Miami is renowned for its chic, Art Deco glam architecture, and its public pools are no exception-- just check out the Venetian Pool! While the phrase "public pool" probably conjures up images of kids hyped up on snack bar ice cream doing cannonballs and having chicken fights, Miami's prettiest swim spot is nothing like that.

The Venetian Pool was originally built to be for Coral Gables, one of the country's first planned communities back in the 1920's. Coral Gables was known for its strict zoning laws, electric trolley, and almost entirely homogenous Mediterranean Revival architecture. And, of course, like most self-respecting classy neighborhoods, it needed a nice pool, where neighbors could socialize, soak up the sun, and maybe cool off. There was an old coral rock quarry in the neighborhood that was pretty much perfect for filling with water. 

The pool has evolved over the years-- at one point an island was added so that gondolas could dock, but the gondolas were eventually taken out. There was also a high-dive platform for awhile as well. The scenic lookout towers, two waterfalls and the Venetian-style bridge to the island, two of the pool's more iconic features, have remained. There's even a secluded grotto in the hillside, with water-filled caves which swimmers can explore, and a walking path that takes you around the pool and past the sandy sunbathing area.

Another feature of the pool is that it's filled with fresh water, straight from artesian wells. It's drained every night and refilled every morning, so you know that you're swimming in really clean water. And if you're worried about water conservation, fear not! They drain the water back into the aquifer and allow it to go back through the natural ground-filter process. I can't think of a more refreshing way to cool off!

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Header via Flickr/Lima Pix