To be nearly 100 miles from the beach, there's an unusual amount of splashing going on in Hartsville these days. In 2017, the city took a plot of land, added water and - voila! - created instant warm-weather fun. Well, it wasn't quite that simple, but the results are magical, indeed. Neptune Island Waterpark opened on a sweltering June day and immediately became the destination for inlanders seeking a little coastal excitement without the long drive and that pesky sand.
Parents across the Pee Dee and visitors traveling through the area have been rejoicing ever since, flocking to the park where a slew of kid-friendly water attractions offers hours of entertainment. Particularly popular among the tot crowd is Piratesville Splash Pad featuring 5,000 square feet of water jets and cannons, mini-water slides, and thrilling dumping buckets.
For the ultimate adult experience, secure a shady cabana and enjoy a cold beverage in your own semiprivate waterside digs. Standard cabanas include personal food and beverage service, a refrigerator with complimentary bottles of water, a table, four chairs and two loungers, and a locker for securing valuables. Or opt for the VIP treatment, which kicks the amenities up a notch with additional complimentary soda, luxury loungers, a cooling fan and optimum water views.
Cool off in the Endless Abyss, a quarter-mile-long lazy river that meanders around the park's island. For thrill seekers, fly down the three-story Neptune's Revenge Speed Slide at a slick 30 mph or shoot through the twists and turns of the Twin Sirens Tube Slides. For the competitor, hit the humps and enjoy a friendly little challenge on the Trident Mat Racer. The Castaway Bay wave pool adds the right beachy vibe and is the perfect cool-down spot for sun worshippers.
It's inevitable that all that slipping, sliding, splashing and gliding will work up an appetite. Neptune Island's got you covered with three food kiosks offering pizza, grilled burgers, salads, fries, chicken, ice cream and more. No outside food is allowed, but you are welcome to have a picnic in designated areas outside the park.
Trained lifeguards have a heavy presence throughout the premises, helping to keep a watchful eye on visitors to ensure everyone - young, old and in between - is having safe, summertime fun. Because operating hours are dependent on the weather, call ahead. Note that proper swimsuit attire is required. Click here for Neptune Island's phone number, rules and admission fees.