South Florida had been tantalized for years with promises of water parks that never came to fruition, but a splashy new attraction has finally slip-slided into the region. Tidal Cove, an upscale water park, has opened to the public inside the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort and Spa in Aventura.
Stretching five acres behind the Aventura Mall (home to its own towering slide), the hotel's swanky $35 million water park boasts a 60-foot tower and seven slides, a lazy river and a three-rider surf simulator.
About 4,500 Tidal Cove visitors took the plunge during the park's Memorial Day weekend grand opening, says Jeff Klein, the hotel's vice president and managing director.
"That's a pretty encouraging sign for us," Klein says of the water park, part of the hotel's $265 million expansion. "You don't need to drive four hours to Orlando for a great water park now that locals have one in their own back yard. Most water parks don't do luxury. We do luxury."
Planning a visit? Here's how to navigate South Florida's newest wet-and-wild oasis.
Must I be a hotel guest to splash around?
You do not. While the hotel prefers overnight resort guests and country-club members at its water park, any visitor can purchase a day pass (dubbed a Resort Day Membership, $75 Monday-Thursday and $105 Friday-Sunday), which grants them access to all of Tidal Cove's amenities, plus the hotel's restaurants, swimming pools and complimentary lounge chairs, and me Spa & Wellness Collective. There also will be a free shuttle service traveling to and from the hotel to nearby destinations.
Tidal Cove Water Park is at 19999 W. Country Club Drive, in Aventura. Hours of operation are 9 a.m.-7 p.m. daily through September, when the water park will begin closing daily at sunset.
What are the attractions?
The centerpiece of Tidal Cove's aquatic fun is its 60-foot-tall water slide tower, which boasts seven water slides. There's the Constrictor, a 558-foot-long slide on water rafts that drops, twists and turns alongside the Master Blaster, a 486-foot slide. On the 266-foot-long double slide Whizzard, riders plunge headfirst down a mat. Drop feet-first down a luge with two Aqua Drop body slides (348 and 286 feet long, respectively), or race side-by-side on the Boomeranger, a 377-footer for two-to-four riders on rafts.