Diving In

Where to safely make some waves this summer.

Photo courtesy of Holliday Lake State Park.

Wondering where you can make some waves this summer during COVID-19? Here’s an update of several places that are still open to swim at—and which ones will be opening soon.

Local Lakes

With coronavirus still a worry, this summer is a great opportunity to explore your smaller local lakes. Most popular lakes in Virginia, such as Claytor Lake or Smith Mountain Lake, are still open for boating, as well as boat rentals if you don’t already have a boat. All Virginia State Parks have open boat ramps, as well as picnic tables and grills available for groups of less than ten people. Renting a boat or taking out your own is a great way to explore nature—and even take a swim! It’s a great bonding experience for families and a fun way to enjoy the day while abiding social distancing rules. If you need a place to stay while visiting a lake, campgrounds are available at all lakes except for Twin Lakes State Park.

As of June 6, all public beaches at Virginia State Parks are open for swimming. According to the state park website, lakefront beaches at Hungry Mother, Claytor Lake, Smith Mountain Lake, Fairystone, and Lake Anna will remain closed until adequate staffing is available and safety protocols have been developed.

Anne Reed, the park manager at Holiday Lake State Park in Appomattox said, “Folks who own their own boats can launch and be out on the water, and we’ve recently opened up our boat rentals so people can be out on the lake.” The waters are now wide open for boating and swimming. DCR.Virginia.gov/state-parks/holliday-lake

Shore Thing

If you want to visit the ocean, good news! Virginia beaches have recently opened. However, several activities that are prohibited, such as group sports, speakers, alcohol, and fishing. Beachgoers can only gather in groups of ten or less. It’s smart to get there earlier in the day—as parking lots and garages will be limited to a 50 percent capacity. Swimming is a permissible activity, as well as paddle boarding and surfing. VisitVirginiaBeach.com

Photo courtesy of FairfaxPool.com.

Stay Cool at the Pool

As for swimming pools, only outdoor pools will be open, and can only be used for lap swimming. Lanes must be reserved beforehand by phone call. The following information about Phase 1 protocols that swimming pools will be following can be found here. Although this situation is not ideal for families who want to go to the pool, it can be a great way to exercise individually if you need something different than running around your neighborhood—or your at home gym. Another great way to beat the summer heat is to invest in an inflatable pool! These pools can range anywhere from five to ten feet long.

Even though the regular ways to beat the heat might not be as accessible as they once were, there are still new fun ways to spend your summer, whether it be relaxing on the beach, or even renting a boat!

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