AquaGear Guest Post: Most Gorgeous Open Water Swims in the U.S.

Posted on 4.10.13

Guest post: AquaGear swim shop’s blogger Lindsey lays out four of the most beautiful open water swims in the country. Check these out, perhaps get an idea for the 2013 open water racing season!

Who says that you have to endurance train in boring lap pools or unexciting stretches of open water?! These gorgeous swimming spots, all of which are located in the United States, are the perfect excuse to train for your endurance or marathon event somewhere new. Plus, all of them hold a challenging open water race that just might peak your interest or push you to new distances. All of the spots feature unique marine life and vibrant flora that can help keep you entertained as you swim. Join the fun on race day or just hit up these local spots when you’re in the mood for a “working” vacation.

Waikiki, Hawaii
Located in Honolulu, Hawaii, Waikiki is one of the most famous beaches in all of the United States. People from all over the world come to the island of Oahu to see the beautiful white sand beaches and aqua blue waters. Its wide semi-circle shape makes it an ideal place for a long distance swim. For a real treat, plan your trip to Honolulu in early September for the Waikiki Roughwater Swim. This picturesque 2.4 mile event starts at the east end of the bay, underneath the iconic Diamond Head Volcano, and ends at the west end of Waikiki. Swimmers are treated to pristine waters filled with vibrant coral beds and lively marine life.

Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Lake Tahoe, located on the border between Nevada and California, is a beautiful sight to see year round. The area is known for its excellent skiing conditions, challenging hiking and biking trails, and loads of high-class entertainment. But, every July, teams of open water swimmers flock to Lake Tahoe for the Trans Tahoe Relay. Teams of 6 endurance swimmers must cross a total of 11.5 miles in high altitude, cold waters. The race, which starts in Nevada and ends in California, definitely requires a high level of fitness, and those that can handle the conditions are treated to one of the most spectacular fresh water swims around.

La Jolla, California
The La Jolla Cove, located just north of San Diego, features a natural, picturesque amphitheater suitable for ocean swims. Open water swimmers here are treated to large kelp forests teeming with marine creatures. While the water can be in the low 60’ s Fahrenheit, the water clarity is said to be one of the best in all of the West Coast. Every Labor Day, the La Jolla Rough Water Swim brings hundreds of endurance swimmers to the area. Because there are various race lengths, options of a 250 yard, a 1 mile, or 3 mile swim, this open water event is great for swimmers of all levels.

Key West, Florida
High-level endurance athletes have the chance to experience the abundant flora and fauna in Key West, Florida. The entire area is known for its amazing visibility and colorful marine life that includes stingrays, sea turtles, conch shells, nurse sharks, and a wide array of tropical fish. It’s an ideal spot to snorkel, scuba dive, or just simply swim. And the Swim Around Key West Race is one of the best ways to see the marine life surrounding the entire island. Held in June, this 12.5 mile race is one of the longer events available, but the colorful underwater world is sure to keep any swimmer in awe throughout the entire event.