U.S. National Whitewater Center
World’s Largest Artificial Whitewater Park
No one gets into white-water kayaking to paddle fake rivers. So I had some serious doubts as to whether a 12-million-gallon tank of recirculating water could replicate the real thing. And frankly, it doesn’t —the waves and holes, which can be finely tuned with pneumatic gates and moveable rocks, are less prone to the subtle changes of a natural-flowing stream. But it’s just that predictability that makes you want to push yourself harder and drop into that big wave again and again. Which is easy to do in whitewater that knows no season and runs under lights until 11 p.m.
—Tom Colligan From $15 for 90 minutes; usnwc.org