When the weather warms up, everyone starts looking for ways to cool down, and what better way to cool down than by spending the day at one of the best water parks in the USA? Whether you’re on the east coast, west coast, Gulf Coast, or a Midwesterner, we’ve got all the best water parks in the USA to help you make the best decision on where you’ll be splashing the day away.
We’ve also included some places to stay near each waterpark because, after a long day of high-speed slides and non-stop sun, the last thing you want to do is drive for a long distance. These hotels are all within 30 minutes, making the commute quick and easy!
Water parks in general are family-friendly, but you may want to check each water park’s website to learn the height requirements beforehand. We wouldn’t want anyone in the family to feel left out by just an inch!
Also, many of the water parks featured below have gone cashless, which makes it easier than ever to purchase things at the park without having to worry about your wallet getting wet or constantly running back to the lockers, but it is a bit of an adjustment if you’ve never visited a cashless park. The concept is simple: you’ll be given a wristband to wear that you can reload for all of your spending needs.
With over 1,000 water parks in the USA, how do you pick which ones are worth visiting?
- Best waterpark for families: Dollywood’s Splash Country
- Best waterpark for thrill-seekers: Universal’s Volcano Bay
- Best indoor waterpark: Kalahari Resort
- Best wave pool: Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool
- Best waterslides: Noah’s Ark
- Best waterpark for adults: Mandalay Bay Beach
Best Water Parks In The USA
1. Dollywood’s Splash Country – Pigeon Forge, TN
Address: 2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
Everyone loves Dollywood, and Dollywood’s Splash Country in Pigeon Forge is the perfect way to spend a summer day in Pigeon Forge. The 35-acre water park in Tennessee operates from May through September and features a variety of waterslides including the RiverRush, Tennessee’s first water coaster.
One of the most popular rides here is the Big Bear Plunge, where riders take on this extreme white water rafting ride through dark tunnels with twists and turns that’ll make you think you’re actually white water rafting. Just before crashing through a wall of water, you’ll make a splash landing in the pool.
Another first-place waterslide at Splash Country is Fire Tower Falls, the tallest and fastest slide in the park (70 feet). For those that prefer a more leisurely experience, you’ll thoroughly enjoy the 8,000-square-foot lagoon-style pool and the lazy river.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, indulge in some of the best southern food in the state! This isn’t your typical water park fare here (although you can definitely find a burger or some funnel fries here).
Be sure to swing by BeaverTails and sink your teeth into one of the famous pastries. For savory options, visit Campsite Grill, Splash Country’s largest restaurant offering delicious burgers, pizza, and tenders in a sit-down setting. For grab-and-go options, swing through The Watering Hole, Picnic In The Park, or the Food Truck which offers some of the most mouthwatering mac and cheese you’ve ever tasted.
If you need a place to stay near Dollywood, RiverStone Resort & Spa is only half a mile from Splash Country, and even has its own lazy river and indoor pool.
See Related: 25 Fun & Best Things to Do in Gatlinburg, Tennessee
2. Raging Waters – San Dimas, CA
Address: 111 Raging Waters Dr, San Dimas, CA 91773
Raging Waters is known to be one of the best water parks in the Los Angeles area, thanks to more than 50 water attractions. It also happens to be the largest water park in California, so be sure to get there early so you have a full day to enjoy all of the attractions.
Raging Waters has plenty of world-class attractions to enjoy, including the Aqua Rocket, the only hydromagnetic water coaster in California! The newest addition to the Raging Waters family for 2023 is Bombs Away, where you can choose your own adventure. One drop tube sends you flying straight down at a rate of 26 feet per second, and the other will have you doing loops all the way down 300 feet to the pool below.
When the tummy starts rumbling, take a break from the water and enjoy one of the many dining options at Raging Waters. Pink’s Hot Dogs is a tried and true staple, and freshly made funnel cakes are an iconic water park treat, but there are several lighter (and healthier) options too, like Jamba Juice, and there are always salads and wraps available at Pipeline Pizza Express.
For lodging, check out the Extended Stay America Suites. It’s close by, perfect for longer vacations, and comes with everything you need for a comfortable stay.
See Related: Where To Stay In Los Angeles: Best Areas & Neighborhoods
3. Schlitterbahn – New Braunfels, TX
Address: 400 N Liberty Ave, New Braunfels, TX 78130
Schlitterbahn New Braunfels rests its laurels on being the world’s best waterpark, and after winning Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Award for Best Waterpark 24 years in a row, we’d have to agree. If you’re visiting the beautiful Texas Hill Country, then this epic waterpark near San Antonio is a must!
This massive waterpark is divided up into four sections, and each section has its own swim-up bar, lazy river, children’s area, and food courts, so you won’t have to be dashing all across the park to get to the attractions you want. Schlitterbahn offers a variety of food and beverage options. In fact, there are 30 different refuel zones around the water park!
No visit to Schlitterbahn’s is complete without enjoying one of the signature items like a foot-long chili cheese dog or the Big Bahn Burger. On the hydration side, when you purchase a Schlitterbahn Souvenir bottle, you get free refills all day from any of the refresh stations, grills, and BBQ locations, which is quite the deal!
