24 Legendary Water Parks Across The U.S. That Will Make Your Summer Unforgettable
If you’re looking to make a splash this summer, you’re in luck: today we’re sharing some of the absolute
best waterparks in the USA. Today we’re taking a water park tour de force across America, in fact, visiting the country’s most spectacular and superlative places for aquatic adventures. Make no mistake about it — there’s nothing ordinary about any of these epic water parks. Water slides? How about a 125-foot-tall slide that will have your adrenaline in overdrive? Lazy rivers? There’s one that meanders through an actual aquarium. Indoor water parks? There’s an 8.5-acre park on this list that will blow you away. Each of these attractions reimagines what a water park can be, offering visitors an unrivaled experience that’s truly bucket list-worthy.
Northeast United StatesDreamWorks Water Park at American Dream - East Rutherford, New Jersey
1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford, NJ 07073, USA
Voted the top water park in the U.S. by
, DreamWorks Water Park is part of the massive
shopping and entertainment complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Billed as the "largest indoor water park in North America," standout attractions at DreamWorks include a hydro-magnetic roller coaster, 1.6-million gallon wave pool, eight-lane racing slide, epic wave simulator, and the longest indoor lazy river in the world. You could easily spend days at this extraordinary destination -- and to really make the most of your experience, you should!
Whale's Tale Water Park - Lincoln, New Hampshire
481 Daniel Webster Hwy, Lincoln, NH 03251, USA
Located in the heart of the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Whale's Tale is a
classic water park
that's been thrilling guests for nearly four decades. This beloved Northeast destination has managed to evolve with the times, yet maintain its distinct, old-school charm. The water park's fan-favorite slides and rides include the Banzai Pipeline, Downpour, Harpoon Express, and Beluga Boggin, as well as a lazy river that's over a quarter-mile long. What you're getting at Whale's Tale is a wholesome, uncomplicated, family-friendly experience, which is something you simply can't find everywhere nowadays.
Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark - Big Pocono State Park in Tannersville, Pennsylvania
309 Resort Dr, Tannersville, PA 18372, USA
Pennsylvania's Ponoco Mountains are the state's most glorious gems, and visitors can revel in their splendor while enjoying incredible adventures at Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark. While on the park's
1,000-foot Blue Nile Adventure River
, guests will enjoy jaw-dropping mountain views, even drifting past a few waterfalls! Thrill-seekers, meanwhile, will enjoy surfing on the FlowRider, a wave machine that simulates big waves and tides. Surfing in the Pennsylvania Ponocos? That's truly bucket list-worthy!
Hersheypark - Hershey, Pennsylvania
Hersheypark Drive, Hersheypark Dr, Hershey, PA, USA
This Pennsylvania theme park is as historic as it is iconic. In operation for 115 years, Hersheypark continues to sweeten its offerings each season. The park's Boardwalk is a summer must; this 11-acre water park is brimming with such thrilling water rides as the Intercoastal Waterway lazy river, the Shoreline Sprayground, and The Shore wave pool. There's also a massive, 70-ride amusement park, an 11-acre zoo, idyllic butterfly garden, Hershey's museum,
loads of chocolate-themed restaurants and eateries, making Hersheypark one of the sweetest
in the country.
Water Country USA - Williamsburg, Virginia
Water Country Parkway, Water Country Pkwy, Virginia 23185, USA
The largest water park in the Mid-Atlantic,
Water Country USA
is a world unto itself. Vibrant and colorful, the park features kid-friendly oases like the Critter Corral and a space-themed interactive water playground. Water Country USA has plenty of options for big kids (adults included) too, including 11 rides and the epic 75-foot Vanish Point experience. This legendary slide features a 300-foot vertical plunge that will surely make your stomach drop, and if conquered, earn you major respect from fellow park-goers.
Midwest United StatesMoose Mountain Falls, Grand Geneva Resort & Spa - Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
7036 Grand Geneva Way, Lake Geneva, WI 53147, USA
Grand Geneva Resort & Spa is a destination resort that's pure bliss for the whole family. Located on the scenic shores of Wisconsin's Lake Geneva, the resort has long been hailed as the
ultimate Midwest getaway
. Moose Mountain Falls, Timber Ridge Lodge's 50,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor water park, is another feather in its cap. The water park features 35-foot-high, 300-foot-long slides and a 500-foot-long lazy river. The best part? This indoor water park is a balmy 86 degrees all year long, no matter what's happening with the Wisconsin weather outside.
