Baltimore's Meadowbrook Aquatic & Fitness Center — Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman
Baltimore is below the Mason-Dixon Line, so it’s not surprising that warm weather often stretches long before Memorial Day and weeks after Labor Day. Long before Mt. Washington – a neighborhood on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places – was annexed to Baltimore City 100 years ago, it was considered a summer escape for the city’s wealthy. Many of the older homes’ architectures suggest summer cottages that have been weatherized for year-round use.
At the tail end of the summer home era, in 1930, Meadowbrook opened. Meadowbrook's main pool was excavated using mule-drawn shovels. Imagine!
Meadowbrook's pool is laid out in standard pool configuration, with the length running north/south to maximize sun catching on both long sides and to ensure that in either the morning or afternoon, when swimming laps or competing, you are never swimming into the sun.
These days, the facilities now have Olympic record-holder Michael Phelps as a partner. It’s where he trained!
Meadowbrook is considered one of the finest swim training facilities in the U.S. Along with Phelps, six other Meadowbrook members went on to win Olympic swim medals.
But it’s not all work and no play over there! There’s an outdoor shallow, as well as two connected competition-style pools that are open in the spring and well into the fall.
They’re also open at night. The pools have always been charmingly surrounded by trucked-in sand and a good number of chaise lounges. It’s a beach feeling, a date night feeling, right in the middle of the city.
Eventually in Baltimore, the temperatures will get too cold to swim outdoors, even for die-hard athletes. With an Olympic-sized indoor pool, shallow heated therapy pool and hot tub, there’s still plenty of opportunity to keep up your swim routine year-round.
Athletes know that other muscles need to be developed outside of the pool, too. That’s why there's all kinds of state-of-the-art equipment upstairs to build muscle and endurance. They overlook the outdoor pools, so that makes pedaling away on a stationary bike less dreary.
No matter the time of year, Baltimore's Meadowbrook Aquatic & Fitness Center offers a space to stay active and have fun while you're at it.