Just casually mention “water park” and your otherwise glacially paced kids are dressed in their swimsuits, primped and ready to race out the door. So why not channel their enthusiasm into a summer vacation destination? From giant slides with trap doors to steamy outdoor hot springs, there’s something for every water lover in your family at one of these amazing water resorts, in the U.S. and beyond. Read on for our top picks!
Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch | Scottsdale, AZ
Guests can enjoy the many recreational amenities this desert oasis has to offer including a 2.5-acre water extravaganza complete with 10 pools including a sand beach, 30-foot 3-story high speed waterslide, poolside cabanas, and H2Oasis. If that is not enough, guests can play a game of water volleyball or basketball, or relax in the Grecian-style water temple, a jetted tub that accommodates 25 people, surrounded by four plunge pools.
Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa | Rancho Mirage, CA
This Palm Springs resort is known for its world-class spa, but with 240-acres to wander, you’ll soon find the grounds feature a whole lot more. There are three pools including Splashtopia—a two-acre water playground that includes a lazy river, two giant water slides, a cliff-side Jacuzzi, sandy beach and a splash pad full of fountains and sprinklers. The resort also features a 27-hole golf course and five different restaurants so you really don’t need to leave.
Hyatt Regency Newport Beach | Newport Beach, CA
With three pools, two spas, a splash pad, waterslide, shuffleboard, ping-pong and a giant chess board, you won’t want to leave the pool area once you check in. Guess what? You don’t really have to: there’s a poolside restaurant, too. The pool stays open until 10 p.m. which means you’ve got plenty of time to stay soaked. And did we mention this place offers day passes? So, if you happen to be just passing through...
Hyatt Regency Indian Wells | Indian Wells, CA
In Indian Wells, the highly anticipated waterpark opening at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa, now offers guests a 450-ft. lazy river, dueling waterslides and seven expansive new swimming pools. The four-star resort, set against the backdrop of palm trees and scenic mountain views, now features outdoor fun, under 300 days of sunshine for all the family at the waterpark including HyTides Plunge Waterpark, Desert Twist Lazy River, and a family splash area with interactive water features and a smaller slide for young children.
Arizona Grand Resort & Spa | Phoenix, AZ
Your kids will probably spend most of the day trying to duck, dodge and ride the waves at the Oasis Water Park’s wave pool, but we think the eight-story-tall tower water slides are more your speed. Or would lounging side by side down the rolling Zuni River be your trip? Either way, families will find plenty of ways to get and stay wet in the sunshine at the Arizona Grand. Even the tot lot can get in on the action with their very own splash pad, Wild Cat Springs. Add in a poolside cabana, so the kids stay shaded, and everyone knows where to meet for lunch, and you’ve got an easy summer vaycay planned.
Suncadia Resort | Cle Elum, WA
The secret is out for Pacific Northwest families' favorite resort: Suncadia. Their indoor pool boasts two, two-story-high water slides so rain or shine, the fun is on! The outdoor pool’s backdrop is hard to beat: mountain views and poolside activities including arts and crafts and snacks from the resort’s own food truck. For water play of a different kind, rent a kayak, canoe or paddleboard to try out on the on-site alpine lake. It’s perfect for kids and newbies thanks to the calm waters. You’ll also find adventure packages, outdoor hikes, evening s’mores and much more. Click here to read our family guide to all they offer.
Glenwood Hot Springs Resort | Glenwood, CO
For something a little different, check into the Glenwood Hot Springs Resort. Located between Aspen and Vail, Colorado, people have been flocking to this hot spot since 1888 to soak in the fifteen mineral springs and take in the view of the surrounding mountains. Home to the World’s Largest Hot Springs Pool, you’ll find the pool open year round and into the night so you can soak under the stars. There’s also a kiddie pool and two waterslides, a poolside grill, a renowned spa and comfy rooms, although day passes are an option if you just want to head into the pool.