Noah's Ark - Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
1410 Wisconsin Dells Pkwy, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965, USA
, lauded as "America’s Largest Waterpark," was established in 1979 and is located on 70 sprawling acres in the Wisconsin Dells, which is home to more water parks per capita than anywhere on the planet! True to its name, this water park is of epic, Biblical proportions. The brand-new RAJA is the World's Largest King Cobra ride; it's a serpentine force to be reckoned with. Riders race side-by-side on tubes elevated six stories high, zipping along more than 335 feet of twists and turns at speeds of up to 32 MPH. The ride culminates in a dramatic 37-foot plunge straight into the mouth of a massive king cobra. This record-breaking attraction opens in August 2021, and is truly a ride for any adrenaline junkie's bucket list!
Cedar Point Shores Water Park - Sandusky, Ohio
1 Cedar Point Dr, Sandusky, OH 44870, USA
What makes Cedar Point Shores so special is that it is part of an entire
. Ohio's Cedar Point is one of the top-ranked amusement parks in the country, with 72 rides that include 18 world-class roller coasters. (Roller coaster enthusiasts travel from all over the U.S. to ride the Steel Vengeance.)
Cedar Point Shores Water Park
, the new iteration of the former Soak City, boasts an equally stellar lineup, with 12 slides, five different pools, and four separate kids' areas. Of course, Cedar Point is wrapped up in a big, beautiful, Lake Erie bow, complete with soft sand beaches, resort accommodations, and a very thrilling, very real wave pool.
Holiday World & Splashin' Safari - Santa Claus, Indiana
452 E Christmas Blvd, Santa Claus, IN 47579, USA
Only in Santa Claus, Indiana, can you race The Big Man in Red on water slides. This
in Indiana has been a favorite summertime destination since 1946, offering guests a wholly unique theme park experience. Adventurous groups can catch actual air time on the Mammoth, a massive, seven-story water coaster. Cheetah Chase, the world's first launched water coaster, takes thrill-seekers on a thrilling, rocket-blasted race. Of course, the rest of the park's 40 acres is equally spectacular, with huge wave pools, a meandering lazy river, and myriad slides. Add it all up, and you have a destination that's just as magical and marvelous as the North Pole.
Southern United StatesAquatica Orlando - Florida
5800 Water Play Way, Orlando, FL 32821, USA
When you think of a Florida water park,
is most likely what comes to mind. Named "Orlando's Best Water Park" by the
, Aquatica Orlando offers exciting water rides, family-friendly activities, and an all-inclusive experience. In addition to spectacular rides and slides, Aquatic Orlando's wave pools are world-renowned. The park's Cutback Cove has two separate side-by-side wave pools (Cutback Cove features steady, gentle waves; Big Surf Shores has choppy, more unpredictable tides) for a choose-your-own-adventure experience that's truly unrivaled.
Universal's Volcano Bay - Orlando, Florida
6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819, USA
The expectations for a Florida water park are high; for a Universal water park, even higher. Happily, Universal's Volcano Bay blows any and all expectations out of the water.
is superlative in every way, boasting four different themed areas, each inspired by various Polynesian islands and cultures. The park's centerpiece (and namesake) is Krakatau, a massive, 200-foot-tall monolith. The volcano houses three slides, including the Ko'okiri Body Plunge, which, at 125 feet tall, is the tallest body slide in the country.
Cool Zoo - New Orleans, Louisiana
6500 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA
Cool Zoo earns major accolades for its location alone, which is quite literally inside the beautiful Audubon Zoo in New Orleans. This
invites guests for an immersive aquatic experience. First, you'll explore exotic animals and indigenous swamp life at the zoo; next, cool off at the water park, which boasts flowing geysers, cool swimming pools, and Gator Run, a 750-foot-long lazy river that's connected to two beaches. The centerpiece of the park is a colossal white alligator, which dumps hundreds of gallons of water onto eager children every few minutes. This is definitely one of the most unique water parks in America!
SoundWaves, Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center - Nashville, Tennessee
2800 Opryland Dr, Nashville, TN 37214, USA
Located at one of Tennessee's most iconic destinations,
is unlike any other water park in the country. With both indoor and outdoor water parks, SoundWaves is a year-round destination for those looking an amazing aquatic adventure. The park's indoor attractions include the Crowd Surfer, a wave simulator that lets two people surf simultaneously; a sprawling lazy river that meanders through the beautiful hotel; a two-story play structure that's perfect for younger kids; five thrilling water slides; and an entire pool devoted to families. SoundWaves really is an all-inclusive, resort-level experience that makes for an incredible family vacation.
