter than that since so many folks dropped or differed to avoid a poolless summer and a huge assessment to cover construction costs.

  • meh..

    What makes the private pools any better than the pools at the High Schools?

    • LP

      The fact that they are open areas where you can do more than swim laps. The HS pools are almost completely meant for lap swimming.

      • drax

        The high school pools have decent non-lap areas. But they also have lessons alot, so some areas may be off-limits.

        The private pools are probably less crowded.

      • meh..

        Ahh, ok. That makes sense.

    • speonjosh

      Also – outdoor pools versus indoors.

      Snack bars.

      Picnic areas.

      An attached clubhouse, often with additional amenities.

      • drax

        Good points. Also, the regional park pools have slides and play areas and kiddie pools, and mini golf, etc. next door. Kid-centric.

      • Don the diner

        swim up bar?

    • Southeast Ben


      The private pools are full of them 🙂

    • Loocy

      For summer swimming, a lot of people like to swim outdoors, in the sun.

  • Douglas Parker

    NOT having an HOA is a BLESSING. So much so, that it trumps not having a pool by a landslide.

    • Douglas Parker

      Paying a pool to be a member = voluntary.

      HOA boards increasing your dues annually = serial raping.

      • Southeast Jerome

        I know dat’s right.

        • ArlinGuy

          Plus, HOA dues, even though they’re basically a tax (just one levied by a private entity) are not tax-deductible, unlike property (RE) tax. Thank God Arl doesn’t have HOAs.

          • Ali

            And a tax that goes towards nothing. My mom’s HOA jacked their rates again this past year and the quality of services keeps decreasing.

          • drax

            One more way Arlington keeps taxes low.

          • QuangTri1967

            Does Arlington prohibit HOAs?

          • LP

            Pretty sure Arlington does have some HOA’s, the townhouses around/behind Market Common being one of them.

          • ArlinGuy

            Yeah, I thought of that later–condos/THs do, and maybe the new McMansion developments might also have HOAs.

          • Douglas Parker

            Alas, there are many Arlingtonians getting dry humped by HOAs.

            The Commons of Arlington, All of Fairlington, and Arlington Village come to mind. I’m sure there are many more…

          • i’m not familiar with the commons of arlington, but fairlingon and arlington village are condo communities. i’m not an expert on HOAs, but i am more than happy to pay my (comparably inexpensive) condo dues every month in exchange for never having to deal with mowing, landscaping, shoveling, whatever they were doing with the overgrown trees this morning, and anything and everything involved with upkeep of the bricks/roofing of my house. i consider the pool just an extra perk.

            my parents live in fairfax county (springfield), and while i don’t know what their HOA costs include, i DO know they pay additional money – and a lot of it – for their community pool membership.

          • Arlington, Northside

            Arlington has tons of HOAs. Fairlington just happens to be the largest.

    • drax

      Yes. Screw HOAs. One (more) nice thing about living in Arlington.

      • downunderwonder

        You seem to be misinformed.

  • KCDC

    Fairlington was left off of this list…it’s in Arlington, it’s a neighborhood, and it has pools for the residents to use. The question didn’t specify that the person was seeking a home vs a condo or townhome, so I would add Fairlington to the list.

    • Justin Russo

      In that case, almost every condo building in Arlington has a pool.

    • BluemontFred

      Yes, but those pools are specific to the Fairlington condos and the Arlington Condos. COmmunity members can’t just go use the pools.

      • KCDC

        The question was: “I’m moving to Arlington and would like to find a neighborhood with a pool.” Fairlington is a neighborhood, not a condo building. The person didn’t ask about “community” pools, but rather a neighborhood with a pool = Fairlington.

        • Vicente Fox

          When you live in a large condo building, that is your neighborhood.

        • SteamboatWillie

          Hey, why not broaden the definition to include the hotels in Ballston with pools. Ballston is a neighborhood. People live in hotels. The hotels have pools.


          • drax

            If you live somewhere, and this gives you access to a pool, it’s a neighborhood pool.


          • Arlington, Northside

            Few places where this exists outside condo/townhouse associations, a neighborhood pool in the most traditional LOCAL sense of the word refers to pool clubs like The Highlands In McLean, or Overlee, DH, Arlington Forest here in Arlington, these are seperate from any sort of HOA but are intended for neighborhood use and socialization.

          • Justin Russo

            Good point. Hotels often sell ‘memberships’ to their pools. I used to go to the Washington Hilton pool when I lived near there.

  • Rick

    There is also Highlands Swim and Tennis just over the line off Old Dominion. No wait list, but will cost you almost 2 grand to get set up, with 600 bucks coming back when you sell your membership back, and a 600 dollar initiation fee. They have wonderful tennis courts and always liked going there.

