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Get Wet and Wild for Summer: Eight Favorite Outdoor U.S. Water Parks

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As summer heats up, there’s no better time to cool down with a water park visit! Here are eight outdoor U.S. parks where you and your family can splish-splash your way to fun in the sun. As an added bonus, these water parks were chosen for their proximity to other area attractions. Jump in for a weekend or ride the wave for a week-long vacation!

Noah’s Ark—Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Welcome to the biggest water park in America, with more than 40 wet and wild attractions spanning 70 acres. Jump into your bathing suit for thrill rides, family rides, kiddie rides, and, for the less adventurous, a spectacular lazy river. The Wisconsin Dells, straddling the Wisconsin River, is an outdoor playland for families, with scenic natural wonders and man-made entertainment, plus plenty of affordable stay and play options.

Water Country USA—Williamsburg, Virginia

Get ready for water slides, rides, and the famous Hubba Hubba Highway, a raft ride that takes your family through a series of dark tunnels. Don’t miss Big Daddy Falls, a water slide that plunges you nearly 50 feet to the churning water below! And when it’s time to get out of the water, wash the chlorine from your hair, and put on a tri-corner hat, nearby Colonial Williamsburg is the world’s largest living history museum. It’s a must-visit for adults and children alike.

Dollywood Splash Country—Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Nestled in the majestic Great Smoky Mountains, Pigeon Forge is a destination tailor made for family fun. Dollywood Splash Country is a big reason why. Enjoy 23 different heart-stopping water slides and thrill rides, plus so much more, including two separate children’s play areas. Top off a full day of fun with some down-home pit barbecue.

Discovery Cove—Orlando, Florida

When you’re talking about cities overflowing with things to do, Orlando has to be at the top of the list. When your family has had enough of Space Mountain and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, head on down to Discovery Cove for something completely different. At Discovery Cove, you can learn about a wealth of marine life, feed rays, and even swim with dolphins. Spend the day in this tropical water park for an experience you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

Schlitterbahn—New Braunfels, Texas

Not far from San Antonio, Texas, is the small town of New Braunfels. Two rivers surrounded by beautiful parks flow through the center of town, plus the Natural Bridge Caverns are nearby. But New Braunfels’ major claim to fame is Schlitterbahn, one of the largest and best water parks in the country. The more-than-50 thrilling water slides and attractions are just the ticket to stay cool in the Texas summer heat. Don’t miss the Master Blaster, a dizzying high-speed water coaster.

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor—Jackson, New Jersey

When your family has eaten their fill of Geno’s cheesesteaks and needs a break from the bright lights of New York City, head to Six Flags Hurricane Harbor next to Six Flags Great Adventure amusement park. Enjoy 47 acres of exhilarating water slides and attractions, a 696,000-gallon wave pool, a lazy river, a 60-foot-wide water funnel that swirls with 5,000 gallons of water per minute, and much, much more.

Raging Waters Los Angeles—Dan Dimas, California

Hollywood may be the dream factory, but less than 30 miles away is a dream water park, Raging Waters. 50 acres of delightful family fun, including a dazzling wave pool that generates three-foot waves, a four-seater water coaster, a meandering lazy river, and for the real thrill-seekers, a water slide that plummets riders 300 death-defying feet. Stroll between the palm trees in the sun while you enjoy the best water park in L.A.

Silver Dollar City White Water Park—Branson, Missouri

Branson is world-famous for live theater and outdoor adventure, but the Silver Dollar City White Water Park is just as exciting as seeing Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner and Show. There are speed water slides, including dueling 245-foot slides angled at a daring 70 degrees, a 500,000-gallon wave pool, and an 800-foot-long lazy river. Branson also boasts great restaurants, and accommodations range from high-end hotels to mountain cabins.

If you’re planning the perfect water park vacation, learn about why you should use a travel agent to get the most out of the experience.

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