Endless Thrills and Chills Across The U.S. at 50 Iconic Amusement Parks
Whether you’re looking for world record extreme thrills, local gems, or water park family fun, the United States has the most amusement parks in the world to choose from. Year-round, America’s theme parks make for great day trips, a thrilling part of any vacation, and a great screen-free way to spend quality time together. Discover the magic in the Most Iconic Amusement Park in Every State!
1. Alabama’s OWA Amusement Park
Named Alabama’s Attraction of the Year, this brand new amusement park is located in the 520-acre Park at OWA. This theme park features 22 rides from the thrilling Air Racer Roller Coaster to classics like the spinning teacups and concerts, shows, and holiday events.
2. Alaska’s Pioneer Park
Experience the Alaska of 100 years ago, the history of the state, and the thrills of a theme park all in one place. Take a ride on the carousel and train or play a round of disc golf at Pioneer Park. It’s one of the most popular things to do in Fairbanks for families!
3. Arizona’s Castle N’ Coasters
Castles N’ Coasters offers 20 rides and thrill-seeking attractions for the entire family. Located in Phoenix, this 10-acre amusement park with 150 arcade games and four mini-golf courses is a fun stop on your Arizona road trip.
4. Arkansas’ Magic Springs
Magic Springs Theme & Water Park is one of the top family-friendly parks in the country. Choose from roller coasters like the Arkansas Twister, The Brain Dump Tower, classic kids rides, or water slides.
5. California’s Knott’s Berry Farm
California’s first theme park started a simple roadside berry stand. As it grew, the Knott family built a western-themed town to entertain their long lines of customers. One hundred years later, this amusement park has 40 rides, including first-class roller coasters, family attractions, and a waterpark.
6. Colorado’s Elitch Gardens
Colorado’s only amusement and water park in one offers something for everyone across 54 rides and attractions. Score stunning views of Denver from the 20-story Observation Tower or at the top of the Tower of Doom before it drops 200 feet to the ground at 65 mph. It’s one of the many fun things to do near Denver.
7. Connecticut’s Lake Compounce
Opened in 1846, Lake Compounce is the oldest continuously operating amusement park in America. Its 332 acres of fun include Boulder Dash, The World’s #1 Wooden Roller Coaster, as well as the state’s largest water park.
8. Delaware’s Funland
Since 1962 this family-owned amusement park has been an iconic part of any Rehoboth Beach vacation. Offering 17 rides, including kid-friendly classics and more daring attractions like the Superflip 360, Funland is a boardwalk favorite.
9. Florida’s Disney World
The most visited vacation resort on the planet contains four amusement parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Over 58 million people a year come to The Happiest Place on Earth to see their favorite characters or enjoy one of 49 rides from their favorite movies such as Star Wars, Toy Story, Frozen, or Avatar.
10. Georgia’s Lake Winnepesaukah
As it’s affectionately called, Lake Winnie has been thrilling local families and tourists for almost one hundred years. Named one of America’s Top 10 Favorite Family Amusement parks, it includes the world-famous wooden roller coaster, the Cannon Ball, 38 rides, and a waterpark to cool down from the summer heat.
11. Hawaii’s Wet ‘n’ Wild
Wet ‘n’ Wild Hawaii, located outside Honolulu, is the only amusement park in the state. Offering 25 rides and attractions, it’s a fun, family-friendly activity for those staying in nearby Ko Olina or Waikiki.
12. Idaho’s Silverwood
Silverwood is the Northwest’s largest outdoor theme park and the northernmost one in the United States. Built gradually over 40 years, the 400-acre park now has more than 70 rides and attractions, including a companion water park.
13. Illinois’s Six Flags
Six Flags Great America is the largest amusement park in the Midwest. Known for their thrilling rides, including the world record-breaking Maxx Force coaster with the fastest ride launch in North America, the park features 15 spine-tingling roller coasters.
14. Indiana’s Holiday World
Holiday World & Splash Safari has kept the holiday spirit alive for over 75 years! Divided into four sections celebrating Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and July 4th, the park offers rides and waterslides for kids of all ages, including Mammoth, the world’s longest water coaster.
15. Iowa’s Adventureland
Adventureland is a family-owned amusement park built with planning advice from the experts at Disney. Located northeast of Des Moines, it has over 100 rides such as The Storm Chaser, the Sidewinder, and classics for younger kids.
16. Kansas’ All-Star Adventures
The only amusement park in Wichita offers both theme park rides and attractions like mini-golf, a large arcade, driving range, and batting cages. This family-run family fun center is a local favorite for birthday parties and groups events with 25 different attractions.
17. Kentucky’s Kingdom & Hurricane Bay
Once a Six Flags resort, this park rivals Churchill Downs for the most visited landmark in the state. Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay offer thrills for the whole family, including FearFALL, Cyclos, Eye of the Storm, and Thunder Run, a classic wooden roller coaster.
