TripAdvisor's list of its Top 10 U.S. water parks reminds us that the genre has definitely evolved from the days of a few slides, a lazy river and (maybe) a wave pool.
Regardless, we’ll cut the nostalgia and get right to the chase, as summer is past its halfway point and a solid splashdown couldn’t come soon enough.
Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari topped the list (which TripAdvisor said was "the top ten water parks in the U.S., according to TripAdvisor travelers"). Its featured attractions include the Wildebeest, which at a third of a mile long is the world’s longest water coaster. And ZOOMbabwe, at almost 900 feet long, is the world’s biggest enclosed waterslide. The park’s in Santa Claus, Ind., which is about 75 miles west of Louisville, Ky.
Orlando’s Typhoon Lagoon came in at No. 2 for its surf lessons; the 2,000-foot-long Castaway Creek, which allows visitors to literally float around the park; and massive “Shark Reef," complete with tropical fish and -- gulp -- sharks.
Wisconsin’s Noah’s Ark Water Park, which at 49 rides and multiple wave pools and rivers is the largest in the U.S., was the third most-popular waterpark, especially for those willing to brave the park’s near-looping waterslide.
Morey’s Piers in Wildwood, N.J., combines two water parks with a beachfront location, while Kahuna Laguna, nestled in the mountains of North Conway, N.H., is an all indoor-attraction, giving visitors an 82-degree environment regardless of whether it’s 100 degrees or minus 10 outside.
Rounding out TripAdvisor’s top 10 was Water Country USA in Williamsburg, Va.; NRH20 Waterpark in North Richland Hills, Texas; Adventureland in Des Moines, Iowa; Orlando’s Aquatica; and Wild Water & Wheels in Surfside, S.C. -- By Danny King