Top 10 Cities to Move to for Serious Swimmers Looking for Water
Where to Move to for the Best Swimming in the U.S.
Avid swimmers know that summer is the best season for swimming. And whether you’re a pro swimmer, former college athlete, or just someone who takes swimming very seriously, where you choose to live can actually play a significant role in how satisfied you’re going to be with your hometown. The reason? Because some cities are just better suited for swimmers — professional, recreational, or otherwise.
If you think the best swimming in the United States is only found along the west or east coast shorelines, then you just might be surprised–Here are the top ten cities for serious swimmers.
10. Bridgeport, Stamford, Norwalk, CT
Connecticut is home to a trio of swimming superpowers in Bridgeport, Stamford, and Norwalk. Combined, these three coastal towns are home to 24 swim clubs, the most of any area with a population less than one million people.
9. Washington, D.C.
Swimming is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Washington, D.C. In fact, it’s probably not even the tenth or eleventh. But the truth is – the nation’s capital is a great place to live if you’re a swimmer. Need convincing? More than 15,000 USA Swimming members live here, the fourth-highest number in the country. There are also 122 swim facilities located inside the Beltway alone, including one of the best summer league programs nationwide at The Capital Swim Club.
Look for a home in Washington, D.C. now.
8. Fort Collins, CO
Colorado might be land-locked, but the state is home to four cities which are particularly well-regarded for their swimming prominence. Fort Collins is among the very best in the state, and is home to a large number of USA Swimming members and an impressive collection of swimming clubs. Fort Collins is also a surprisingly proficient producer of top-performing swimmers, especially relative to its population.
Look for a home in Fort Collins, CO now.
7. Raleigh-Cary, NC
It’s probably not a surprise to see North Carolina included on the list, but what might be a surprise is that the best swimming in the state isn’t along its coast– it’s actually a little farther inland in the Raleigh-Cary area. The reason this region is included on this list is due to the fact that a large number of U.S. Masters swimmers live here. Plus, Olympic Gold Medalist Cullen Jones attended college here, at North Carolina State. The area is also home to a generous number of USA Swimming members and fitness swimmers.
Look for a home in Raleigh-Cary, NC now.
6. Madison, WI
Like Washington D.C., swimming doesn’t jump to mind when you hear the name Madison, Wisconsin. The city, in fact, sits firmly in the top ten because it has 24 public swimming pools and facilities, about double that of any other city its size.
Look for a home in Madison, WI now.
5. Austin, TX
The climate in Austin, Texas is hot, hot, hot — so it’s no wonder why so many people take to the water as a way to beat the heat. But there’s an even greater reason why Austin is ranked #5 on this list– the city is home to the eighth highest number of USA Swimming athletes in the country. It’s also home to several Olympic champions, including Brendan Hansen.
Look for a home in Austin, TX now.
4. Durham, NC
Durham is the second city from North Carolina to be included in the top 10, and for good reason. Swimming is far and away one of the most popular recreational and fitness activities here. In fact, one in ten residents in Durham, NC say they swim for fitness.
Look for a home in Durham, NC now.
3. San Francisco-Oakland, CA
The San Francisco-Oakland area is so popular among U.S. Masters Swimmers that ten percent of them live here, more than any other city in the country. And they live here for a reason — the San Francisco-Oakland area is filled with opportunities (and facilities) for swimming!
2. San Jose-Santa Clara, CA
Not far from the San Fran-Oakland area is the San Jose-Santa Clara area, and this, too, is extremely popular among the nation’s top swimmers. This area not only has the largest diversity of swimmers in the country, but it’s also home to the Santa Clara Swim Club, which has produced 51 Olympic gold medals, 17 silver medals, and 12 bronze medals over the course of its esteemed history. Not surprisingly, this is also where swimming legends Mark Spitz and Donna de Varona were raised.
1. Ann Arbor, MI
For the second year in a row, Speedo USA ranks Ann Arbor, Michigan as the best swim city in the entire country. This might seem like an odd pick, but the facts are the facts. Ann Arbor has the largest percentage of top USA Swimming athletes per population. It’s also home to more than 60 Olympians, most recently Tyler Clary and Tom Dolan, both of whom graduated from the University of Michigan which, of course, boasts one of the most highly regarded swimming programs in the country.
As if that’s not enough to warrant first place, Ann Arbor also has the second highest number of swimming pools per person of any city in the country. Look for a home in Ann Arbor, MI now.