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Wet Summertime Fun in Arizona: Things to Do to Escape the Desert Heat!

Updated on July 14, 2016
JLPeterson profile image

Jan lives in Arizona, has a fur-baby, and retired from banking after 30 years. She is currently a songwriter and cyber-journalist.

As gorgeous as it is, Arizona has more to offer than breathtaking desert beauty
As gorgeous as it is, Arizona has more to offer than breathtaking desert beauty | Source

Arizona: A Place to Splash?

Wondering what cool, wet summer activities for the kids and adults there are in Arizona? You can ski, swim, fish, slip down a roller coaster waterslide, or just kick back on the deck of a 50-foot houseboat as the kids splash nearby. Talk about family fun in Arizona!

So, If you think that Arizona is just a vast expanse of desert and cactii, think again. According to statistics on, Arizona has 6,424 lakes, ponds and other waterways, making it a mecca for plenty of wet, summertime fun and popular travel and vacation destination! Ready to get wet?

Make a Fun Escape to an Arizona Lake

Try tubing on Lake Pleasant just 30 minutes outside Phoenix, Arizona.
Try tubing on Lake Pleasant just 30 minutes outside Phoenix, Arizona. | Source
Lake Powell offers scenic beauty and miles of boating excitement.
Lake Powell offers scenic beauty and miles of boating excitement. | Source

Lake Powell Video

Lakes in Arizona

Been looking for places to go in Arizona where you can beat the heat? Bring your bathing suit!

Boating in Arizona: There are 16,000 acres of desert lakes surrounding the Phoenix area. Arizona boaters in Maricopa County alone can pick from 227 lakes year-round, and during the summer the Arizona roads are filled with serious sun seekers escaping for a weekend get-away. Phoenix boaters with the need for speed, pack it up for either Lake Pleasant, which is a half-hour drive from Northwest Phoenix, Saguaro Lake which is about 30 minutes the other direction from Southeast Phoenix, or one of the other lakes just a bit further away such as Barlett, Apache or Roosevelt Lakes.

Lake Powell is a boater's dream and worth the four hour drive North from Phoenix. Within Lake Powell's 266 square miles of lake, it's not hard to find a private cove near a spot to ski on water as smooth as glass! You'll see lots of houseboats on Lake Powell, with rentals available for wet weekend fun or a week-long vacation escape.

Fishing in Arizona: You'll find serious Arizona fishermen on the lakes too, including the urban lakes within the Phoenix city limits of which many are stocked with legal catch. Residents of Tucson have 356 lakes to fish from in their neck of the woods! For a list of lakes in each county in Arizona click here.

Lakes in the Pines: Would you rather avoid the roar of a speed boat and take a relaxing vacation in the pines with great fishing instead? Then skip the Phoenix and Tucson heat altogether, and head to the cool pines in the White Mountains of Northern Arizona, near the towns of Pinetop-Lakeside, Heber-Overgaard or Showlow. Other cool get-aways include Payson and Flagstaff, both offering cozy cabins near a vast number of Arizona lakes and streams.

Cool Off in a Backyard Pool or an Arizona Waterpark!

Phoenix has oodles of backyard and community pools perfect for wet summer fun!
Phoenix has oodles of backyard and community pools perfect for wet summer fun! | Source
Catch a Wave at one of Arizona's Wavepools!
Catch a Wave at one of Arizona's Wavepools! | Source
Thrillseekers will enjoy the rides at Wet'n'Wild.
Thrillseekers will enjoy the rides at Wet'n'Wild. | Source

Waterparks in Arizona

You don't have to leave the city limits to find some wet fun in Arizona either. You can just grab a towel and some sunscreen and head to a backyard or community pool, neighborhood splash park, or get a fun group and head to one of their exciting water parks.

In the Phoenix metro area, there are several water parks that provide a big splash:

  • Wet'N'Wild Phoenix Waterpark is the newest park in the Valley of the Sun, located in the Northwest part of Phoenix. Wet'n'Wild is a 35-acre blast of fun, filled with thirty different thrilling water features, a wave pool, and a 1,200 foot lazy river. Friday nights they offer "dive-in" movies. 3-D goggles optional!
  • Golfland Sunsplash is located in Mesa, Arizona offering 250 feet of slippery wet Dragon Tail tube slides and Bonzi Speed Slides that plunge riders at speeds up to 25 mph. The miniature golf, video arcade, laser tag and minature raceway sections open year-round.
  • Golfland Big Surf was the first waterpark built in the Phoenix area. Big Surf's primary feature is the Waikiki Beach, where 2 million gallons of water crash over it daily, as body surfers ride the waves. It is boasted to be one of the largest wave pools in the world.
  • You can also find waterparks at some of the resorts in Phoenix such as the Arizona Grand Resort (formerly Pointe South Mountain). Their Oasis Water Park has an eight-story high tower, water slides, a wave pool and river tubing available to guests of the hotel only.

Tucson offers Breakers Water Park just 29 miles outside its city limits in Marana, Arizona with 1.3 Million gallons of water washing ashore on its Breaker Bay, five super thrill slides in Bonzai Pipeline, and two tube slides in Splash Canyon.

Ready, Set, Get Wet!

So whether you like to swim, go fishing, zip around in your speedboat, or scream your way down a slippery 50-foot water slide during the summer months, there is no shortage of water fun in Arizona. Sure, it gets hot here in the Southwestern desert, but it's a dry heat. If you don't live here already, why not travel to Arizona for your next vacation? Come on in, the water's fine!

Lake Pleasant is just a 30 minute drive from Phoenix

Lake Pleasant, Arizona:
Lake Pleasant, Arizona, USA

get directions


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