Escape Winter With These Travel Channel Shows
When the frigid nights feel endless and you’re certain your toes will never thaw, Travel Channel is here for you. Yes, you walk out the door and the snowdrifts outside are taller than your kids, but swimsuits are being worn SOMEWHERE in the world. Keep these scenes from the new seasons of Xtreme Waterparks and Top Secret Swimming Holes in your head like a mantra: Winter will end, winter will end ...
Italy doesn't mess around when it comes to water parks. At Città del Mare, the largest resort in Sicily, disappearing over the edge of the cliffs is quite intentional—and the three-level slide’s final “pool” is the Mediterranean’s sparkling Gulf of Castellammare.
The world’s largest wave pool is in a mall in Canada (at World Waterpark in Edmonton, to be precise, among 17 water slides). Other after-Christmas shopping sites, please try harder.
Built in 1999, Kilimanjaro (at Brazil’s Aldeia das Águas park resort) is the largest water slide in the world. Riders have to admire their tropical surroundings fast (and choose their resortwear carefully), as they reach speeds of up to 100 km/hour.
During the day, Da Wave (at Splashworld, France’s first aquatic theme park and the largest water park in Europe) welcomes would-be surfers. In the evening, the surrounding area morphs into a cocktail bar and, eventually, a late-night disco, because France.
Wet ‘n’ Wild Phoenix opens for the season in March, thanks to early-spring Arizona temperatures that climb into the high 70s. By the time summer rolls around, that’s the coolest weather visitors can expect.
Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula has an estimated 3,000 cenotes, or sinkholes filled with fresh water, and Cenote Dzitnup is one of its showstoppers. It’s dark (as in zero natural light), humid, and full of stalactites, and the cool water itself provides a delicious contrast to the tropical air.
Smalls Falls, a particularly handsome portion of the Sandy River in West Central Franklin, Maine, rewards hikers with multiple swimming areas, jumping rocks, and picnic areas.
While there’s no definitive proof that Charles Darwin visited the Las Grietas swimming area on Santa Cruz Island during his time in the Galapagos Archipelago, there’s also no proof that he didn’t, and a picturesque dip sounds like a fine way to wind down after a day of research, does it not?
The water in and below Hatchet Creek Falls in northern California’s Lassen National Forest is too cold for backflips now (thanks to snowmelt), but it warms up in the summer if you’re feeling adventurous and/or like terrifying your loved ones. (It’s also a superb swimming area.)
Set in breathtaking black lava with views of Bali Hai and Kauai’s north shore, Queen’s Bath once saw its share of royalty. These days it welcomes the rest of us as well—when the surf isn’t too high, that is. Safety first, secret swimmers.
10 of the World's Best Swimming Holes 01:00