Los Angeles is an amazing place to live for a number of reasons. We've got the beach, we've got professional sports teams, we've got great universities (go Trojans!), we've got a multitude of concert venues... the list goes on. There are some amenities of our area, though, and some forget about, or just don't know about them at all. One of them is the variety of swimming holes and lakes around the city that are easy to access, while also being perfect for summer. While everyone else is rushing off to the beach, why not try something new instead? It might end up being a lot more enjoyable and a lot less crowded.

Imagine this: You take a short hike up a shaded mountain. The sun is out but it's not beaming directly on you like it would be at the beach. You reach a semi-secluded swimming hole that doesn't seem like it could be located in Southern California, but it is. You get to cool off and relax in the natural water that isn't full of salt and screaming kids.

Read on for 7 swimming spots and waterfalls you need to check out.

1. Cooper Canyon Falls

You can hike AND swim here. What's not to love? It's in the San Gabriel mountains so it's incredibly close to LA. Learn more about what it has to offer here.

2. Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area

Santa Fe Dam is operated by the County of Los Angeles Parks, and it's located in Baldwin Hills, CA. There's a small beach for swimming and LOTS more to do. Check out the county's page for more information.

3. Aztec Falls

The Aztec Falls are located within the San Bernardino National Forest, so it's not too far of a trek beyond the LA County limits. You can take a (very) short hike then relax in the amazing, cool water. Learn more about how to get here.

4. Eaton Canyon Falls

This is another great spot to check out a waterfall, and it's very close to most of Los Angeles. It's located in Altadena, just beyond Pasadena. It's a wonderful place for a simple trail walk and will bring you to a cool waterfall. Get the details here.

5. Hansen Dam

This is a man made "lake" that is truly a pool, but hey. This Irwindale swimming spot features an artificial beach as well as a couple water slides. Learn more here.

6. Malibu Creek Rock Pool

This recently reopened after the fires, and it's a wonderful place to relax. It's a nice place to take a short hike, but be warned that the water has an icy chill (which is great if you like that sort of thing). Get all the information here.

7. Solstice Canyon

Also in the Malibu area, this canyon features a few small watering holes along the trails. You'll also find a waterfall at the end of the short hike, which is a great reward for the moderate workout. Learn more about it here.