Water Parks in the US – Our Top 7

As the temperatures rise there’s nowhere better to cool off than a water park, and the Americans know everything there is to know about the water park experience. We’ve listed the best from all over the country - so no matter where you’re holidaying you should be within driving distance of one of these parks.

Water Parks in the US

Please remember that many of these water parks will be busy during the summer months which may mean you spend some time queuing for the popular rides. With this in mind it would be wise to bring plenty of sunscreen. So in no particular order…

In Texas you will find the Schlitterbahn Water Park. The oldest and most popular is the Schlitterbahn Water Park found in New Braunfels.

The park was built in 1979 and it’s reputed to be the best water park in the world. Schlitterbahn is a German word meaning ‘slippery road’ and the park has the motto as ‘The hottest, coolest time in Texas!’

In this park the parking is free, the tubes are free, the life jackets are free and you can even bring your own picnic. The park has 17 water slides, 7 children’s water pools and 5 kms of Tube Rivers.

The park is split into two; there’s the main park called Schlitterbahn West and another a few blocks away called Schlitterbahn East. The parking is free at both and there is a free shuttle bus between them.

If you’re in the Wisconsin area you might find time to visit Noah’s Ark Water Park in the city of Wisconsin Dells about 200kms from Milwaukee. The town is called the Water Park capital of the world, with its 18 indoor water parks - Noah’s Ark itself is actually the largest water park in the US.

The park consists of almost 50 waterslides, 2 wave pools, 2 lazy rivers, an 18-hole mini golf course and much more. It’s also home to the world’s longest water coaster called Black Anaconda as well as the world’s largest bowl ride called ‘Time Warp’.

It’s a family friendly park, however there are height restrictions for many of the slides - kids (under the height restriction) can ride with an adult on some of the rides though. Even though this is the biggest park in the US and it still gets very crowded during the peak season. If you are planning a visit, go early to get the best parking spaces and deck chairs.

Blizzard Beach is Disney Worlds latest water park creation after Typhoon Lagoon and River Country. This is themed after a freak snow storm having hit Florida and it’s built around an artificial mountain called Mount Gushmore (at 27.5 metres it is the 5th highest point in Florida).

At the top of Mount Gushmore you can hop onto Summit Plummet, which is the fastest body slide in the US. On the Purple Slope side of things you can take to a number of slides designed for racing. Just grab a mat and try to beat your friends and family to the bottom.

On the west coast, in the state of California, you will get the chance to visit the Raging Waters water parks. There are actually three of these parks one in San Jose, San Dimas and Sacramento. These parks have different attractions but the park in San Dimas is perhaps the most popular.

Some of the rides include the Flow Rider, a surf machine which throws out over 2000 litres of water a second!; Drop Out, which drops you at over 70 km/h down a 7 story vertical slide; Lily Pads, an obstacle course where the object is to not fall into the water; and there are plenty others.

You’ll find San Dimas in the Greater Los Angeles area about 50 kms from LA city centre.

In between the cities of Richmond and Hampton in the state of Virginia is the Water Country USA water park. A great feature of this park is that you can get a multi-pass which will get you into the nearby Busch Gardens Williamsburg which is a zoo/theme park which is themed on olden Europe.

Some of the rides you can avail of here include the Aquazoid which largely takes place in the dark; the Jet Scream, which consists of 4 single rider tube slides; and Cow-a-bunga which is specifically design for the kiddies. There’s also the Island Quest show which is a 20 minute extravaganza of high dives and acrobatics.

If you are visiting New York and would like a little water-based fun then you should head for Splish Splash. You’ll find the park in the town of Riverhead on Long Island only about 120 kms from New York. The park is open from late May to September.

While at the park you might come across such rides as the Hollywood Stunt Rider, this is a family raft ride; the Dragons Den, a tube ride through the dark; and there is also a Bird Show which is always good for a laugh.

And finally in the Rocky Mountain Region in the state of Colorado you’ll find the aptly named Water World. This park, at 259,000 m², is one of the largest in the States and it is home to over 44 attractions. You will find this park in the town of Federal Heights close to the city of Denver.

The main attraction of the park would be Flatline, which features a 70° drop down from a height of 25 metres; there are 2 waves pools in the park a special wave pool for the kiddies and another which features humongous waves reaching 3 metres in height!

Most of these parks are located outside of major urban centres so you may need a car to get you there. A car is also handy for carrying a cooler with a picnic and all the supplies you need for a fun day in the water. If you are planning on hiring a rental car make sure you do so well in advance. Check out all our options on our car hire USA page.

So if you have any questions about these water parks why not leave your message in the comment box below.