Summer is theme park season! With the kids out of school, there’s no better time for a day trip to ride some coasters, take a dip in the pool, and make some great memories at a theme park. North Carolina is home to many big and small theme parks, but there are three that top the list. Most importantly, they’re all easily accessible from Sanford, NC!


One of the most venerated theme parks in the Carolinas, Carowinds has been thrilling residents for almost 50 years. The park is unique in that it straddles the NC/SC border, and much of its theming pays homage to its Carolinian heritage.

But what you’re probably there for are the coasters, and you will not be disappointed. The park is host to certain classics like Vortex (a rough stand-up ride) and Afterburn (a fast, twisty inverted coaster.) The park recently saw the largest expansion in its history with Copperhead Strike, the first double launch coaster in the Carolinas.

Wet ‘n Wild Emerald Pointe

Only an hour from Sanford, Wet ‘n Wild Emerald Pointe is one of the easiest ways to cool off in the summer. The centerpiece of the park is its massive wave pool, which comes complete with plenty of chairs for relaxing in the sun.

The water slides are no slouch, either. Whether you want something on the tamer side (like the four-lane Riptide Racer) or something extreme (like the 76-foot near-vertical Daredevil Drop) you’ll find some sort of fun in the sun.

Great Wolf Lodge

Head down to Concord and you’ll find plenty of NASCAR history. You’ll also find Great Wolf Lodge, a chain water park/hotel resort destination. Great Wolf is unique in that the entire waterpark is indoors, meaning you can also visit in winter! Plus it’s only two hours down the road.

The resort’s family focus is paramount, with activities for kids and themed suites with kid-friendly sleeping arrangements. Of course, the adults will have a great time too, with plenty of thrilling water slides and an on-site bar and grill.

Autumnwood is a brand new neighborhood in Sanford, NC featuring beautiful single-family homes. Sanford offers easy access to the Triad and Triangle, with the best of suburban living and rural charm. Contact us today to learn about our homes that are move-in-ready!

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