The first wave pool hit Point Mallard Park in Decatur, Alabama, in 1970 and the waterpark craze has been growing ever since. According to the World Waterpark Association there are more than a thousand waterparks in the United States, and attendance across North America is growing by 5 percent each year.
For those of us living in -- or planning to visit -- the Midwest, the Wisconsin Dells should be considered the waterpark Mecca. The first indoor waterpark was built here in 1989 and now this is home to the largest indoor waterpark resort in the U.S. -- the Wilderness Hotel has three waterparks totaling 250,000 square feet.
This is also home to the largest outdoor waterpark in America, Noah's Ark Waterpark. Noah's Ark is 70 acres and visited by more than 560,000 people every year. Grab your sunscreen and swimsuit and get in line to enjoy the longest indoor leisure river in the U.S.