10 Favorite Water Parks, Pools, and Watering Holes in Metro Phoenix

10 Favorite Water Parks, Pools, and Watering Holes in Metro Phoenix
Tedd Roundy

The last gasps of summer vacation are here, and there are plenty of excuses to take your last few days off and head to the pool.

Like any true desert, Phoenix has a few hot spots where the herd gathers to cool off, catch some sun, and of course, do some serious people watching. From resorts, to water parks, to public pools, here are a few of our favorite places to hydrate.

10. Golfland Sunsplash Years ago, having a large pool with a wave-maker and a slide or two was good enough to call yourself a "water park." But thanks to establishments like Golfland Sunsplash, modern water parks more resemble amusement parks, with a variety of rides and water slides seemingly engineered by thrill-seeking adrenaline junkies. Sunsplash boasts attractions like the Master Blaster Water Coaster, Thunder Falls (a raft ride that starts nearly seven stories high and features three huge drops), the Stormrider (a massive drop into the water from about 70 feet), and the Sidewinder (a half-pipe slide that allows riders to zip from one end of the bowl to another). Of course, there's the standard wave pool (all 450,000 gallons of it), but Sunsplash also offers a separate "activity pool" for water sports, a toddler pool for the wee ones, and even the Endless River (which ends after about 800 feet) for emulating tubing at the Salt River -- minus the salt water, beer coolers, and rock-ravaged rear ends.

9.Sanctuary Resort & Spa
It's not the biggest pool in town, and it's not even the flashiest (you won't find any fountains or water slides at this serene spot), but there are still three good reasons why the pool at Sanctuary on Camelback is our favorite place for a swim: palm trees, clear water, and Camelback Mountain (Sanctuary also claims its pool has the biggest infinity edge in the state). People come from all over the country to stay at this stylish Paradise Valley enclave, but we're thrilled that we can go there anytime we want -- when we can scrounge up the cash, that is.

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