Colman Pool, Day 1: Margaritaville without the margaritas


With the bright sunshine, sapphire sky, and warm turquoise salt water, the season’s first public swim at Colman Pool this afternoon really did feel almost tropical. And even with the summery weather, the crowd wasn’t overwhelming. Colman will be open tomorrow and Monday, then the following two Saturday-Sunday weekends before beginning 7-day summertime operations on 6/14. Do note (this one almost tripped us up) that the “preseason” weekend/holiday days through 6/8 have a different schedule (NOT reflected in this online schedule, but it IS in the brochure), with public swim 3-4:45 (instead of the “regular” 1:45-4:45) and another late-afternoon lap swim 5-7 (during the “regular” season, that’s half lap swim, half family swim). Colman is one of only two outdoor pools in the city system; it’s a few blocks’ walk from either side of the Lincoln Park waterfront. Here’s a good map of the park; if you don’t live close enough to walk from home, park in the Lowman Beach area and walk southwest down the end of Beach Drive (map) and onto the Lincoln Park beach walkway; park in the central Lincoln Park lot and walk through the wooded area to the trail down to Colman; or park near Lincoln Park’s south end and follow the paved waterfront walkway north to the pool. Note that the Lincoln Park parking lots fill up fast on sunny days, and neighborhood parking near the park’s south end (closest to the ferry dock) has new rules because of RPZ restrictions.

10 Replies to "Colman Pool, Day 1: Margaritaville without the margaritas"

  • lina May 24, 2008 (8:37 pm)

    it was a lovely day at the pool- i have been waiting for this day all winter long!

  • changingtimes May 25, 2008 (10:18 am)

    yay! looks so fun!! hey does anyone know about the carnival up in burien?? i drove by it last night in some random parking lot!!!! it looked really small but had the fun stuffed animal winning games…i know im such a kid at heart! but just wondering if anyone has been up there! the rides look kind of questionable….as in ancient!

  • sandra m May 25, 2008 (1:42 pm)

    (Wish to take action? — don’t miss reading the end of this message!)
    Yes, it’s a nice outdoor pool. Several of my family members have had skin cancer removed from their faces, and so I swim indoors. Other people swim indoors because the water temperature can be chilly in outdoor pools. Also, it’s quite a walking trek just getting to the Colman Pool.
    Indoor pools? There is only one public indoor swimming pool in West Seattle, as far as I’m aware. It’s located at the SW Community Center on Thistle SW. That pool is closed until 12 noon on weekdays, which makes it more crowded during the times that it IS open to the public. Parks staff have hinted at the possibility of extended hours in the future at the SW pool. I hope they can extend the pool hours!

    The pool at the West Seattle YMCA is very nice, but I won’t be going there often. Parking has always been tight there and it will be even tighter after the 1100 apt/condo units are constructed in the Alaska Junction area. The YMCA locker rooms are more spacious and less run down compared to the tiny outdated locker room space at the SW Community Center Pool. However, the $12 fee to swim at the YMCA is too high for many people. (Not everyone wants to sign up for an ongoing YMCA membership, and so the daily fee in that case is $12 for the day).

    With so much development and increasing population density in West Seattle, swimming pools will be more crowded and probably more expensive to use.

    I’d like to some things happen at the Parks Department. Why not add a secondary swimming pool plus expanded, more updated locker rooms to the SW Community Center? At the very least, we can ask for expanded pool hours and more frequent deep water aerobics classes at the SW Pool. I’d also like to see a sufficient number of yoga classes at our community centers — including at SW Community Center, which is clearly lacking in that area. If you agree, please let our city council– especially Tom Rasmassen– know about that. You can also convey your message to Mayor Nickels and to Parks staff.

  • WSB May 25, 2008 (2:05 pm)

    Anyone who feels strongly about this (or other parks issues) would also be well-advised to attend the Parks and Open Spaces Levy Citizens Advisory Committee meeting coming up in West Seattle to let them know you want swimming pools addressed in this fall’s potential parks levy. June 2, Alki Community Center, 7 pm:

  • Gina May 26, 2008 (10:18 am)

    Colman Pool doesn’t use chlorine in its water, great for anyone that suffers from breathing problems triggered by such things.

  • CMP May 26, 2008 (7:57 pm)

    Swimming pools around here really aren’t that crowded, especially if you’re swimming in the proper lane with people your own speed. I do agree that we need better lap swim times b/c Southwest has a funky schedule that makes it nearly impossible to get a good workout in that would be over 3,500 yards. SW seems to lean more towards lessons, which is unfortunate since they don’t have a bulkhead to split off lap swim like Medgar Evers and Rainier Beach do.

    If the city were to ever build another pool, I would hope that it would be dedicated to swim team use 100% of the time, as there are not enough places for club or Masters teams to work out at. Compared to other parts of the country, swimming seems to be low priority around here.

  • lina May 26, 2008 (7:59 pm)

    the water at the colman pool was actually really nice and warm too on saturday. i hate cold water pools, i have a tough time warmimg up but i always find the colman pool warmer than the outside air.

  • m May 27, 2008 (12:07 pm)

    It seems to me that SW Pool is open virtually all day- they have a lot to fit into their schedule (open swim, senior swims, lap swim, lessons, aquarobics, etc…) and do the best they can with limited resources. Their locker room is servicable too- I’ve been in nastier ones.

    Parks should think about building another pool in the city- with all the water in this area it’s kind of sad how few people can swim well enough to keep from drowning. Easier access to swim lessons would possibly help. But again, many people think they are better swimmers then they really are so they don’t think they need help and won’t pay for lessons.

  • rockergirl May 27, 2008 (12:55 pm)

    Southwest will be closed for the summer I believe so Colman is going to get much busier since it is one of the few pools in West Seattle. I have heard Evergreen in White Center is a good indoor alternative. I also like Pop Mounger in Magnolia but since gas is $$$ probably many will not want to drive that far.

  • Jim Bonney October 7, 2008 (7:10 am)

    I am one of the Parks Department’s pool operators, and I wanted to correct a statement made by someone on this response board. Colman does use chlorine, as do all 10 Seattle Parks pools. Colman’s operator, who lives above the facility year round, is Seattle’s most experienced pool operator and keeps chlorine levels in the water to health department spec. at all times during Colman’s operation. All of our pools meet and exceed minumum Washington State Health Code, and each has it’s own individual operator responsible for the care of the facility and pool. Colman is by far my favorite location, as I am a West Seattle resident and have been my whole life. I’m glad to see enthusiasm for Seattle’s flagship and oldest aquatic facility. Plenty of information on Colman’s history is avaialbe at, and during Colman’s operating season from May-September there is alot of info. available in the facility.

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