Water parks in and around Virginia Beach provide an alternative to catching natural waves at the beach. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on family-fun parks, here is our guide to all the key information visitors need to know about Virginia Beach water parks.
Water Country USAThe largest water park in the Mid-Atlantic, Water Country USA is located near Williamsburg, Va. The entire park is designed to echo the classic surfer lifestyle of the '50s and '60s. It features Virginia's largest wave pool, see-through tube slides and the "Island Quest Dive Show," a live show.
The Vanish PointEnter the Vanish Point by stepping into a small booth at the top of a 75-foot tower. Then, the door to the sky box closes -- and the floor vanishes! The vertical drop sends thrill-seekers twisting and sliding 300 feet into the pool below.
Lazy River, Meet White-Water RaftingThe Hubba Hubba Highway is a lazy river that draws floating riders through a series of sprinklers, geysers and water drops. Surfer's Bay, the 23,000-square-foot wave pool, offers visitors a chance to ride 4-foot waves. Big Daddy River is a family-sized white-water river experience. Four adults or two adults and three children ride together on a raft through twisting curves and drenching spray.
Traditional Park FareThe Catalina Grill, Daddy O's Eats and the Cosmic Cafe all offer traditional park food such as pizza, burgers and hot dogs. The Hot Spot Cafe and Surfside market serve healthier fare such as salads, sandwiches, chilled fruit and deli wraps.
Safety RecordOur research revealed no notable news reports of accidents or safety issues at Water Country USA.
Address: 176 Water Country Parkway, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Hours: June, July and the first two weeks of August the park is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The last two weeks of August the park is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The final week in August and the first week in September, the park is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Price: Admission for adults 10 and up is $46.99; children three to nine, $39.99.
Ocean Breeze is located just two miles south of the oceanfront, so it's close to all the action of Virginia Beach. The park underwent renovation and re-opened in the spring of 2011 with two new attractions: Neptune's Revenge and Hook's Lagoon. Ocean Breeze boasts 16 water slides and a 1 million gallon wave pool.
Four Slides In OneOpened in 2011, Neptune's Revenge offers riders four different experiences: The Trident, Sea Serpent, Earth Shaker and the Vortex. Two slides offer funnel flumes that twist riders topsy-turvy as they shoot through open and enclosed tubes. One route has a "bullet bowl" that spins riders through a tight corkscrew before sending them splashing into the pool. According to the press release posted at the Behind the Thrills Website, the closest rides that are similar are in New York and Iowa.
A Giant Wave PoolIf you're looking for more controlled waves than the beach, check out Runaway Bay, the 1 million gallon wave pool. Younger visitors will enjoy a trip to Hook's Lagoon, a four-story water playground unveiled in 2011. Adventurous park-goers can try the Hurricane: A pipe water slide drops into a funnel that washes riders into the pool. The Coconut Drop is a pipeline ride with a six-foot drop from the edge of the slide to the pool. For a more laid-back ride, try Jungle Falls, which combines white-water rafting with a lazy river.
Dining OptionsRestaurants at Ocean Breeze serve pizza, hot dogs and burgers. Kiosks sell drinks, ice cream and candy. Outside food is not allowed with the exception of baby food packed in a plastic container. Glass is not allowed in the park.
Safety RecordOur research revealed no notable news reports of accidents or safety issues at Ocean Breeze Water Park.
Address: 849 General Booth Blvd., Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Hours: Open daily June, July and August from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Price: Adult tickets are $29.99 at the gate and $26.99 online. Children ages 3 to 9 are $21.99.
Other Noteworthy Parks Near Virginia BeachSplash Down Kalahari Water Park Water Park at Massanutten Great Wolf Lodge Water Works Waterpark
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