Travel & Day Trips

This CA Pool is The 3rd Most Photographed in America

There’s nothing quite like sitting poolside and soaking in the sun while enjoying the fresh air. For those looking to make the most of their poolside experience, a new study has revealed the most photogenic pools in the US.

The study by analyzed social media metrics to find the most mentioned and snapped pools from around America. After crunching the data from Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, the results are in: Mandalay Bay Beach at the famous Las Vegas casino is ranked the most photogenic pool in the country.

That said, one California pool achieved top honors, taking the #3 spot on BonusFinder’s list: the Neptune Pool at Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California.

All About the Neptune Pool

According to Hearst Castle, the story of the Neptune Pool at Hearst Castle is a long and illustrious one, spanning more than a decade of construction. It all began in 1924 when a letter from William Randolph Hearst to his architect Julia Morgan set in motion the building of the first swimming pool at the castle. Hearst’s wife and children were keen to have a pool, so Morgan got to work.

By 1926-1927, the pool had been substantially enlarged, with a series of concrete steps at the southern side called the Cascade, down which water flowed. At the top of the Cascade stood the sculptures of Neptune and two nereids. The dressing rooms were completed by 1928.

In 1934-1936, the pool underwent its most significant enlargement to give it the size and shape it has today. While many have speculated that it was enlarged to make it closer to Olympic size, it is more likely that the colonnades and Cassou statues, which had been planned for some time, were the driving force for the enlargement.

The Neptune Pool as it stands today is 104 feet long, 58 feet wide and 95 feet wide at the alcove. It is 3.5 feet deep at the west end, 10 feet at the drains, and holds 345,000 gallons of water. Other notable features include the oil-burning heating system, the Vermont marble that lines the basin, gutters, and alcove, and four Italian relief sculptures on the sides of the colonnades.

Visiting the Neptune Pool

Heads up for you avid swimmers–you can’t actually swim in the Neptune Pool! The pool is part of the historic Hearst Castle, one of the iconic destinations on California’s Central Coast, so it’s not open for swimmers.

That said, the pool and the castle itself are stunning. We absolutely recommend visiting if you’re traveling in California and want a great day, and a great Instagram photo. You can hang out by the pool and snap a selfie. The pool’s beautiful location and stunning architecture are the reason so many people take pictures of it–and why it’s the #3 most photographed pool in America.

Here’s the full list of top photographed pools.

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

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