It’s a classic summer experience: walking along the side of a pool, listening to the sounds of laughter and swimmers splashing, and taking in the sun as it drenches the scene with warmth and light.
As Memorial Day approaches, swimming pools across the U.S. will open their gates for the summer season. Water-lovers will flock to private backyards, members-only resorts, and municipal pools that can trace their roots back to the late 1860s, when—before many of the nation’s pools became segregated and then later desegregated—a diverse array of people swam together.
To celebrate this marker of summer’s start, we compiled images that capture the joy and delight of swimming pools around the world from our National Geographic archives. Flip through these sun-soaked photographs, then head to your nearest pool to get a jump on your summertime festivities.