By Nathan Erb
There’s no better place for family bonding or white knuckle thrill rides than a water park. America is home to some of the best and biggest water parks in the world.
Skip the back yard sprinkler and head to one of these H2O filled destinations.
10. Water World
Location: Denver, Colorado
Offering year round activities, Denver boasts a place for summer thrills when you’re not hitting the slopes. The 67-acre Water World is best known for Voyage to the Center of the Earth, where riders encounter huge animatronic dinosaurs as they inner-tube into the darkness.
Not feeling that adventurous? The Big Top Family Fun Zone offers a place to take it easy with the pint-sized patrons.
9. Zoombezi Bay
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Zoombezi Bay is owned and operated by the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. The 22-acre park features 17 state of the art water slides
You can also spend time with the resident wildlife next door at the zoo or visit Jungle Jack’s Landing amusement park.
Location: Long Island, New York
This water park is the perfect weekend escape from bustling New York City. Opened in 1991, this 96-acre park features 30 rides, including a lazy river spanning 1,300 feet.
Location: Bloomington, Minnesota
Located just a half mile from Mall of America, it’s the perfect retreat from a day of shopping. The indoor water park is 70,000 square feet, and features a 10-story-tall raft waterslide that’s so long, it even travels outside the building.
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Six Flags operates theme parks across the country, and many also have adjacent water parks. Get the combo pass and enjoy both Six Flags Over Georgia and White Water.
At White Water, you can experience The Cliffhanger—one of the tallest free-falls in the world. You’ll plummet 9 stories into the water below.
Location: Sandusky, Ohio
The African-themed Kalahari is a water park resort chain with three locations, with the largest located in Sandusky, Ohio. At 173,000 square feet, it’s the largest indoor water park in the United States.
The Swahili Swirl will give you the feeling of being flushed down a toilet as an inner tube sends you around a 60-foot-diameter bowl before sucking you down a drain. Don’t worry, it’s clean.
Location: Orlando, Florida
Become one with the dolphins year round at Aquatica, located next to SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida. The most popular ride is the Dolphin Plunge, where you’ll literally race through an underwater world filled with playful Commerson’s dolphins in 250 feet of clear tubes.
Then, relax at the 80,000-square-foot man-made white-sand beaches or check out the animal habitats.
3. Noah’s Ark
Location: Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Wisconsin Dells is known for its legendary water parks, and Noah’s Ark is the biggest. You’ll find 51 water rides sprawling across 70 acres. There’s even a 4-D movie theater.
With so much to do, it’s easy to see why The Travel Channel has named Noah’s Ark one of America’s Best Waterparks for over 10 years.
Location: Orlando, FL
The story goes that a freak snow storm blanketed Florida, and up sprang Blizzard Beach, one of two water parks in Walt Disney World Resort.
As with any Disney park, the attention to detail is incredible, and there are attractions for any age. Thrill-seeking adults can take the ski lift to the top of Summit Plummet — one of the world's tallest and fastest free-fall body slides.
Location: New Braunfels, Texas
Originally opened in 1979 with four water slides, Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort has grown to one of the biggest and best in the world. It was built along the spring-fed Comal River, and most of the water used in Schlitterbahn West actually comes from the river. The water is filtered, cleaned and released back into the river without chemicals.
In 1994, Schlitterbahn opened the first uphill water ride, known as the Dragon Blaster. Another uphill water coaster, Master Blaster, has been voted as the best water ride in the world by several travel publications.