jack clifford
Stadium Silver Cloud Hotel

The small Northwest chain of Silver Cloud Hotels is pleasant enough. There's really nothing in particular that I'd recommend about any of the locations. Well, EXCEPT FOR ONE: the Stadium Silver Cloud's rooftop pool. The baby-blue heated swimming pool just sits up there, in the open air, with the most amazing view of Elliott Bay (and its oh-so-pretty sunsets). It's there right now, next to a bubbling hot tub, surrounded by a bunch of lounge chairs. If you're lucky, if it's busy, a cocktail waitress will magically appear and serve you a drink. Yep, that pool is just up there, waiting for you to book a room so you can visit (rooms start at $169 a night, bring friends!). Be careful, though, it's directly across from Safeco Field—if there's a game, and a bunch of sporty meatheads are also staying at the hotel, the roof starts to feel like the pool scene in the movie Caddyshack where the Baby Ruth candy bar ruins EVERYTHING. (Stadium Silver Cloud Hotel, 1046 First Ave S, silvercloud.com) KELLY O

Colman Pool

As a former competitive synchronized swimmer of many years, I have literally swum across this great nation, and I can tell you: Nothing compares to Colman Pool. It's a heated salt­water pool on the edge of the Salish Sea, so you're basically out in nature, with beach and mountain and island views—yet HIGH DIVE and GIANT TUBE SLIDE. The 50-meter, eight-lane pool is open every day in the summer, with lap swim from noon to 1:30 p.m. and public swim (no lap lanes) from 1:45 to 4:45 p.m. Possibly the best thing about summer in Seattle besides the simple fact that it's summer in Seattle. (Colman Pool, 8603 Fauntleroy Way SW, seattle.gov/parks/aquatics/colman.htm, $5.25/$3.75 ages 1–17) JEN GRAVES

Great Wolf Lodge and Wild Waves

Me writing a Suggest for waterslides is like telling you to please consider snuggling a kitten while your oven magically bakes pizzas in the shape of winning lottery numbers—I barely need to tell you how awesome they are! But I will anyway. If you love your children, take them to Great Wolf Lodge—a kid-friendly hotel/watery wonderland 80 miles from Seattle with all the slides, pools, and glow-in-the-dark mini-golf your fam can handle. Closer, cheaper, and better for adults is the Northwest's largest water park: Wild Waves. Not only does it have waterslides and roller coasters for days, but for a little extra, you can terrify yourself with a zip-line ride or take a 125-foot plunge on the Skycoaster. Wheee! (Great Wolf Lodge, 20500 Old Highway 99, Centralia, greatwolf.com; Wild Waves, 36201 Enchanted Pkwy S, Federal Way, wildwaves.com) EMILY NOKES

Surf Ballard

So you've been going to Westport, La Push, and Neah Bay to sit on the beach and gaze longingly at the surfers for waaaay too long. Why don't you finally try it! A great place to get your feet wet for the first time is Surf Ballard—Ballard's first and only surf and stand-up paddle board shop. The storefront is also the home of the Washington Surf Academy, which offers all levels of surfing instruction, seasonal surf camps, and classes. Surf Ballard rents boards and wet suits, and even has beach access so you can get in the water, right there, immediately. Shaka brah, beach bunnies! (Surf Ballard, 6300 Seaview Ave NW, surfballard.com) KELLY O