Accommodations at Schlitterbahn Resort puts you smack dab in the middle of all the action, which makes planning a trip to this Texas waterpark so easy.
4. Noah’s Ark – Wisconsin Dells, WI
Address: 1410 Wisconsin Dells Pkwy, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
The Wisconsin Dells is known as the Waterpark Capital of the World and is home to the largest outdoor water park in the United States. Every square inch of this impressive 70-acre water park is filled with aquatic fun for all ages, so get there early to enjoy it all. Noah’s Ark boasts 51 water slides, two lazy rivers, two wave pools, and even a water coaster for high-speed fun.
Noah’s Ark is committed to safety and this water park has earned the Top Award for Aquatic Safety every year since 1995, and they don’t plan on relinquishing that title anytime soon. Kids and adults of all ages and abilities will have an absolute blast at this epic waterpark in Wisconsin.
Be sure to take a ride down the newest attraction for the 2023 season, the Chameleon. On this mild ride, you’ll set off on a four-person raft through a kaleidoscope of light and sound as you slide down the 520-foot-long ride. There is no height requirement for this ride, making it the perfect waterslide the entire family can enjoy.
When you need to recharge, visit one of the many restaurants within Noah’s Ark. Jonny Rockets has all your American classics, while Top N’ Go Walking Tacos is an easy snack to bring back to your cabana, or you may want to build your own burrito at poblano Cantina.
Adults will enjoy a trip to Paradise Lagoon where you can cool off with a frozen beverage. Pink’s Hot Dogs also has a stand here, and who could resist one of these famous hot dogs? They pair perfectly with a Dole Whip, which you can find in pineapple, vanilla, and orange flavors.
Bluegreen Vacations Christmas Mountain Village is less than a mile away and offers townhomes, cottages, and log cabins all nestled within 800 stunning acres and also has a 27-hole champion golf course.
See Related: Best Breweries in Wisconsin: Craft Beer & Taprooms
5. Hurricane Harbor at Six Flags Darien Lake – Corfu, NY
Address: 9993 Alleghany Rd, Corfu, NY 14036
Six Flags Darien Lake is a favorite for locals in the Upstate New York Area wanting to enjoy a day of adrenaline-inducing fun. The 1,200-acre amusement park and resort feature both a theme park and water park in addition to lodging, so you’ve got everything conveniently located in one spot.
Be sure to take a spin down Wahoo Wave, one of the park’s tallest waterslides. You and three friends will be soaring down 60 feet in a four-person tube.
After about 30 feet, you’ll drop three stories into a massive water wave wall, the attraction’s signature feature. From here, you’ll let gravity take the wheel as you slide all around the wall, eventually splashing into the pool below.
Dining options at this water park include something for everyone. Beaver Brother’s Lakeside Cafe offers cafeteria-style fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, while more grab-and-go options include Crossroads Cafe for Italian sausages and chicken strips, Itty Bitty Beaver Bites for burgers and hot dogs, and several sweet snack shacks for funnel cakes, ice cream, and more. Oh, and be sure to swing by Frank and Teressa’s Anchor Bar for some famous wings! This is the place that started it all.
River Spring Lodge is about 6.5 miles away in the next town over (Darien, NY) and offers a beautiful, secluded stay with large rooms and a full breakfast each morning.
6. Six Flags Hurricane Harbor – Phoenix, AZ
Address: 4243 W Pinnacle Peak Rd, Glendale, AZ 85310
Six Flags knows how to get that adrenaline flowing, and if you can’t make it to the western New York location, then be sure to check out the Phoenix (well, Glendale) water park. Clocking in at 35 acres, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix is the largest waterpark in Arizona, and once you pass the entrance gates, a whirlwind of exciting rides awaits.
The rides here vary from mild to wild, and if you’re one to push the limits, then the Anaconda is right up your alley. Voted one of the top 5 water slides by the Travel Channel, riders speed down a series of enclosed tubes, corkscrewing their way down in a multi-person raft. That’s right, if you can convince your friends to join you, you both can share in the experience!
Don’t forget to grab a snack to keep your energy up. The options are endless here, and the park offers everything from slushies to street tacos. Be sure to try something from the Fry Bread Cart, which offers both sweet and savory fry bread, and who could resist a cup of Dippin’ Dots? It’s a waterpark tradition!
Hurricane Harbor is about 30 minutes away from downtown Phoenix, so after a day of fun in the sun, check into a hotel like Hyatt Place Phoenix to enjoy the downtown scene.
See Related: Where to Stay in Phoenix: 10 Best Areas & Fun Neighborhoods
7. Universal’s Volcano Bay – Orlando, FL
Address: 6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819
Opened in 2017, Universal’s Volcano Bay in Orlando is a relatively new water park to make a splash in the water park world, and boy did they make quite the splash! The 53-acre Polynesian-themed water park is centered around Krakatau, a 200-foot volcano that includes the famous Krakatau Aqua Coaster, where you head into the volcano on a four-person canoe. You’ll also find the Ko’okiri Body Plunge ride here, the tallest body slide in America at 125 feet.
