Nashville’s Water World: The 6 Best Water Parks in Nashville

You have just arrived in Music City and want to take your kids to a water park or wave pool to cool off. What are the best water parks in Nashville?

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What are the best water parks near Nashville?

The best water parks in Nashville are listed below, with some descriptions of why we love them so much.

  • Soundwaves Experience At Gaylord Opryland – Nashville
  • Nashville Shores Lakeside Resort – Nashville
  • Wave Country – Nashville
  • Cumberland Park – Nashville
  • Wild Bear Falls – Gatlinburg
  • Dollywood’s Splash Country – Pigeon Forge

More and more American families are enjoying the fun and frolic that waterparks have to offer. Did you know that there are over 100 outdoor water parks in Florida alone?

The industry’s growth is so great that even cruise ships are getting into the act, building their power slides, lazy rivers, and wave pools for guests to use as they bide their time between ports of call. Gone are the days of small public pools operated by local municipalities. Nowadays, there is almost a waterpark in every city. 

Tourist attraction or not, you can find a place to catch some sun, ride a wave or even tube down a slide almost anywhere you vacation.

Tennessee, specifically Nashville, has lots of great water parks, but some of the surrounding neighbor-states are also great for water park hopping. Illinois has a few great outdoor water parks you should definitely check out summer!

What are the Best Water Parks For Summer Fun in Nashville?

When you think of Nashville, you might envision country music, cowboy boots, and great barbecue, but that isn’t all that the Music City has to offer. 

The Nashville area is known for some great waterpark attractions that your whole family won’t want to miss. 

Heading out of the Nashville area? You’re not far from Missouri, which is the 3rd state with the most waterparks after Florida and California. Be sure to check out some of the great outdoor Missouri waterparks!

Soundwaves Experience at Gaylord Opryland

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If you stay at the Gaylord, you should check out the Soundwaves Experience. The 111,000 square feet of water attractions opened in 2018 to attract more families during the months when occupancy rates dipped. 

While many families stay at the Gaylord Opryland resort to take in a show at the Grand Ole Opry or to walk the beauty of the large arboretums, the Soundwaves experience has something for everyone. 

There are outdoor and indoor water park attractions. (The indoor areas are open year-round, and the outdoor attractions are open daily after May 26).

The only drawback to the incredible amenities is that you have to be a hotel guest of Gaylord and have purchased the Soundwave experience package. But if the idea of staying at a resort with a water park sounds good to you, then you’ll love your experience at Soundwaves.

While the outdoor attractions are similar, the indoor water park has a Down-Tempo lazy river (there is a rapid one, too. (The Up-Tempo Rapid River is complete with rapids, waterfalls, and lots of sprays). 

The Stage Dive will allow body surfing on one of two slides, and the Rapid Remix allows 4 – 5 people to board a raft as they loop this way and that to the effect of 21 LED lights and 12 music speakers. 

There is the Quarter Note Cove kiddie pool and the Groovin Lagoon Activity Pool, where children can enjoy a playground with a lily pad walk, rock climb, basketball, or even enjoy the 30’ water wall. 

For surfers, there are wave pools where you can surf with one or two people. When your kids have had enough water fun, head over to the snack bar or to Decibel’s, where there is live music every weekend through the fall on the restaurant’s patio. 

The Soundwave Experience is designed to limit the crowds at the water facilities so that you aren’t fighting with the rest of the kids whose parents also decided it was a good day to go swimming. 

Sometimes, a day pass is available to hotel guests and Marriott Bonvoy members, but you need to snatch them quickly.

This venue is quite popular with families who can take a ride on the General Jackson Showboat for a dinner cruise, take in a show at the Grand Ole Opry, and swim all in one place. For more information regarding the Soundwaves packages and to check availability, see the hotel website for pricing.   

Nashville Shores Lakeside Resort

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If you want to spend some quality time with your family but need a place where you don’t have to stay in the hotel to gain admittance, try Nashville’s largest water park. 

Situated on the shores of Percy Priest lake, this attraction is a favorite water park among the locals, and it has so much to offer. 

You will never get it all done in a day! This park has everything, from plunging on ten different water tube slides to braving the waves in a gigantic wave pool, or floating down a lazy river, this park has it. Parents can soak up rays by checking out Kowabunga Beach. 

The Nashville Shores water park has three different pools to keep your kids entertained, and even a Riptide Racer where Mom and Dad can race the kids in a waterslide competition.

With Percy Priest lake close by, many boating and swimming opportunities exist. Rent a canoe or boat, or just swim with the fish.

The park opens on May 13, 2023 (even though you can purchase daily or season passes that are available now). The day passes are $39,99 daily with a $10 discount online. 

