The African-themed Kalahari is an expansive 173,000 square feet (it’s the largest water park under one roof in the U.S.) and features a spectrum of thrill rides, from the 55-foot-tall Cheetah Race waterslide to the speedy, 400-foot-long Rippling Rhino tube ride. But a must-do is the 500-foot-long Zip Coaster: Utilizing a conveyor belt system, it launches two-person rafts into a series of free-fall drops, on-a-dime turns, and tunnels, all in a 30-second blur. 7000 Kalahari Dr., Sandusky, OH, 877/525-2427, kalahariresorts.com. Day passes from $39.
Short drive from Toledo (60 miles), Cleveland (62 miles).