The 7 Best Waterparks to Visit This Summer
An exciting way to cool down.
When a week at the beach isn’t in the budget or schedule, look towards the other summer activity that cools you down while submerging you in a day of fun. Water parks can be found across the U.S., meaning a dip in the water or a trip down the slide could just be an hour’s drive away. We’re rounding up the best waterparks in the U.S.—from family-friendly to thrilling—for an easy getaway and day-long cooldown.
WHERE: Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
The Dells are famous for their waterparks which, because of indoor-outdoor options, are able to be visited year-round. With that said, there’s really no better time to visit the famous Kalahari waterpark than in summer when you can take full advantage of the outdoor options, where you’ll find several of the more exciting slides. Kalahari is also the area’s largest indoor option (perfect for the heat-sensitive of sunburn prone) with a number of slides, a lazy river, and a surf experience all located under the resort’s roof.
Margalit Francus [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0]/Flickr
Holiday World Splashin’ Safari
WHERE: Santa Claus, Indiana
Splashin’ Safari is part of the larger Holiday World, a holiday theme park in southern Indiana. Spend your mornings riding the park’s famous Voyage coaster—one of the longest wooden rollercoasters in the world—and spend your afternoon exploring the destination’s popular water park. Here you can partake in the classics, like the wave pool or tubed slides, or you can try something new—this park has the world’s longest water coaster.
Courtesy of Holiday World & Splashin' Safari
WHERE: Orlando, Florida
Fodor’s writer Tarah Chieffi recently went to this Universal waterpark to see how this popular attraction has pivoted post-COVID, and the consensus? It’s pretty remarkable. Slides jut out of the volcano and the surrounding blue waters transport you to locations far from Orlando. For something a bit more relaxed, there’s also the option to rent a cabana, which makes social distancing (and a moment away from the adventures) even more achievable.
WHERE: Lake Buena Vista, Florida
Just outside of Orlando is Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon. Unsurprisingly, the city known for theme parks that go above and beyond, you’ll find another incredible waterpark. This massive park has the country’s largest wave pool, a thrilling white water rafting-inspired slide, and a lazy river that transports you from central Florida to a shady grotto with a rainforest design surrounding you.
Ashley [CC BY-ND 2.0]/Flickr