Volcano Bay offers a wearable bracelet, called the TapuTapu, which allows you to virtually wait in line as well as make payments from restaurants and stores in the park. All of the rides at Volcano Bay feature a virtual line, which frees you up to float, swim, eat, or shop around instead of standing in line.
When your wristband vibrates, head over to the attraction and you’re ready to rock. We wouldn’t be surprised if this technology slides its way into other waterparks soon and becomes the standard! It also comes in handy when hunger strikes.
For dining options, consider yourself blessed with a plethora of options. From flatbreads to sushi, there’s a wide range here, so whether you’ve got a tiny tot with a very specific pallet or you’re craving a freshly made poke bowl, you’ll find it within the park.
If you need a good place to stay nearby, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach is less than a mile away and includes two restaurants, two poolside bars, two outdoor pools, two spa tubs, and a lazy river for even more splashing around.
See Related: 27 Best Weekend Getaways in the USA
8. Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon – Lake Buena Vista, FL
Address: 1145 E Buena Vista Dr, Orlando, FL 32830
Located at the Walt Disney World Resort, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park is one of the most visited outdoor water parks in the country. As you might expect from a Walt Disney World theme park, this one certainly will exceed your expectations.
Open year-round, this is also where you’ll find one of the world’s largest wave pools, the Typhoon Lagoon surf pool. This wave pool generates waves that are up to six feet high, which is perfect for body surfing.
Typhoon Lagoon doesn’t lack in the food department, either. Cool off with an ice cream cone from Happy Landings, indulge in a frozen beverage from Let’s Go Slurpin’, or hang ten with a massive hot dog from Surf Doggies. There are seven concession stands around the park, ensuring you’re never more than a few steps away from a delicious snack.
If you are planning a trip to Typhoon Lagoon at Walt Disney World, be sure to check out some of the special events that pepper the summer months, like Glow with the Flow, where the water park stays open after hours and you can enjoy all of the attractions at night with fewer crowds. Florida’s high temperatures and heated pools are great for enjoying a water park at night. What a unique experience!
It’s hard to mention this water park without mentioning Typhoon Lagoon’s sister water park, Blizzard Beach, but as of April 2023, this particular park is closed for renovations and should be back and better than ever for the 2024 season.
There are so many places to stay in Orlando that you won’t have an issue finding lodging – affordable hotels like this Spring Hill Suites near Disney Springs is a popular choice, but splurging for a luxury Orlando resort is always fun, too.
See Related: How to Get Discount Disney Tickets in Orlando, Florida
9. Kalahari Resort – Pocono Mountains, PA
Address: 250 Kalahari Blvd, Pocono Manor, PA 18349
You don’t have to worry about a rainy day when you visit Kalahari Resort, the largest indoor water park in the USA. The 220,000-square-foot indoor water park in Pennsylvania has several attractions, including a lazy river, zero-depth entry pools, water slides galore, and so much more.
Adults will thoroughly enjoy the indoor and outdoor spas with heated water, and there’s even a swim-up bar so you can grab a cocktail without ever having to leave the pool. The indoor waterpark is open year-round, and during the summer months, the Poconos Outdoor Water Park is open to visitors from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
There are six dining options within the waterpark, ensuring there’s something for every tastebud. From beer on tap to premium burgers, you’ll have plenty of options right at your fingertips without ever having to leave the park. Booking a few nights at the resort enables you to go from bedside to poolside in the blink of an eye, ensuring you’ll have a relaxing vacation.
If you want a break from the resort, check into Maurrocks, a 5-star bed and breakfast about three miles away.
10. Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark – Lake Geneva, WI
Address: 7020 Grand Geneva Way, Lake Geneva, WI 53147
Ready to make a splash at one of the best water park resorts in Wisconsin? Timber Ridge Lodge and Water Park is conveniently located near Chicago and Milwaukee (about a one-hour drive from either city), making it the perfect weekend getaway during the summer.
The 50,000-square-foot indoor and outdoor water park in Lake Geneva boasts 35-foot-tall water slides, a lazy river, and a special section for the little ones. Hungry Moose is a food court right next to the waterpark and all the best burgers, brats, and tenders to tide you over. For a sit-down meal, head over to Smokey’s BBQ and feast on some of the best BBQ in Wisconsin.
Timber Ridge Lodge puts you right in the middle of all the action and also features a golf course, sauna, and both an indoor and outdoor pool. When you book a room at the Timber Ridge Lodge, water park passes are included in your stay, which is the perfect reason to stay on-site!
See Related: 25 Best Small Towns in Wisconsin to Visit
11. Cedar Point Shores – Sandusky, OH
Address: 1 Cedar Point Dr, Sandusky, OH 44870
Since opening in 1988, Ohioans have spent many a warm summer’s day at this Cedar Point water park. The family-friendly water park in Ohio boasts 18 acres of aquatic fun for all ages, including 12 water slides and 4 children’s areas, so whether you’re looking for an adrenaline-pumping ride like the Point Plummet drop slide or a calmer spot like Lemmie’s Lagoon for the tiny tots to enjoy, Cedar Point Shores waterpark caters to all.