Dollywood - Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Dollywood Lane, Dollywood Ln, Pigeon Forge, TN, USA
Dolly Parton is a national treasure, and her eponymous Dollywood is legendary. America's "friendliest park," Dollywood is the top destination for family vacations in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The country legend's Dollywood's Splash Country water park, located 10 miles north of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, pays tribute to local heritage and culture. Themed rides include an 8,000-square-foot lagoon with interactive features, the wooden Bear Mountain Fire Tower play structure, and
that end at a massive swimming pool. If you're after an adrenaline rush, ride RiverRush, Tennessee's only water coaster. Whatever you do, a day at Dollywood promises to be a memorable experience.
Silver Dollar City's White Water - Branson, Missouri
Voted one of America's best outdoor water parks by
USA Today 10Best
Silver Dollar City's White Water
is two million gallons of fun and 13 acres of rides, slides, and waves. Everything about this water park in Branson, Missouri, is larger-than-life: the 500,000-gallon Surf's Up Wave Pool; the 800-foot, 300,000-gallon Aloha River; the 245-foot KaPau Plummet; and the 300-foot-tall Kalani Towers, the last of which exceed speeds of 40 MPH!
Aquatica - San Antonio, Texas
10500 Sea World Dr, San Antonio, TX 78251, USA
Aquatica San Antonio takes the concept of "water park" to a whole other level, marrying classic rides with an immersive, aquarium experience.
is the best example of this fantastic fusion; the park’s signature attraction takes four-seat rafts down a lazy river journey into an underwater grotto, allowing for "face-to-fin" encounters with stingrays and other tropical fish along the way. It’s the only ride of its kind in the entire world, and truly an experience for your water park bucket list.
Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Resort - New Braunfels, Texas
Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston, 2109 Gene Lucas Blvd, Galveston, TX 77554, USA
Over three miles of water tubing and seven kids' areas complete this popular water park between Austin and San Antonio.
sets itself apart with three
water slides (a concept invented by engineers at Schlitterbahn), as well as The Falls, a 3,600-foot-long lazy river that's one of the world's longest water park rides. In terms of rides and slides, the aptly named "Massiv" is an 81-foot-tall, mind-bending monolith that's one of the tallest water coasters in the world, and certainly lives up to the "everything's bigger in Texas" mantra.
Southwest United StatesWater World - Federal Heights, Colorado
8801 N Pecos St, Federal Heights, CO 80260, USA
One of the country's largest family water parks, Water World boasts over 50 slides and attractions on 70 sprawling Colorado acres. Since opening in 1979, Water World has received accolades from a number of prestigious publications, with the park's
topping the list of superb attractions. This 1,000-foot lazy river features a never-ending current, so guests can literally float ad infinitum. The water park is also known for the Mile High Flyer, a 950-foot-long hydromagnetic water coaster that uses linear induction motors to propel riders uphill at speeds of up to 20 MPH.
Cowabunga Bay - Draper, Utah
12047 State St, Draper, UT 84020, USA
In a state that's known for its rough and rugged outdoor recreation, it's no surprise to find an absolutely thrilling water park in Utah, too. Cowabunga Bay bills itself as the
World's Largest Water Playground
; and, with 2,500 square feet of water, a 12-level play structure, and 11 different waterslides, it most definitely is. The water park's namesake, the 600-foot-long Cowabunga River, makes for an incredible and relaxing float that you won't want to end.
Knott's Soak City Water Park - Buena Park, California
8200 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620, USA
Knott's Soak City Water Park is a classic water park that's been leveled up. Orange County’s largest outdoor water park, this SoCal destination boasts 23 waterslides, a 750,000-gallon wave pool, and one of the world’s longest water park lazy rivers, the Sunset River. The three-story Beach House is irresistible for younger kids and features 200 water cannons, nozzles, and sprayers. You'll want to spend days at this
SoCal water park
LEGOLAND Water Park - Carlsbad, California
LEGOLAND California, One Legoland Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008, USA
Everything is awesome
at LEGOLAND Water Park in Carlsbad, California. Brick enthusiasts young and old will love this
San Diego park
's LEGO-themed rides, slides, and attractions. Budding builders can even customize their own lazy river rafts using soft, oversized bricks. (For tots, the DUPLO water play area is downright irresistible!) When you combine LEGO with a thrilling water park, the result is a magical experience that deserves a spot on every kid's bucket list.
