Swimming season is nearing full swing now. Every year, I try to get a new fun float toy. Unfortunately, most only last a few months, if that. So I polled a few pool aficionados to see what they buy every year, or what are a few new favorites. “I can’t help it; I am a sucker for all these new food shaped floats.” laughed Anne. “I just bought the giant ride-on Waffle Wedge ($49.99) at Leslie’s Pool Supply in La Mesa. It has two built-in cup holders, plus bungee-and ball-connection sites. If I buy 3 more wedges, I can connect them all to make a waffle island. I also picked up the six-foot pineapple ($39.99) and the four-pack of floating pineapple cup holders ($14.99) for adult beverage time.”
I popped into Leslies and spoke with sales clerk Andrew. “If you really want a float that will last,” he said, “you should consider our Leslie’s Softi Foam Float ($99.99). It’s a 1.5-inch thick foam float with a built-in pillow. It is also vinyl coated and UV and chlorine resistant. And as with any outdoor pool toy, if you keep it inside during the off-season, it’ll last much longer.”
“The best pool float we ever purchased is made by Swimline, and is called the Labyrinth Island at Target online),” said Tina. “It’s made of a heavy gauge PVC, holds up to 650 pounds, and fits eight kids. It’s basically an eight-by-eight-foot inflatable square that has nine circles cut into it. Kids can recline in the open space or dive through. The design keeps there from being too much pressure on any one spot when it gets jumped on. Ours has lasted us two years.”
“Forget buying pool toys,” exclaimed Janelle. “Instead, put your summer money toward buying a pool day pass for the family at a local resort. I’m glad to have a home pool, but the local resort pools are so much nicer. I try to visit at least one different resort pool a year, and for 2018, I’m heading to Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina. You feel like you’re in paradise with all those lushly landscaped plants and waterfalls by the long, wavy shaped pool. Plus there is a children’s pool and a tiki bar, and you can get lunch and cocktails served poolside. The day pass ($25 adults, $12 for children) gives you access to the fitness center and two jacuzzis.” All-day parking available for $15. Pool hours, 9 am-6 pm.
I decided to look around and see if there were other local resort pool passes available. Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines offered day passes for $15 per person (children under six are free). You get a poolside view of the lovely Torrey Pines, and a day pass gives you access to the outdoor heated pool, sun loungers, and hot tubs. Outdoor showers and changing rooms available as well. And of course, there is an ocean-view poolside bar. Included with a day pass is access to the fitness center and outdoor tennis and basketball court. Pool hours, 7 am to 10 pm.
Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa over in Mission Bay has lots of family fun included with its day pass ($30 for adults $14 children). Besides a large resort pool and children’s wading pool, it has games like life-size checkers, ping pong, and bean bag toss. Right outside of the resort, there’s a place to rent paddle boards, Jet Skis, and quad bikes. Grill grub and cocktails are available from the outdoor pool bar. Complimentary parking included with all day passes; pool hours, 9 am to 9 pm.
And if it was going to be a day for grownups, I could a few get friends and head to Harrah’s Resort Southern California in Valley Center. Day passes are $30 — for adults 21 and up only. The resort boasts three pools and a 400-foot looping lazy river. There is a swim-up bar, and one pool is outfitted with a swim-under waterfall. Plus: eight hot tubs. Poolside cabanas ($155) are available for rental, and include day passes for eight adults. It’s equipped with a mini fridge, fan, flat screen TV, and towels, plus water and chips and salsa. Pool hours, 8 am-6 pm weekdays, 8 am-8 pm weekends.