Admit it: You’ve stuck your face up to a fence of an apartment complex on a hot summer day, covered in sweat, while the happy people inside wade in the water. It can’t be just us, right?
Why it matters: If you don’t rent in an apartment complex in Charlotte, you have to plan early — like, yesterday — to find a pool for the season.
There are several options to escape the summer heat: YMCA, Levine JCC, country club pools, public pools, or neighborhood swim clubs. Here’s a quick rundown on pricing for each:
- YMCA: For one adult, it’s $73 per month, but that rate can be discounted depending on income (as low as $36 for one adult). Open outdoor pools include Harris Y, Brace Family Y, Keith Family Y, Morrison Y, and Simmons Y.
- Levine JCC: The Levine Jewish Community Center is accepting new members and you can sign up by calling (704) 944-6737 or emailing [email protected] Monthly fees range from $80 for a single young adult to $129 for a full family per month.
- Country clubs: Monthly fees at Charlotte’s country clubs start at about $400 and go up to $1,000 a month. And that doesn’t include the initiation fees of up to $85,000 (whew!). [Related guide: Top 10 country clubs in Charlotte, ranked — including pricing data]
- Public pools: County-owned and operated pools are the most affordable option for cooling off in the summer at only $1 per person.
- Neighborhood swim clubs: Neighborhood clubs are cheaper than country clubs (especially if all you’re looking for is a pool), but offer a little more flexibility than public pools this summer during the coronavirus pandemic. Plus, the community feel at a neighborhood club is an added benefit.
If you are interested in joining a neighborhood pool, here’s a list of pools and racquet clubs in Charlotte (not ranked).
(1) Barclay Downs Swim & Racquet Club
Location: 2812 Inverness Rd.
Membership costs: New members are required to pay a $25 application fee, a $3,500 initiation fee, and $825 in annual dues.
Waitlist: For Barclay Downs residents, the wait is about one to two years. For non-residents, the typical waitlist time is about six years. The number of memberships available varies from year to year depending on how many current members decide to resign and how many members become senior members.
Amenities: Along with the large swimming pool, six tennis courts, and snack bar, there are also social events and summer programs such as tennis and swim camps offered for kids and teens.
(2) Blakeney Racquet and Swim Club
Location: 10607 Rea Rd.
Membership costs: For information, fill out the membership inquiry form on their website.
Amenities: Blakeney has a variety of indoor and outdoor courts, a sauna, a fitness center, and most importantly, a pool. The main pool has lanes for lap swimmers along with a water slide and wading area for the kids. The club also offers private and group swim lessons.
(3) Charlotte Swim and Racquet Club
Location: 1000 Lomax Ave.
Membership costs: For new members, there is a $100 deposit, a one-time refundable $150 stock fee, a $3,000 initiation fee, plus the member’s current year annual membership dues.
Waitlist: The club only has enough space for 380 families, therefore availability is dependent on whether or not all families re-enroll. To get on the waitlist, fill out an application and send in a $100 deposit.
Amenities: This club has an L-shaped pool with areas for play and competition, a wading pool, basketball hoops, and a playground. There are also seven tennis courts — four lighted and two clay courts. There is a summer swim team for kids with no age minimum, just the ability to swim the entire length of the pool and up to age 18.
(4) Foxcroft East Racquet and Swim Club
Location: 7701 Fairview Rd.
Membership costs: There are several components of annual membership fees that include an application fee, an initiation fee, an annual membership renewal, and other fees such as maintenance fees.
Waitlist: In order to be added to the waitlist and to learn more specifics about annual dues, you must pay an initial $300 fee along with filling out the online application.
Amenities: Members have full access to the pool and tennis facilities, including five courts — four of which can be reserved using an online form. For the serious swimmers, there is a six-lane, 25-meter swimming area. For those interested in a more relaxing swimming experience, there is a diving board, a large water slide, and a children’s wading pool. The Foxcroft East Gators swim team is for ages 4 to 18.
(5) Foxcroft Hills Swim and Racquet Club
Location: 2301 Sedley Rd.
