The Best Waterpark to Cool Off in Every State

Water parks are a summertime staple for many Americans, and these are some of the best in the nation.

having fun on the water slide
Updated July 9, 2024
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From well-known theme parks to under-the-radar gems, the U.S. has many incredible options for water parks.

If you’re a sucker for a good water slide or log flume, you may want to step up your travel game by adding a few of these top parks to your summer to-do list.

To create a list of the top 50, we scoured online reviews to find the most loved parks in each state.

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Alabama: Waterville USA (Gulf Shores)

romaset/Adobe surfing on a wave simulator

Waterville offers a range of experiences across 20 acres — a waterpark, amusement park, and escape rooms (plus, it’s only about a quarter mile from the Gulf Coast beach).

Some of their top wet rides include the dune racer slide and “Flowrider” simulated surfing.

Alaska: H2Oasis Indoor Waterpark (Anchorage)

keleny/Adobe indoor water park

H2Oasis has attractions and activities for visitors, young and old — from fantastic slides, pools, and a lazy river to toddler time and water aerobics.

You probably don’t think of Alaska when you think of great water parks, but luckily, this one is indoors.

Arizona: Oasis Water Park (Phoenix)

valiza14/Adobe boy at aqua park

Located within Arizona Grand Resort & Spa, Oasis Water Park is packed with thrilling (and huge) slides, a wave pool, a massive hot tub, and more across seven acres.

Access to the park is included if you’re staying at the resort, and passes are available on select days for others.

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Arkansas: Magic Springs Theme and Water Park (Hot Springs)

New Africa/Adobe little girl on slide at water park

The Water Park at Magic Springs is open daily through the summer and on weekends in the spring and fall (through October).

It’s packed with all your summer splashing needs — from a wild slide tower to Splash Island to their relaxing cabanas.

California: Raging Waters (San Dimas)

Artem/Adobe swimming in a rubber ring

Conveniently located in LA County, Raging Waters is a go-to Southern California gem — offering more than 50 rides and attractions.

Some hits include the Aqua Rocket, the Amazon Adventure lazy river, and the Ragin’ Racer slides.

Colorado: Water World (Federal Heights)

Damian/Adobe aqua fun park glides

Water World is all about family fun, with attractions like Cowabunga Beach and Little Bear Pond and plenty of picnic areas and pavilions.

It’s also a go-to spot for thrill seekers, offering massive slides like Pirates Plunge and The Revolution.

Connecticut: Lake Compounce (Bristol)

starsstudio/Adobe fun on water slides

Within Lake Compounce is the fantastic Crocodile Cove, Connecticut’s largest water park.

From the relaxing Croc-O-Nile River to the thrilling Saw Mill Plunge and Storm Surge water slide, there’s a huge array of water rides to choose from.

And if you tire of those, the theme park has everything from coasters to carousels.

Delaware: Thunder Lagoon Waterpark (Fenwick Island)

Odua Images/Adobe tubing at lazy river pool

Thunder Lagoon is a top-rated attraction for summer fun in Delaware.

With a lazy river that stretches on for hundreds of feet, six thrilling slides, and massive pools — it’s fun for the whole family. Their black hole body slide is a particular favorite.

Florida: Typhoon Lagoon (Orlando)

luckyphoto/Adobe purple water slide

There are many water parks in Florida — but Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon is naturally a top choice.

A day pass will get you access to popular rides and slides like the white-water Adventure Falls, the massive surf pool, and Ketchakiddee Creek for the little ones.

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Georgia: Splash Island Water Park at Wild Adventures (Valdosta)

AnnaElizabeth/Adobe swimming pool splashing waves

Splash Island, located at Wild Adventures Theme Park, is one of the top-rated water parks in the country.

It has plenty of thrilling rides, such as Bonzai Pipelines, Kona Cliffs, and a massive wave pool, as well as relaxing attractions, like Paradise River.

Hawaii: Wet'n'Wild Hawaii (Kapolei)

Big blue/Adobe having fun sliding in water park

If you can tear yourself away from the gorgeous beaches in Honolulu County for an afternoon, Wet’n’Wild Hawaii is packed with rides for visitors of all types.

There’s an array of different body and tube slides to choose from, plus a lazy river for those looking to float the day away.

Idaho: Roaring Springs Waterpark (Meridian)

Elena/Adobe boy in swimming goggles

Idaho boasts one of the largest water parks in the country, so naturally, Roaring Springs is packed with wet and wild rides of all sorts.

Some top activities include kickboarding through the Class 5 Canyon, tubing through Snake River Run, and plunging down Corkscrew Cavern.