Northwest United StatesSlidewaters - Lake Chelan, Washington
102 Waterslide Dr, Chelan, WA 98816, USA
One of the best water parks in the country is in Washington,
Lake Chelan’s Slidewaters
has been an Evergreen State favorite for 40 years - and this gem needs to be shared with the world! The water park boasts a variety of thrilling attractions: winding lazy rivers, exciting water slides, and even the world’s largest standing wave, Lakeside Surf. But it's the park's location that really makes Slidewaters so exceptional. Lake Chelan is the largest natural lake in Washington and has been repeatedly named as one of the top travel destinations in the country. This pristine lake is peak PNW; the water park is simply the icing on the cake.
Deschutes River - Bend, Oregon
Northwest Riverfront Street, NW Riverfront St, Bend, OR 97703, USA
The PNW is a bit underrepresented on this list, and that's because it's home to more water parks of the
variety. This is most certainly true in Oregon, where the Deschutes River makes for the most incredible aquatic playground. Bend's Riverfront Park is the best place to launch your
down the Deschutes, and these lazy river floats are absolutely bucket list-worthy. If you're looking for a more heart-pumping adventure, you can also go whitewater rafting down other portions of this resplendent Oregon river!
Silverwood Theme Park/Boulder Beach Water Park - Athol, Idaho
27843 US-95, Athol, ID 83801, USA
When it first opened in 1988, Silverwood Theme Park was merely a small local amusement park. Today, it's regarded as one of the most
magnificent theme parks in the West
, and it's also the largest in the Pacific Northwest. The amusement park features over 70 rides and attractions, and the dazzling Boulder Beach Water Park. With
500,000-gallon wave pools, an epic children's area, and water slides that exceed speeds of 55 MPH, there's something for everyone at Boulder Beach. Combined with the amusement park, this destination is a double threat that really puts Idaho on the map.
We’ve heard of waterfall chasers, but these superlative destinations are sure to turn you into a waterpark chaser, too. Now the only question is: which of these best waterparks in the USA will you tackle first?
For more bucket-list-worthy summer adventures across America, you’ll definitely want to visit these
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More to Explore
Best waterparks in the USA
What are some of the largest waterparks in the US?
The above list of best waterparks in the USA certainly has all the superlatives -- largest waterparks in the US included! Here are a few favorites that claim that title as their own:
In terms of indoor adventures (always good during a rainy or wintery day),
DreamWorks Water Park is part of the massive American Dream shopping and entertainment complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey and it's billed as the "largest indoor water park in North America." In the Wisconsin Dells (always an amazing adventure, if we do say so),
Noah’s Ark has been lauded as "America’s Largest Waterpark," was established in 1979 and is located on 70 sprawling acres in the Wisconsin Dells, which is home to more water parks per capita than anywhere on the planet!
Near Virginia? When you're looking for a place to cool off during the summer, it doesn't get much better than the thrills offered at Water Country USA. As the largest water park in Virginia, this facility is impressive on every level.
Because everything is bigger in Texas, it's no surprise that Schlitterbahn Waterpark is home to a 3,600-foot-long lazy river that's one of the world's longest water park rides. Combined with three uphill water slides, this place has a reputation as big as the Lone Star State itself!
In the Southwest, Colorado's W ater World has been hailed as one of the largest in the US; it boasts over 50 slides and attractions on 70 sprawling acres.
What are some other cool waterparks in the US?
Looking for an adventure at one of the most cool waterparks in the US? Head to the Pacific Northwest! Located in McMinnville, Oregon, Wings & Waves Waterpark is a 71,350-square-foot aquatic adventure. The park boasts 10 waterslides totaling more than 2,000 feet, with four slides coming from the retired Evergreen International Airlines Boeing 747 aircraft that's on the roof! Wings & Waves Waterpark has rides and experiences that are fun for the whole family. Younger kids will love all the water spray features and fountains. In addition, the 91,000-gallon wave pool is a popular place for families to hang out. And over in wonderful Washington, Lake Chelan’s Slidewaters is a perennial PNW favorite, boasting, among other things,
the world's longest-standing wave.