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Boy, do North Carolina summers heat up. By sunrise, you start to sweat and the humidity only gets thicker throughout the day, turning your sunny day into sunny soup. Sticks of deodorant and spare t-shirts are necessities as you desperately look for an escape. The beach is nice, but maybe it’s a haul. Or, maybe you’ve had enough salt and sand for a while and are looking for a day of fun doing something different. What about a trip to one of the best water parks in North Carolina? We’re here with a list of the state’s best so that you can bring the kids to cool down and not have to worry about carrying ten pounds of sand back in your car. From steep slides to lazy rivers, we’ve got you covered.

By Poznyakov

Wet N’ Wild Emerald Pointe Water Park, Greensboro

Emerald Pointe brings an excellent mix of intense water slides and low key kids pool areas. So if your little ones cover the age range, this park has to be at the top of your list. Swim out and board the pirate ship in the center of one of the main pools or go for speed at the double barrel blast slides. The four-foot drop at the end of the slides always provide a bit of a surprise. If the slides aren’t your thing, do a little white water rafting at the Raging Rapids or slow it down and float down the lazy river.

By Groupon

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White Lake Water Park, Elizabethtown

White Lake has one of the state’s best water slides in the Double Turbo Twister. Roughly 50 feet tall and over two hundred feet long, the slide is as good as it gets for teenage and adult park-goers.

The younger kids can enjoy the five thousand-square foot wading pool with plenty of interactive activities to keep things interesting. There’s also a concession area if all that playing in the water stirs up some appetites.

By CrazyTours

Great Wolf Lodge, Concord

Maybe you’ve had enough sun and are looking for a different kind of water park fun. Great Wolf Lodge is an indoor water park that offers 11 waterslides and four wading pools, along with excellent dining options right next to the park. The best way to think of Great Wolf is all the fun of the other water parks without the vicious sunburn at the end of the day. That sounds pretty sweet to us. Plus, it’s a little more comfortable and has more of a resort feel than just a regular water park.


Carowinds, Charlotte

Carowinds is absolutely massive and caters to plenty of people in the Charlotte area looking to cool down on a hot summer day. Blackbeard’s Revenge is a six-story-high slide that plunges down sharply. Surfer’s Swell is a 260-foot wave pool that will put you at the beach minus the sand. Seaside Splashworks is a kids area full of interactive activities so the young ones will be happy while the older kids tackle the slides.

By Hilton

Jungle Rapids, Wilmington

Jungle Rapids is an excellent option for families looking to enjoy a water park together. In Wilmington, it can be tough to turn down the local beaches, but once again, a little something different is often a welcome break. With plenty of slides and wading pools, guests have plenty of ways to cool down. If you want a break from the sun, you can also dip inside and play bumper cars or laser tag. Jungle Rapids is an ideal option for those seeking variety.

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