Illinois: Raging Rivers (Grafton)

valiza14/Adobe boy at aqua park

For more than three decades, Raging Rivers has been a summertime staple in Grafton, a city near the border of Illinois and Missouri.

With rides like the Shark Slide, Runaway Rafts, and the Mississippi Monster, there are many thrills to be had in the beloved park.

Indiana: Holiday World & Splashin' Safari (Santa Claus)

Damian/Adobe water slide with friends

Moving past the fact that there is a town in southern Indiana called Santa Claus, of course, it has a Holiday-themed amusement and water park.

And Splashin’ Safari has plenty of thrills to offer, from the massive wave pool to the “Cheetah Chase Water Coaster.”

Iowa: Lost Island Waterpark (Waterloo)

Georgii/Adobe kid descends from the water slide

Lost Island has a theme and water park — and the water park prides itself on bringing a bit of island paradise to the middle of Iowa.

From their relaxing lazy river to 11 thrilling slides, there’s plenty to do on the grounds. After you dry off, the park also has go-karts and golf.

Kansas: Great Wolf Lodge Indoor Water Park (Kansas City)

New Africa/Adobe girl on slide at water park

The massive water park inside Great Wolf Lodge is packed with slides, pools, a lazy river and hot tub, and everything else you’d expect from a hot summer destination.

But since it’s kept at a toasty mid-80s temp year-round, visitors can enjoy the park no matter the season.

Kentucky: Kentucky Kingdom & Hurricane Bay (Louisville)

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You’ll find more than 70 rides throughout Kentucky Kingdom & Hurricane Bay, offering thrills and chills for visitors of all sorts.

The water park section features everything from wave pools to a four-story water playground to massive slides (the Deep Water Dive is not for the faint of heart).

Louisiana: Blue Bayou Water Park (Baton Rouge)

Halfpoint/Adobe couple in swimming pool

Blue Bayou Water Park sits alongside a theme park called Dixie Landin’ — and both are packed with thrilling rides.

In the summer, visitors can enjoy Blue Bayou’s many plunges (with tubes, mats, and more), float along Atchafalaya Run, take a dip in Hurricane Bay, and more.

Maine: Funtown Splashtown USA (Saco)

New Africa/Adobe children on slide at water park

Funtown has both an amusement park and a water park. It’s all about the thrilling slides at Splashtown — whether you’re taking the plunge on a mat, in a tube with friends, or solo.

And if you’re looking for a more lax experience, float or lounge by the pool or “Pirate’s Paradise.”

Maryland: Frontier Town (Ocean City)

Funny Studio/Adobe child enjoying summer vacation

The theme is Old West at Frontier Town — and the rides and attractions are aplenty. With thrills for all, the park is packed with water slides, a lazy river, a splash pad, and rentable cabanas.

If you want some dryer fun, check out Frontier Town’s Western Park, ropes course, or mini golf.

Massachusetts: Water Park of New England (Danvers)

famveldman/Adobe kids on water slide

There’s always fun to be had at Water Park of New England as their slides, rides, and attractions stay open year-round.

While the indoor park is filled with slides, kiddie play areas, dumping buckets, and more — thier Palm Grotto spa is also available for adults looking to lounge.

Michigan: Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark (Boyne Falls)

Gennadiy Poznyakov/Adobe children at aquaparl

Another indoor gem, Avalanche Bay, has all the thrills you would expect from any water park.

Slides include the stunningly steep Big Couloir and wild Vertigo Cannonball, as well as relaxing attractions like “hot springs” and a lazy river adventure.

Minnesota: Bunker Beach Water Park (Coon Rapids)

Galitskaya/Adobe father and son on a water slide

Bunker Beach is well-known as a great place to bring the whole family.

They offer attractions like the shallow lagoon for young kids, plenty of water slides for slightly older thrill seekers, a lazy river for those looking to kick back, a climbing wall, and much more.

Mississippi: Grand Paradise Waterpark (Collins)

Tyler Olson/Adobe water slide

Located about 60 miles south of Jackson, Grand Paradise Waterpark is packed with seven acres worth of slides, pools, a winding lazy river, rentable cabanas, and more.

The chilling “Aqua Twist” slide is a particular fan favorite.

Missouri: Silver Dollar City’s White Water (Branson)

David/Adobe toboggan

White Water at Silver Dollar City stretches across 13 acres of fun and features everything from a massive wave pool to a white-water raft slide.

Then there’s Coconut Cove, which is packed with mini slides, fountains, and tipping buckets for White Water’s smallest visitors.

