Beat the Heat at America’s Best Waterparks

This week is going to be a scorcher for much of the United States. With 90+º temperatures forecasted for most major cities across the country by the end of the week, we all will be looking for some relief from the heat. While everyone has their own preferred method of cooling down, whether that means hightailing it to the nearest body of water, blasting the A/C, or heading to the nearest ice cream shop, we don’t think anyone can resist the siren call of an amazing waterpark. When the heat and humidity is so oppressive that just the thought of even putting on real clothes is unbearable, there’s nothing better than pulling on your swimsuit and jumping, sliding, and tubing into a great big pool with your friends and family. So here are our top five waterpark picks in the U.S.:

1.Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park (Wisconsin Dells, WI)

For a city that has almost 40 inches of snow fall annually, our neighbors to the southeast really know what they’re doing when it comes to creating a warm weather haven. Wisconsin Dells features not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR popular waterparks, each with a different theme. We think this park, whose moniker comes from Greek mythology, might just be the best of them all. With aptly-named attractions like The Great Pool of Delphi (new this year), Hades 360, and Poseidon’s Rage that will be sure to keep you cool all day, you’ll be singing Zeus’s praises by the time you leave.

2. Schlitterbahn Waterpark (Kansas City, KS)

Part of America’s “First Family of Waterparks” with additional locations in Texas, the Kansas City locale happens to be home to the world’s tallest waterslide, Verrückt. With the slide’s top drop maxing out at over 168 feet (taller than Niagara Falls), this waterpark knows how to bring the chills and the thrills. For those who are looking for less extreme methods to stay cool, there are also tubing rides, boogie boarding, and multiple beaches. We’ll take a Cabana for two, please.

3. Water Country USA (Williamsburg, VA)

Next, we’re giving this Williamsburg waterpark a shoutout, well, mainly because it will definitely elicit some screaming & shouting from its visitors! Fittingly, Virginia’s largest waterpark features a waterslide called Jet Scream, on which riders reach speeds of up to 25 miles per hour. That’s certainly fast enough to get us to shriek like schoolgirls. If you’re interested in a more zen approach to keeping your cool, then take a dip in Surfer’s Bay Wave Pool, the largest one in Virginia. Once you’ve dried off a bit, you can head on over to the famed Busch Gardens theme park, which is right next door.

4. Water World (Federal Heights, CO)

You know a waterpark has to be pretty awesome to live up to an ambitious name like that, especially when it calls itself America’s biggest and best waterpark. Luckily, Water World more than delivers on its name’s promise with nearly 50 attractions (the largest variety in the U.S.). With everything from kid-friendly Wally World to Skyline Speed Slides, a favorite for thrill-seekers, the whole family will find something to love amongst the 64 acres of attractions.

5. Dollywood’s Splash Country (Pigeon Forge, TN)

“Bigger is better” is the name of the game at this Dollywood-adjacent waterpark. Featuring an impressive 35 acres of attractions, Splash Country serves as a relaxing refuge during the hot Tennessee summers. It’s even been named one of the “Top 25 Waterparks in the U.S.” by TripAdvisor and the #10 “Best Outdoor Waterpark” by USA Today, which means it has to be good. The park’s tallest attraction, Fire Tower Falls, reaches a whopping height of 70 feet in the air. Because as Dolly herself says, “The higher the waterslide, the closer to God.” Or, you know, something like that.

Have you visited any of these waterparks? What are some of your other favorite ways to stay cool when the temps rise? Tell us in the comments!

Featured Image Credit: “Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park Entrance” by Royalbroil via Wikimedia Commons © 2007 (CC BY S-A 2.5)