A monthly guide to stuff we think is cool

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Boston's best places to swim and check out cute lifeguards because it's not summer without an awkward crush and an awkward tan.

The Memorial Drive Pool is the coolest pool ever. It's totally free which generally means it's crowded as hell, but who cares? It's right off the road and overlooks the Charles River which makes it just the raddest spot to swim. There's a cool little gazebo with benches and plenty of shade for when it gets to be a million degrees. Or for when you need to check how many people liked that Instagram photo of you looking all sorts of fly in your tankini. Veterans Memorial Swimming Pool, 719 Memorial Drive, open June 29-August 25, 11am-7pm daily, free.

Okay, the Mirabella Pool is a seriously hidden gem. You have to pay $10 for a season pass, but seriously it's so worth it. The pool is right on the edge of the Boston Harbor and next to an indoor ice skating rink which is total fun year round (unsure if they have soft pretzels for sale, could be a game changer). The pool is way clean and because it's tucked away in the North End, it's not ever touristy and too crowded. Plus, since you're already up North, you can grab some post-swim gelato and pastries because it's svmmmmeeerrrr foreverrrr! Mirabella Pool, 475 R. Commercial Street, open July 1-early September, 11am-7pm daily, $10 season pass, kids under five are free.

I had to ask the internet what this pool was called because in all my years here I'd never seen it have a name. But what I now know as the Gold Star Pool is totally fun and no one knows it exists. It's nothing too flashy (as it's name might suggest?), just a big rectangle with concrete all around, but it does what it needs to do. For 75 cents, you can spend all day ignoring kids and tweeting about how fun it is to tan! It's right outside Inman Square so after your swim you can grab a couple dills from Grillo's Pickles and then jump across Cambridge street to Pino Brothers and get that tattoo you keep saying you want. Oops, but then you can't swim so maybe hold off on that. Gold Star Pool, intersection of Berkshire and Cambridge Street, open June 24-August 22, 2pm-7:15pm Monday-Thursday and 12:30pm-6:45pm Friday-Sunday, $0.75/person.

The Frog Pond is a summer hot spot for kids and the kid in you. It's a splashy playground in the Boston Common and the city is hosting it's grand re-opening on June 29th. Looks like there's gonna be a bunch of ice cream and games and hi-fives with the pond mascot (who knew!?) Frog Pond Freddie. There's also going to be carousel rides for $3 which is terrifying because horses freak me out so much. But anyway, if you can't make it the re-opening, the pond is open until it gets chilly again and it's a sweet place to lay in the sun and read a comic book. Frog Pond/Boston Common Spray Pool, Boston Common at the intersection of Boylston and Tremont Street, open June 29-Labor Day, 11am-6pm daily, free.

CRYSTAL LAKE: NEWTON I remember the first time a friend told me about Crystal Lake, it sounded so beautiful like, well, crystals. It didn't disappoint. I mean there were no crystals, lets not get crazy, but we rode bikes out in the middle of the night and the air was just right and I felt like I was where I was supposed to be. The lake is out in Newton, but definitely within biking distance. If you go during the day, you can swim and do sweet cannonballs and get all warmed up by the sun. And if you go at night there's tons of dreamy spots to sit and look at the stars and smooch a cutie if that cutie is feeling like smooching you too. Crystal Lake, 20 Rogers Street, open June 27-August 18, 9:30am-dusk Monday-Friday and 1pm-dusk Saturday-Sunday, free.

I went to California a couple weeks ago and texted a friend a glorious picture of me with my toes in clear water ~*~paradise~*~ and he texted me back a picture of him doing the same thing and I was all like WTF NOT FAIR YR IN BOSTON WUT??!!? Turns out he was hanging out in his backyard at Jamaica Pond. I've since found out that Jamaica Pond is it's own form of ~*~paradise~*~ especially if you like seeing dirty kids swimming in their birthday suits. There's a 1.5 mile track around the pond that's good if you're one of those jogging types, and there's a place to rent sailboats and rowboats that's good if you're one of those sailing and rowing types. Or you can just, like, swim and hang out if you're one of those hanging out types. Jamaica Pond, 507 Jamaicaway, open year round, closes at 11:30pm, free.

Beaches in/around Boston have the coolest names. I mean, Castle Island, really!? It sounds like a level in Super Mario 64. Along with the M Street and Carson Beaches, Castle Island borders the Dorchester Bay shoireline. The coolest thing about Castle Island is Independence Fort, the pentagonal, granite bastion built in 1834 for assistance in harbor defense. But if you're not trying to get a history lesson, you can just hang out at the beach or it's surrounding boardwalk or go for a bike ride on the walkway surrounding the water's edge. Castle Island, William J. Day Boulevard, open year round, free.

Revere Beach was established in 1896 and is America's first public beach, which is crazy to think about because it's in a super urban area. I like going there a ton because the beach's transit stop is called Wonderland and there's nothing on Earth more magical than that. Revere beach is in Revere and always has cool festivals in the works. It's a perfect place to bring a picnic or pretend you know how to surf to impress a bunch of 10-year-olds. It's always packed during the summer but that kind of makes the whole experience more fun. Revere Beach, Revere Beach Boulevard, open year-round, free.

I'm saving the best for last because Constitution Beach is so, so cool. It's in East Boston and not too far from Logan airport, so you can spend the entire afternoon building sandcastles and watching airplanes take off. It's so majestic and surreal. The beach is right off the T at Orient Heights, but even with it's accessibility it never gets too crowded. There's an affordable concessions stand, easy parking, warm water, and a couple picnic tables to sit and devour your take-out pizza from Santarpio's. The airport noise can get a little loud, but who cares!? You're literally watching airplanes fly, it's a freaking miracle. Or maybe it's science. Whatever. Constitution Beach, 799 Bennington Street, open year-round, free.

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