Montana: Big Sky Waterpark (Columbia Falls)

BASILICOSTUDIO STOCK/Adobe sliding down fast on a water slide

With beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains all around, Big Sky Waterpark is one of the most popular in Montana.

It’s home to 10 wild and winding water slides, a massive whirlpool, attractions just for the kiddos, and mini golf and bumper cars if you’re looking for something dry.

Nebraska: Island Oasis Water Park (Grand Island)

Photographer S.I./Adobe little girl on water slide

Whether you’re looking to relax in the long and winding lazy river or get in some thrills with their two six-story speed slides, there’s something for waterpark enthusiasts of all sorts at Island Oasis.

For young kids, the spraying fountains at zero depth acres and lily pad crossing are a blast.

Nevada: Cowabunga Bay Waterpark (Henderson)

tsomka/Adobe dad ride down the hill

Located in Henderson, just outside of Las Vegas, Cowabunga Bay has all the big, bright, and brilliant attractions you’d expect from the area.

Try the exclusive Caban-A-Rama pools, pitch-black speed slides, or the relaxing yet groovy Cowabunga River.

New Hampshire: Whale's Tale Waterpark (Lincoln)

soupstock/Adobe by playing at a waterpark

From the thrilling Eye of the Storm slide to the relaxing waters of Castaway Cove to the stunning views you’ll get of the White Mountains, it’s no wonder Whale’s Tale Waterpark has been a favorite for visitors and locals alike for close to four decades.

New Jersey: Morey's Piers & Beachfront Waterparks (Wildwood

JanMika/Adobe people at water park

There are two top-notch water parks to choose from on Wildwood’s famed boardwalk — Ocean Oasis and Raging Waters.

Ocean Oasis Water Park & Beach Club offers a bit more relaxing energy (though it has plenty of thrilling slides as well), while Raging Waters is all about speed and slides.

New Mexico: Cliff's Amusement Park WaterMania (Albuquerque)

shoenberg3/Adobe log flume ride

Cliff’s Amusement Park is much-loved for its array of attractions — and features many family-oriented water rides, like Lil Squirts splash pad area and Mega Water Monkeys playground.

Rocky Mountain Rapids log flume is a great option for those looking for a thrill.

New York: Enchanted Forest Water Safari (Old Forge)

famveldman/Adobe kid on water slide

Enchanted Forest Water Safari is the largest water park in New York state and offers more than 50 thrilling rides.

From body slides to family tube rides to mat racing and the Tidal Wave Pool, there’s plenty to do for visitors of all ages.

North Carolina: Carowinds’ Carolina Harbor (Charlotte)

Georgii/Adobe blue-eyed kid on a water slide

Carolina Harbor Waterpark is an excellent family destination if you’re in the Charlotte area — with fantastic kids' play areas complete with dump buckets and mini slides stretching across three acres.

For those looking for a bigger thrill, the park has plenty of chilling slides and plunges.

North Dakota: Raging Rivers Waterpark (Mandan)

New Africa/Adobe family playing in swimming pool

Raging Rivers, which is owned and operated by the Mandan Park District, has something for everyone.

Whether you’re looking for high-thrill speed slides, a relaxing afternoon floating in the lazy river, or a fun splash area for the little ones, it has it all.

Ohio: Cedar Point Shores (Sandusky)

ronstik/Adobe cheerful child on slide

Cedar Point shores is packed with thrills — from the kid-sized Lakeslide Landing, which is full of slides, fountains, and the “Lake Erie monster” Lemmy, to the chilling drop slides to the beach bar to the ice cream at Beaches & Cream.

Oklahoma: Paradise Beach Water Park (Tulsa)

Artem/Adobe boy gliding down slide

A little slice of paradise in the middle of Tulsa, this water park has you covered whether you’re looking for an array of speed slides or an afternoon of relaxation floating along the lazy river.

They also offer plenty of summer snacks — from your classic BBQ options to sweet treats.

Oregon: Wings and Waves Waterpark (McMinnville)

Olesia Bilkei/Adobe man having fun on water slide

It’ll feel like you have wings when splashing through some of the thrilling slides at Wings and Waves, an indoor water park in northern Oregon.

From the Leisure Pool to the riveting Tail Spin slide, visitors of all sorts will find plenty to do at the park.

Pennsylvania: Kalahari Resorts (Pocono Manor)

tienuskin/Adobe little girl playing waterslide

Kalahari Resorts’ incredible water park stretches across 220,000 square feet and is mostly indoors, where the temperature is always 84 degrees and sunny.

From thrilling slides to innovative options like the VR waterslide and swim-up bars, the park is thrilling for resort guests and day visitors alike.

