The ski industry’s evolution toward year-round destinations has a twist with the indoor water park trend. While mountain biking and skiing combine for a mostly seasonal pairing, indoor water parks can stay open both in the summer and ski season. The water parks also fit the other major trend of increasing activities for non-skiers.
Here are 12 places (listed from west to east) where you can wear your swimsuit for much more than just an après-ski hot tub.
Jay Peak has some of the best skiing on this list. The area is known for its annual natural snowfall of 377 inches— the highest average in the East. Opened in 2011, the slopeside indoor waterpark is also impressive. Inside the Pump House Indoor Waterpark, La Chute is a thrilling slide that sends riders up to 45 miles per hour. See Jay Peak Pump House Indoor Waterpark ticket deals.
Silver Mountain is the West’s spot for combining skiing with indoor water park fun. As the biggest ski area on this list, it has 1,600 acres of skiable terrain with a vertical drop of 2,200 feet. The 50,000-square-foot Silver Rapids Indoor Water Park features two enclosed tube slides and a continuous wave surfing machine. Guests of the resort’s Morning Star Lodge can use the park for free. Lodge guests can purchase additional $27 day tickets for friends or relatives. Groups of 15 or more can also arrange admittance.
Cascade Mountain in the Wisconsin Dells region does not have an indoor water park right at the base. However, the ski area sits in the heart of indoor-water-park heaven. The Dells area is practically synonymous with indoor water parks. Located 20 minutes from Cascade, the Wilderness Resort bills itself as America’s largest water park resort. The Kalahari Resort is another big nearby park among a host of options.
Less than two hours north of the Dells, Granite Peak can offer the nearby Grand Lodge Waterpark Resort. The 50,000-square-foot park doesn’t match the huge parks down in the Dells, but Granite Peak makes up for it on the skiing side with more vertical than Cascade.
Grand Geneva Resort was once a Playboy Club, but the bunnies have been gone since 1982. While the ski hill goes back to the Playboy days, the Timber Ridge Lodge and Waterpark was added to the property in 2001. The 50,000-square-foot park is limited to resort guests and groups.
Boyne Mountain is one of the few true destination ski areas in the Midwest. The Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark just steps from the slopes helps back up that description. Guests at the Mountain Grand Lodge and Spa don’t even have to go outside to visit the adjoining waterpark. However, a hotel stay is not required to visit the park.
Less than two hours from Toronto, Blue Mountain has the unusual Plunge! water park in its base village. Both the outdoor and indoor portions are open in the winter. Season pass holders for the ski area receive a discount at the water park.
The ski area at Massanutten claims 1,100 feet of vertical—the most in Virginia, Maryland or Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, the resort’s indoor water park slides have 39 feet of vertical.
The Hope Lake Lodge and Indoor Waterpark is located in the shadow of Greek Peak. Staying at the lodge is not required to visit the waterpark, but lodge guests can buy discounted tickets. The ski area has 220 skiable acres with a vertical drop of 952 feet.
Camelback recently completed its sprawling 125,000-square-foot Aquatopia indoor water park—the largest park in the Poconos- for its lodge guests. The indoor attraction is steps from the lifts at the ski area with 166 skiable acres. Also just 15 minutes from the ski area, the Great Wolf Lodge offers its own indoor water park to its guests.
Skiers and boarders at Gore Mountain can stay 40 minutes away at the Six Flags Great Escape Lodge and Water Park. Lodge guests can use the 38,000-square-foot indoor park for free, but day passes are also available. Hickory Ski Center is another skiing option located about 20 minutes from the lodge.
About 15 minutes from Attitash, the Kahuna Laguna Indoor Water Park is open to registered guests of the Fox Ridge Resort and Red Jacket Mountain View Resort. Water park fees are $40 per day for adults and children.