A Season pass is about $100, but if you catch the website right, you can save 35% (they even have payment plans). 

The Resort is home to the Treetop Adventure Park, which is set in the woods around Nashville Lakeshores Resort. 

There are three treetop courses with varying skill levels, depending on whether you are an adult or a kid. They include suspended bridges, zip lines, cargo nets, and Tarzan swings

The course is a lot of fun, and it can challenge you to overcome your fears and have some fun. Ticket prices are $50 but are currently 50% off online. 

The park is located at 4001 Bell Road in Hermitage, Tenn., and opens daily on the 25 of May. The Resort has an RV park with over 84 spots, and Lakeside cabins are pretty close by. 

For more information, see the Nashville Shores Waterpark website. 

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Wave Country

The city of Nashville operates a water park that is quite popular with great admission prices. 

One of two wave action pools in Tennessee and several water slides, the park has been in existence for many years and is operated by the Metro Parks and Rec Department. 

The water park has an open-air large wave pool, three water flumes, two fast-body slides, and a simple slide, in addition to the kiddie pool. There is a lovely beach area for people who like to lay out. The pool is usually crowded, so the best time to arrive is mid-morning. 

The park allows guests to bring in food and beverages as long as they are in a cooler (just no alcohol or glass, please). 

Daily admission is $12 for adults, $10 for kids 5-12, and half-price admission after 4 pm. The waterpark is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day and is located off Briley Parkway on Two Rivers Parkway. 

For more information, see the 

Wave Country website.

Cumberland Park

Situated along the new Riverfront District in Nashville is Cumberland Park. This park offers six and a half acres of interactive walkways, including a large splash park with exciting play features and squirt fountains. 

There is a grassy area for kids to run and even a rock climbing wall. Revelers can take the Explorer’s Trail, which provides a pleasant stroll through and around the park’s various areas.

The park was designed to enhance the riverfront and is a part of the revitalization project. There are several great places to dine located within walking distance.  

There is no admission to the park, and it can be accessed off South First St, with various concessions scattered about (although the lines can get long on the weekends). 

The park is open from dawn – 11 pm. For more information, see the Cumberland Park website. 

What Are Other Waterparks Located in Tennessee?

If you venture away from Nashville, Tn, for a few hours, several family-friendly water parks near the Smoky Mountains are great places for an outing. While many municipalities have water parks, these venues are worth the drive. 

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Wild Bear Falls Water Park – Gatlinburg

Nestled in the Great Smoky mountain resort community of Gatlinburg, four hours east of Nashville, this indoor water park has a retractable roof, and 60,000 square feet of activities with over 300,000 gallons of water.

Wild Bear Falls features a wave pool, two water slides and a lazy river to float all your troubles away. There is even an massive water treehouse for the kiddos to climb on with lots of play structures. 

The resort is a part of Westgate properties, which have rooms along a country-styled lodge theme, and there is a zipline, mini-golf, and the Roaring Fork restaurant on-site. 

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is just minutes away, with lots of trails to hike, picnic spots, and majestic views. Gatlinburg offers fantastic family excursions, like Dollywood Theme Park or Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. 

The water park is open year-round. Daily ticket prices are around $25 a head and are not included in the room rental. For more information, please see the Wild Bear Falls website. 

Dollywood’s Splash Country

Located in Pigeon Forge adjacent to Dollywood, this high-thrills water park has something for everyone. For the daring, there is the FireTower Falls, the tallest and fastest water slide in the park. 

It lifts some 70’ into the air and offers a vertical drop that rushes down 280 feet into a pool.

If a vertical drop isn’t your thing, you can still get your thrill on by rushing down several other slides, including Mountain Scream, Mountain Twist, Riptide Racer, or even the Swiftwater Run. There is even a water coaster for you and the family to ride. 

If you don’t care for slides (and there are plenty of them), float along the lazy river, or explore the beach-entry Cascades, where small children can immerse themselves in the 8,000 sq foot lagoon.

In addition, there is an interactive Bear Mountain Fire Tower for the kids to climb with lots of spray features, but beware, you will get wet from countless sprays and the 1,000-gallon bucket when it dumps!

There are a variety of concessions and dining options, including a pastry shop, ice-cream venue, and a burger grill. 

The water park opens on the 20th of May and runs through the fall. 

Dollywood amusement park opens in April. For more information and ticket info, please see the Dollywood water park website.

Key Takeaways

  • The best water park in Nashville is Nashville Shores Lakeside Resort.
  • SoundWaves Experience must be purchased in advance
  • Dollywood’s Splash Country is the best water park in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area.

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