It's our second edition of Gothamist's travel content, Gothamist Getaways. Four times a year, we'll have a week of posts featuring looks at travel, food, products and tips—near and far—for making your trips more enjoyable. So sit back, dream of your next journey and let us know if you have any hints for us—email

If you find the waves off the Atlantic a bit too rough and unpredictable and prefer to cool off in calm waters, head to one of these swimming holes less than two hours from the city. From lakes to ponds, these are all worthy of a road trip. Of course, if you don't want to trek out of the city in search of a river, you can always spend Sunday June 22nd, swimming off of Governors Island.

River Pool

Beacon River Pool

Fee: Free

The River Pool in Beacon opens for the season in early July. Located in the Riverfront Park, a short walk from the Beacon Train Station. This unusual floating pool offers you a chance to swim in the Hudson in a controlled and clean environment. The late Pete Seeger was instrumental in the creation of the pool; his inspiration for the pool came from the floating bathhouses off of Manhattan in the 19th and early 20th century. The pool is still in the early stages and there is an annual Newburgh to Beacon Swim to raise money for the project, this year’s swim takes place on August 4th.

Croton Point Park

Fee: $10 parking fee

You have the option of driving or hopping on the Metro North to this 508-acre park in Northern Westchester. The small sandy beach in Croton Point Park is on the Hudson River. If you are repulsed by the thought of swimming in the Hudson, paddle through the river on a kayak.

Lake Tiorati (ScubaBear68/Flickr)

Lake Tiorati

Fee: $8 per vehicle for Lake Tiorati or Lake Welch, free with Empire Passport

This beach in Harriman State Park fills up fast. If you can’t make it there early, you’ll be redirected to Lake Welch, a neighboring lake beach. A little more than an hour drive from midtown, these lake beaches attract many city folk, and the water does get crowded.

Canopus Lake Beach

Fee: $7 per vehicle, free with Empire Passport

Canopus Lake Beach is located in Fahnestock State Park in Putnam County, a little more than an hour drive. The Lake has a large swimming area, and if you feel like you don’t want to head home, you can always camp in Fahnestock State Park. No worries if you forget to pack a picnic, stop in one of the many restaurants in the town of Cold Spring. The town is a short drive from the lake.

Greenwood Lake (LukeGordon/Flickr)

Greenwood Lake

Fee: $10

Enjoy the views and a swim at the beach of this scenic 9-mile lake in Orange County, just a little over an hour drive from midtown. Have a bite or a drink lakeside at the Breezy Point Inn near the beach.

Bantam Lake

Fee: $5 weekdays/ $10 weekends

This Connecticut Lake is a little less than a two-hour drive from midtown in Litchfield County. The lake is rumored to be a spot for a UFO crash and is also home to Bantam Water Skiing Club, you can see their show on August 9th & 10th. If you simply want to relax and swim, the beach has a shady area and a concession stand.

Squantz Pond (carbonnyc/Flickr)

Squantz Pond

Fee: $22 Non-Resident vehicle weekends, $15 weekdays. After 4pm on weekends, $7 and weekdays $6

Around ninety minutes from the city, Squantz Pond located in a Connecticut state park gets busy so get an early start. After a swim, rent a canoe or a kayak, and picnic on the beach. Leave time to explore other parts of the scenic park.

Alison Lowenstein, Gothamist Getaways editor, is the author of NYC guidebooks, and travel articles for National Geographic Traveler, Newsday, NY Daily News,, etc. When she isn’t planning trips, she enjoys jogging around the streets of NYC. Despite her athletic pursuits, her favorite food is the donut. You can find her on Twitter at @cityweekendsnyc.