Located in the woods, Liquid Planet Water Park forms an oasis of thrilling water slides, pools, and watery play zones. Water attractions include high-speed vertical-drop slides, spiraling water runs that stretch upward of 250 feet, and brisk splash pools. Forming a relaxing buffer at the side of the park are 2,000 square feet of sandy beach that, like marshmallow swim trunks, offer cushy respite from the ubiquitous concrete-pool surroundings. The beach also borders spring-fed Crater Lake, which attracts swimmers and cannonballers with traditional watering-hole charms.
The swimsuit-clad guests at Surf's Up may not be going anywhere, but they're having lots of fun along the way. Designed to be the largest indoor wave park of its kind, the new venue from simulated-extreme-sports specialists sets surfers atop a standing wave that can—depending on the settings of its modular SurfStream machine—reach heights of 6 feet. Surfers with experience can use it to stay conditioned and improve their balance on barrel waves year round, while beginners can more easily learn to mount their boards in a 100% jellyfish-free setting. As reported on the Discovery Channel, the machine can release a rush of 750,000 liters of water per minute. And because the water temperature is kept at a mild 83 degrees, no wetsuits are necessary.
At 32 feet wide—making it the largest in North America, the owners say—the surf pool is a star attraction. But it's not the only one. There's also the FishPipe, a wildly spinning water-filled sphere that replicates the thrill of an ultra-steep water slide, a 24-foot Nicros art rock wall with an auto-belay system, and SkyVenture. The last provides the surreal thrill of falling slowly through the air with no need for a parachute—it's an indoor, vertical wind tunnel, of a kind used not only by everyday thrill-seekers but also by pro skydivers.
Right beside the rolling waters and powerful winds is the Oasis Cafe Restaurant, which completes the beachy experience with a thatched roof and tabletop shakers of sand. Even approaching the wave park puts surfers in a tropical mood, its exterior bedecked with towering palm trees and other tiki trimmings.
Adventurers glide past pine and deciduous trees, navigating branches at 200 feet above the ground. As they reach a treetop platform, guides wave them along onto a bridge that swings high above the forest floor. This nerve-racking scene is the norm at Alpine Adventures, where professionals have led guests soaring through the woodlands of New Hampshire's White Mountains since 2006. Today, in addition to leading guests on three distinct canopy tours, each testing adventurers' courage with swinging bridges and fast speeds, they captain off-road adventures in six-wheeled Swiss Pinzgauers. Up to 11 passengers sit protected by seat harnesses and an overhead roll cage as guides narrate and charge through fall foliage, winter flurries, or summer volleyball games. An aerial park invites thrill seekers to explore cargo nets, rope ladders, ziplines, a treehouse, a climbing tower, and many other elevated obstacles.