18. Louisiana’s Carousel Garden
This seasonal amusement park located in New Orleans is perfect for families with younger children. Home to one of the oldest carousels in the U.S., it has a mini roller coaster, Ferris wheel, drop tower, and a miniature train ride around the park for a great kid’s day out!
19. Maine’s Funtown Splashtown
What started as a family-owned drive-in restaurant is now Maine’s biggest amusement and water park. Enjoy the state’s only wooden roller coaster and New England’s tallest log-flume ride at Funtown Splashtown.
20. Maryland’s Jolly Roger
A family vacation favorite in Ocean City, Jolly Roger offers rides, amusement, games, and waterslides across five different parks. Families return year after year to ride the go-karts, classic rides, or for rounds of mini-golf.
21. Massachusetts’ Edaville
It’s no surprise that Edaville is a top-family amusement park with 90 rides and attractions from beloved children’s shows. Kids will enjoy Thomas Land, where Sodor comes to life, or Dino Land, with more than 20 animatronic dinosaurs.
22. Michigan’s Adventure
The state’s biggest amusement and water park is also a mecca for roller coaster enthusiasts. Thrill-seekers travel to Michigan to ride Shivering Timbers, one of the world’s best, longest, and fastest roller coasters.
23. Minnesota’s Nickelodeon Universe
Located inside the iconic Mall of America, Nickelodeon Universe is America’s largest indoor theme park. Featuring 28 rides and attractions from Nick and Nick Jr shows like Paw Patrol, Dora, Bubble Guppies, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Spongebob Squarepants.
24. Mississippi’s Geyser Falls Water Theme Park
With 23 acres of waterslides, a wave pool, a lazy river, and 8 acres of white sandy beaches, it’s no surprise that Geyser Falls is rated the top amusement park in Mississippi. It’s fun for the whole family with rides and attractions for children, teens, and adults.
25. Missouri’s Silver Dollar City
Rated one of the top things to do in Branson, Silver Dollar City has been thrilling visitors for over 50 years. This 1880’s style theme park offers six festivals, 30 rides, 40 daily live shows, shops, and restaurants.
26. Montana’s Big Sky Waterpark
Visitors to nearby Glacier National Park can also enjoy Montana’s largest waterpark. Big Sky offers fun for the whole family with ten water slides, a whirlpool, an activity pool for younger ones, plus mini-golf and bumper cars!
27. Nebraska’s Fun-Plex
For over 40 years, Fun-Plex amusement park has been providing summer fun for kids and adults alike! Located in Omaha, it’s the largest waterpark in the state and the only roller coaster in Nebraska. With rides and attractions for all ages plus an adult-only pool and swim-up bar, there really is something for everyone.
28. Nevada’s Wet‘n’Wild
Wet‘n’Wild is a fun place to cool down from the desert heat for both thrill-seekers and families. Voted the #1 Family Attraction and Best Place to Take The Kids, the park features over 25 water slides, including the zero-gravity Tornado and tight-turning Constrictor, as well as a wave pool, lazy river, and interactive children’s area.
29. New Hampshire’s Story Land
For over 60 years, The Land Where Fantasy Lives celebrates characters from beloved children’s nursery rhymes. A family favorite generation after generation, Story Land overs 30 rides, shows, and whimsical play spaces.
30. New Jersey’s Land of Make Believe
Dedicated to providing affordable family fun for over 70 years, Land of Make Believe offers 35 rides and attractions perfect for kids 13 and under. The best amusement park in the northern part of the state offers free parking and welcomes guests to enjoy packed lunches in one of their numerous picnic areas.
31. New Mexico’s Cliff’s Amusement Park
Featuring 50 rides and attractions, Cliff’s offers thrilling family fun right outside Albuquerque. It has the only wooden hybrid roller coaster in the state, appropriately named the New Mexico Rattler.
32. New York’s Coney Island
A visit to New York City isn’t complete without a trip to Brooklyn’s classic, seaside amusements. Home to infamous rides like the Cyclone Roller Coaster and Wonder Wheel, grab a hot dog from the original Nathan’s Famous before your one-hour subway ride back to Manhattan.
33. North Carolina’s Carowinds
For over 45 years, Carowinds is where the Carolinas come for thrilling fun! Choose from over 60 rides, the state’s best water park, live shows, and the longest mat racing slide in the Southeast. Younger kids will love Camp Snoopy’s rides and the family-friendly special events.
34. North Dakota’s Super Slide Amusement Park
Serving up thrills since 1967, this Bismark amusement park offers rides, mini-golf, batting cages, go-carts, games, and its namesake Super Slide. Family-owned and family-focused, they offer fun for all ages.
