An insider’s guide to the District’s best indoor pools

Washington Post, March 22 During a typical Washington winter, there are few places to shed layers and pretend, if only for a little while, that it’s warm outside — and do it for free.

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Takoma Aquatic Center

300 Van Buren St. NW

In historic Takoma, this facility sits adjacent to a large senior center and boasts its own fitness center. Friendly regulars abound at this facility. Even in the middle of the day, it can be hard to get your own lane.

In the pool: The leisure pool and baby pool are overshadowed by a 25-yard lap pool that boasts 17 lanes. Takoma hosts aerobics classes as well as Water Wizards. Bathroom renovations completed in November left poolgoers with spacious locker rooms, a variety of great shower heads and, for 75 cents, a key to lock a large locker — or you can bring your own lock.

Near the pool: Healthy food abounds. For the morning swimmer: a hot drink at La Mano. For the lunchtime swimmer: a vegan and kosher soup and salad at Soupergirl. For the post-work swimmer: vegetarian choices (or the beef patty) from the Caribbean spot Spicy Delight — all on Carroll Street.