It’s a winter wonderland outside, which means it’s time to go…swimming? While New York State offers incredible outdoor winter activities at every turn, why not take a break from skiing or sledding to relax by the indoor pool? We’ve found hotels, resorts, and spas—plus a few indoor water parks—that welcome the whole family all around the state, and the season tends to bring lower rates to incredible hotels that might otherwise be more of a splurge in the summer. Whether you’re looking for an après-ski soak in the Adirondacks, a post-hike swim in the Catskills, or a quick weekend getaway on Long Island, here are some fantastic travel ideas.
Masks are encouraged, but optional in most settings per New York State guidelines. Individual businesses or attractions may require mask wearing. Call ahead and check websites and social media to make sure attractions and amenities are open and available.
Sheraton Niagara Falls, Niagara Falls (Greater Niagara)
This hotel pool has something that not many others can claim; adjacent to the spacious indoor pool is a cylindrical freshwater aquarium with sharks and stingrays. Welcome to the Reef Beach Club & Pool at the Sheraton Niagara Falls, billed as Niagara Falls USA’s largest indoor pool. Take a swim or join the fun in one of two 15-person hot tubs.
Whiteface Lodge, Lake Placid (Adirondacks)
One of the most family-friendly resorts in the state—with its nightly s’mores campfires, bowling alley, and ice skating rink—features a heated indoor/outdoor pool among its many winter amenities. Warm up in the indoor or outdoor hot tubs while you enjoy wintry Adirondack views.
The Sagamore, Bolton Landing (Adirondacks)
Credit: Greg Premru
It’s one of the state’s most opulent retreats during the summer, but for a winter weekend getaway (it’s only open on weekends during the colder months), the Sagamore shines as well. Take a plunge in the 40-foot indoor pool and jacuzzi featuring an open-air concept that also overlooks the lake. Relax in the hot tub or lounge area regardless of the weather outside. Then leave the kids with a sitter (call ahead to reserve) and head down to the Glacier Ice Bar & Lounge overlooking Lake George, an 18,000-pound ice sculpture (select weekends only in winter).
Gurney’s Montauk Resort, Montauk (Long Island)
Floor-to-ceiling windows look out at the Atlantic Ocean from Gurney’s Montauk Resort’s world-famous filtered seawater spa. It’s a stunning site that’s great for relaxing with the family or for an ideal couples getaway with a best-in-class spa. The hotel features a Scarpetta Beach restaurant for delicious Italian specialties, and seafood abounds at Gurney’s and in the surrounding area.
Woodcliff Hotel & Spa, Rochester (Finger Lakes)
The indoor pool at Rochester’s well-located and elegant Woodcliff Hotel & Spa may not match the grandeur of its seasonal outdoor pool, but it is the perfect place to soothe muscles after a hike or snowmobile ride on the nearby Crescent Trail. The hotel’s location is an attraction itself: perched at one of Rochester’s high points, it offers exquisite views as well as proximity to the Finger Lakes’ wine region.
The Peninsula, Manhattan (NYC)
This stately Manhattan hotel not only delivers timeless luxury, but it houses one of New York City’s best indoor pools. This glass-enclosed stunner is part of the Peninsula’s spa, and while it does allow children accompanied by an adult, it’s more a serene getaway than a kiddie-friendly playground, so consider getting a sitter or staying here as a date-weekend splurge. The pool is closed for annual maintenance starting January 3, 2023 and will reopen on February 28, 2023.
Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz (Hudson Valley)
Credit: Jim Smith
You would expect that this Hudson Valley-chic lodge and complex would have an indoor pool framed with picture windows, exposed wood and beams, and a certain charm, and you’d be correct! When the chilly winds make a picturesque hike on the property’s grounds less appealing, retreat to this eye-catching 60-foot-long heated pool featuring underground music. During winter, Mohonk Mountain House also features creative programming and an expert-led wine tasting.
Tower at Turning Stone, Verona (Central New York)
This resort and casino brings a touch of Vegas to Central New York. The complex’s Tower at Turning Stone offers a family-friendly indoor pool. The grounds are well suited for winter, with lots of indoor passageways around the sprawling property.
Peek ‘n Peak Resort & Spa, Clymer (Chautauqua/Allegheny)
This family-friendly resort is like an Alpine vacation in western New York. The Peak’s 26 trails offer skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and more, and after a day on the slopes, you can unwind in the indoor pool, the indoor/outdoor hot tub or take a real break at the luxurious spa.
Rocking Horse Ranch/Big Splash, Highland (Catskills)
Way more than a pool, Big Splash Indoor Water Park at Rocking Horse Ranch is a veritable indoor water playground, complete with the 250-foot-long Gold Rush flume water slide, interactive fountains, and plenty of wet and wild activities for everyone from kids in floaties to teenagers. Of course, this venerable dude ranch also offers horseback riding as well as outdoor winter action, from ice skating to tubing. Bonus: it’s all-inclusive and affordable.
Cascades Indoor Water Park, Cortland (Central New York)
Hope Lake Lodge at Greek Peak Mountain Resort is a family-friendly hotel with one of the state’s biggest and best indoor water parks as a main amenity. Passes are available for resort guests as well as for visitors, who can ride 500-plus feet of slides, body surf the wave pool, or climb the activity tower. There’s even a toddler pool for the floatie-wearing set.
Six Flags Great Escape Lodge and Indoor Waterpark, Queensbury (Adirondacks)
This popular summer theme and outdoor water park is also home to one of winter’s best family attractions, an indoor waterpark with lots of climbing, sliding, and simulated waves for riding. A shallow pool is great for pre-swimmers or kids needing a break from all the action. There’s also a Kids Klub with indoor activities for when the parents need a break.
Best Western, Cooperstown (Central New York)
Credit: Otsego County Tourism
You won’t be able to watch a baseball game during winter, but Cooperstown’s thriving craft beer scene, quaint downtown, and of course the Baseball Hall of Fame make it a worthwhile winter getaway. Stay at the Best Western Cooperstown and take advantage of its indoor pool before or after exploring in town or hiking scenic Glimmerglass Park.
1000 Islands Harbor Hotel, Clayton (Thousand Islands-Seaway)
Close enough for a quick walk to River Rat to pick up fresh cheese curds or a short drive to the Clayton Distillery—great for a tasting of their house-distilled spirits—1000 Islands Harbor Hotel also features a cozy indoor pool area for those who’ve come to enjoy this scenic paradise during months when it’s too cold for a splash in the St. Lawrence River. Take a swim, then find a seat at the restaurant, bar, or in your room that looks out on the harbor.