WATER PARKS OF AMERICA
Top U.S. Water Parks
We've found 15 water parks packed with waterslides, inner tube rides, and raging rapids that satisfy water babies of all ages. Best of all, they are close to major cities, meaning you won't have to go far to make a splash.
Splashtown Waterpark, San Antonio
Near Austin, Tex. (80 miles)
The 20-acre Splashtown features more than 50 rides and attractions, from simple wave pools to true screamers, such as the five-story Hydras tube-slide tower and the aptly named Wedgie, a precipitous speed slide that tugs on your trunks like an 8th-grade bully as it fires you into the pool below.
Details 3600 N. I-35, San Antonio, 210/227-1400, splashtownsa.com. Special events include magic shows and "dive-in" movie screenings. Parking is free.
Parks nearby Other area parks include Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, Texas. If you find yourself in Dallas, Bahama Beach is an option.
Six Flags White Water, Atlanta
Near Athens, Ga. (73 miles)
The nine-story Cliffhanger is one of the world's tallest free falls. It's so high that just peeking over the top might be thrill enough. But the signature ride is the Tornado, an intense four-person inner-tube nosedive of greater than 50 vertical feet—all while 5,000 gallons of water swirls around you.
Details 250 Cobb Pkwy N., Marietta, Ga., 770/948-9290, sixflags.com/whitewater.
Other Six Flags locations Six Flags has many Hurricane Harbor water parks adjacent to existing amusement parks; locations include Gurnee/Chicago, Ill.; Arlington, Tex. Eureka, Mo.; Jackson, N.J.; Valencia/Los Angeles, Calif.; Agawam, Mass.; and Largo, Md.