Membership costs: For new members, the initiation fee is $4,500 for neighborhood residents and $6,000 for non-residents. Annual dues are $840 for regular members and $280 for senior members.
Waitlist: Currently, they are at their maximum for members, so any and all inquires will be placed on a waitlist. The current wait time is approximately one year for residents and at least six years for non-residents. To be added to this list, fill out a membership application.
Amenities: Along with six state-of-the-art tennis courts, this club has a full-service snack bar, a sports court with basketball hoops, a competition length pool, a diving area to show off your skills, and a baby pool. The Foxcroft Fins swim team competes against other swim teams in the South Park Swim League.
(6) Olde Providence Racquet Club
Location: 5630 Sharon View Rd.
Membership costs: There are several types of memberships, such as full club memberships, swim-only memberships, and athletic memberships. Each prospective member must get a letter of recommendation from a current member unless you are a newbie to the Charlotte area. Specific and up-to-date pricing can be found by calling the club.
Amenities: Just as the name suggests, this club has a large focus on tennis. It’s home to 37 different courts: 27 lighted outdoor courts, 5 outdoor hard courts, and 5 indoor hard courts. Along with their tennis courts and pool, they also have a fitness center with group exercise programs and personal trainers.
(7) Park Crossing Recreation Club
Location: 10201 Park Crossing Drive
Membership Costs: The initial membership fee is $950 for both residents and non-residents. After the initial fee, the yearly cost is $750. For the most accurate pricing, call the club.
Amenities: This club offers a wide range of activities including yoga, tennis tournaments (both extremely competitive for the pros and laid back for those wanting a friendly match), fitness groups, trivia, food truck Fridays, and volleyball. Along with a sizable pool, there is also an outdoor television, an outdoor kitchen, a kid friendly-pool for the little ones, as well as a summer swim team.
(8) Rama Swim Club
Location: 6109 Wheeler Drive
Membership Costs: Rama is currently accepting new members. For a family, there is an $800 initiation fee and $700 in annual dues. A standard membership (which includes an individual or two people who live in the same household) has an $800 initiation fee and $500 in annual dues. Seniors have $400 annual dues, volleyball members have $100 individual dues, or $150 couple dues, and tennis members have annual dues of $175.
Amenities: In recent years, the club has invested over $100,000 in improvements to their competition-sized, L-shaped pool, five tennis courts (two of which are lighted), two lighted sand volleyball courts, and children’s playgrounds. Rama is a convenient location from both Uptown and South Charlotte neighborhoods. The club is also known for its summer events for both children and adults, including movie nights, supper clubs, pickup sand volleyball games, and barbecue competitions. They also have a swim team for ages 4 to 18.
(9) Sardis Swim and Racquet Club
Location: 7400 Thermal Rd.
Membership Costs: A family membership has a non-refundable $2,200 initiation fee and $800 of annual dues, while an individual membership has a non-refundable $1,000 initiation fee and $550 of annual dues.
Amenities: Sardis has 30 different day summer camps for the little ones and a family-friendly environment with a popular swim team, dive team, and 9 tennis courts.
(10) Shannon Park Swim Club
Location: 5126 Grafton Drive
Membership costs: For a new family of three or more, membership is $900, for a new couple it’s $800, and for a new individual it’s $700. For a returning family, it costs $600, for a returning couple it costs $500, and a returning individual costs $400. For new senior couples, membership is $650, and for a returning senior couple, it’s $350. All new-member rates also include a $300 joining fee.
Amenities: They are most known for their neighborly and kid-friendly vibe along with their swim team that often hosts competitions in their pool. They offer swim lessons, clinics, and a competitive swim team.
(11) Waverly Swim and Tennis Club
Location: 8205 Albemarle Rd.
Membership costs: There are several membership options including a full family membership and an adult(s) only membership. Up-to-date membership rates can be found by calling the club.