    • Arlington, Northside

      For old McLeanites, back when Langly, McLean, Chesterbrook, Hamlet, Kent Gardens, and other pools had mega long wait lists, Highlands was the place to join until you got into the others that were closer to your house. Due to the round structures and pool decks, the old rumor was that it was a converted sewer treatment plant.

  • novasteve

    The ring came off my pudding can.

    • Lyle Lanley

      Take my pen knife my good man

  • larry beeman

    how about the country club pools and ft myer comunity pool and officer pool

    • Crystal City

      You have to be a member of the military to apply for membership to the officer’s club pool ($$$). And the Ft. Myer Community pool is closed permanently.

      • ArlForester

        Federal employees can join too.

  • novasteve

    Do any of these pools have child free policies to ensure pools remain pee free?

    • Not a Guarantee

      Banning kids might not help you… I know some bros who use pools liberally as bathrooms.

    • Blomster
      • CW

        There are only two types, those who pee in the pool and those who pee in the pool and lie about it.

        • Louise


  • yequalsy

    The way things are going at Overlee the waitlist may go down considerably.

    • Southeast Ben

      You mean the undisclosed amount of money they received for the movie stuff and the fact that they likely won’t be open at all this summer? The fact that they didn’t reach out to other pools to work deals for their members? The fact that an unseasonably warm winter delayed their construction?

      • yequalsy

        Yeah, stuff like that. (Though the movie deal yielded about $6k and went into general operating.) I’d add first and foremost the absolutely abysmal communication starting with summer of 2011. The ample warnings that were ignored about the complexity and length of the permit process. The fact that the Board discussed in January delaying the project (without membership knowledge or input) but opted to go forward even though finishing anywhere close to on time would take a miracle. The fact that the Board is still not admitting that this thing isn’t going to be done until deep into July, if not August, and that opening the lap pool remains a question mark due to filtration, electricity, and permit issues.

        Chances are that not that many people will resign. (And, in truth, this isn’t exactly the biggest problem in the world.) But if you enjoy getting people riled up just ask any longterm member of Overlee about the pool situation. You wouldn’t believe how much steam I’ve seen come out of people’s ears over the last month.

        • English Keeennnnnigggit

          Please keep the disgruntled Overlee members from overrunning the K of C pool again. Thank you.

        • Arlington, Northside

          I think a lot of folks must be resigning, as EVERYONE I know on the wait list was offered full memberships this Spring…..for a pool that might not even open this summer. A lot of Overlee car magnets were spotted in the Dominion Hills parking lot over the Memorial Day weekend.

        • Chissy

          I have never seen more than 5 people working at a time over there………..

  • CW

    One of the things that makes me glad I live in an apartment building! Nice big 60s vintage pool too, not this little new crap theyre building in all the “luxury” places.

    • DarkHeart

      60s vintage pool? Mad Men reference?

    • Michael H.


      Based on what I see from the pictures on the building websites, the pools at many of the new buildings are tiny! More like oversized bathtubs than swimming pools.

  • SamW

    Arlington Village (condo townhome community) also has a large pool, plus a small baby pool for residents, similar to Fairlington.

  • chris

    I believe the non Knights of Columbus membership at EDW Knights of Columbus pool is closed for the year.

    • English Keeennnnnigggit

      Yup. Closed on Memorial Day.

  • John

    How could you forget Donaldson Run? Great pool and swim/dive teams but membership is limited to Dover Crystal, Riverwood, Woodmont, Donaldson Run, and a portion of Cherrydale.

    • drax

      No shallow end though.

  • Tuckahoe

    While the pool is in Mclean, Tuckahoe is close to NW Arlington. I think the waiting list is similar to Overlea’s.

    Tuckahoe has an indoor facility so is open year-round. The price is ~300 per family member over 14.

    • DarkHeart

      But that pool is full of rocks.

  • Louise

    There’s also a cute little pool just over the line in Falls Church called Glen Forest. It has no waiting list right now: http://www.gfca.us/.

    I think your information on Arlington Forest pool is incorrect. I’ve been told that folks selling their memberships can sell to whomever they want, therefore circumventing anyone on the wait list to sell to the highest bidder.

    • Karen

      Glen Forest is a great pool.
      Hidden in Baileys crossroads just off RT 7.
      6 acres of parkland, picnic tables and grills, fenced in toddler pool which is partially shaded. limited snack and drink bar, great members and low cost! No wait list! I have been a member there for years.

    • Helen

      Yes, I agree Glen Forest has a nice pool. We;re near the Carlin Springs neighborhood in Arlington. Again

      • Arlington, Northside

        You also have the two Sleepy Hollow Pools

  • Swimmy

    The best-kept secret is the River Place pool in Rosslyn. If you don’t live there, I think it’s like $3 if you go one-time. No membership fee. Not many kids–mostly adults. Big area for laps, adjoining area for lollygaggers, and a rockin’ Flintstones-lookin’ hot tub!