Of course, the relaxing pool with a beach bar is always a favorite option for the 21+ crowd. Cedar Point Shores waterpark is just a short drive (about an hour) from both Cleveland and Toledo, so you can easily reach this epic water park from either major city for a day trip if you’d rather not spend a few days on the peninsula.
In between rides and slides, take a breather and enjoy some of the dining options here at Cedar Point Shores. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, Auntie Anne’s or Cinnabon is calling your name. On the savory side, nothing beats a delicious BBQ during the summer, and BackBeatQue has some of the best. And for a blast from the past, head over to Coasters Diner for an authentic 50s-themed diner experience.
For lodging, we recommend Lighthouse Point. It’s just one mile from the amusement park and has some jaw-droopingly gorgeous views of Cedar Point. Castaway Bay is also a top choice.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Cincinnati, Ohio
12. Splish Splash – Long Island, NY
Address: 2549 Splish Splash Dr, Calverton, NY 11933
With 96 acres to roam, Splish Splash is a favorite water park for summer fun for folks in the Long Island Area. Be sure to take a ride on Hyperlight, one of the park’s most thrilling waterslides. This waterslide combines light and sound for an electrifying journey that’s a sensory experience unlike any other.
There are also plenty of concession stands and restaurants within the water park to refuel, and there’s even a bar serving local beers! The Boardwalk is where you’ll find several delicious restaurants to enjoy while you take a break from the water, but if you just need something quick and easy, Last Chance Grill has all your favorite park fare.
We’d recommend renting a room at the Hotel Indigo East End. Not only is it super close to the water park (one mile) but it’s also close to the Tanger Outlet Mall, so you can easily grab some last-minute items if you’ve forgotten anything.
13. Water World – Federal Heights, CO
Address: 8801 N Pecos St, Federal Heights, CO 80260
Located just 10 minutes north of Downtown Denver, Water World is a premiere water park with over 50 water attractions sprawled out across 70 acres. Located just 10 minutes north of Downtown Denver, Water World is a premiere water park with over 50 water attractions sprawled out across 70 acres.
Water World does an incredible job at providing water rides of various thrill levels, ranging from mild to wild. On the wild side, guests can take on the high-thrill level slides like the Peaks Speed Slides which will send you plunging down 6 stories, or more mild rides like Foothills Falls, a tandem racer attraction that’s equally as fun without the speeding tickets.
Make sure to treat yourself to a dessert from Coconut Point, located in the historic Lighthouse landmark that the waterpark was designed around. The funnel cakes are world-famous, and the soft-serve ice cream is the perfect sweet treat on a hot summer day.
If you want to stay nearby, Sentral Union Station is a 4-star apartment hotel in Denver with beautiful views of the downtown scene, plus a full kitchen to cook all your meals.
See Related: Denver CityPASS Review: Is The Pass Worth The Price?
14. Sandcastle Waterpark – West Homestead, PA
Address: 1000 Sandcastle Dr, West Homestead, PA 15120
Nestled along the banks of the Monongahela River in West Homestead, Sandcastle Waterpark is the best water park in Pittsburgh, and you’ll want to arrive early so you can get a full day in at this epic, 67-acre water park.
Bombs Away is the newest waterslide for the 2023 season, and this ride is one for the books. Riders will step into an enclosed capsule and have a brief moment to admire the view from the park’s highest point before dropping into a high-speed slide, flying down six stories at an intense 26 feet per second. The 305-foot free-falling experience is one of the most thrilling water rides at the park, and there’s no doubt it’s going to be one of the most popular rides of the season.
Don’t forget to swing by the Potato Patch to fill up on world-famous fries, a Pittsburg favorite. For the 21+ club, make your way over to the Sandbar for frozen drinks, wine, and beer. There are also plenty of grab-and-go spots like Boardwalk Bites where you can snag a few smaller items to tide you over.
There are a few hotels near Sandcastle Waterpark that will make your commute almost as fast as the Bombs Away ride, but the Hampton Inn & Suites Pittsburgh Waterfront West Homestead is one of the closest and has lovely views.
15. Cowabunga Bay Water Park – Draper, Utah
Address: 12047 State St, Draper, UT 84020
Cowabunga Bay Water Park has locations in Utah and Nevada, and the Draper, Utah location is conveniently located just 20 miles south of Salt Lake City.
Boasting the world’s largest water playground, kids of all ages will have a blast exploring the 12 levels of attractions with over 300 water toys and connecting tunnels and bridges. And for those with the need for speed, the 60s-themed water park also has 11 waterslides of varying thrill levels to enjoy.
When hunger strikes, head over to the Cowabunga Grill for pizza, burgers, chicken strips, and even the famous Nathan’s hot dogs!
There are plenty of hotels in Draper, and since it’s so close to Salt Lake City, you may be inspired to make a long weekend out of it and rent a hotel in downtown Salt Lake City, like the Grand America Hotel, to explore the area further.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Salt Lake City, Utah
16. Adventure Island – Tampa Bay, FL
Address: 10001 McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL 33612-6401
Located directly across the street from Busch Gardens, Adventure Island is the largest water park in Tampa and is just overflowing with splish-splashing fun.
