1. Dollywood Splash Country, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Adjacent to the theme park is the water park, which is based on Dolly Parton’s childhood swimming in the rivers of the Great Smoky Mountains, so many of the rides mimic real-life water experiences. Among the draws are Big Bear Plunge, a white water rafting slide that simulates a real river expedition and Fire Towel Falls, steep twin slides where brave guests free-fall down 70 feet. The latest addition, RiverRush, is the first and only water coaster in all of Tennessee. Set four feet it the air, it whips riders through the tree lines taking hairpin turns through dark tunnels and dark tunnels. One day pass is $47 (adults) and $42 (children).
2. Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort: Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
This resort comprises two outdoor and three indoor water parks only open to guests staying in one of Wilderness Resort’s 1,163 accommodations. A shuttle and water taxi transport vacationers to and from Klondike Kavern’s legendary Hurricane funnel and slideboarding rides, Wild West’s family rafts, and bumper boats and Wild WaterDome’s expansive indoor wave pool, which is the largest in America.
3. Big Rivers Waterpark – New Caney, Texas
Best For: Ages 3 and Up. Big Rivers Waterpark will open at Grand Texas, a new 62-acre amusement park and entertainment complex outside of Houston. The new waterpark will feature waterslides, a lazy river and wave pool; more attractions are expected to be announced soon.
4. Sandcastle Waterpark: Pittsburgh
This wooded Pittsburgh oasis is a nostalgic treat. Though the main attractions at this former railroad yard are its 15 waterslides, the property also features a wave pool, a lazy river, a pool with a mushroom-shaped waterfall, and shallow play areas for young ones. Plus, family-friendly games, activities and more are available every Friday from mid-June to mid-August. Come for lounging, heart-pumping fun and bingeing on loaded Potato Patch fries – a local specialty. (COURTESY OF SANDCASTLE WATERPARK)
5. Disney & Blizzard Beach WaterParks – Orlando, Florida
Providing two attractions in the price of one, this waterpark offers one of the most unforgettable experiences in your life. Last but not least, head to the park’s most popular attraction, the Blizzard Beach, where you climb atop Mt. Gushmore, and plunge down the 350-feet slide for an extraordinary experience.
6. White Water Park – Branson, Missouri
While smaller than some of the other parks on this list, White Water Park makes up for its size with its well-organized, family-centered park. KaPau Plummet, one of White Water’s newest attractions, is a dueling drop-floor slide that plunges riders down at 70 degrees into an unyielding turn. For attractions that all ages can enjoy, check out the Splashaway Cay with geysers and aqua shooters all housed in a fort with elevated walkways and slides. But perhaps the best park of this park is its hours; Thursday-Saturday during July and August, attractions are open until 10 p.m.