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa | Maui, HI
Guests staying at Hyatt Regency Maui can embrace the stunning location and enjoy the resort’s six free-form pool areas with waterfalls, all surrounded by lush tropical plants at the edge of the Pacific Ocean. The resort’s water oasis includes a 150' lava tube waterslide, a whirlpool, a rope bridge, and an interactive children’s pool.
Hyatt Regency Maui offers a range of experiences that are a fit for anyone in the family on vacation. The Hawaii Mermaid Adventure is the perfect combination of fantasy and fun. This unique experience offers a one-and-a-half-hour swimming lesson from a lifeguard, free GoPro photos (for the perfect Instagram post), games, and storytelling. For swimmers who want to explore their wild side, Hyatt also offers private ocean mermaid swim lessons, with free digital photos to capture the adventure.
Fairmont Kea Lani | Maui, HI
If you want somewhere that perfectly blends me-time with family time, schedule your next vacation at the Fairmont Kea Lani, located on Maui's Wailea Coast. It's Hawaii's only all-suite and villa resort where you can luxuriate in island life at the foot of one of Maui's premier beaches. Drop the kiddos at the Keiki Lani Kids Club or better yet, enroll them in Mermaid University, while you hit the spa. Then take on the resort's water features together, including the epic 140-foot water slide, play around with pool toys and shoot some hoops.
The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa | Koloa, HI
It’s not surprising that this resort in Kauai made the list: lush gardens and hidden grottos are abundant in this 50-acre beachfront property. There’s a 150-ft water slide, a salt-water lagoon (that is shark and riptide free) and a lazy river that you will probably never want to leave. If you ever do manage to get the fam out of the water, there’s no shortage of activities including hula lessons, lei making, twilight ocean-view yoga, a kid’s club, a massive spa, and more. Read our insider’s guide to exploring all Poipu, Kauai has to offer.
Kalahari Resorts | Multiple U.S. Locations
Whether you live in the Midwest or traveling there is on your summer adventure list, staying at a Kalahari Resort (in the Wisconsin Dells; Sandusky, Ohio or Pocono Mountains) makes it worth the trip! Each resort is African Safari themed, and in addition to eye-popping water features like Crocodile Cove’s water walk or the trap door that leads riders down the Extreme Rush water slide, there’s too much additional fun to be had. We’re talking escape rooms, virtual reality experiences and traditional kid-tastic sports like bowling and mini golf. So whether your crew wants to don their swim gear and find adventure poolside or towel off and thunder through the resort, they’ll stay busy all week long.
Wilderness Resort | Wisconsin Dells, WI
With four indoor and just as many outdoor water parks, you need a whole week to pack it all in at the Wilderness Resort. The only question is where to start? If adventure is what the kids are looking for, try Klondike Kavern where thrill slides like the Hurricane and Mine Shaft Drop will get their adrenaline pumping. For baby beach bums and their parents, the country’s largest indoor wave pool, Wild WaterDome is the place to plant your beach towel. And everyone in the fam will find ways to get wet at Cubby’s Cove and the Wild West water parks that combine sports, rides and typical splash pad fun for the whole fam. Don't forget the tube slides, body slides and banana slides at Lake Wilderness and the five story Lunar Loop at Lost World, which are both outdoors. Swim, splash, repeat is the way vacation rolls here!
Psst … Don’t forget to check out some of the area’s other cool attractions, like unbelievable water slides.
Gaylord Opryland Resort Nashville, TN
An exciting water experience awaits at Gaylord Opryland Resort in Music City. SoundWaves offers four acres of combined indoor and outdoor attractions and activities, so you can go from inside to outside and back again all day long. As well as 11 water slides for all ages, indoor surfing and an activity pool with rock climbing and basketball, there are rapid and lazy rivers depending on your mood. There's live music from country, pop and classic rock artists too. Every. Single. Day.
Read our property review here.
