A whitewater ride can provide an exhilarating experience, and water parks provide a way of enjoying this type of fun in a safe environment. North Carolina offers residents and visitors a choice of several water parks for a wet and wild day. These range from indoor water parks to outdoor activity centers.
Wet 'n Wild Emerald Point
Wet 'n Wild Emerald Point (emeraldpointe.com) lies just south of Greensboro. This water park boasts more than 30 rides and slides to enjoy. These include Runaway Raft, which has visitors speeding along a 600-foot flume on plastic rafts, and Raging Rapids, which provides tubing fun on man-made river rapids. Other attractions include water slides such as Daredevil Drop, Bonzai Pipeline, and Double Barrel Blast. As of August 2011, the park operates from late May until early September.
Great Wolf Lodge Water Park
Those looking for indoor fun can visit the Great Wolf Lodge Water Park (greatwolf.com). Located in Concord, Great Wolf offers a variety of slides and rides, including the Howlin' Tornado, in which 4-person rafts drop into a 6-story tunnel slide. Alberta Falls is an enclosed water slide that twists in and out of the building on a 4-story drop to a plunge pool. Other attractions include Fort Mackenzie, a spray park area for kids featuring cargo nets, water slides and a 1,000 gallon tipping bucket.
Carowinds (carowinds.com), in Charlotte, provides visitors with a variety of entertainment. This includes a water park with a couple of exciting rides to enjoy. Rip Roarin' Rapids requires visitors to navigate their way down a 1,685-foot artificial whitewater river course. Or choose the thrill of Whitewater Falls, which involves dropping down a 45-foot waterfall, as well as negotiating a 20-foot wave, during the course of the ride.
Outdoor Activity Centers
The U.S. National Whitewater Center (usnwc.org), in Charlotte, boasts one of the longest man-made whitewater rivers in the world. It is more than 3,700 feet long, and provides visitors with the opportunity to try the whitewater rafting experience in the company of a trained guide. Options include family, adventure and rodeo rafting to suit all skill levels. You can also try whitewater kayaking, and take one of the center's beginner courses.
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