I swear, I was a fish inside a previous life. If there is something that I always look forward to in the summer, it's swimming. Growing up, I was lucky enough to reside in a neighborhood that had a private lake where I possibly could spend my summer days splashing in the sun and catching spotted salamanders. However, when I reached the age of 13, the lake was no longer as fun as it used to be. I was bored with spending day after summer day catapulting my body off the dock and I was obtaining a little too old to care about who's cannonball could make the biggest splash.

That's also the summer when I visited my first water park.

I can still remember the smell of a large number of bodies slathered in sunscreen and achieving to push through crowds of screaming children just to get into the park. But what I remember most is how much I loved sliding down the dangerously tall water slide, spending too much time splashing around in the wave pool, and grubbing on the basket of chicken tenders and fried potatoes as my mom reapplied a thick layer of sunscreen for that fifth time that day. That's when I decided that water parks are the ultimate summer destination. From thrilling water slides to relaxing lazy rivers, they have attractions for all ages. Check out these 7 water parks in the U.S. that you're not gonna wish to miss out on this summer!

1. Noah's Ark, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Termed “America's Largest Water Park”, this enormous tourist hotspot contains over 50 water slides, four children's water play areas, two giant wave pools, and 4-D dive-in movie theater. Located in the “Waterpark Capital of the World”, Noah's Ark is the ultimate summer destination. General admission tickets at the door are only $38.99, and they are even cheaper if you plan in advance or with a group!

2. Dollywood's Splash Country, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

This award-winning waterpark located in the southern state of Tennessee boasts 35 fun-filled acres of attractions and southern hospitality which will call you back summer after summer. Certainly one of their most well-known attractions may be the Cascades, an 8,000 square-foot lagoon-style pool that features waterfalls, a geyser, and a lot of interactive elements. Single-day admission tickets are $48 for adults and $43 for children and seniors.

3. Wet n' Wild, Orlando, Florida

Scheduled to permanently close its doors on December 31, 2021, you better take the chance to visit this park before it's too late! Single-day passes are $39.99 for Florida residents and $48 for out-of-state residents. Plus, for the lucky Florida residents, the park is providing their “buy a day, get the rest of the year free” limited-time offer. That means you have to pay $39.99 for unlimited water park visits throughout all of 2021. Say what?!!

4. Splashin' Safari, Father christmas, Indiana

Part of the Holiday World Theme Park, Splashin’ Safari features some of the nation's best water rides. In fact, Amusement Today listed the Wildebeest, a two-and-a-half-minute fast-paced water coaster, because the #1 Water Park Ride on the Planet. Single-day tickets to Holiday World have an all access pass to this incredible water park for as little as $44.99!

5. Water Country USA, Williamsburg, Virginia

From thrilling water slides, family water rides, poolside attractions, and water diving shows, this place has it all! One of their most widely used rides is the Colossal Curl. This exciting water ride is an action-packed adventure that includes swishing and swirling its guests via a funnel before shooting them through a set of colorful tubes. Purchase general admission tickets online which are $52 for adults and $45 for kids aged 3-9.

6. Water World, Denver, Colorado

Located just Fifteen minutes from downtown Denver, this is one of America's largest family water parks. Water World has over 45 different water attractions and boasts more family tube rides than every other water park in America. General admission tickets are as little as $36.99 for the day, leaving you some extra cash to rent one of their fancy cabanas to help keep you protected from the sun.

7. Schlitterbahn Water Park, Multiple Locations

With four different locations in Texas and one in Kansas, each one offers some of the world's best water rides. The Kansas City location is home to the World's Tallest Waterslide, the Verrückt. Designed for only the most daring adventure-seekers, this water slide will take you up a 168 foot and seven inch structure and blast you down not just one, but two, gut wrenching drops. Although ticket prices range for each location, they do not exceed $42, making any of these locations a fun and affordable summer destination.

Next time you complain that you are tired of swimming at your local pool, scrounge up some cash, get your friends together, and have a road trip to one of these awesome water adventure parks! Located all over the U.S, a minumum of one of these 7 water parks is definitely no more than a few hours drive of your stuff! What are you waiting for? Slap on some sunscreen, pack your swim trunks, you should get some favorite pair of shades, and visit one of these water parks while school has gone out and sun is shining!