35. Ohio’s Cedar Point
Cedar Point is the second-oldest amusement park in North America, offering a world record 71 rides and 17 roller coasters, second only to Six Flags Magic Mountain. For over 150 years, families have enjoyed live shows, the mile long-beach, and attractions like Steel Vengeance, Top Thrill Dragster, and Millennium Force.
36. Oklahoma’s Frontier City
Frontier City Theme Park is Oklahoma’s largest, with more than 30 rides, shows, and attractions. This western-themed amusement park has rides for everyone from classics for small kids to extreme thrills on some of the country’s fastest and tallest roller coasters.
37. Oregon’s Enchanted Forest
Primarily built by hand over seven years, Enchanted Forest first opened in 1971. Set in the beautiful forest in between Eugene and Portland, the park now includes a roller coaster, log ride, and Fantasy Fountain Water-Light show, in addition to the original handmade fairy tale sculptures.
38. Pennsylvania’s Hershey Park
Initially created by Milton S. Hershey as a leisure spot for Hershey’s Chocolate Factory workers, Hershey Park now offers 144 acres of thrilling rides and adventures. One hundred fifteen years later, this sweet spot has grown into an amusement park, water park, and zoo all in one!
39. Rhode Island’s Atlantic Beach Park
The state’s only amusement park contains a century-old carousel, a handful of kid-friendly rides, and an arcade. Rhode Island beachgoers can also enjoy local bands and three bars at oceanfront Atlantic Beach Park.
40. South Carolina’s Family Kingdom
In the heart of Myrtle Beach, Family Kingdom amusement park is one of the few free-admission parks left in American. For over 35 years, families have enjoyed 13 acres of oceanside fun, 37 rides, and attractions, including the iconic Ferris Wheel and the state’s last wooden roller coaster.
41. South Dakota’s Wild Water West
Voted the Top Fun Spot in Sioux Falls, Wild Water West is the largest waterpark in South Dakota. For over 30 years, visitors and residents alike enjoy the water slides, lazy river, go-karts, mini-golf, and batting cages.
42. Tennessee’s Dollywood
Known for its down-home charm and owner Dolly Parton, Dollywood is ranked as one of the world’s best theme parks. With more than 50 rides, waterslides, shows, and restaurants across 160 acres in the Great Smoky Mountains, it just might be the friendliest amusement park you ever visit.
43. Texas’s Six Flags Over Texas
Initially named and designed after the six countries whose flags historically flew over Texas, the park expanded over 60 years to ten themed sections. Offering pint-sized fun in Bugs Bunny Boomtown, DC Comics thrills on The Ride in Gotham City, The Riddler’s Revenge, and Harley Quinn Spinsanity, as well as the world’s largest loop coaster El Diablo.
44. Utah’s Lagoon Park
Utah’s first place for summer fun opened in 1886. Now, it offers 60 rides, waterslides, games, shows, and Pioneer Village, a reconstructed frontier community transporting guests back to the era when Lagoon Park first opened.
45. Vermont’s Santa Land
This small family amusement park has welcomed over a million families since opening 63 years ago. Santa Land gives kids of all ages the chance to visit with Santa and experience the magic of Christmas.
46. Virginia’s Kings Dominion
Northern Virginia’s beloved amusement park has more than 60 rides, waterslides, and attractions. Kings Dominion offers something for everyone with Planet Snoopy for younger kids to the East Coast’s biggest collection of roller coasters for older thrill-seekers.
47. Washington’s Wild Waves
The state’s largest amusement park features more than 40 rides and waterslides over 70 acres. Located outside of Seattle, the park offers both classic rides and thrills like the TimberHawk Ride of Prey wooden coaster and the hair-raising triple-tube Pacific Plunge Slide.
48. West Virginia’s Camden Park
Started as a picnic area for intersecting railways over 100 years ago, the state’s only amusement park has grown to offer 30 rides for visitors of all ages. Featuring the iconic Big Dipper, a classic all-wooden roller coaster, it’s one of the last remaining National Amusements rides.
49. Wisconsin’s Wilderness Resort
Right in the middle of the waterpark capital of the world is Wilderness Resort, one of America’s largest indoor water parks. This Wisconsin Dells mega-resort offers eight waterparks, a dozen attractions, three arcades, and an 18-hole golf course over a mind-boggling 800 acres.
50. Wyoming’s Snow King Mountain
Wyoming doesn’t have any large amusement parks but it does offer Teton Mountain views and summer thrills in popular Jackson. The brand new Cowboy Coaster climbs 456 vertical feet up Snow King Mountain and then sends you down over a mile of turns, loops, and drops among beautiful Wyoming wildflowers.
This article was originally published on Your Money Geek and can be viewed on Google Web Stories