Destination: All-American Amusement Parks
Photo By: Steven Bridges ©Steven Bridges 2007
Photo By: Scott K. Brown ©2014 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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Just outside of Pittsburgh, Kennywood offers an escape from city life to enjoy classic wooden roller coasters, exciting water rides and plenty of delicious eats.
Located in historic Atlantic City, Steel Pier is one of the oldest amusement parks in the nation. The self-proclaimed "Showplace of the Nation" boasts carousels, a slingshot ride, a midway lined with games, and its own bar and grill.
Ah, the timeless boardwalks with the salty sea spray, carnival games and classic roller coasters. Luna Park, situated on iconic Coney Island, offers rides for every kind of visitor. Check the park's website for seasonal activities, as well.
Early-risers, this is the boardwalk amusement park for you. Morey's Piers offers a unique (and totally genius) experience for breakfast-lovers: a Ferris Wheel Breakfast. After your meal in the sky, head out to enjoy as many rides as you can stomach, from the extreme to the just-plain-fun.
Dollywood is more than a theme park. With annual festivals and performances, a waterpark, onsite cabins and plenty of shopping, the park offers more than amusement rides. The rich history of the Tennessee hills is embedded in this quaint little park. Thrill-seekers will love it too, as most of the roller coasters take you on mind-blowing twists and turns at sickening heights. Photo courtesy of Dollywood.
Roller coaster enthusiasts from across the country visit Busch Gardens for its thrilling rides that take visitors upside down and on winding turns. The Griffon is for advanced riders only, as the initial drop takes riders 90 degrees straight down. That's a drop of 205 feet! Photo courtesy of Busch Gardens.
Dorney Park boasts one of the best selections of roller coasters and thrill rides in the U.S. Even the water rides will make you dizzy! There are plenty of rides for the little ones, too, and classic eateries like a drive-in and soda shop.
Welcome to the Wild West. Silver Dollar City is outfitted in a Western theme, from the Outlaw City train ride to the Silver Dollar City saloon. Even if roller coasters aren't your thing, there are plenty of festivals and Western-themed shows throughout the year. Photo courtesy of Silver Dollar City.
Plan your summer trip to Action Park Mountain Creek, which boasts more water rides, slides and pools than you'll have time to explore. Drop into a "mountain spring" on the Tarzan Swing, or take the plunge on the world's tallest double looping thrill slide, Zero-G.
Mt. Olympus is an amusement park junky's dream. Stay overnight in the Mt. Olympus resort, then head out to explore all four parks: indoor and outdoor theme park, and an indoor and outdoor water park. For a real thrill, test your wits on the Hades 360?, the world's first upside down, underground, wooden roller coaster.
Weeki Wachee offers a little more magic than a typical state park. Its mermaid shows consistently draw crowds for the adapted performance of The Little Mermaid. For the animal lovers, the park provides up-close looks at native wildlife, including alligators and snakes. Photo courtesy of Weeki Wachee Springs.
Florida's only drive-through safari and animal amusement park houses over 900 animals. Explore wildlife from the seat of your car or get in the middle of the action with the walk-through safari. Photo courtesy of Lion Country Safari.
Experience Florida's native reptile like never before. The Screamin' Gator Zip Line allows visitors to soar above the park's attractions – and remain a safe distance from the gators. Not thrilling enough? Try the Nighttime Screamin' Gator Zip Line for a spookier look at the alligators.