One of Adventure Island’s most thrilling water rides is Vanish Point, an epic 70-foot drop slide that will send you sliding down 425 feet before you reach the pool below. If that’s a little too gnarly for you (and we wouldn’t blame you) don’t worry, the 30-acre water park in Tampa offers many attractions that range in the thrill factor, and plenty of relaxing pools to kick back and enjoy.
Wave pool anyone? For food, visitors to Adventure Island can enjoy a wide range of options. Hang Ten Tiki Bar offers a lengthy list of signature cocktails, Surfside Cafe is great for burgers, chicken strips, and light desserts, and Mango Joe’s has got all your favorite finger-licking-good BBQ.
It’s pretty easy to find places to stay in Tampa, but if you’re looking for a unique spot, check out our favorite rental. Caribbean Splendor is a 3-bedroom vacation rental about a mile away from the waterpark, so the whole family with have plenty of space to sprawl out.
See Related: Best Day Trips From Tampa, Florida
17. LEGOLAND Water Park – Winter Haven, FL
Address: 1 Legoland Way, Winter Haven, FL 33884
If there’s one childhood toy that has done a phenomenal job of connecting generations, it’s LEGO. Fans of this iconic building block will have a blast exploring LEGOLAND Florida Resort which includes the theme park, water park, and the newest addition: Peppa Pig Theme Park.
Make a splash at this LEGO-themed water park in Florida with unique attractions where you can design your own watercraft and float around the 1,000-foot-long lazy river, or take part in the park’s newest attraction, Creative Cove. Here, you’ll get the opportunity to build your own boat and then race your LEGO watercraft against others! There are also several attractions around the park that are more traditional and won’t require you to build anything beforehand.
LEGOLAND has plenty of dining options, including Granny’s Apple Fries, which are dusted with cinnamon and sugar and served with a whipped cream dipping sauce. It’s the perfect sweet treat that appeals to even the pickiest of eaters. Of course, savory snack shacks are easy to find and offer everything from tacos to build-your-own sandwiches.
Staying at the LEGOLAND Florida Resort is a must. From the breakfast buffet to the themed rooms, go ahead and dive right into the LEGOLAND universe.
18. LEGOLAND Water Park – Carlsbad, CA
Address: 1 Legoland Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008
If you’re on the west coast and still want to experience the awesome LEGOLAND Water Park (and you should), then head over to the California resort in Carlsbad.
This park offers 10 acres to enjoy, including several waterslides, sandy beaches, and some familiar faces like the Build-A-Raft River mentioned in the Florida location. This family-friendly water park in California is geared toward younger kids, but there are still plenty of thrill rides and waterslides that older kids and adults will enjoy, and who are we kidding, this is one spot that will bring out the kid in everyone!
When you’re hungry, make your way over to one of the many dining options available within the park, including Benny’s Rocket Fuel, Burger Kitchen, Knight’s Smokehouse BBQ, or the newest addition to the park’s dining scene, Everything is Ramen where you’ll find homemade ramen, rice bowls, salads, and more. Ramen isn’t a typical find at a waterpark, but we think it’s just quirky enough to work!
This LEGOLAND resort also offers lodging, making it easier than ever to enjoy a long weekend of summer fun.
See Related: 17 Fun & Best Things to Do in Carlsbad, California
19. Mandalay Bay Beach – Las Vegas, NV
Address: 3950 Las Vegas Blvd S Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, NV 89119-1006
Vegas may be known for its famous strip of casinos, gambling, and neon lights, but when you’re ready to cash in and soak up some sun, Mandalay Bay Beach will be waiting for you. The 11-acre aquatic playground boasts a lazy river and a lagoon, so you can float around and relax.
This isn’t your typical waterpark like the others on the list, but we’ve included it for its location and ease of access. It’s not often you find a waterpark right in the middle of town, and Mandalay Bay Beach is right on the famous Strip in Vegas, and you just can’t beat that location.
When you’re ready to refuel, take advantage of the Beach Bar and Grill or one of the three bars. Cabanas and gazebos are available to rent, and free seating is available to hotel guests as long as there is availability.
Book your stay at Mandalay Bay so you can go from bed to beach in just a few steps.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Las Vegas, Nevada
20. Water Country USA – Williamsburg, VA
Address: 176 Water Country Pkwy, Williamsburg, VA 23185
You’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time when you visit Water Country USA, one of the largest water parks in the country. From the attractions to the restaurants, this unique waterpark has a unique 50s/60s surf theme that’ll instantly have you saying long-forgotten phrases like “surfs up” and “tubular.”
During the summer of 2023, the water park will be unveiling a brand new, first-of-its-kind ride: the Riptide Race. Virginia’s first dueling pipeline will have you taking your mark with a two-person raft at the top of a 54-foot tower and racing your opponent through over 500 feet of high-speed twists, turns, and tunnels.
Wyndham Garden Williamsburg Busch Gardens is a nearby hotel that will ensure your stay is one fit for royalty.
