Though concrete makes a handy surface for bicycle riding and sweltering summer egg frying, it necessitates astonishing quantities of motor oil to become suitable for tubing adventures. Return tubes and wave riders to their natural habitat with today's Groupon: for $9, you get a general-admission ticket to Summer Waves Water Park in Jekyll Island (up to a $19.95 value).
A splash-filled wonderland packed with slides, tunnels, and a wave pool, Summer Waves Water Park provides aquatic diversions for energetic youngsters. Eschew horizontal planes for vertical double drops in the Pirate's Passage—a 300-foot enclosed inner-tube tunnel of thrills—or plunge down the fearsome Nature's Revenge, a twisting and turning 300-foot slide that dumps riders into a welcoming pool. Kid-friendly water guns in the Splash Zone give young paddlers the means to repulse any attacks from hydrophobic sugar-cube monsters, and less frenzied swimmers partake in leisurely floats down Turtle Creek at 3 mph, the same speed that NASA shuttles are towed to the launch pad. Lounge chairs lining the Frantic Atlantic wave pool are an ideal place for sun or cloud bathing, and the kiddie pool, with its tot-sized slides and gentle waterfalls, will delight pint-sized hangers-on. When pool play turns paws pruny, dry out with a game of volleyball on one of the sun-drenched courts, or nosh a sandwich from Larry's Giant Subs in the park (the cost is not included in today’s Groupon).
Jekyll Island Authority
On Jekyll Island, waves lick the 10 miles of beaches as kayaks cut through the salty water, cyclists roll over 20 miles of paved trails, and riders on horseback clop through hushed maritime forests. All visitors to the barrier island can partake in myriad active, relaxing, or educational activities while immersed in its lush natural landscapes, where dunes give way to beaches filled with hermit crabs and shell collecting and where birders clutch binoculars to examine avian habitats and decode gulls' sign language. The island's public golf club, open since 1898, hosts two 18-hole courses and one 9-hole course on manicured greens and rolling terrain. In the summer, the Summer Waves Water Park provides a cool escape from the heat with six slides, a wave pool, and a lazy river. For indoor adventurers, exhibits at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center illuminate the lives of the shelled reptiles, and a museum preserves relics of the wealthy families who used the island as their gilded getaway and a place to bury their expired money. The Jekyll Island Authority oversees all conservation and development on the idyllic island, existing to continually improve the park and its amenities.