Schlitterbahn Waterpark & Resort | New Braunfels, TX
Situated in the heart of Texas, Schlitterbahn’s New Braunfels location (the original!) sits on the banks of the Comal River, and now has over 51 attractions on 70 acres that include the original section’s famous black tubes (powered by the Comal’s current), as well as the Boogie Bahn and Sky Coaster, thrill rides guests can find in the Blastenhoff and Surfenburg sections. But you don’t have to be a daredevil to have fun here. The pace is just right for pint-sized pool goers too when you hit Kinderhaven, with its soft play structures and gentle waves or Han’s Hideout that turn your neighborhood spray park into a five-story funhouse experience. Check out our insider's guide by clicking here.
JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa | San Antonio, TX
If everything’s bigger in Texas, this resort is no exception, and we promise you won’t mind that one bit. Not only will you find a 36-hole golf course and adults-only infinity pool, you can go wild with the kiddos at the on-site nine-acre water park that includes an 1100-foot long lazy river, water slides, a 650-foot rapid river ride, a children’s pool with toddler-sized slides, fountains and splashy fun, a beach-entry swimming pool which includes a sandy spot to build sandcastles and play. When you’re tired out from playing all day, fill up on some Texas BBQ and make s’mores at the fire pit before passing out in your deluxe room and then waking up to do it all over again.
Lakeway Resort & Spa | Austin, TX
This family-friendly and picturesque summer oasis is the only property nestled on the banks of Lake Travis in the Texas Hill Country. The kids-only pool, home to the Adventure Water Slide and splash pad, is the perfect spot for kids to cool off and splash around with friends prior to grabbing a poolside bite from the Sunset Pool Grill & Bar kids’ menu. The entire family can also enjoy the Courtyard Family Pool, complete with a volleyball court ideal for some healthy sibling competition.
Grande Cayman Resort | Myrtle Beach, SC
Formerly named Long Bay Resort, the oceanfront Grande Cayman Resort located on the north end of Myrtle Beach was totally renovated in 2020. Because of its location, it has a much less crowded and wider beach than most hotels on the Grand Strand, yet still just a short drive away from the iconic attractions. With over 10 pools, an arcade, and 4 on-site restaurants and bars (including a tiki hut), there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy at the Grande Cayman Resort. Accommodations offered include 1-3 bedroom condos.
Squeals of laughter can be heard from the brand new Silly Sub Water Park, as buckets randomly splash water onto tiny heads, a serpent hisses an endless spray to the enchantment of the young ones, and they can twist and turn down the three story water slide. Climbing in and out of the submarine will provide hours of amusement for the children, as parents can choose to bask in the sun or recline from the shade while watching kids at play.
TradeWinds Island Resorts | St. Pete, FL
You want something beachy, but they never want to get out of the pool. TradeWinds Island Resorts, located on Florida’s Gulf of Mexico side, is calling your name. The property is actually 25 acres, with two resorts connected by the fine white sand of St. Pete Beach. Not only do you get pools with sweet features like Dive-In Movie Nights and a smaller pool just for smaller kids, but you’ll also have a chance to take on the High Tide Slide: a three-story inflatable waterslide. There’s an entire floating water park, too, with floating trampolines and climbing structures, a jungle gym, splash mats, runways, balance beams and even floating cabanas for the parents to chill while the kids are all thrill. And if you happen to tire of this, you’ll find paddle boarding, diving, kayaking, pirate play and more.
Club Med Sandpiper Bay | Port St. Lucie, FL
The only Club Med in the U.S., for families who love the all-inclusive vibe but want to stay stateside, Sandpiper Bay is a sure bet. Packed with activities including sports and children’s programs for kids as young as four months and up to 17, and a luxe spa, you can find something for all ages and interests. But let’s talk about the pool—we mean pools! There are three and there’s even a splash park just for the kids. And because it’s all inclusive the only thing you need to haul around is sunscreen!
The Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark | Monticello, New York
An easy drive from several major cities in the Northeast and minutes from the ski slopes, this indoor water park offers non-stop fun come rain, shine or snow. The water park is covered by a transparent roof for year round tanning, and the temperature stays at a balmy 84 degrees, so it feels more like the Caribbean than the Catskills. After you've zoomed down the Krakken or Nor'Easter, sit back, relax and enjoy a ride along the lazy river. There's also a FlowRider surf simulator, toddler-friendly pools, several hot tubs and a spa. If your crew have got any energy left, there's plenty of other exciting entertainment options at the Kartrite Resort including an arcade, bowling alley and ropes course.
Camelback Lodge and Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark | Tannersville, PA
There’s a reason why Camelback Resort made our list of best water parks in America—it’s built for families who love to play! Because its two water parks, plus a whole lot more, will guarantee your kids go to bed worn out each and every day you stay. Between the 52 water slides, 12 pools and two flow riders, they can enjoy water play all day long indoor (or out when the sun is shining). Then if they need a break from the water, simply book time on the zip lines, aerial obstacle course or pottery painting studio. If that's not exciting enough, head to the new Arcadia Arcade, which has an escape room and 7D sensory immersive ride. And did we mention this resort offers year-round indoor/outdoor activity? So if you want to add skiing, snowboarding and tubing to your water-drenched adventures, think winter vaycay spot.
Great Wolf Lodge | Multiple U.S. Locations
From wild rides like the Howlin’ Tornado and the epic Coyote Cannon water slide to toddler splash zones and lazy rivers, the Great Wolf Lodge offers something for everyone at their indoor water park. With 15 locations throughout the country (plus one in Canada) including Boston, Atlanta, Kansas City, Wisconsin Dells, Colorado Springs and Anaheim the chances are there’s one driving distance from you. The resorts offer themed rooms like Wolf Dens and Kid’s Cabin Suites featuring a log-cabin-like sleep area just for your half-pints and upgraded deluxe rooms with fireplaces.
Pssst . . . a new location just opened up in the SF Bay Area!
Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas | Cabo San Lucas, MX
Rancho San Lucas is set on 834 serene acres at the southernmost tip of the Baja California peninsula, just 15 minutes from downtown Cabo San Lucas. The community, one of the newest in Cabo, includes the Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas hotel with ocean views from every room. Standout amenities include multiple restaurants, a luxury seaside spa with private beachfront cabanas, infinity pools, 15 miles of jogging and mountain bike trails, Kids Club, and a new Greg Norman Signature golf course that has been proclaimed one of the best courses in Mexico.
Families can make a splash in three pools, five Jacuzzis and a saltwater lagoon with paddle boarding and kayaking. The resort also features a kids’ pool including a mini waterpark with two waterslides and a rope swing.
The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas | St. Thomas, USVI
Following a $100-million renovation, The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas features an alluring blend of sea-inspired luxury and resort amenities. Embark on an idyllic retreat at this jewel among hotels in the US Virgin Islands, where you will discover endless views over Great Bay, and a variety of new and enhanced water features like, a remodeled infinity pool positioned to look as if it is flowing directly into the ocean, a new pool with a water slide for families and fun splash pad area, a luxury catamaran for sunset cruises, snorkeling tours and private events, and a Seaside Spa Cabana for those parents seeking outdoor pampering.
COMO Parrot Cay | Turks and Caicos
COMO Parrot Cay caters to solitude seekers and is perfect for families or groups of friends looking to re-connect. Light blues from the Caribbean Sea seamlessly bleed into the infinity edged main pool, measuring some 5,490 square feet. Flanked by cream teak sun loungers and two Indonesian- style thatched bales at each extremity, COMO Parrot Cay's Main Pool embraces the natural scenery of the tropical private island.
Grand Hyatt Baha Mar | Nassau, The Bahamas
This 1,000-acre family-friendly oceanfront oasis, featuring 1,800 spacious rooms and 40+ international dining options, also features a wide-range of water-centric amenities for families, including seven elaborate pools tailored to every interest—from waterfalls and cliff jumps to a little poolside rain and a swim with the turtles in an underwater marine cavern—to snorkeling with marine life at the on-site Beach Sanctuary. Just opened is the resort’s new family-friendly luxury waterpark, Baha Bay, situated on 15-acres along the beachfront and offering families unlimited complimentary access to enjoy 24 water slides, interactive rides, and a variety of al fresco culinary experiences.
