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Colourful plastic slides in aquapark. Sliders with pool. Enjoying summer vacation in water park. Aerial view of aqua park.
alexanderuhrin | Adobe Stock

The 22 Best Water Parks in the US

It’s that time of year again—school is out for the summer, and whether you are traveling with the family or staying put and looking for fun things to do, water parks are the place to be. You can cool off from the heat while creating memories to last a lifetime. 

Here are the best water parks in the United States. 

East Coast:

Water Country USA – Williamsburg, Virginia

watercountryusa.com

Located near Colonial Williamsburg, Water Country USA provides a good mix of water slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, and splash pads, ensuring a fun-filled day for everyone. It offers heart-pounding thrills with rides like the Colossal Curl, a looping water coaster, and the AquaBlast wave pool for catching waves. Younger guests can enjoy the Cowabunga water play area while everyone can relax on the lazy rivers. The park ensures a fun-filled day for everyone with its variety of slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, and splash pads. 

Where to Stay: Williamsburg Inn

The Boardwalk at Hersheypark – Hershey, Pennsylvania 

The Boardwalk at Hersheypark offers a delightful water park experience perfect for families and chocolate lovers alike.  Children of all ages will have a blast splashing around in the gigantic East Coast Waterworks play structure, featuring slides, water cannons, and tipping buckets. Thrill seekers can conquer the waves in The Shore, a massive wave pool, or take a plunge on the Breakers Edge water coaster for a high-speed adventure. Parents can relax on a comfortable lounge chair by the lazy river, the Intercoastal Waterway while keeping an eye on the kids. The entire family can enjoy the refreshing spray grounds and kiddie pools.  And, of course, being located at Hersheypark, you can indulge in sweet treats and classic boardwalk fare throughout the day, making it a truly memorable water park adventure. 

Where to Stay: Courtyard by Marriott Chocolate Avenue

Enchanted Forest Water Safari – Old Forge, New York 

Nestled in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, Enchanted Forest Water Safari offers a unique blend of water park thrills and a whimsical fairytale atmosphere. Families with young children will particularly enjoy the park’s charm. Children can cool off and blast in the interactive water play areas filled with slides, sprays, and tipping buckets. For a more relaxing experience, the whole family can float along the lazy river or soak up the sun in comfortable lounge chairs. Enchanted Forest Water Safari doesn’t boast the high-intensity slides of some larger parks. Still, it makes up for it with a focus on family fun, affordability, and a touch of fairytale magic, creating a memorable water park experience in a scenic mountain setting.

Where to Stay: Great Pines

Southeast

Soaky Mountain – Sevierville TN 

A newcomer on the water park scene, Soaky Mountain Waterpark has made a splash since its 2020 opening. Thrill seekers flock to the one-of-a-kind Avalaunch water coaster, featuring climbs, drops, and a whitewater finale. Catch waves up to six feet tall in the Soaky Surge wave pool, or take a relaxing or adventurous float down the Black Bear Rapids adventure river. But Soaky Mountain isn’t all about adrenaline. The Hive, a massive kiddie structure with slides and water features, keeps young ones entertained, while Boomer’s Bay offers pint-sized versions of adult slides for a safe and exciting experience. Nestled in the Smoky Mountain foothills, the park boasts scenic views and a unique mountain atmosphere, adding another layer of adventure to your water park visit. Located near popular tourist destinations, Soaky Mountain Waterpark is convenient for many travelers seeking a fun-filled water park experience. Remember, this park operates seasonally, typically from late spring to early fall.

Where to Stay: Wilderness at the Smokies

Rapids Water Park – Riviera Beach, Florida

Are you craving a thrilling water park experience in Florida? Look no further than Rapids Water Park in Riviera Beach. Spanning 35 acres, the park boasts over 40 slides and water features catering to all ages and adrenaline levels. Take on high-speed plunges on the Screamin’ Serpiente or Riptide, race down the Pipeline or Big Easy, or experience the twists and turns of the Buccaneer Blast body slide. But Rapids Water Park isn’t just about heart-pounding thrills. Younger adventurers can enjoy the dedicated kid-friendly zone, Pirate’s Cove, featuring playful slides and water jets. The entire family can unwind on the relaxing quarter-mile lazy river, Castaway Creek, or soak up the sun in comfortable lounge chairs. Rapids Water Park offers a more affordable option than other Florida water parks, making it an excellent choice for families and budget-conscious travelers.  Be sure to check as it’s a seasonal park, typically open from late spring to early fall.

Where to Stay: Travel Inn at Riviera Beach

Universal’s Volcano Bay – Orlando, Florida 

Part of Universal Studios, Volcano Bay is centered around a 200-foot volcano (Krakatau), which features cascading waterfalls and tropical landscaping. The park’s overall design is immersive, transporting you to a volcanic island paradise.  It features a mix of water slides, raft rides, wave pools, lazy rivers, and the Krakatau Aqua Coaster, a high-speed water roller coaster that takes riders through the volcano itself.  The park also features unique attractions like the Ko’okiri Body Plunge, a near-vertical drop slide, and the relaxing Kopiko Wai Winding River.

