There are quite a few waterparks in the United States worth visiting, and they’re a great way to cool off in the summer while spending time with family and friends. Feel like just relaxing in the sun? Rent a cabana for the day. Prefer a thrill ride? Grab a pal and pick a slide that will shoot you 45-mph to the bottom of the pool.
One of the resorts we picked even offers surf lessons for those who want to take advantage of the wave pool before guests start trickling in for the day.
No matter where you decide to go, each one of these parks offers exciting and relaxing attractions for the whole family.
Noah’s Ark Waterpark in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, is “America’s Largest Waterpark.” It features thrill rides, group rides, kiddie rides and gentle rides. The 1/4-mile long Black Anaconda is “a diabolical combination of water slide and rollercoaster. Stare pure terror in the eye before Black Anaconda swallows you whole, sending you spiraling down at 30 miles per hour.”
The Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas, includes a new attraction called Verrückt, the world’s tallest water slide. The attraction is so popular, guests are encouraged to make a reservations. The park describes the ride: “Adventure seekers will be able to share this experience as they strap into a 3 person raft that will slide down a jaw dropping 168 foot 7 inch structure, only to be blasted back up a second massive hill and then sent down yet another gut wrenching 50 foot drop for the ultimate in water slide thrills!”
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon in Orlando, Fla., has a man-made beach, a wave pool, and a children’s play area. The park also offers surf lessons for beginners and intermediate riders before the park opens for the day. Also, experienced surfers “can shoot the curl in the world’s largest outdoor wave pool” on off hours as well.
The Pump House Indoor Waterpark in Jay Peak, Vermont, includes rides such as La Chute, which shoots riders 45 miles per hour in a full 360-degree rotation; and the Double Barrel Flowrider, which is a cross between skateboarding, surfing and snowboarding. It’s a great spot to visit in the fall, when most waterparks are closed in the Northeast.
Dollywood’s Splash Country in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, features 35 acres of attractions, such as Big Bear Plunge, “an extreme white water rafting adventure ride that takes you banking through dark caverns with winding bends and steep drops reminiscent of challenging river expeditions” and the thrilling SwiftWater Run, Slick Rock Racer, and Wild River Falls.