It’s officially August. We have reached the good old dog days of summer, and many of us are more than ready for the brisk fall weather that lie ahead. But hey—hold on! Summer isn’t over just yet. If you’re tired of the heat and ready to cool off, what better way to do so than by spending a day at one of these water parks? Whether with a group of friends, your family or your significant other, there is fun to be had. Even if you’re just looking for some R&R, a lazy river may be just what you need. Here are just some of the coolest water parks the US has to offer.
Noah’s Ark: Wisconsin Dells, WI
Officially deemed America’s largest waterpark, Noah’s Ark is jam packed with wild and crazy waterslides and rides, and tons of fun for the little ones, too. With a 4-D dive-in (we love it) theater and a Tadpole Bay Kiddie Kingom Water Playground, people of all ages can be entertained from dawn ‘til dusk. Their newest ride this year, “Quadzilla!” is perfect for the dare-devil who enjoys a head-first race down a slippery water slide.
Water World: Denver, CO
If you’re taking the family to the water park for the day and still have some work to tend to, believe it or not, it can be done. At Water World, you can rent an all-day use 10’x10’ Cabana enclosed on three sides with a dining table and chairs, 2 lounge chairs and semi-private lounge area. The best part? Complimentary Wi-Fi internet access. If you have to do work at a water park, being in a cabana doesn’t sound so bad.
Six Flags White Water: Atlanta, GA
The Southeast’s largest water park, Six Flags White Water is perfect for the entire family. Great for the kids, Buccaneer Bay offers an interactive area that spans several acres and includes water slides, a pop-jet, spray area and a 25-foot tall interactive play ship.
Water Country USA: Williamsburg, VA
Virginia’s largest water park is a great stop for anyone who’s also planning a trip this summer to Busch Gardens. Water Country USA is a surfin’ safari themed ‘50s and ‘60s park. With a huge wave pool and over 30 water rides and attractions, it’s got everything a water park should, plus live entertainment and great food.
Wet n’ Wild: Orlando, FL
Open year-round with heated pools in cooler weather, Wet n’ Wild is a prime stop during a Florida vacation in the Orlando area. If you’re just looking to kick back and take it easy, there’s no shame in floating down a gently-moving river or relaxing in a tropical oasis. Sip a cold beverage in the shade of the Wild Tiki Lounge and enjoy the end of summer in total relaxation.
August is here, and many want to have one last hoorah before the fall. If you are looking to plan a long weekend or last-minute getaway somewhere in the U.S., we say – do it! The options are endless and it’s all about what sort of atmosphere and experience you’re looking for. Outside Online rounded up a fantastic list of exciting options for the adventurous spirit, and we selected some of our favorites!
There’s no better crag for leading your first big effort than Lover’s Leap. Located in California’s Eldorado National Forest, near the town of Strawberry, the 500-foot granite outcropping is lined with dozens of easy and moderate routes, so newbies can get a taste of Yosemite-style climbing without the bloody knuckles. Pack a double rack of cams and a set of nuts and base yourself at the Pony Express-era Strawberry Lodge, five minutes from the trailhead. Hone your anchor placement with a lead-climbing class from Lovers Leap Guides. Afterward, toast yourself with a beer on the lodge’s deck or cool off with a swim at Lester Beach, a sandy cove in D. L. Bliss State Park on Lake Tahoe’s western shore.
Arkansas River, Colorado
While the rest of the state was cranking snowmaking guns, by some fluke of geography the Arkansas’s headwaters, located near Leadville, clocked in with 79 percent of normal snowpack, which means the nation’s busiest whitewater river should be respectable this summer. Arkansas Valley Adventures runs trips on six stretches. Opt for the 10-mile run down the Class IV Royal Gorge.
Tybee Island, GA
From Tybee Island, a village of 3,500 that dangles into the Atlantic just 18 miles east of Savannah, there are endless opportunities to get lost in 1,200 or so nearby barrier islands. Rent boats from Savannah Canoe and Kayak, a funky shop on the route to Tybee. From Alley Three, a public dock, paddle southwest and circumnavigate the 7,000-acre Little Tybee on a beginner-friendly trip through sheltered waters. With a stress-free half-mile crossing, free wilderness camp spots beneath live oaks (try the forested ridgeline on Beach Hammock), and easy access to the turtle-filled Wassaw Island Wildlife Sanctuary, it’s quintessential Georgian paddling that requires only a three-day commitment.