There are dedicated areas for younger guests, like the Tot Tiki Reef, a splash pad with gentle slides and water features, perfect for toddlers who need to be bigger for the main rides. Please note:  Volcano Bay is a separate ticket from the rest of Universal. 

Where to Stay: Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort

Dollywood’s Splash Country – Pigeon Forge, Tennessee 

Everybody! “Splashin’ 9 to 5, what a way to spend a summer..”  of course, Dolly Parton had to get into the thrill of a waterpark, and boy, does she deliver with Dollywood’s Splash Country. Nestled in the Great Smokey Mountains, it caters to all ages with thrilling rides like the TailSpin Racer and relaxing options like the Downbound Float Trip lazy river. Located next to the Dollywood theme park, it’s perfect for a combined theme park and water park adventure. Open seasonally, May through September. 

Where to Stay: Margaritaville Island Hotel

Island H2O Live! – Kissimmee, FL 

Island H2O Live! in Kissimmee, Florida, offers a high-tech twist on the water park experience. This immersive park caters to all ages with thrilling slides like the Profile Plunge and relaxing options like the Live! Lagoon wave pool. However, what truly sets Island H2O apart is its innovative wearable technology. These wristbands allow for virtual queuing, cashless payments, and even control over park features like music selection, making your water park adventure interactive and personalized. Families will appreciate the Pelican’s Paradise for younger guests, and everyone can enjoy the tropical atmosphere. This seasonal park is typically open from late spring to early fall.

Where to Stay: Westgate Vacation Villas Resort

Six Flags White Water – Atlanta, Georgia 

If you’re craving a thrilling water park getaway in Atlanta, Six Flags White Water offers a wave of fun for the whole family. Take on heart-pounding slides like the Blue Hurricane, a high-speed racing coaster, or relax on the lazy river. Younger guests can cool off in the Buccaneer Bay children’s area. With its adrenaline-pumping rides, family-friendly attractions, and convenient location, Six Flags White Water provides a refreshing escape during its seasonal operation, typically from late spring to early fall.

Where to Stay: Hilton Garden Inn

Midwest:

Noah’s Ark Waterpark – Lake Delton, Wisconsin 

America’s largest outdoor waterpark, Noah’s Ark, has over 50 water slides and dozens of attractions spread across 70 acres, making for a genuinely thrilling day for any water park lover. The park boasts some of the most intense water slides in the Midwest, including the Scorpion’s Tail, a free-fall drop slide, and the Riptide Racer, a high-speed racing slide. Young ones will love Tadpole Bay, which has interactive water features and gentle slides. The entire family can take a relaxing float down the Paradise River or cool off in the wave pools. It is typically open from late spring to early fall. 

Hotel Pick: Lakeside Motel

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Chicago – Gurnee, Illinois 

Craving a water park adventure near Chicago? Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Chicago delivers thrills for all ages. Conquer the looping King Cobra water coaster or the twisting Tornado slide, then unwind on the lazy river. Youngsters can have a blast at Tadpole Bay’s kid-friendly attractions. With its connection to Six Flags Great America, season pass holders can enjoy a combined theme park and water park adventure. This seasonal park is typically open from late spring to early fall.

Hotel Pick: La Quinta Inn & Suites

Lost Island Waterpark – Waterloo, Iowa 

Escape to a tropical paradise close to home at Lost Island Waterpark in Waterloo, Iowa. This exciting water park caters to all ages with thrilling adventures like the Wailea Kupua, a hydromagnetic water coaster, and relaxing options like the Kailahi River lazy river. Families with young children will appreciate Starfish Cove, a shallow play area with slides and water features. With affordable prices and a fun-filled atmosphere, Lost Island Waterpark offers a refreshing escape for families in the Midwest.

Hotel Pick: The Weis Mansion

Splashin Safari – Santa Claus IN 

Splashin’ Safari, part of Holiday World, is home to the world’s longest water coaster, so it obviously deserves a spot on this list. The Mammoth is a ⅓ mile water coaster that towers seven stories high from highest to lowest point. The six-passenger boats use  Linear Induction Motor (LIM) technology, which magically propels the boats up, down, and around. Younger kids will love Jungle Jack’s Watering Hole. Free extras like soft drinks, sunscreen, and parking make it a budget-friendly option.

