7 Alternative Waterparks You Can Enjoy Without the Kids

Mediterranean slides, surf ranches and the laziest of rivers

By Tanner Garrity

 
7 Alternative Waterparks You Can Enjoy Without the Kids
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16 May 2018

This is but one installment of 37 Things a Man's Gotta Do This Summer, our annual compendium of everything worth seeing, doing, eating, drinking and generally making time for in your neck of the woods between now and September. Stay tuned all month for more.


Who doesn’t love a waterpark?

People who don't like chlorine, urine and sugared-up children, for one.

But aquatic adventures that cater to adults do, in fact, exist — they just require a willingness to entertain alternate definitions of what a waterpark is, or could be. We boiled it down to the following simple criteria: somewhere you'll A) get wet; B) make some fantastic memories; and C) isn’t the local public pool.

What follows is a list of superlative options for achieving all three, along with an (improved, we promise) chance of avoiding the tots.

For the adrenaline junkie ...
NLand Surf Park
Austin

Jazzed when you heard about Kelly Slater’s “surf ranch”? Try the engineered waves movement for yourself at NLand’s Bay Wave, with a weeklong pass. They offer beginner’s lessons, a juice bar, tacos, yoga and their own brewing company with a taproom.

del mare (2 images)

For the Mediterranean-minded ...
Città del Mare
Sicily

A resort village cut into the coast about 45 minutes west of Palermo, Città del Mare boasts more pools than it knows what to do with, one of them an Olympic-sized beauty. The real draw though, is Toboggan, the self-proclaimed “tallest water slide in Europe,” which empties out into the Mediterranean Sea.

For the globetrotter  …
Aquaventure Waterpark
Dubai

Located at Atlantis, The Palm, on Dubai’s artificial tree-shaped archipelago, this place is patently ridiculous. Once managed by the same folks behind Atlantis of The Bahamas, Aquaventure at the Palm is tougher to get to than its Caribbean cousin (that’s a good thing, trust) and features a slew of swaggering slides. There are also 23 restaurants, because … why not.

For the aesthete ...
Kastrup Sea Bath
Copenhagen

Go the Danish way for some effortless, refined water fun. Copenhagen continues to make wonderful use of its coast and waterways (floating parks are up next) and Kastrup, built in 2005, is a relative throwback. The award-winning azobe wood structure comes with diving towers for plunging into the sea and various tiers for sunbathing. The whole place even lights up something special at the end of the day.

tropical islands (2 images)

For the purist …
Tropical Islands
Germany

This German wonderland’s outdoor area, “Amazonia,” has the 820-foot river of your idle, slothful, beer-sucking dreams. Not to mention a jungle paradise within a temp-controlled complex the size of the Superdome, along with an array of saunas and spas. The whole shindig’s just 40 miles from Berlin.

crystal (2 images)

For the futurist …
Crystal Lagoons
Florida, More in production

A concept we expect to be checking in on more than once in the next decade. Put simply, Crystal Lagoons imagines a world where lagoons can be built and arranged (in towns, on college campuses, astride malls) like parks. Their first completed project is 7.5 acres of shallows in Epperson, Florida. And Michael Phelps seems into it, which is good enough for us. 

Bonus: For the naturalist ...
The world's best swimming holes
Various locations

Forget manmade waterparks — the best aquatic excursions are the ones that have been here since long before we arrived. Talking  swimming holes, those dark and deep natural wonders that are free of chlorine and ready for you to uncork your best Jack Sparrow leap. Here are eight of our favorites around the globe.

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