Amenities: This facility has a 25-meter pool, diving boards, and a wading pool. There’s also a 20-acre lake where many families chose to spend the day fishing. You can take your kayak out on the lake, however, swimming in the lake is prohibited. On pool grounds, there are foosball and ping-pong tables, grills, and a concession stand. The Waverly Hammerheads compete in swim meets throughout the summer.
(12) Windyrush Swim and Tennis Club
Location: 6441 Windyrush Rd.
Membership costs: Family memberships have a $2,000 initiation fee and $500 in yearly dues. Individual memberships have a $500 initiation fee and $870 in yearly dues. There is also a tennis-only membership that has a $575 initiation fee and $575 in yearly dues.
Waitlist: In order to be added to the waitlist, you must pay a $100 application fee and fill out the application. Once your membership is available, the $100 will be applied to your membership.
Amenities: Perfectly tucked away in the Olde Providence neighborhood, Windyrush is most recognized for its swim and dive team, its adult lap pool, pool parties, and its junior and adult tennis clinics.
(13) SouthPark Swim and Tennis Club
Location: 2200 Huntingtowne Farms Ln.
Membership costs: Family memberships are $600 annually, couples memberships are $525 annually, and individual memberships are $450. Senior memberships start at $225 and go up $75 for each additional household member up to four. Tennis-only memberships are $250. There’s also a $1500 initiation fee plus the $100 application fee.
Waitlist: There is a waitlist for the 2021 season, and you can join it by purchasing the club’s application fee of $100.
Amenities: Along with their junior Olympic-sized pool the club also has a slide, sand volleyball court, playground, concession stand, and baby pool. Members look forward to movie nights on the lawn and Wednesday and Sunday volleyball meetups. The club’s swim team, the Hammerheads, is great for all ages.
(14) Starclaire Recreation Club
Location: 7700 Woodstream Drive
Membership costs: The one-time $2,500 initiation fee can be paid over two years. A family membership is $650 annually, singles, and couples membership is $550 a year and membership for seniors is $400 annually.
Amenities: As one of the original swim and tennis clubs in Charlotte, Starclaire underwent renovations in 2019 to help restore the rec club which included a new pool. Events include movie nights and pool parties, and the Dolphins swim team is a great way to get moving during the summer.
(15) Coulwood Pool
Location: 409 Coulwood Drive
Membership costs: At Coulwood a membership for a single adult is $275, for two adults is $395, for one adult plus dependents is $410, and for two adults plus dependents it is $485. A membership for a single senior is $145, for two seniors is $225, for one senior plus dependent is $275, and for two senior plus dependents, it is $375. There is a $6 per month or $60 annual neighborhood fee, and you can find the membership form here.
Amenities: The 25-meter, 6 lane pool is perfect for getting in those laps, and the 9-foot diving area with two diving boards is fun for the kids. There is also a swim team for kids aged 5-18. You can rent out Coulwood club for a party or event, as well; $120 for members and $250 for non-members.
(16) Mountainbrook Swim & Racquet Club
Location: 3100 Mill Pond Rd.
Membership costs: For a family full club membership, there is an initiation fee of $3,295 with a $795 annual fee. For a single full club membership, there is an initiation fee of $1,800 with a $400 annual fee. A tennis-only membership has an initiation fee of $900 with a $400 annual fee. You can fill out the membership application form online.
Amenities: Their four tennis courts can be used for open play Thursday nights and Saturday mornings, along with junior and adult clinics and private lessons. The full-size pool and the splash pad area are fun for everyone, and the kids can join the swim team for $75 a child, or go to a tennis camp that runs all summer. A few Fridays a month, you can go to the pool movie night and watch an outdoor movie with other members.
(17) Fairmeadows Swim & Racquet Club
Location: 2800 Eastburn Rd.
Membership costs: Fairmeadows is currently accepting new members for the 2021 season. To join, there is a $1,500 processing fee, and dues are $655 for a family, $495 for an individual, $495 for a couple or single-parent family, and $385 for seniors. (fact-checked)
Amenities: The club is currently wrapping up $1,000,000 in upfits including to the general grounds, tennis courts, playground and pool deck. The club has an active swim team that will resume competing next season.