Temperatures in Berlin consistently plunge below 0 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, and the Rhine River may be what comes to mind when you think of Germany’s waterways.
But just south of Berlin is a tropical oasis, complete with sandy beaches, lagoons and waterfalls — all packed into a giant, vacated airplane hangar. It’s called Tropical Islands and is the world’s largest water park, according to Travel & Leisure. The expansive park covers 16 acres, or six city blocks.
See the massive water park in action:
Park guests can stay overnight in tents, teepees, rooms or lodges. Before you dismiss it as just child’s play, know this: There’s a lavish rainforest-inspired spa, with steam rooms, a salt cave and saunas. Ready to book your plane ticket yet?
Here are some other highlights of the waterpark:
- A balmy beach: The Tropical Sea is a 656-foot-long “sea” that’s kept at 82 degrees. (To help you picture just how big that is, it’s the equivalent of three Olympic swimming pools.) There is a paddling and play area for kids, as well as a sandy beach where you can build sandcastles. If you’re visiting on a sunny day, the park reminds guests to wear sunscreen as the hangar’s roof panels are transparent and the sun can shine through.
- A Bali-inspired lagoon: With palm trees, a grotto and a waterfall, the jungle portion of the waterpark offers up waterslides and whirlpools.
- A tower of waterslides: At almost 90 feet tall, the tower of four water slides is the largest in Germany.
- A children’s play area: Aside from all of the water attractions, a kids’ play area includes a go-kart track, bumper boats, giant Legos, an air hockey table and more.
Water Parks Located Closer To Home
Want to visit an indoor water park, but not sure you want to travel all the way to Germany? Great Wolf Lodge resorts, which have indoor water parks and theme rides, are at 15 locations across the United States, plus a location in Ontario, Canada, and they often offer Groupon deals for discounted stays. And look how amazing the pool looks in this photo Great Wolf posted to Instagram:
Another fun option that won’t require a trans-Atlantic plane ride is Virginia’s Water Country USA, which is the largest water park in the state. In addition to pools, children’s play areas and lazy rivers, thrill-seekers can enjoy a wild ride the Colossal Curl.
Visit ‘Nature’s Water Parks’
Prefer to splash in one of “nature’s water parks?” Then you’ll want to check out one of North America’s most amazing swimming holes.
Sliding Rock, located in North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest, is essentially a giant water slide made by Mother Nature. About 11,000 gallons of water from a waterfall spill over this giant sheet of rock every minute, making for some summer fun in beautiful surroundings.
Take a look at this gorgeous natural water slide, shared on Facebook by RomanticAshville.com:
For a more serene water experience, take a dip in Florida’s Madison Blue Spring, located by the banks of the Withlacoochee River. This limestone pool is 24 feet deep, and visitors can enjoy canoeing, kayaking, fishing and scuba diving in underwater caves.