Water features such as fountains have long been displayed as a source of wealth, inspiration, and entertainment. As technology has improved, so have the shows that the water features can display. Lights, music and special effects have been added to transform some features into living works of art. If you find yourself traveling the U.S., see what remarkable water creations are near you.
Bellagio – Las Vegas
The Bellagio is a famous hotel/casino in Las Vegas, and the Bellagio Fountains are world famous. Located on the 8,5-acre lake in front of the beautiful building, over 1,000 jets of water stream up from the lake and are choreographed to over 30 different songs you can hear. The shows are so complicated and detailed that they have a staff of 30 people working to clean, make repairs and make sure things run smoothly. The streams of dancing water are illuminated with different color lights, adding, even more, drama to the already spectacular show. The shows are every half hour, during specific times of the day. The streams displayed in the show can be shot higher than a 24-story building. If you’re in Vegas, the Bellagio water feature is a must-see!
Crown – Chicago
The Crown Fountain in Chicago has been praised as a digital and artfully crafted masterpiece. Two towers sit opposite of each other, displaying about 1,000 random Chicagoan’s faces. The towers are approximately 50 feet high and flank a granite area consisting of about 230 feet. The faces are shown for a few minutes each, until finally, the last face purses their lips and water streams out from the lips, a neat compromise between the digital world and a water feature. At night the glass brick towers glow from spotlights placed inside the towers. The faces are displayed on the inner screens of the towers, while the sides without faces glow in the evenings. It is the most popular attraction in Millennium Park in Chicago and attracts many visitors, especially kids who wait for the last fact and want to stand where the water streams out from the face.
Image by: Anders Sandberg
Scioto Mile – Ohio
In downtown Columbus, Ohio you will find an area called the Scioto Mile, which is over 145 acres of parkland that has bikeways, pedestrian paths and green areas scattered along the riverfront. The centerpiece is the architectural masterpiece called the Scioto Fountain. This is also an interactive play area during most days when the water features come alive. Kids and adults can play in the water, which spans about 15,000 square feet and shots water 75 feet in the air from the center circular feature. The water features consist of circular halo structures complete with nozzles at the top on the halo parts, as well as up from the ground, making sure all who play will get soaked. The water features are not allowed to be played in after they have closed for the interactive sessions for the evening. After closing time, lights will illuminate the beautiful streams for the night displays for all to observe.
Longwood Gardens – Pennsylvania
The Longwood Gardens area is initially known for its open-air theatre which has hosted numerous theatrical performances since the early 1900s. The gorgeous fountain puts on quite a show that many stops in to see. A pond area complete with perfectly manicured bushes, trees, as well as rock walls gives dimension and height to the streams of water as they dance from area to area from behind the walls and among the vegetation. 750 jets create a myriad of patterns and as the mist comes from the stream creates rainbows that appear. The shows start in late May for the summer months and are featured on the hour starting from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. They last for about five minutes. If there are theatrical performances or shows, the water feature show will not run during those times.
Disney’s Fountain of Nations – Epcot
This particular water feature can be found in Disneyworld in the section known as Epcot’s Future World in the center of the plaza area. Every 15 minutes, a water-show will occur for the crowds that have gathered near the feature to see and hear the show. The water streams dance to a variety of Disney songs in the large oval pool with tiers rising in the middle. Computer-controlled pumps send water cascading down the tiers of music and lights as visitors rest their feet and enjoy the presentation. The fountain was included in the part of the Epcot opening-day ceremony, where 22 countries poured a jug of water into the feature from their own country symbolizing unity and understanding. Close to Christmas, the music changes to holiday music during the show. Visitors are mesmerized by the colors, music and dancing water, and it is a nice stop to rest and enjoy the moment.
Pineapple, Waterfront Park, Charleston, SC
The Pineapple water feature located in South Carolina is a favorite stop and photographed item. The pineapple symbol can be seen throughout the city of Charleston, representing hospitality in which the city is known for. The Charleston Waterfront Park is home to the Pineapple, which has three different tiers and a small pool around its base. The tiers are created to look like the outside of a pineapple’s skin, and the top has the green leafs known as the “crown” that you would see on a real one. Lush green bushes, as well as beautiful flowering vegetation, surround the feature, adding to its beauty. In the evenings this famous feature is lit by yellow lighting, making it appear the color of an actual pineapple. If you’re ever in Charleston, see the Pineapple feature, known for its beauty and representing the hospitality of this beautiful city.
The city of Chicago holds one of the largest fountains in the world, known as the Buckingham. A rather large pool contains the feature, complete with three massive tiers residing in the middle of the pool. On either side of the tiers, there are two magnificent sculptures, each composed of four seahorses that look like they are swimming and playing in the pool. The four seahorses represent the four states of Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana that border the mighty Lake Michigan. Jets shoot water of 150 feet in the air, and the tiers have jets that shoot water upwards onto the next tier. The evening shows have lights and music, and the jets are computer controlled. This water feature is considered the “front door” to Chicago and is a fantastic representation of the city and Lake Michigan.
Calming and Magical
Water features often represent specific ideas or representations of something important. Additions to water features have improved over the years, and now they can be seen as a complete show on their own! Witness the spectacular colors, music, and ideas behind some of the best fountains in the United States.