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Ten Best Water Parks in the U.S.

By Zachary Laks
7/10/2014 1:19:24 PM

Nothing takes the edge off a hot summer day like a dip in the pool, but if you're looking for a little more excitement this summer, we have the perfect suggestion. Across the country, water parks featuring heart-stopping attractions are breaking records and taking riders to new heights, while offering family-friendly fun that offers something for everyone. From water coasters to the country's first inclined loop on a waterslide, check out what's on tap this summer at America's best water parks.

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Photo Credit: Courtesy of Noah's Ark Waterpark

Noah's Ark

Where: Wisconsin Dells

As the nation's largest water park, Noah's Ark in the Wisconsin Dells lives up to its title with an overwhelming assortment of water rides. With 51 slides, two wave pools, and a surfing simulator, Surfing Safari, Noah's Ark offers something for the whole family. Thrill-seekers head to Noah's Ark for its extreme rides including the Scorpion's Tail, which sends riders down a near vertical slide into an inclined loop. Be sure to check out the Black Anaconda as well, touted as America's most thrilling water coaster, which clips riders through the dizzying course at speeds up to 30 mph.

Insider Tip: After working up an appetite exploring Noah's Ark, head over to The Dell's best burger joint, Monk's Bar & Grill. No trip to Wisconsin is complete without indulging in the local staple of cheese curds, and Monk's offers some of the finest. Be sure to ask for extra dipping sauces!

Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Wisconsin Guide

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts

Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark

Where: Kansas City, Kansas

Verruckt, the tallest water slide in the world is scheduled to open this summer at Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark. By all accounts, there simply is nothing else like it. Having garnered incredible buzz online for its sheer height, Verruckt plummets four riders at a time on a raft down 15 stories, reaching speeds up to 70 mph. For those looking to stay closer to sea level, Schlitterbahn offers the Torrent River, the world's largest tidal wave river. Mind the rough seas as you drift through a canyon and around the colorful park.

Insider Tip: Seek out the swim-up bar for the chance to relax in the heated pool while enjoying your favorite refreshment.

Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Kansas Guide

Photo Credit: Courtesy of HolidayWorld.com

Splashin' Safari

Where: Santa Claus, Indiana

You'll surely feel your heart stop with a ride on the world's two longest water coasters, formidably dubbed Mammoth and Wildebeest, two of the prized rides that lend Splashin' Safari its reputation. Mammoth's unique six-person raft takes riders to the top of a seven-story hill before starting the course of seven drops. Gliding down facing forward, sideways or backwards, your raft spins independently making each ride unique. Wildebeest's remarkable track of underground tunnels and drops add to its clipping speed of 36 feet-per-second. With toboggan-style sleds that seat four, Wildebeest offers a comparable thrill to Mammoth.

Insider Tip: Splashin' Safari features fireworks on Fridays through August 1, the perfect way to end your day in the sun with a boom.

Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Indiana Guide

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