Guests at the Breakers Resort can be forgiven if they opt not to visit a waterpark. After all, you only need to take a few steps outside your door to find all kinds of aquatic attractions, like the Pirate Ship kiddie pool and playground, the 418-foot lazy river and indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Oh yeah, did we mention the Atlantic Ocean?
But for those who can't seem to get enough of the wet stuff, Myrtle Beach is home to several waterparks that offer plenty of thrills and chills. But you had better act fast because they all turn off their faucets after Labor Day weekend. With that in mind, here are the top three waterparks to visit on the Grand Strand:
Myrtle Waves: For the ultimate aquatic experience, take the short drive down 21st Avenue North past Broadway at the Beach to the largest waterpark in South Carolina. It's easy to spot because of the towering slides, flumes and chutes rising above the horizon, and you can hear the screams of those brave souls zooming down the rides and making a splash landing. Myrtle Waves unveiled its latest attraction this summer with the Rockin' Ray, a double-tiered speed ride that is drawing rave reviews from daredevil types. Thrill-seekers must try the Turbo Twisters, Riptide Rockets, Snake Mountain, Arooba Tooba, Night Flight, Thunderbolts and Super Chute, while those looking for a slightly tamer experience can relax in the Wave Pool or take a spin around the Lazy River. Let the little ones get into the action at Bubble Bay or Saturation Station, a pair of kiddie playgrounds where they can splash and play in a safe and fun environment. For maximum enjoyment, rent a private cabana for the day and relax while the others get wet and wild.
Splashes (Family Kingdom): The only oceanfront waterpark in Myrtle Beach is the latest addition to the Family Kingdom lineup. Located across Ocean Boulevard from Family Kingdom amusement park in downtown Myrtle Beach, Splashes features towering and twisting water slides that splash down just steps away from the beach. Kiddie pools and splash pads are available for smaller guests, and speed rides, water flumes and a lazy river are part of the experience. Like Family Kingdom, there's no admission fee so adults can tag along to supervise at no charge. Armbands provide full access to the waterpark, and a combo pass gives guests full run of Family Kingdom as well. Dry off and ride the roller coasters, go karts and kiddie rides for a full day of fun. Splashes shuts off the water for the season on Sept. 6 but Family Kingdom closes Oct. 3.
Wild Water & Wheels: It’s a bit of a trek down to Garden City Beach to this waterpark/race track, but many old school thrill-seekers say it’s well worth the 15-mile drive. Featuring tall speed slides, mat slides, tube slides and water flumes, Wild Water & Wheels also has a lazy river, wave pool, kiddie attractions and more. There’s something for the whole family at this entertainment complex, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this summer. The Race Zone boasts a series of go-kart tracks where guests can challenge one another for the checkered flag. There’s even a popular attraction that combines the waterpark theme with the race track – Bumper Boats, where riders can swap some waterproof paint in the small ships. Wild Water & Wheels also has an arcade with the latest high-tech games, a miniature golf course, a snack bar and more. The last day to hit this fun factory is Sept. 7.