Now that the high temperatures of summer are kicking in, the thought of splashing around in the water sounds refreshing. After reading about 7 great water parks in July’s C&T, these lesser known gems will satisfy your craving for more splashy fun.
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A trip to the beach might be appealing, but those looking for some thrills while they’re cooling off might be better served by a visit to a water park. We’ve put together a list of eight water parks on the East Coast, some of which can make for a great day trip, while others are a bit more of a hike.
Pump House Indoor Waterpark (Jay, Vermont)
This indoor resort water park is located in the mountains of Vermont and features a lazy river, 65-foot chute, kids’ play area, hot tubs and flowriding, which combines snowboarding, skateboarding and surfing. Out-of-water activities include an arcade, a surf shop and poolside bar. Pump House also has a snack bar that serves pizza, burgers and chicken fingers.
Enchanted Forest Water Safari (Old Forge, New York)
Offering a whopping 32 water rides, from relaxing tube rides to high speed slides, Enchanted Forest first opened in 1956 as an amusement park, became a water park in 1988 and has since expanded to 60 acres. Some of its most popular attractions include the 1,100-foot Amazon family tube ride, the in-the-dark Black River slide and the fast and tall Killermanjaro. The park also features non-water rides, such as a ferris wheel, bumper cars, the Scrambler and a tilt-o-whirl.
Dollywood’s Splash Country (Pigeon Forge, Tennessee)
With the central theme of this park centering around country icon Dolly Parton’s childhood memories of swimming in the rivers of the Great Smoky Mountains, Dollywood has 27 water slides and two children’s areas. Rides include a white water rafting adventure, the steep Fire Tower Falls and a 25,000-square-foot wave pool.
Carowinds Boomerang Bay (Charlotte, North Carolina)
Operated as part of the Carowinds, a 65-ride amusement park, Boomerang Bay offers 13 water slides, five pools and two children’s areas. If visitors want to relax, they can leisurely float down the 1,000-foot-long Crocodile River or get in the Great Barrier Reef wave pool. For thrill seekers, there are the Awesome Aussie Twisters, which are giant tubes through which riders travel in total darkness, as well as the Down Under Thunder, Platypus Plunge and several other water slides.
Water Country USA (Williamsburg, Virginia)
Just around the corner from Williamsburg’s Busch Gardens, this water park features 11 big slides and rides – including the Colossal Curl and Jet Scream – as well as four attractions for children, a wave pool and Hubba Hubba Highway. Water Country also has eight restaurants, which serve everything from pizza and wraps to homemade caramel apples, and shops.
Legoland Florida (Winterhaven, Florida)
The water park at Legoland consists of six rides, including the 375-feet-down Twin Chasers, a wave pool and a ride in which families can build their own raft and travel down a river together. Legoland’s water park also features a grill and surf shop, while the rest of the amusement park includes a total 50 rides as well as shows and a botanical garden.
Six Flags White Water (Atlanta, Georgia)
This 69-acre park, which is located northwest of Atlanta, debuted in 1984 and was eventually incorporated into the Six Flags amusement park chain. It is frequently ranked highly among the nation’s top water parks and features 20 rides, including family rides (Bahama Bob Slide and the Bermuda Triangle) and thrill rides (Dive Bomber and the Gulf Coast Screamer). On specific days during the summer, the park offers “dive-in movies,” during which visitors can watch films on a big screen while wading in the water.
Wet ‘N Wild (Orlando, Florida)
Founded in 1977 by Sea World creator George Millay, this Florida-based spot is considered America’s first water park. Wet ‘N Wild offers 17 water slides, including the Aqua Drag Racer, the Mach 5 mat slides, Lazy River and The Bomb Bay, a free fall water slide. Those considering a trip to the Florida park won’t want to delay as it is set to close permanently on Dec. 31, 2016.
We’d love to hear about your experiences at these water parks. Tell us which water park you recently attended and let us know if there are any great ones we missed in the comment section.