10 Superlative Family Vacation Destination Ideas
Wildest Water Slide: Sliding Rock
Located in: Pisgah National Forest, near Brevard, North Carolina
Why you should go: Call it the Mother Nature of all water slides. Sliding Rock, in western North Carolina, is a 50-foot sloping boulder fed by 11,000 gallons of water every minute, and it offers one major advantage over molded plastic water parks: It’s nestled in a national forest, which makes for a beautiful setting and plenty of shade. (Plus, it’s a cheap thrill: Admission is just $1 per person.) Visitors wait their turn on a wooden staircase before slip-’n-sliding (one at a time, please) down the falls, ending with a plunge into seven feet of water. The ride is mostly a smooth one, but forest officials still recommend wearing shorts–rather than a bathing suit—and water shoes. Lines can get long, so come early in the day for the best crowd-free rides. (Kids under 7 must slide with an adult. Lifeguards are on duty from Memorial Day to mid-August, and life jackets are the only flotation devices allowed; fs.usda.gov.)
Where to stay: The Renaissance Asheville, in Asheville, North Carolina (from $169 per night; bring your dog for an extra $75; renhotels.com).
Most Popular Galleries
Everyone agrees embarrassment can be excruciating. But is the emotion all bad? Discover its surprising upside—and learn how to get over it more easily—with this expert advice for kids and adults.