Ropes course No. 5 at Great Wolf Lodge. (©Chip Henderson/VisitNC)
This sprawling, Northwoods-themed resort is an attraction unto itself. There are themed suites such as KidKamp, which sports a fancy tent in the middle of the room. The water park (check website for current hours) offers a dozen-plus features, such as the Howlin’ Tornado—with a six-story drop down giant tubes—and the four-story tree house Fort MacKenzie, which tips a 1,000-gallon bucket from its tree tops to any lingering souls below. And the Howlers Peak Ropes Course (open Sa-Su 11 am-5 pm) has you balancing on ropes, crossing bridges and climbing through obstacles all from the safety of a climbing harness.