Lake Michigan, Michigan
Just a 90-minute drive east of Chicago in the lakefront town of New Buffalo, Third Coast Surf Shop rents boards, and you can take an introductory lesson or go solo. It’s easy to learn on flatwater like the Galien River, a lush, winding waterway populated by herons and beavers. Then graduate to the city beach, where proficient paddlers can catch waves before pitching camp at nearby Warren Dunes State Park.
Lake of the Woods, Minnesota
In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, one stands out: Lake of the Woods, a 1,727-square-mile behemoth. For locals, it’s a famously enviable destination—especially if you like to catch and fry fish. There are 65,000 miles of shoreline and 14,000 islands dotting the lake, and you can reel in walleye, one of the best-eating freshwater species in the world, just about anywhere. But you want a boat, and there’s no better place to get aboard one than Ballard’s. Instead of a concierge, it offers a fishing hotline and a fleet of aluminum skiffs. The owners, Steve and Joanne Ballard, have 14 guides working for them; Steve still fishes nearly every day in order to stay abreast of the latest piscatory developments, so you’re guaranteed a good day on the water. Come sunset, chase your pan-fried catch with a High Life or three at the resort’s lakeside dining hall and bar.
Leather Passport & Ticket Holder
This man made leather passport holder is ideal for the frequent traveler. When you need to make it through the airport quickly, all your documents must be safe and in place. With compartments for a passport, airline tickets, boarding passes, cards and cash, everything is easily protected and accessible. VIEW ITEM
n•a•p® Travel Flight Kit
Relax and nap in luxurious comfort when you travel with this must-have set. Made of Brookstone’s exclusive NapSoft® material, the inflatable u-pillow and eye mask surround your head, neck and face in comfort. With these comfy-cozy accessories, you’ll arrive at your destination refreshed and ready to go. VIEW ITEM
Travelsox Patterned Compression Socks
These patterned compression socks stimulate circulation for travel comfort. The patented Italian design alleviates swelling and fatigue in in legs and feet while stuck in cramped conditions. 10% of all air travelers develop swollen legs and feet on long flights, if you’re one of them – you can help increase circulation and reduce your risk of DVT with these easy-to-pack socks. VIEW ITEM
Leather Mini Brief
This Leather Mini Brief keeps your iPad or iPad 2 tablet secure and your workday organized. For the ones who like to be nice and organized, there are 5 standard card slots, 4 organizer slots, a loop for your pen or tablet stylus, plus a clear pocket for your ID. Carry it briefcase-style with a leather handle. VIEW ITEM
Dash Rolling Office
The perfect carry-on for the business traveler. Carry your laptop, accessories and clothing—as well as toiletries and other necessities. This compact carry-on briefcase glides smoothly, is super-light, and fits in most overhead bins. VIEW ITEM
Wireless Rollup Keyboard
Flexible and water resistant, the wireless rollup keyboard allows for wireless freedom and total functionality; it’s an essential tool for getting the most out of any iPad. Make typing emails and work documents easy and efficient when you’re away from your desktop computer. Roll it up, and easily store it in your suitcase or carry-on when on the go. VIEW ITEM
Travel Sleep Sound Machine
When traveling for business, it can be hard to sleep in one strange hotel room after another. This sound machine offers a selection of 17 soothing sounds or white noise to help you relax and get a good night’s sleep. There’s also a built-in alarm clock, voice memo function and dual clock offer added. VIEW ITEM
Quiet and efficient, this travel humidifier and a bottle of water are all you need to breathe healthy humidified air in your office or hotel room. There’s no need for a large water tank – all you need is an ordinary water bottle. Plug the humidifier into any AC outlet, place in the water bottle and choose the mist output you prefer. VIEW ITEM
Don’t end up caught in the rain on your next business trip! At 5.5”, this super lightweight umbrella really is a true pocket umbrella; it can fit in your jacket pocket, blazer pocket or even pants pocket. Easy to pack and easy to carry, and still offers great rain protection. VIEW ITEM
There’s nothing more annoying than tangled up wires when all you want to do is pop in your headphones. These wireless earbuds connect to any Bluetooth enabled device and allow you to control the music you’re listening to – advancing or rewinding the track. A microphone lets you make or take cell phone calls, and will pause and resume music accordingly. VIEW ITEM