August is here, folks, and it’s hot. Need a new way to stay cool? How about spending the day sliding, falling, rafting, floating and relaxing in all the H2O you can handle.
If you’re looking to beat the summer heat, visit Six Flags White Water in Marietta, Ga., where pools, slides, tubing and more await. Dubbed the largest water park in the South, the venue offers more than 20 attractions designed for a variety of ages and interests.
For thrill seekers, the newest feature, aptly named Tornado, hurls your inflatable raft seven stories into a 132-foot water funnel. Another attraction, the Dragon’s Tail, boasts a bouncy slide with three sudden drops that might send you airborne.
True daredevils will want to try The Cliffhanger. This nine-story plunge ranks among the tallest freefalls in the world. It will reinvent the way you think about water slides — and potentially leave fellow park visitors laughing as you scream your way down. Or that could be just me. Either way, it’s a must for fans of that heart-in-your-throat feeling.
Want to take it slower? Don’t worry — the rides are designated “mild,” “moderate” or “max” to let guests know exactly what they’re in for. For those who want a more relaxing visit, the park has plenty of options.
Families with little ones will enjoy The Wiggles Water World, new this year. Featuring tiny slides, sprinklers, jungle gyms and other age-appropriate activities, this splash-happy playground will delight even the youngest visitor.
Children of all ages and adults who want to take it easy can play in the Activity Pool or go tubing in the circular Little Hooch River. Plenty of lounge chairs are scattered around for a rest between swims. If you want to shake things up a little, take a dip in the Atlanta Ocean Wave Pool, where four-foot waves can provide hours of fun.
Tree House Island is another kid-friendly destination that’s also fun for adults. It’s four stories of stairs, chutes, slides, nets and bridges — think maze-like fort with a seriously leaky roof. You have to be shorter than 54 inches to ride the slides, but anyone can appreciate the cool water unexpectedly raining down in spurts or floods. Tip: shrieking enhances the experience.
If you want to step things up a notch, whoosh down one of the many water slides — on a mat, in a raft, in a tube, in a two-person tube or just on your back. On some slides, like The 100-Meter Splash and The Three-Slide Body Flume, you can even race your friends.
Traditional park fare and a little bit more are available for hungry riders. If you want something refreshing, go for a smoothie, milkshake, sundae, chilled cappuccino, yogurt or root beer float.
Main dishes include chicken fingers, hamburgers, turkey legs, pizza and hot dogs with sides ranging from onion rings to nachos to salads. And of course, there are funnel cakes, piled high with cream, syrup and a cherry.
If you know you’re going to eat at the park, save time and money by buying a meal voucher online and enjoy the convenience of not carrying your wallet around. Try to dine before 1 p.m. to avoid the lunchtime rush.
Online tickets cost $29.99, a $7 discount on gate admission. Guests under 48 inches pay only $26.99, and children 2 and younger get in free.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends and Labor Day through Sept. 12. Check the forecast before heading out because water rides close for safety during inclement weather.
Safety is important at White Water. Life jackets are available, free of charge, around the park, and trained staff members man each attraction. Safety information is posted for each ride, including height requirements for some of the more high-intensity rides.
So however you style it — laidback or head first, floating or falling — you’re sure to cool off in the coolest way possible.
For more information, visit www.sixflags.com/whitewater.