21. Aquatica – Orlando, FL
Address: 5800 Water Play Way, Orlando, FL 32821
Aquatica is a waterpark in Orlando that’s also part of the SeaWorld complex, which is convenient if you’d like to visit both parks. With close to 60 acres on the water park side, you’ll definitely never run out of things to do.
The park boasts several water slides, pools, and attractions, but there’s one attraction that’s perhaps the most unique waterslide in the world! Reef Plunge offers riders a chance to slide into an underwater habitat filled with tons of marine life including Commerson’s dolphins and leopard sharks. If you’re lucky, the dolphins may even race you!
You can also access an aquarium-like area where you can watch riders go through the attraction and watch the dolphins and sharks, too. This unique water slide replaces the popular Dolphin Plunge, and it’s open for the 2023 season!
Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach is about 3 miles away, and staying here puts you an arm’s length away from both Aquatic and the earlier mentioned Volcano Bay!
See Related: Orlando CityPASS Review 2023: Is It Worth It?
22. Wilderness at the Smokies – Sevierville, TN
Address: 1424 Old Knoxville Hwy, Sevierville, TN 37876
Wilderness at the Smokies has the largest indoor water park in Tennessee, so rain or shine, you’re guaranteed to make a splash. There are both indoor and outdoor water parks here, so be sure you’ve blocked out at least two days to experience them both. Luckily, the water parks are included with your stay when you book a room.
Wild WaterDome is the indoor water park, and with its see-through roof, you’ll feel like you’re outdoors with all of that beautiful sunshine basking down on the 66,000 square feet of attractions. The outdoor water park features plenty of rides, splash pools, and water slides, including some of the tallest waterslides in the state.
For the ultimate experience, rent a cabana and enjoy moments of much-needed shade in between splash zones. The indoor water park has a heated pool and is open year-round, and naturally, the outdoor water park is subject to seasonal closures and weather delays.
Staying on-site at this water park resort is your best bet.
23. Shipwreck Island Waterpark – Panama City Beach, FL
Address: 12201 Hutchison Blvd, Panama City Beach, FL 32407
With so many incredible waterparks, Florida might just be the water park capital of the world. Shipwreck Island hangs its hat on being one of the cleanest, most well-run waterparks in America, and we love it. You’d barely recognize the park since its opening in 1976, they just keep making new additions and improvements every winter.
For 2023, the park has added a new kid-friendly area called Splash Cove which promises endless splashing fun for the tiniest of visitors. As you may have guessed by the name, the pirate-themed water park has several rides that will appeal to the inner pirate in you, including The Great Shipwreck, where guests can zipline off of the ship and into the lagoon below.
Beachside Resort in Panama City Beach is a waterfront hotel a few miles away where you can enjoy on-site snorkeling, surfing, and so much more… that is.. if you still have the energy after spending a full day at Shipwreck Island!
See Related: Best Beach Resorts In Florida
24. Silver Dollar City’s White Water – Branson, MO
Address: 3505 West Highway 76, Branson, MO 65616
Voted one of the best outdoor water parks in the country, Silver Dollar City’s White Water Water Park checks all the boxes. You’ve got 2 million gallons of splashing around to do here, including 13 acres of water slides, rides, wave pools, and more.
After all of the thrilling water slides, take a relaxing float down the Aloha River, or watch the younger kids splash around in Coconut Grove. If you’re brave enough, take a ride on the thrilling KaPau Plummet, one of the best drop slides in Missouri, where you’ll reach speeds of 26 feet per second as you drop 40 feet into the splash zone below.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, swing by one of the man concession stands and snack shacks peppered around for some much-needed refreshments.
If you want to stay nearby, check out the Lodge of the Ozarks. This hotel in Branson’s Theater District is close to the water park and other Missouri attractions.
25. Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park – Destin, FL
Address: 1007 US-98, Destin, FL 32541
Once you’ve enjoyed Destin’s beautiful beaches, head over to Big Kahuna’s for even more summer fun. Challenge your crew to a race on the epic Kowabunger Racer, a four-lane drag strip dropping nearly five stories before dropping into the splash landing.
With over 40 different attractions, you can bet the entire family will enjoy this aquatic oasis. After you’ve enjoyed the thrilling rides and giant wave pools, head over to the miniature golf course and continue the fun.
There are plenty of waterfront hotels in the area and one of our favorites is the Destin Towers condo hotel which has everything you need for a comfortable stay while being perfectly situated to both the beach and Big Kahuna’s.
26. Boulder Beach Water Park – Athol, ID
Address: 27843 US-95, Athol, ID 83801
Athol is a tiny little town in northern Idaho that’s about an hour away from Spokane, Washington, but don’t let this tiny but mighty town deceive you…it’s home to arguably one of the best waterparks in the USA.
The waterpark is located within Silverwood Theme Park, and this waterpark features two wave pools, a lazy river, a kid’s area, and a separate toddler area with shallow pools for the tiny splashers. Older visitors can enjoy a wide range of attractions varying in intensity, and if you’ve ever wanted to reach speeds of 55 mph on a waterslide, then be sure to climb the 100 stars to Velocity Peak, one of the most intense thrill rides in the state.