Read our property review here.
Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico | Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is one of the most accessible destinations for travelers from the U.S. right now with the convenience of travel without a passport. Famed against the backdrop of the nation’s only tropical rainforest, Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico is THE dreamy destination to stay in Puerto Rico with all-suite, bungalow-style accommodations including newly launched Regency Suites, ideal for larger families, which include private plunge pools, outdoor showers, an outdoor dining area and direct access to the beach.
The property is home to Puerto Rico’s first floating waterpark and Puerto Rico’s largest lagoon-style pool offering plenty of outdoor activities for the whole family. Additional on-property amenities include a full-service spa; five on-site culinary eateries and two 18-hole world-class Tom Kite-designed golf courses. Off property travelers can explore the waterfalls in El Yunque National Rainforest, kayak in one of the three bioluminescent bays on the island or see American history firsthand by touring the 18th century fortress Castillo San Cristóbal in nearby San Juan.
Atlantis Paradise Island | Nassau, Bahamas
Be prepared to be blown away at Aquaventure, a 141-acre water park that takes awesomeness to a new level. Twenty million gallons of water, extreme water slides, a mile-long river ride with swirling rapids, 11 swimming pools including three kids' pools, a kids' water-play fort and 20 swimming areas are just some of the incredible attractions that will provide non-stop fun for all ages. If that's not enough excitement, you'll find the largest open-air marine habitat in the world and there's also close encounters with dolphins, sea lions and even sharks. When you want some "me time", sign the kids into the kids' club and head to the spa for some pampering. There's so much to keep tots, tweens, teens and even grownups grinning from ear to ear, you won't want to leave.
Nickelodeon Hotel and Resorts Punta Cana | Dominican Republic
If you're looking for an all-inclusive resort that will wow even the most hard-to-please youngsters, Nickelodeon Hotel and Resorts Punta Cana is a dream come true. Along with swim-up suites and luxe villas inspired by Bikini Bottom, Spongebob's pineapple-shaped home, plus a rather gorgeous infinity pool, it has its very own water park, Aqua Nick offering all out fun for all ages. Here you'll find winding slides, splash pads and a lazy river. Add to this mass slimings, carnivals, a kids' club and being able to hang out with Dora the Explorer or Paw Patrol, and your tribe will think they're in heaven. When you feel like ditching them for some adult-only time at the spa or maybe the bar, there's a huge kids' club with an impressive activity program. Check out our guide to everything the hotel has to offer here.
Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda | Miches, Dominican Republic
The first and only resort in the secluded region of Miches is located along a 2,000-foot stretch of untouched white sand beach, offering families the opportunity to take a leisurely dip in the Atlantic or partake in the resort’s array of complimentary water activities, including kayaking, paddle boarding and snorkeling. Families can also enjoy the luxury all-inclusive resort’s ocean-facing walk-in pool in the heart of the property or while kids enjoy time in the kids clubs, adults can enjoy some alone time in the naturally-filtered adults-only Zen pool while indulging in fresh smoothies, detox juices, and imaginative cocktails at the swim-up bar. The resort also features four boutique “villages” with distinct concepts (wellness, adventure, kid-friendly and adult-exclusive) for every type of traveler—and the family-friendly La Perla section, an exclusive area with 16 oceanfront family suites and four oceanfront family penthouses—offers families access to a private pool and cabanas on a dedicated section of the beach footsteps away.
—Kate Loweth, Janine Clements, Allison Sutcliffe & Amber Guetebier
Water Safety Tips from the Great Wolf Lodge
17 Stunning Grottos & Natural Pools You Can Visit This Summer
12 Unplugged Family Vacations to Take This Year