Tired of just cannonballing in the neighbors' pool but don't want to stray too far? Here are seven water parks within a four-hour drive of the Beltway. We've included approximate drive times, prices and attractions -- plus each park's splashiest thrill.

-- Anne McDonough

Camelbeach Waterpark

Tannersville, Pa.

570-629-1661

www.camel beach.com

VITALS

Drive time (from Beltway): About 3 hours 45 minutes (225 miles).

Cost: $26.95 (11 and up), $22.95 (3-11), 2 and under free.

WHAT' THERE

35 acres, 22 slides. The Kahuna Lagoon wave pool features the biggest manmade waves (up to six feet) in the Northeast. The six-story Triple Venom has three speed slides that run a combined 1,024 feet. There's a bowl slide for families (the Spin Cycle raft ride) and one for thrill seekers (Vortex, a high-speed body slide).

THE BIG SPLASH

4,000 gallons of water per minute flow through the Checkered Flag Challenge, an eight-slide racing complex that drops you more than 48 feet while you race headfirst to see who crosses the finish line first.

NOTES

If you're just there to keep on eye on the kids, pay the $12.95 spectator fee instead of full price . . . Parking is free.

Paradise Island

Largo, Md.

301-249-1500

www.sixflags.com/parks/america

VITALS

Drive time: About 10 minutes (five miles).

Cost: $36.99, $25.99 (under 54 inches), 3 and under free.

WHAT' THERE

35 acres, 14 slides. The closest major water park offers a five-story interactive treehouse (Crocodile Cal's Outback Beach House), four-foot waves at the Monsoon Lagoon and the super-speedy Bonzai Pipeline slide.

For an even bigger Six Flags splash, head to Jackson, N.J., and the 45-acre Hurricane Harbor, whose 18 slides include the 294-foot-long Jurahnimo Falls.

THE BIG SPLASH

Tube it on the Tahiti Twister, where you'll shoot down an enclosed flume and end with a splash in the 65,000-gallon landing pool.

NOTES

It's inside the Six Flags America theme park (included in ticket price) . . . Parking is $9.

SoakZone

Ligonier, Pa.

724-238-3666

www.idlewild.com

VITALS

Drive time: About 3 hours 20 minutes (180 miles).

Cost: $20.95, 2 and under free.

WHAT' THERE

11 acres, 14 slides. This small park-within-a park offers stationary Hydro Blasters (think water guns on steroids), a massive swimming pool built in 1932 and lots of watery fun for the little ones. Hydro Racers lets four people slide headfirst and compete at the same time.

THE BIG SPLASH

Two-person rafts twist, crash through water curtains and then drop 50 feet on the Pipeline Plunge's enclosed chutes.

NOTES

Ticket includes the rest of the 200-acre Idlewild amusement park . . . Free parking.

Splash Zone

Wildwood, N.J.

609-729-5600

www.splash zonewaterpark. com

VITALS

Drive time: About 3A hours (190 miles).

Cost: $27.99, $22.99 (48 inches and under).

WHAT' THERE

Four city blocks, 16 slides and rides. The twisty, dual-tubed Spider's Web has both enclosed and open chutes. Clock your speed on the Speed Dominator, float down the Adventure River or stand under the 1,000 gallons of water dumped by the Giant Bucket every three minutes.

THE BIG SPLASH

The Jersey shore's only Beast of the East whitewater ride can carry up to six people per raft. Catch a great view of the beach and boardwalk as you careen down the wide slide.

NOTES

It's on the boardwalk in Wildwood, so you can cool off in the ocean as well . . . Parking included with two full-price tickets.

Water Country USA

Williamsburg

800-343-7946

www.watercountryusa.com

VITALS

Drive time: About 2 hours 20 minutes (145 miles).

Cost: $34.95 (6 and up), $27.95 (3-6), 2 and under free.

WHAT' THERE

43 acres, 30 rides and slides. The surf's always up at the mid-Atlantic's biggest water park. There's the Adventure Isle obstacle course, the Surfer's Bay wave pool (Virginia's largest) and Aquazoid, a family raft ride with special effects. The Caban-A-Rama Theater offers diving shows. Toboggans fly on Meltdown, the park's fastest, steepest ride complete with 180-degree turns.

THE BIG SPLASH

Water Country's newest ride is the 1,500-foot, 3.5-acre Hubba Hubba Highway, a lazy river of sorts. It's not totally relaxing, though: The coconut trees lining the park's largest attraction dump water on you as you float by.

NOTES

It's about four miles from both the Busch Gardens theme park and Colonial Williamsburg. . . Parking is $8.

WaterWorks

Doswell, Va.

804-876-5000

www.kings dominion.com

VITALS

Drive time: About 1 hour 30 minutes (75 miles)

Cost: $43.99 (7 and up), $29.99 (3-6), 2 and under free.

WHAT' THERE

19 acres, 19 slides. Get soaked in Big Wave Bay, a 650,000-gallon pool that serves up four-foot waves; Surf City Splash House, a water-filled funhouse with a swinging bridge; the Spiral Chute, with two enclosed, intertwining tubes; and the Lazy Rider rafting river. The Lil' Barefoot Beach is just right for tykes.

THE BIG SPLASH

Thrill-seekers flock to Pipeline Peak. The attraction consists of four slides, including Night Slider, the world's tallest enclosed tube -- which zips riders down 77 feet in complete darkness.

NOTES

Park is inside King's Dominion (included in ticket price; check Web site for major discounts) . . . Parking is $8.

Wildwater Kingdom Allentown, Pa.

610-395-3724

www.dorneypark .com

VITALS

Drive time: About 3 hours 15 minutes (180 miles).

Cost: $35.75 (over 48 inches), $16 (3 and older and under 48 inches), 2 and under free.

WHAT' THERE

30 acres, 18 slides. The park was refurbished in 2003, with 10 new slides. At 70 feet tall and 700 feet long, Aquablast is one of the world's longest elevated raft rides. Get clean in Kid Wash, a carwash-theme attraction; tube your way down Runaway River, a 1,600-foot-long winding river; and surf in the 560,000-gallon Wave Pool.

THE BIG SPLASH

Patriot's Plunge has three slides (red, white and blue, of course) leading from a 52-foot-tall tower. Following the theory that bigger is wetter, four other slides at the 40-foot level let riders access the Wildwater Rapids.

NOTES

Admission includes all of the rides and other amusements at the on-site Dorney Park theme park . . . Parking is $7.