Silverwood is the largest theme park in the northwest and just overflowing with family-friendly fun, so why not find a place to stay and spend a few days in the area so you can fully experience it all?
Cedar Mountain Farm is a bed and breakfast less than three miles away and offers a chance to surround yourself with some truly stunning scenery. You’ll feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere!
See Related: Washington’s Triangle of Fire: What to Know When Visiting
27. Ocean Oasis Water Park – Wildwood, NJ
Address: 2501 Boardwalk, Wildwood, NJ 08260
Ocean Oasis is one of two water parks owned by Morey’s Piers, and they’re very close to each other, so if you’re going to one, you should carve out some time to see the other. While both cater to all ages, the kid’s area is larger at Raging Waters, so most families tend to spend more time here.
Ocean Oasis has several attractions that are more intense, and there’s even a swim-up bar for 21+ visitors. Both of the parks have full-service restaurants as well as snack shacks for quicker, grab-and-go items. Plus, Wildwood is known for its white sand beaches and beautiful coastline, and you’ll have a beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean from the tops of the slides.
There are plenty of hotels in Wildwood that are just a stone’s throw away from Ocean Oasis, and many of them offer oceanfront views right from your bed! Our top pick is The Waves Hotel, less than 2,000 feet away from the waterpark!
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in New Jersey
28. Whale’s Tale Water Park – Lincoln, NH
Address: 481 Daniel Webster Hwy, Lincoln, NH 03251
Surrounded by the White Mountains, guests to this 17-acre water park in New Hampshire can claim that they’ve splashed around in the only wave pool in the White Mountains. In addition to the many slides and rides, one of the most unique attractions at Whale’s Tale Water Park is Flowboarding, a surf simulator where visitors will get the opportunity to experience surfing or bodyboarding in a controlled setting.
Even if you don’t have any surfing or snowboarding experience, you’ll pick it up pretty quickly and be riding the waves like a pro in no time. You can even take private lessons if you’d like! Surrounded by majestic mountain views, this is certainly one of the most beautiful water parks in the nation.
This Holiday Inn Express is close to the waterpark and also it’s located within the White Mountain National Forest, perfect for hiking and wildlife watching.
29. Camelbeach Mountain Water Park – Tannersville, PA
Address: 301 Resort Dr, Tannersville, PA 18372
Camelback Resort provides family fun year-round, in the winter it’s a popular ski destination, and then in the summer, neighboring Camelbeach Mountain Water Park takes the stage for endless fun in the Poconos. As the largest outdoor waterpark in Pennsylvania, you can rest assured there are plenty of attractions.
One of the newest attractions for 2023 is the Rival Racer which promises to be one of the most popular water slides of the season. Rival Racer is an eight-track water slide where you can race your friends to the finish line for bragging rights.
Camelbeach also has a Flowrider for bodysurfing, and plenty of mild rides, too. Oh, and if the weather is cooperating, just head over to Aquatopia, the resort’s indoor waterpark with 13 different slides including body slides, tube slides, and kiddie slides, too.
Take advantage of the beautiful suites and condos at Camelback Resort and treat yourself to a weekend getaway in the Poconos.
30. Zehnder’s Splash Village Hotel – Frankenmuth, MI
Address: 1365 S Main St, Frankenmuth, MI 48734
Zehnder’s Splash Village might just be the most unique water park in the USA, for a few different reasons. First of all, it’s one of the few indoor water parks with two distinct waterparks that both include a retractable roof! The waterpark features roughly 50,000 square feet of aquatic fun, but that’s not all…It’s also both a hotel and a waterpark!
Visitors looking for a longer stay can book a room at Zehnder’s Splash Village Hotel, but it’s not required and day passes are always an option. It’s not as massive as a resort, yet you still can soak up all the amenities you’d find at a traditional resort, but on a much smaller scale (and without the resort fee!).
Some of the popular attractions at this Michigan indoor waterpark include a six-story family raft ride, a super loop body slide, and even two aqua courts where you can play water basketball and volleyball. There are also six restaurants on-site, ranging from quick bites to full-service, sit-down restaurants, so you’ve got plenty of options.
Why waste time searching for nearby accommodation when you can stay right here? Zehnder’s Splash Village has great accommodation on-site!
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Grand Rapids, Michigan
31. Big Rivers Water Park – New Caney, TX
Address: 23101 TX-242, New Caney, TX 77357
Texas summers are truly something special, and one of the best things to do in Houston during the summer is to find ways to keep cool, and what better way to stay cool than at a waterpark? If everything is bigger in Texas, then the Texas Big Rivers Waterpark sure does fall in line in this department. This waterpark has the largest lazy river in the Houston area, the Rio GRAND River, and it might just be the best lazy river in the nation.
Once you’ve taken a tour of the river, head over to enjoy some of the more thrilling rides like Storm Surge, Pecos Plunge, or Frio Falls. The latter will have you spiraling down six stories in a series of coils as you wind your way to the bottom!
Don’t miss the chance to experience the tallest waves in Houston in the wave pool, or the kid’s favorite, Gator Splash, the largest interactive play structure in Texas. With over 300 interactive elements including slides and sprayers, you can bet that the kids will have plenty to keep them entertained.
