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Best waterparks in the U.S.

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Top waterparks

Cool off this summer by visiting one of the best waterparks in the country. These waterparks feature thrilling water coasters, adventurous tube rides, sky-high chutes, relaxing pools and other fun water activities.

little-boy-at-water-park
1Schlitterbahn New Braunfels

Located in New Braunfels, Texas, halfway between Austin and San Antonio, Schlitterbahn is one of the most popular waterparks in the country. Whether you're interested in a relaxing day in the water or a thrilling water coaster, you'll find what you're looking for at Schlitterbahn. Part of the park is fed by a cool natural spring, so you won't be reeking of chlorine when you go home. The mile-long Raging River tube chute is the world's longest and takes 45 minutes to complete. Other park highlights include the Dragon's Revenge Special-Effect Family Thrill Ride Adventure, Master Blaster Uphill Water Coaster and numerous kiddie pools. Though Schlitterbahn has a few other locations around the country, New Braunfels is considered the best.

2Wet 'n Wild Orlando

Disney World isn't the only attraction in Orlando, Florida. Wet 'n Wild was opened by in 1977 as the first modern waterpark and has been thrilling visitors every since. You can take it easy and float along the Lazy River or take advantage of the many thrill rides and multi-person adventures. Visitors especially love the Bomb Bay, with its nearly vertical 76-foot drop. Riders stand in a chamber on a trap door, which opens without warning. If you have little ones, the Kids Park here is fantastic, with its miniature versions of the park's best rides.

Check out our picks for best roller coasters >>

3Noah's Ark

Residents and visitors to the Midwest shouldn't miss Noah's Ark in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. This enormous waterpark spans 70 acres and features more than 60 water-based rides and activities. Black Anaconda is the country's longest and fastest water coaster at a quarter-mile long and 30 mile per hour speeds. Time Warp is also a favorite. This family bowl ride features a 70-foot drop and a giant illuminated chamber. The park also features many old-school slides that have been phased out of other waterparks. Get there during the summer, though: Noah's Ark is only open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

4Water World

For something a little different, head to Denver, Colorado, where you'll find Water World. This park isn't all about the chutes and pools, offering a variety of other types of rides as well. Check out Voyage to the Center of the Earth, which is a Disneyland-like ride that features a raft journey complete with robots, characters and a storyline. Water World also features more family tube rides than any other park in the country, a number of amazing thrill rides and plenty of places to relax within its 64 acres. One of the largest waterparks in the country, Water World is located just a short drive from downtown Denver.

Check out more of the top theme parks in the country >>

More family travel tips

How to plan a kid-friendly summer staycation
Secrets of stress-free family travel
Family adventure vacations you never knew existed

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