Summer Guide

Worth Wading For

Day pools are the perfect setting for sun, swims, and even concerts


We’re the Ocean State, and Rhodies have an unquenchable love of water. But sometimes we want that water clear, jellyfish-free, and within reaching distance of a mojito. Here are four private pools that offer short-term passes for tan-seeking visitors.

Aqua in Providence
On a sunny day, you could almost convince yourself that Aqua was a Floridian resort. The pool is ringed with canopy beds. You can backstroke through a brick wall, deciding whether to swim indoors or outdoors. The bar pours a never-ending stream of tequila, and everywhere you look there’s a plateful of tapas. But this isn’t the Keys; it’s the Marriott Providence Downtown. The $20 getaway package gets you a day-pass, two sports bottles, and two signature cocktails.

Hillside Country Club in Rehoboth
Hillside’s kidney-shaped pool has the usual amenities: reclining deck chairs, a pair of kid-friendly slides, and a comfortable shower room. But few pools in the region are heated, and fewer still contain salt water. This country club is famously available to day-trippers, and anyone is welcome to apply for a season pass, which also entitles you to discounts on the golf course and Cristallo Spa. Day-passes depend on popularity, and you may have to join a wait-list. But if you find yourself in Rehoboth often, it’s worth signing up.

Harbor Lights in Warwick
Picture a wedding on the Rhode Island coast, and money is no object. What do you see? A marina full of sleek sloops? Grilled steak with views of the water? How about a poolside tiki bar? Harbor Lights has all of this, and you can visit any day of the week to catch some sun and a few cocktails by the infinity pool. A limited number of day passes are available for $20. Savoring the sunset? Stick around and enjoy live music four nights out of the week. 

The Last Resort in Smithfield
The Last Resort is a sprawling establishment, with concert grounds, a massive tiki bar, and a vast swimming pool. This isn’t the kind of mild-mannered getaway you visit with your grandparents; describing itself as “Vegas-style,” The Last Resort is a place to kick back and party. Lounging in the crystal waters is the main draw, and you can score a day-pass for $10, but you may also enjoy some beach volleyball, pizza, or any of a dozen music acts each month.