A swimming pool is definitely the best place to beat the Queen City’s summer heat, but what if you aren’t one of the fortunate few with one right in the backyard? Never fear, Charlotte is home to lots of swim clubs you and your family can join … if you’re willing to hang out on the wait list and hand over the dough.
Barclay Downs Swim Club
• Cost: $25 application fee, $3,500 initiation fee, and $750 annual dues
• Average wait list time: six years for non-residents, one to three years for residents
A SouthPark-area staple since the 1960s, Barclay Downs has it all: a 25-meter, six-lane swimming pool, a covered baby pool, six lighted tennis courts (four hard and two clay), a snack bar and lots of social events. But it’ll cost you both time and money to get a membership — some people spend more than six years on the wait list. BDSC currently has 415 families on its membership roll, but that number fluctuates often thanks to resignations and older members moving up to Senior Membership status (if they’re 65 years old and have been a member for at least 20 years). Check out all the info on membership here.
Foxcroft East Racquet and Swim Club
• Cost: $300 application fee, $3,000 initiation fee, $600 annual dues and $100 annual assessment
• Average wait list time: About a year, unless you pay HOA fees to Foxcroft East or Governor’s Square (then there’s no wait and you’ll get in the spring after your application)
Foxcroft East has been around since 1979 and is mainly comprised of members from Foxcroft East, Foxcroft, South Park, Governor’s Square, Myers Park, Dilworth, Elizabeth and Cotswold. The location is convenient and the pool features a “Green Gator” water slide — a nod to the club’s swim and dive team mascot. FXE also offers five tennis courts, four of which can easily be reserved using an online form. You won’t find cooked concessions at the pool (“If it’s not offered, the kids don’t whine!” it says on the website), but you will find a huge movie screen for “dive-in” movie nights, as well as a brand new playground. Club capacity is 288 members. Find out more about membership here.
Olde Providence Racquet Club
• Cost: $1,500 initiation fee (swim-only membership), plus $700 annual dues
• Wait list time: About three years, but there’s no deposit required to get on the wait list
Olde Providence has been around for more than half a century, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some cool new features including a gated toddler pool, remodeled playground and a 25-meter junior Olympic swimming pool. The deep end of the pool is super deep — 10 feet — with a diving board that’s perfect for cannonballs. If you get hungry from swimming all those laps, grab a sandwich from the concession stand with food service provided by Something Classic Catering & Café. Prospective members need at least one letter of recommendation from a sponsoring Olde Providence member unless they are newcomers to Charlotte.
Foxcroft Hills Swim and Racquet Club
• Cost: $100 application fee, $3,500 initiation fee for residents, $4,000 for non-residents (must be endorsed by two resident members)
• Waitlist time: email the Membership Committee at [email protected]
Foxcroft Hills is one of the city’s oldest neighborhood swim and racquet clubs, located on 13 acres in the Foxcroft neighborhood. Your membership will include full use of the pool and tennis facilities with access to all programs and full use of clubhouse facilities. The club is held to 350 families and it’s currently at full membership, but you can find out how to be added to the wait list here. Members and their paid guests may use the pool; the guest fee is $3 per day. An individual guest (children included) may visit the pool no more than once a week and only if accompanied during the entire visit by a member.
Blakeney Racquet & Swim Club
• Cost and wait list time: Fill out a membership inquiry here.
This far-South Charlotte club has a gorgeous pool that features a lap lane, water slide and wading pool area for young children. There’s lots of lounge seating on the deck, as well as a full staff of lifeguards certified in CPR, first aid and safety. For tennis buffs, the club offers state-of-the-art facilities featuring two American red clay courts, nine Har-Tru courts and three hard courts. Blakeney Racquet & Swim Club members get other perks as well: show your membership card at one of dozens of Ballantyne restaurants and businesses to get discounts on services and even free food.
Tega Cay Beach & Swim Center
• Cost: Basic family membership is $455 for residents, $600 for non-residents, but other membership packages are available
• Wait list time: N/A
This unique club is operated by the city of Tega Cay, and it’s open from the first weekend of May until late September — more hours than any other outdoor swim facility in the area. It features an eight-lane junior Olympic-sized pool as well as a wading pool. The huge pool deck overlooks Lake Wylie and features a beach area for swimming, an outdoor volleyball court, access to walking trails, a playground, a 24/7 fitness room and more.