Denver may be landlocked, but that doesn't mean we can't find a cool refuge - or even a sandy beach. Escape the summer heat with these watery respites.
Chatfield Reservoir: Head to the foothills for the swim beach on the west side of Chatfield. This 1,355-acre storage reservoir is also open to boating, water skiing, jet skis, wakeboarding and tubing. Restrooms are available; no lifeguards are on duty.
Open daily through Labor Day, 10am - 6pm; $8/vehicle
11500 N. Roxborough Park Road, Littleton; 303-791-7275
Water World: Boasting more attractions than any other American water park, you'll have 46 adventures to enjoy in your quest to stay cool. Wally World and Big Top Family Fun Zone are available for the youngsters, but thrill the big kid in you with rides like The Revolution's six-story drop or the dark and twisty tubes of Jet Stream.
Open daily through Sep. 5, 10am - 6pm; $31 - $36, discounts for local residents, mid-day rates available
1800 W. 89th Ave., Federal Heights; 303-427-SURF (7873)
Belleview Park: Find both shallow and deep water in the creek here, which cuts through the middle of the greenery. Kids, adults and a few canines can usually be found wading through the lazy stream any time of day (pictured). Families can also check out the nearby playgrounds, petting zoo and miniature passenger train.
Open daily; free
5001 S. Inca Drive, Englewood
Aurora Reservoir: East of town you'll find designated swimming areas at this 2,500-acre park complete with restrooms, changing areas and picnic shelters as well as a windsurf beach and scuba area. Non-motorized boating is also permitted along with boat rental options.
5:30am - 9pm (times vary/month); $10/vehicle
5800 S. Powhaton Road, Aurora
Confluence Park: Splash around in the Platte near Confluence Park, across from REI, for a cool water respite in the midst of downtown. Bring a tube or kickboard for playing in the swift water, but beware of kayakers testing their mettle.
200 15th St., at Water St.
Pirates Cove: This little south-metro gem offers big water fun without big parking hassles or prices. Visit during the week for easy seating, short lines at the slides, and plenty of tubing room on the lazy river.
Daily through Aug. 14, 10am - 6pm, Aug. 20 - Sep. 5, open weekends, 10am - 6pm; $6.25 - $9.25, age 2 & under free, passes available
1225 W. Belleview Ave., Littleton; 303-762-COVE