Photos: 10 Best of Denver places to stay cool during a heat wave

In case you haven't noticed, it's been hellishly hot around here lately -- which naturally got us thinking about the best places to cool off in the Denver area and beyond. Fortunately, our Best of Denver archive features more than twenty years' worth of great ideas about pretty much everything under the sun at its most blazing. We picked our ten favorite wet and wild recommendations from our archive. Count them down, and chill out, below. Number 10: Soda Lakes Water Ski School

Just off C-470 at Morrison Road are two bodies of water: the Soda Lakes. The larger one is open to all manner of water activities, such as wind surfing and kayaking, but the smaller lake is reserved for one activity: water skiing lessons. You can rent skis, towrope, life jackets, lessons and a guy with a boat to tow you around. Chuck Blood is the guy with the boat and the proprietor/instructor of the school; his ski school is a real liquid asset in this land-locked state.

Best Water-Skiing School -- 2001

Number 9: Pirates Cove Family Aquatics Park

Ahoy, mateys! When the season fer swimmin' the briny deep's upon us, get ye down to Englewood, where the Jolly Roger flies o'er Pirates Cove. The City of Englewood water park, replete with three pools, debuted last summer to rave reviews by just about everyone, from the tots in swim diapers to swimmers with serious agendas, and no wonder: There are six lanes for lap swimmers, a lazy-river feature and a leisure pool with play islands, a super-soaking 750-gallon dump bucket (look out below, me buckos!), smoke-belching cannons, a spray park, slides and sound effects. Load up your towels, beach toys, sunscreen, flip-flops, peg legs and eye patches, and head for the pool.

Best Place to Walk the Plank -- 2005

Page down to see more of our top ten places to stay cool in Denver and beyond during a heat wave.

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