The Margaritaville Lake Resort is always a fun, festive option, but if you’d prefer a quieter scene, check out Drury Inn & Suites in The Woodlands.
32. Six Flags White Water – Marietta, GA
Address: 250 Cobb Pkwy N, Marietta, GA 30062
Nicknamed “the South’s most thrilling water park,” White Water is the ultimate water park for thrill seekers. One of the park’s most popular attractions is the Atlanta Ocean Wave Pool, where you can grab a raft and ride over four-foot crests like a pro.
When you need a break, just swim over to the shallow end where you’ll find smaller ripples, which is also great for younger kids. Caribbean Cove is the newest addition to this Atlanta waterpark for the 2023 season, boasting four water slides and over 25 interactive aquatic elements for the kids to enjoy.
On the other side of the spectrum, adrenaline junkies will love Dive Bomber, the tallest waterslide at Six Flags White Water. Once the trap door opens, you’ll let gravity take the wheel as you plummet more than 10 stories down! What else would you expect from one of the most exciting water parks in the country?
You’ve got plenty of hotels in Marietta to choose from, and we’d recommend the historic Stanley House Inn, which is less than five miles from the park!
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Jekyll Island, Georgia
33. Beach Park Water Park – South Padre Island, TX
Address: 33261 State Park Rd 100, South Padre Island, TX 78597
Down along the southern shores of Gulf Coast Texas, Beach Park is an oceanside water park that’s great for all ages. The park’s signature landmark is the massive Sand Castle Cove, which provides several attractions for young ones. The kids’ play area/wading pool doesn’t have a height requirement, so the entire family can enjoy this one.
For thrill-seekers, there are plenty of high-speed slides and rides, plus the Marina Arena, an activity pool with basketball goals in case you want to start a pick-up game in the pool! Adults will love Bob’s Float-In, a swim-up bar with a wide range of specialty beverages plus island-themed dishes to munch on in between rides.
There are ton of hotels on South Padre Island, but we’d recommend a stay at the Holiday Inn Resort. It’s beachfront, and just a short distance from the waterpark!
34. Kahuna Laguna Indoor Water Park – Conway, NH
Address: 2251 White Mountain Hwy, North Conway, NH 03860
Kahuna Laguna is Northern New England’s first indoor water park, and since the water is always kept at 82 degrees, you’ll feel like you’ve slipped away to a tropical oasis. The waterpark is part of the Red Jacket Mountain View Resort in North Conway, with plenty of lodging and dining options.
This 40,000-square-foot indoor water park in New Hampshire has a variety of aquatic attractions to enjoy, including four tube slides, a wave pool, an also an activity pool with both basketball and volleyball. The kid’s play area is always popular, especially when that 70-gallon water bucket tips over!
You won’t have to look far for lodging, as this resort offers superb on-site accommodations.
35. Dreamworks Water Park – East Rutherford, NJ
Address: 1 American Dream Wy, East Rutherford, NJ 07073
DreamWorks Water Park is an indoor water park located inside the American Dream shopping center at the Meadowlands Sports Complex. Clocking in at 8.5 acres, it’s one of the most impressive indoor waterparks you’ll ever visit.
The water is kept at a balmy 81 degrees and open year-round, so you can enjoy this unique waterpark any time of the year, but summer is the most popular time of year to visit. As the largest indoor water park in America, you’ll want to make sure you arrive early so you can have enough time to ride all of the rides.
Speaking of rides, you’ve got plenty to choose from! Are you brave enough to rocket down 14 stories riding the Thrillagascar and Jungle Jammer, the tallest trapdoor capsules in the world? Or maybe you’d rather catch some waves in the world’s biggest indoor wave pool.
Once you’ve splashed around during the day, come back for DreamWorks Water Park After Dark, where you can experience this park at twilight with glow-in-the-dark features!
There are a lot of hotels near the Meadowlands, but if you’re on vacation, why not do it up? Hop over to the Big Apple and book a room at the historic Hyatt Grand Central in New York.
36. Tropic Falls – Foley, AL
Address: 1501 S OWA Blvd, Foley, AL 36535
Tropic Falls is an indoor water park that is part of the larger OWA Parks and Resort, which also features an outdoor amusement park. Open year-round, this tropical-themed indoor waterpark in the Gulf Shores Area boasts 75-foot-tall slides, a wave pool, a surf simulator, and so much more…all underneath a convertible glass roof.
Race your friends down the Aqua Chaster, chill out on Castaway Creek, the park’s lazy river, or catch some waves in Big Water Bay, a 30,000-square-foot wave pool. More thrilling rides include the Piranha Plunge, a floor drop slide with a 360 loop, and the Tangerine Scream which lives up to its name. You’ll be screaming all the way down this nearly vertical body slide!
For food, everyone’s favorite Auntie Anne is here selling those famous pretzels, but for a heartier meal, there are also multiple snack shacks and grills offering up everything from nachos to burgers.
Planning to stay nearby? Marriott TownePlace Suites is the perfect place to rest your head after a long day of fun in the sun. Tthis particular Marriot was designed specifically for the resort!
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