Splash down: San Diego’s hottest pool parties

Last summer brought record-shattering, triple-degree temps to America’s Finest City. Despite the fact that the term “climate change” no longer appears on the White House’s website, however, the next few months aren’t likely to cool down. To help beat the heat (and the depressing news cycle), here’s a guide to a different breed of dive bars, splashy scenes where San Diegans can make waves in the sun.

The Summer of Love at The Lafayette Hotel

Love is in the air at The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows during a season-long schedule of splash bashes surrounding the hotel’s celebrated 300,000-gallon Weissmuller Pool. Sip specialty cocktails prepared poolside while DJs spin from noon till 5 p.m. If the mood is right, grab a sweetheart and rent a semi-private cabana with comfy couches perfect for canoodling.

2223 El Cajon Blvd., North Park, 619.296.2101,

Dive at Harrah’s Resort SoCal*

Harrah’s Dive Day Club may be a thing of the past, but the spirit of the three-year “swimdig” lives on at the resort’s current aquatic experience, dubbed Dive. Dive features SoCal’s only swim-up bar, and the resort is home to a 400-foot lazy river that beckons the pool-hardy to come float for a few laps. Listen to live Latin beats on Thursdays nights, with DJs spinning Dive After Dark on Fridays and Saturdays. On Sundays, it’s time to get irie as a pair of reggae bands jam from noon till 6 p.m.

777 Harrah’s Rincon Way, Valley Center, 760.751.3100,

Rooftop Social and Pool House Sundays at Pendry Hotel

Take a dip at Pendry San Diego’s sizzling rooftop hotspot overlooking Fifth Avenue and set against the backdrop of San Diego’s skyline. Rooftop Socials kick off weekdays at 5 p.m. with a happy hour featuring $1 oysters and half-price everything else. When night falls, Pool House transforms into a rooftop lounge, offering loads of drinks and tasty treats. Sundays at 1 p.m., lean back in a chaise lounger as Pool House serves up rising DJs and other brunchtime necessities.

550 J St., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.738.7000,

Sunburn and Intervention at Float Rooftop Pool & Lounge at Hard Rock Hotel

Party like (or even with) a rock star at Float, Hard Rock Hotel San Diego’s rockin’ rooftop and poolside paradise. Tricked-out cabanas and cushy daybeds are available weekdays till midnight, but the real party begins on the weekend. Saturdays at noon, lather on the SPF for Sunburn, billed as “the ultimate dayparty.” On Sundays beginning July 2, get ready for explosive bass, (too) many drinks and waking up in wet shorts. No, you don’t need an Intervention - you just had one, as Hard Rock’s signature pool party returns with world-famous DJs.

207 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp, 619.702.3000,

BONUS: Keep the party going after Sunburn at the event’s official after-party, hosted at the sleek and sexy Side Bar. With pop-up hot tubs and killer beats by Common Dream and DJ Escobar, this summer is set to be Side Bar’s hottest one yet.

Side Bar

536 Market St., Gaslamp, 619.696.0946,

SOL Sundays at The Rooftop by STK at Andaz Hotel

Spend the weekend’s waning hours on downtown’s largest outdoor rooftop venue during SOL Sundays at Andaz. Offering pool addicts an ideal spot to cool down when temps go up, this laidback gathering takes place on an epic deck with remarkable skyline views. Lounge poolside or post up in a private cabana while local DJs spin splashy soundscapes.

600 F St., Gaslamp, 619.849.1234,

Groove Brunch and Dive-in Theatre at The Pearl Hotel

Point Loma’s posh, sea-themed hotel is back with its annual pair of poolside events. The Dive-In Theatre is a free, weekly outdoor social affair centered on films projected near the oyster-shaped pool. And, on weekends from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Pearl’s Groove Brunch is back with fan-favorite midday entrees paired with bottomless mimosas, followed by DJ beats and curated jams till 4 p.m.

1410 Rosecrans St., Point Loma, 619.226.6100,

The Shore Pool at Kimpton Hotel Solamar

Above the hustle and bustle of downtown, the urban oasis atop Hotel Solamar hosts lavish, liquefied socials Sundays on the fourth-floor pool deck. The pool is reserved for overnight guests, but all are invited to soak in the views from Solamar Terrace while enjoying brunch and cocktails from Solamar’s redesigned outdoor lounge, Upper East (formerly LoungeSix).

435 Sixth Ave., Gaslamp, 619.819.9500,

Level Four Pool Deck + Lounge at Kimpton Hotel Palomar

Hotel Palomar’s exclusive, yet unpretentious poolside sanctuary serves as a relaxing refuge for those thirsty to try something new. The bar’s menu features a potent list of potables and an assortment of small plates highlighting modern takes on comfort classics.

1047 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp, 619.515.3000,

Hiatus Pool Lounge at Hotel La Jolla

Bikinis and big smiles abound at Hotel La Jolla’s Hiatus Pool Lounge. Surrounded by palm trees and located moments from the sand, Hiatus invites guests to soak in a chic, poolside vibe while sipping on tiki cocktails and/or old-school canned beer Thursdays through Sundays starting at 4 p.m.

7955 La Jolla Shore Dr., La Jolla, 858.551.3600,

Viejas Casino

Viejas’ is doubling down this summer with a new pool bar and lounge. Relish the alfresco ambience with a specialty cocktail, hit the hot tub or chill in a private cabana.

5000 Willows Rd., Alpine, 619.445.5400,


Pechanga Resort & Casino*

Pechanga’s pool complex has long been a bastion for those seeking to beat the heat, yet San Diegans eager to take a dip in Temecula might want to make other arrangements this summer, as the resort’s pool facility is in a state of transition (opening in early 2018). In the meantime, splash around elsewhere and look for a brand new Pechanga pool experience opening early next year.

45000 Pechanga Pkwy., Temecula, 951.693.1819,

Sycuan Casino

After nearly 35 years in El Cajon, Sycuan is finally building an onsite hotel that will feature two pools (one for ages 21-plus only), plus a lazy river. An opening date is still up in their air, but it’s a safe bet that this place will be making a big splash in 2019.

*Must be a hotel guest in order to get wet

5469 Casino Way, El Cajon, 619.445.6002,


Putting pool-hopping days in the past

While the thrill of sneaking into a private pool can be exhilarating, getting tossed out by bouncers is a real bummer. That’s why San Diegan Amanda Szabo created ResortPass, a new startup that lets users dip into incredible resort pools without having to be a guest (or waiting until no one’s watching). It’s a way to enjoy the city’s best amenities on a budget. Pick a resort, choose a date, and then book your pass. Prices start at $20, and new retreats and resorts are being added all the time.