Rhode Island: Yawgoo Valley Ski Area & Water Park (Exeter)

Wlad Go/Adobe girl on the ski

Rhode Island is not really known for its water parks, but Yawgoo Valley is a blast, no matter the season.

It’s a ski area in the winter, and in summer, offers thrilling water slides, pools (including a kiddie pool), a relaxing pavilion, and excellent summer snacks.

South Carolina: Myrtle Waves Water Park (Myrtle Beach)

Patryk Kosmider/Adobe little boy at the water slide

A top Myrtle Beach attraction and one of the top-rated water parks in the country, Myrtle Waves is packed with speed slides, a relaxing lazy river, South Carolina’s largest wave pool, and more.

Those looking for thrills should check out the Rockin Ray slide.

South Dakota: Wild Water West Waterpark (Sioux Falls)

Sergey/Adobe go karts racing

Wild Water West is the largest water park in South Dakota and has been a top attraction for summer fun in Sioux Falls for more than three decades.

From the thrilling slides to the swim-up bar to go-karts and mini golf, the park has something for visitors of all sorts.

Tennessee: Dollywood’s Splash Country (Pigeon Forge)

Pavol Klimek/Adobe girl sliding in the water slide

Dollywood’s water park, Splash Country, is one of the top-rated outdoor water parks in the U.S.

From raging river rapids to family-friendly splash areas to thrilling slides, it’s equipped with all your water park classics — and situated alongside the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains.

Texas: Schlitterbahn (New Braunfels)

Yuliya Kirayonak/Adobe  drinks coconut in the pool

A top year-round destination near San Antonio, Schlitterbahn is a massive water park packed with slides, swim-up bars, pools, kids' play areas, and much more.

Plus, if you stay at the Schlitterbahn New Braunfels Waterpark Resort, park admission is included.

Utah: Cowabunga Bay (Draper)

New Africa/Adobe little boy with inflatable ball

Cowabunga Bay has a second location in Draper, Utah (the other is in Nevada, in case you missed it).

It’s packed with massive slides, a family-friendly “beach” area, a winding and relaxing Cowabunga River, a kid’s cove, and more.

Vermont: Pump House Indoor Waterpark (Jay)

silentalex88/Adobe  girl playing with a foam noodle

The Pump House is Vermont’s only indoor water park, located within Jay Peak Resort.

Visitors can enjoy thrilling slides, check out the deep-water activity pool, or relax along the Big River, all while being protected from northern Vermont’s sometimes unpredictable weather.

Virginia: Water Country USA (Williamsburg)

MartaKlos/Adobe teen couple in water park

Virginia’s largest water park is also one of its most loved, as it’s packed with wild slides, relaxing pools, and plenty of kid-focused attractions.

While there are more than a dozen thrilling slides to choose from, Big Daddy Falls whitewater rafting and the light-up Aquazoid Amped tube slide are two favorites.

Washington: Wild Waves Theme and Water Park (Federal Way)

skumer/Adobe woman relaxing in swimming pool

Whether you’re looking to make a splash by taking the Pacific Plunge, brave the Raging River Ride, or kick back and relax in the warming tubs (or all three), Wild Waves has got you covered.

As a bonus, it’s both a theme park and a water park.

West Virginia: Water Ways (Julian)

romannerud/Adobe girl sliding on water slide

Water Ways is a water park and amphitheater rolled into one — and both are known for summer thrills.

The park has both body slides and tube slides that dump sliders into various pools and rivers, a designated Kiddy Island, plus a walking trail and picnic area.

Wisconsin: Noah’s Ark Waterpark (Wisconsin Dells)

AdriFerrer/Adobe inflatable raft in a pool

Everyone’s invited to have a great time at Noah’s Ark Waterpark, a much-acclaimed Wisconsin destination with more than 70 acres of rides, slides, and other attractions.

From Adventure River to the gripping Congo Bongo raft ride, there’s plenty to do and see for all.

Wyoming: Star Plunge (Thermopolis)

tinadefortunata/Adobe aquapark

Star Plunge offers both indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs (meaning it can stay open year-round), thrilling slides, a “Vapor Cave” (which is cut into a mountain and heated by hot mineral water), and much more.

Bottom line

luckyphoto/Adobe model on the inflatable ring

Water parks are a summertime must for many, but they can be pricey excursions.

To keep more cash in your wallet, see if your nearest park offers deals like discounted ticket packages, cheaper admission on certain dates or holidays, or any freebies.

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Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore

Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore is a seasoned freelance writer who also teaches writing courses at Rutgers University. She's based in Jersey City and enjoys travel, live music and, of course, spending quality time with her pup.