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Summer is near, but the Russian River is not yet warm enough for splashing, and ocean temperatures are at their lowest of the year. It's time to seek out a good pool.
TheCoppola Winery Pool (300 Via Archimedes, Geyserville) offers a welcome to warmer days. The two attractive pools are 3,600 square feet combined. Visiting is logistically challenging, but doable: cabins for four people, including pool passes, lounge chairs, magazines and playing cards, need to be reserved ahead of time, and cost $170 on a weekday, $195 on a weekend. Individual day passes, minus the cushy seating and add-ons, are $35.
While the newly refurbished pool at Indian Springs in Calistoga is guests-only, Morton's Warm Springs (1651 Warm Springs Road, Glen Ellen) is only $12 to get in, which gets you a whole day of family recreation, with two natural mineral pools, picnic and barbecue sites, a baseball field and beach volleyball courts included. For even less, a humble fee of $7, the pool at the Rio Nido Roadhouse (14540 Canyon Two Road, Rio Nido) is an easygoing community affair, offering water aerobic classes and luscious greenery views, plus all the large portions and beer the restaurant offers.
A similar community vibe can be found at the slightly more upscale Calistoga Community Pool (1745 Washington St., Calistoga), which was made possible thanks to local crowdfunding in 2009. A $5 fee pays for a straightforward, open-air lap pool, spacious grass lawns and extra-clean changing rooms, the unspoken benefit of a relatively new facility.
For those seeking a slightly more luxurious environment (code for fewer kids), there's the Carneros Inn (4048 Sonoma Hwy., Sonoma). Day-spa guests receive access to areas of the 28-acre property usually reserved for overnight guests. The photogenic turquoise pools and a private cottage to retreat to are part of the deal, as long as you pay the $50 resort fee and book $500 in spa services, a hefty fee that can be divided among two people and spent on massages, facials and more. Not an everyday affair, but a cool treat for sure.—Flora Tsapovsky