Water Park Road Trip: 11 places for water fun along the Gulf Coast

Pack your bags for some water fun this summer.

With temperatures heating up, many families are looking for fun ways to beat the heat. Memorial Day weekend kicks off the opening of several water parks along the Gulf Coast.

Ready for a road trip for some water fun? We put together a list of water parks you can drive to in every state along the Gulf Coast to cool off.

Gulf Islands Waterpark

Location: Gulfport, Miss.

When it feels like a hot steam bath outside, just take a drive to Gulf Islands Waterpark in Gulfport, Miss. The water park offers families nearly a dozen fun water attractions like the Riptide Racer. Kids can also get a kick out of celebrity meet and greets with stars from Nickelodeon and Disney. Gulf Islands Waterpark opens on a limited Friday-Saturday schedule starting May 11, with the daily 2019 schedule starting May 22. The park offers single day tickets and season passes starting at $54.99 Here’s a preview of what to expect here.

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Waterville USA

Location: Gulf Shores, Ala.

Waterville USA is a 20-acre water park and amusement park located in Gulf Shores, Ala. The water park includes more than a dozen water slides, a lazy river, a wave pool and other themed areas. Guests can also get a thrill from several amusement park attractions including go-karts, a roller coaster, miniature golf and even an arcade. There’s also an escape game. Admission to the waterpark includes all of the water attractions from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the amusement park attractions from noon to 10 p.m. The water park opens for the 2019 season starting May 18 for that weekend and daily starting May 25. The amusement park is now open from Thursday to Sunday, switching to a daily schedule on May 16. Here’s a preview of what to expect here.

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Photo courtesy: Shipreck Island Water Park via Facebook

Shipwreck Island Water Park

Location: Panama City Beach, Fla.

Thinking of heading to the beach this summer? This water park is conveniently located right along the gulf shore of Panama City Beach, which is lined with several beach houses and summer resorts for families to stay at. More than 10 attractions populate the park, including a lazy river, wave pool and an area just for the kids. Season passes are available for $99.99. Daily admission is $37.99 for guests 50″ and taller, $29.98 for guests below 50″, and free for kids under 35″. There is also a special discounted price of $24.98 for seniors aged 62+. The park is currently open on a limited schedule and will begin daily operations starting Friday, May 31. Check their calendar for more details.

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Photo courtesy: Schlitterbahn Galveston via Facebook

Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston

Location: Galveston, Texas

Okay, this park is more than five hours away from New Orleans, but it is well worth the drive. Schlitterbahn has a chain of five parks stretching across two states. Luckily, you’ll find one along the Gulf Coast. Home to over 20 thrilling attractions, there is something for all members of the family here. Visitors this summer can experience a new, eight-story water ride called Infinity Racers opening in June. The dueling slides are each equipped with their own lighting effects. One-day ticket prices vary and season passes are also available. Get all the info you need on that here. The park is open year-round on a limited schedule and will fully open for the 2019 summer season on Saturday, June 1.

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Photo courtesy: Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks

Buccaneer Bay Waterpark

Location: Waveland, Miss.

A day-trip to this park located just outside Bay St. Louis would be a pretty good idea on a hot summer’s day. Parents can relax on the 10,000 square-foot sun deck while the kids have fun on the water playground and other attractions the park has to offer. There are also shady areas to take a breather and have a snack while letting your energy build back up for the next ride. Single-day tickets and season passes are available, with special discounts given to guests who reserve their tickets in a group or go to the park after 4 p.m. The daily schedule begins on May 25 and the park will be open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

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Photo courtesy: Geyser Falls Water Theme Park

Geyser Falls Water Theme Park

Location: Choctaw, Miss.

More than 23 acres of water park fun awaits at Geyser Falls Water Theme Park. The water theme park features 12 major water slides, a wave pool and activity areas for children and teens. One of the attractions, Backsplash, lets guests ride a waterslide backwards. Geyser Falls claims it’s the “first waterslide of its kind in America.” General admission prices vary based on day and height. The park opens during weekends on May 18 and for the full, daily 2019 season on May 25.

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Photo courtesy: Splash Kingdom Water Park via Facebook

Splash Kingdom Waterpark

Location: Shreveport, La.

Take a drive to Shreveport to visit Splash Kingdom Waterpark. From thrilling rides for adrenaline junkies to exciting kiddie areas, the water park has everyone covered for a day of ultimate summer fun. More than a dozen attractions fill the park like wild water slides, cool pools and a lazy river. General admission is $24.95, with tickets for guests under 42″ tall costing $18.95. The park also offers other packages like season passes. It will open daily for the 2019 season starting May 20. Check their calendar for exact hours.

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Photo courtesy: Liberty Lagoon

Liberty Lagoon

Location: Baton Rouge

The BREC operated waterpark in Baton Rouge includes quite a few water features including multiple water slides, a water playground, a splash pad and a lazy river. You can also test out the Shockwave — a high-speed surfing simulator. General admission is $12 for everyone over 48” tall and $10 for kids under 48″ tall. Kids 12 months and under are free. The park is currently open on a Saturday-Sunday schedule with the full daily schedule starting May 24. There’s an additional $5 for the shockwave attraction. The park also offers season passes.

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Photo courtesy: Blue Bayou via Facebook

Blue Bayou Water Park

Location: Baton Rouge

Blue Bayou offers a great way to cool off this summer with more than dozen attractions and thrilling water rides like the Mad Moccassin and Lafitte’s Plunge. Families can also take the more relaxing route by floating in the lazy river. Plus, you can double your fun with a trip to Dixie Landin’ right next door. Daily admission is $29.99 for seniors 60+ and guests 48″ and under. Guests 48″ and taller enter for $36.99. Free entry for kids 35″ and under. Opening Day is May 18 for the 2019 season on a limited Saturday-Sunday schedule. Daily operations will begin on May 23.

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Photo courtesy; Sulphur Parks & Recreation Waterpark

Sulphur Parks & Recreation Waterpark

Location: Sulphur, La.

From the Super Bowl Tube Slide to the Splash & Play Island, nearly a dozen water attractions wait for kids at Sulphur Parks and Recreation Waterpark. Out-of-district visitors can play in the waterpark for $12, while in-district residents with proof of residency pay a $6 admission fee. The park opens daily for the 2019 season on May 24 with limited operating hours happening the weekend before.

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Gator Run and Cool Zoo, Photo courtesy: Audubon Nature Institute

Audubon Cool Zoo and Gator Run

Location: New Orleans

Audubon Zoo’s popular water attractions Cool Zoo and Gator Run offer a water park option on a smaller scale right within New Orleans. The features include the alligator water slide, the spider monkey soaker, water-spitting snakes and shady spots for grown-ups. The lazy river offers Zoo visitors the option to cool down by floating atop an inner tube along a course that measures 750 linear feet in length. Three feet deep and 10 feet wide, the lazy river features two sand beaches and water cannons that can shower visitors as they float by. Regular admission to Cool Zoo, including Gator Run, is $10 for Audubon Nature Institute members and $12 for non-members, plus Audubon Zoo admission. The water park is currently open on a weekend-only schedule and will be open daily for the 2019 season starting May 27.

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