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

Courtesy OWA

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

Courtesy Alaska Tourism

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

Courtesy Unsplash

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

Courtesy Unsplash

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

Courtesy 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

Courtesy Visit Denver

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

Courtesy 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

Courtesy Unsplash

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

Courtesy Unsplash

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

Courtesy Pexels

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

Courtesy Pexels

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

Courtesy Idaho Tourism

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

Courtesy 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

Courtesy 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

Courtesy Iowa Tourism Office

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’ Worlds of Fun

Courtesy Unsplash

Located in Kansas City, Worlds of Fun offers 100 rides, attractions, and waterslides across 235 acres. Inspired by the Jule Verne book, “Around the World in 80 Days,” the park is divided into five areas –  Scandinavia, Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas. 

17. Kentucky’s Kingdom & Hurricane Bay

Courtesy Unsplash

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

Courtesy Louisiana Tourism

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

Courtesy Funtown

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

Courtesy Pexels

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

Courtesy 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

Courtesy Michigan 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

Courtesy Mall of America

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

Courtesy Pexels

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

Courtesy Explore Branson

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

Courtesy Unsplash

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

Courtesy 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

Courtesy Businesswire

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

Courtesy Storyland

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

Courtesy Pexels

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

Courtesy Pexels

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

Courtesy Pexels

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

Courtesy 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

Courtesy Pexels

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

Courtesy Visit Ohio

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

Courtesy 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

Courtesy 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

Courtesy 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

Courtesy Pexels

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

Courtesy 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

Courtesy Travel South Dakota

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

Courtesy 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

Courtesy Six Flags

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

Courtesy Unsplash

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

Courtesy Pexels

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

Courtesy Pexels

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

Courtesy 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

Courtesy Pexels

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

Courtesy Wilderness Resort

Right in the middle of the waterpark capital of the world is Wilderness Resort, America’s largest waterpark. 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 Zipline Adventure Park

Courtesy Pexels

Visitors to nearby Yellowstone National Park can enjoy one of America’s largest aerial adventure parks offering 1,000 feet of zip lines and 49 thrilling challenges. Children 6 and up can explore the adventure park, while a junior ropes course is available for kids ages four and up. 

This article was originally published on Your Money Geek and can be viewed on Google Web Stories