Hotel Pick: Santa Claus Lodge and Resort

South Central

Schlitterbahn Waterpark – New Braunfels, Texas 

Schlitterbahn New Braunfels isn’t just a water park; it’s a water park resort. This award-winning destination offers a splashtastic adventure for the whole family. Imagine four distinct sections, each as big as some regional water parks, brimming with thrilling slides, relaxing rivers, kid-friendly areas, and unique attractions. Catch waves in a massive wave pool, race down high-speed water coasters like the Blastenhoff, or float along a scenic lazy river. Schlitterbahn caters to all ages and preferences, making it a summer destination that is not to be missed. With seven on-site accommodation options, you can turn your water park visit into a relaxing and convenient water park getaway. This Texas-sized water park fun is typically available seasonally from late spring to early fall.

Our Hotel Pick: Mystic Quarry

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor – Phoenix, AZ

Seeking a splash-tastic adventure in Arizona? Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix delivers! This thrilling water park caters to all ages with a wave of excitement. Conquer high-speed slides like the Black Hole, a looping water coaster in complete darkness, or take a relaxing float down the Paradise River. Younger buccaneers will love Captain Kidd’s Cove, a dedicated play area with interactive features and gentle slides. Leveraging Six Flags’ technology, the park offers cashless payments and prioritizes safety. Plus, with its connection to Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park (subject to location), season pass holders can enjoy a combined theme park and water park adventure. 

Our Hotel Pick: WaterWalk Phoenix

Splashaway Water Park – Sheridan, TX

This family-friendly water park offers a refreshing escape for all ages. Take on exciting slides like the Cliffhanger or the Black Hole, then unwind on the lazy river or catch waves in the wave pool. Younger adventurers will have a splashtastic time at the dedicated children’s area. With affordable prices, free parking, and even on-site RV hookups, Splashway Waterpark provides a budget-friendly water park adventure.

Where to Stay: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Columbus

West

Water World – Denver, Colorado

Dive into summer fun at Water World in Denver, Colorado! This epic water park offers a wave of excitement for the whole family. Conquer heart-pounding slides like the Mile High Flyer, a looping water coaster that takes you soaring over the park, or the thrilling Journey to the Center of the Earth. For a more relaxed experience, float down the lazy river or catch waves in the massive wave pool. Younger adventurers will have a blast in Turtle Bay or Wally World, which are dedicated areas with kid-friendly slides and water features. 

Where to Stay: Origin Westminster, a Wyndham Hotel

Knott’s Soak City – Buena Park, California

Knott’s Soak City provides a refreshing escape for families seeking a splash-tastic California adventure. This Southern California water park offers something for everyone. Thrill seekers can conquer high-speed slides like Shore Break, featuring multiple water slide experiences, or take on the whitewater rafting adventure of The Wedge. Younger guests will have a blast at Gremmie Lagoon, a dedicated water play area with interactive features and gentle slides. The entire family can relax and float down the Sunset River, one of the world’s longest water park lazy rivers. With its proximity to Knott’s Berry Farm theme park, families can combine their water park visit with a day of theme park thrills (admission separate).

Where to Stay: Good Nite Inn

Raging Waters Los Angeles – San Dimas, California

Raging Waters Los Angeles offers a wave of excitement for all ages. Conquer high thrills like the Aqua Rocket, the state’s only hydromagnetic water coaster, or plummet down the daring High Extreme. Younger ones will have a blast at Kid’s Kingdom, packed with interactive features and gentle slides. The whole family can relax on the Amazon Adventure lazy river. With a variety of rides, affordable options, and a convenient location near LA, Raging Waters offers a refreshing escape. 

Where to Stay: Urban Glamping Oasis

Cowabunga Bay – Henderson, Nevada 

Cowabunga Bay Water Park offers excitement for the whole family. Conquer heart-pounding slides like the Wild Surf, a high-speed water coaster, or unwind on the relaxing Broadwalk River. Younger buccaneers will have a blast at Pirate’s Cove, a dedicated children’s area with interactive features and gentle slides. Cowabunga Bay Water Park provides a refreshing escape for Nevada families with its variety of attractions, affordable prices, and convenient location near Las Vegas. 

Where to Stay: Green Valley Ranch Resort and Spa

Multiple Locations

Great Wolf Lodge Water Park – Indoor

These indoor water parks paradise offers year-round fun with thrilling slides, lazy rivers, and kid-friendly areas. The excitement goes beyond the water with mini-golf, arcades, and themed bunk bed suites for a truly immersive experience. With everything conveniently located under one roof, parents can relax while the whole family enjoys a hassle-free and unforgettable water park adventure. There are over 20 throughout the US. 

Kalahari Resorts and Conventions – Indoor

Escape to year-round water park fun at Kalahari Resorts! These sprawling resorts combine thrilling adventures like VR water coasters and looping slides with relaxing lazy rivers and kid-friendly splash zones. The African-themed atmosphere adds to the excitement, while on-site dining and comfortable accommodations make it a convenient and unforgettable water park getaway for families. There are five locations throughout the US.

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