  • Anon

    Another pool outside – but near to – Arlington is Sleepy Hollow: http://www.shrasharks.org
    No waiting list. Base family dues are $350.00 plus $25.00 for each family member with a maximum family dues of $475.00. Also, family members over 60 years old or under three years old are not assessed the $25.00 fee. There’s a one time membership fee of $100 and a facility fee of $100.00.

  • DarkHeart

    Arlington needs a Lazy River and Laminar Fountains.

  • Mary-Austin

    Adam is such a cutie pie. Anyone know if he’s single?

    • LolaMINI

      +1!!!! Really cute.

    • Jane-Dallas

      I think he and kev are dating.

  • Nancy Jean

    Warwick is an Alexandria pool that is in between Del Ray and Arlandria. It’s never crowded and is cheap.

  • Skippy Mayer

    Oh, forget it, just join the military and go to Jt Ft Myer/Henderson Hall pools.

    • Arlingtron

      I think the pools on the base are available to Federal employees too. Officer’s Club pool is nice and requires a membership. Not sure of cost or waitlist. Enlisted pool is good too and can pay per swim.

  • Flipper

    Kent Gardens Recreation Club is a wonderful pool and only a stones throw from the Arlington boarder. The membership is typically around $400. It is right above the little league field off Westmoreland in McLean. Although we live in Arlington, we drive the 3 miles to this pool as we could never get into Overlee. At this point, we would never go to Overlee even if we could. We refer to it as “OVERpriced and OVERcrowded”.

  • CSJ

    UGH. Why is this site giving preferential treatment to this realtor? unfair competition.

    • Mary’s friend

      Because he is a cutie pie

    • JohnB2

      He pays to post here, read the disclaimer at the top of the article.

  • HenryBennetXIII

    The level of accuracy inthis article is disappointing.

    Not all pools included.

    Fees not right –upton hill has daily rates.

    And many hotels offer community memberships for their pools.

    And health clubs like the Y and Sport & Health have pools.

    Guest authors need editing

  • beman

    do you all realize how quiet ARL now is about this article errors…..makes me wonder how much erroneous stuff they publish.

  • MC

    What about fitness clubs and hotels with pools? Can’t people just look for a gym with a pool?

  • Arlwhenver

    Fort Meyer should be mentioned. It is open not only to military but to federal civilian employees. Big Arlington membership.

  • C

    Go for Knight of Columbus- a bit pricey, no initiation fee AND they serve BEER!

    • Swimmy

      Do you have to be Catholic?

      • Quoth the Raven

        No. If you’re a council member (and you have to be Catholic to be a member) you get a discounted rate, but anyone can join, provided there is room. But per a post above, I think the pool is full and isn’t accepting new members this year.

        • drax

          First ever advantage to being Catholic!

    • The Dope of South Arlington

      But the kids have to watch out for the priests.

      • Quoth the Raven

        Living up to your name – nice work.

  • Julie

    Move to the Fairlington Villages Condo Community in South Arlington. All six outdoor pools well-maintained and constantly being upgraded.

  • hoyatables

    Army Navy Country Club is another wonderful option.

    • Arlington, Northside

      Eligability for membership is highly limited.

  • Waycroft Mike

    Overlee is not a viable option as it is haunted.

    • yequalsy

      We don’t know if it’s still haunted as the girl’s house is no more. She’s been invited to live in the new house once it gets built but I don’t know if hauntings work quite like that.

  • All of this argues for support of the proposed pool for Long Bridge Park. We need a public year-around pool with lap lanes for adults, a children’s pool, a therapy pool and a training pool. With these pools, Arlington would provide a place for ALL ages to swim.

    • No More Taxes

      Keep in mind that a new aquatic center is under construction as part of the new Wakefield high school being built as we speak. Once that opens up, do you really think there will still be a need for another aquatic facility at Long Bridge? The new Wakefield will supposedly have many more lanes, more than one pool, and multiple diving boards, which would be much, much bigger than the current pool. Seeing as it isn’t that busy now, it is hard to believe that there would be enough action to fill that pool and justify opening a new pool at Long Bridge. But maybe they just plan to have DC residents and other transients become the primary users.

      • Swimmy

        Long bridge will help filter parks and rec swim lessons and programs to make all Arlington pools less crowded

    • JR

      Definitely – 30 some odd million for a pool that is unneeded and convenient to exactly zero residents of Arlington County?

      Sounds great!

  • Ty Webb

    Adam, does Arlington have any viable Ponds?

    I prefer to go organic.


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