Where to Cool Off This Summer
When temperatures rise, families start looking for fun places to cool off. Happily, water parks across the Deep South keep getting better with new attractions delivering bigger splashes, more thrilling drops, and crazier raft rides.
Click through to find the biggest and best water parks from Texas to Alabama.
Alabama's Biggest and Best Water Parks
Arkansas's Biggest and Best Water Parks
Magic Springs & Crystal Falls Water and Theme Park: This theme park includes the largest water park in Arkanasas, featuring a lazy river, many body slides, raft rides and other water slides, plus an interactive toddler playground and splash zone.
Louisiana's Biggest and Best Water Parks
Mississippi's Biggest and Best Water Parks
Oklahoma's Biggest and Best Water Parks
Tennessee's Biggest and Best Water Parks
Dollywood's Splash Country, Pigeon Forge: This 30-acre water park offers more than 23 water slides and thrill rides, including the Mountain Scream body slide and RiverRush, Tennessee's first water coaster. There are two interactive kids' playgrounds, Cascades and Little Creek Falls, with fun activities for the whole family.
Texas's Biggest and Best Water Parks
Schlitterbahn, New Braunfels: The flagship Schlitterbahn park has an expansive Tubenbach section with several beaches and attractions interconnected by the Falls, billed as “the World’s Longest Waterpark Ride” and offering 3,600 feet of waves, rapids and waterfalls for tubers.
BSR Cable Park, Waco: The new Royal Flush is a YouTube sensation and the most talked-about waterslide of the summer.
Aquatica at Sea World, San Antonio: This huge water park has a South Seas theme and marquee rides that include Stingray Falls, a family raft ride that travels through a glass-walled, underwater grotto filled with stingrays and tropical fish.
Six Flags Fiesta Texas, San Antonio: There's a slew of fun attractions in the water park at this Six Flags park, from wave pools and a lazy river to a variety of body and tube rides, plus a water slide complex and the marquee Bahama Blaster.
Schlitterbahn, South Padre Island: This Schlitterbahn park includes both a beachfront outdoor water park and a climate-controlled indoor water park tucked inside a hotel. Attractions include Boogie Bahn, Torrent River, and a fast, high-splash ride called Shoot the Chute.
Corsicana Water and Adventure Park, Corsicana: This 23-acre water park scheduled to open in 2014 includes several pools, a lazy river, mat racers, tube slides, body slides, ziplines, beach volleyball courts, and a water fountain show.