Ultimate Family Travel

Pack up the family because Travel Channel is counting down the best family adventures, from a $100 tangle with alligators to a $57,000 Titanic voyage.

Tags

Photos

19 Photos

Young schoolgirls in China walk past farmers on their way to school. Some farmers' children have to walk 3 hours along a narrow mountain path to get to school. 960 1280

Getty  

Palestinian Students in Gaza

Palestinian Students in Gaza

Palestinian students sit at their school during the first day of the new school year in Gaza. 960 1280

Reuters  

Pupils salute as their teacher raises the Chinese national flag on the first day of their new semester at Gao'er Hope School located on the top of Xiaohuatan Mountain in Jinan, Shandong province. 960 1280

Reuters  

Students of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls make their way to the auditorium during the opening of the school in Meyerton. 960 1280

Reuters  

Students getting on a school bus

Students getting on a school bus

Students board a school bus on a rural road. 960 1280

iStock  

Uros kids in a boat going to school

Uros kids in a boat going to school

Uros children go to school on a boat near Uros island on Lake Titicaca. 960 1280

Reuters  

Girl walking home from Shimizu elementary school

Girl walking home from Shimizu elementary school

A girl walks with her mother after her first day of school at Shimizu Elementary School in Fukushima. 960 1280

Reuters  

Amish kids going to school

Amish kids going to school

Amish children head to their newly built schoolhouse in Nikel Mines, PA. 960 1280

Getty  

Students in Havana, Cuba

Students in Havana, Cuba

Students attend a ceremony on the first day of classes at Roberto Poland School in Havana. 960 1280

Reuters  

Boy walking to school in Jenin

Boy walking to school in Jenin

A Palestinian boy walks to school on the first day of the school year in the West Bank city of Jenin. 960 1280

Reuters  

Students in New York City

Students in New York City

Students arrive at PS 36 on Amsterdam Ave in New York City for the first day of school. 960 1280

Monika Graff  

School children in Mumbai

School children in Mumbai

School children wait for a train to stop at a railway station in Mumbai. 960 1280

Reuters  

school children in India

school children in India

After flooding, children in Cooch Behar get to school on a makeshift boat. 960 1280

Reuters  

Children walk to school in the Philippines

Children walk to school in the Philippines

Indigenous Aetas children walk on a trail to school for the first day of classes in Porac town, Pampanga province, north of Manila. 960 1280

Reuters  

A woman walks with children to school on the first day in Berlin, Germany. 960 1280

Getty  

Students in Jakarta, Indonesia

Students in Jakarta, Indonesia

A student hugs her friend as they sing a song during their first day of kindergarten at HighScope Indonesia in Jakarta. 960 1280

Reuters  

A boy plays the violin at Sulaimaniya Music Institute in Sulaimaniya, 160 miles northeast of Baghdad. 960 1280

REUTERS/Julie Adnan  

Schoolchildren pass a sugarcane field as they return home on horseback in the province of Cienfuegos, 130 miles from Havana, in central Cuba. 960 1280

REUTERS/Desmond Boylan  

Seven-year-old Thai student Chamaya Pamutito rides a scooter as she travels back from school along with her father and mother in Bangkok. 960 1280

CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images  

Medusa, Six Flags Mexico, Mexico City

Medusa, Six Flags Mexico, Mexico City

Like the New Texas Giant, Medusa is a hybrid roller coaster that was redesigned from its original all-wood structure to replace the tracks with steel I beams. The end result, once again, blew riders away. This time around, Medusa features an inverting first drop — a first for a ride of its kind — several moments of airtime and 3 inversions total. The roller coaster alone is worth the trip to Six Flags Mexico.     960 1280

Six Flags  

Maverick, Cedar Point, Sandusky, OH

Maverick, Cedar Point, Sandusky, OH

While Maverick does not hold any records for the tallest or fastest ride in the world, it is a huge favorite among coaster enthusiasts. Its high speed, quick turns, airtime-filled layout, surprise tunnel launch and multiple inversions leave riders breathless when they hit the brake run! When visiting Cedar Point, a park filled with 16 different roller coasters, this is the 1 that I personally like to run to first. 960 1280

Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio  

New Texas Giant, Six Flags Over Texas, Arlington, TX

New Texas Giant, Six Flags Over Texas, Arlington, TX

In 2011, Six Flags unveiled a project that would create a new category for roller coasters. Taking away the wood tracks of the classic Texas Giant and laying down a new steel design created a "hybrid" roller coaster that was the perfect mix of the 2 materials. While the ride still retains some of the classic elements of a wooden coaster, the new steel I-beam track allows for a much smoother ride, steeper drops and maneuvers not possible on wooden roller coasters before.     960 1280

Brandon Wade/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT/Getty Images  

Outlaw Run, Silver Dollar City, Branson, MO

Outlaw Run, Silver Dollar City, Branson, MO

Outlaw Run is considered the first successful wooden roller coaster to go upside down. While others have come before — and failed — Outlaw Run was the first one with both a phenomenal ride experience and a design that didn't push unrealistic boundaries of engineering. The joint effort between Silver Dollar City and Rocky Mountain Construction proved to be a huge win, as this ride immediately jumped to the top 10 of many coaster fans’ lists. 960 1280

Silver Dollar City  

Space Mountain, Walt Disney World, Orlando

Space Mountain, Walt Disney World, Orlando

Let's not forget about the classics — the roller coasters that many of us grew up on and are still favorites during adulthood. Do not underestimate Orlando's version of Space Mountain. While the top speed may only be just shy of 30 mph, this dark, indoor ride features some very tight turns and sudden drops, which produce surprises that can compete with larger thrill rides. But even still, this ride is all about family fun, so if you're a family that likes to scream together, Space Mountain is a great place for younger ones to start riding! 960 1280

Disney  

T Express - Everland, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea

T Express - Everland, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea

The owners of Everland wanted a roller coaster that would blow visitors away. They rode both Balder and El Toro, and asked the ride manufacturer Intamin to create a ride that was a combination of the two. That's exactly what they got -- a ride that starts out very similar to El Toro, and then transforms into a near copy of Balder! T Express is nearly 200 feet tall, with over 5,000 feet of track, and features a first drop at a 77-degree angle. It also has claimed the title of "No. 1 Wooden Coaster in the world" for several years.
960 1280

Seongbin Im  

El Toro - Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ

El Toro - Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ

El Toro has ranked the No. 1 wooden roller coaster in the world several times. It's one of the tallest, fastest, steepest and most intense roller coasters anywhere. The 76-degree, 180-foot-first drop is breathtaking, and you’ll find it difficult to catch your breath through this 1:42-minute ride! The airtime encountered on El Toro is some of the most extreme. Not many roller coasters match what this ride can do. 960 1280

John Greim/ LightRocket/ Getty Images  

Expedition GeForce - Holiday Park, Hassloch, Germany

Expedition GeForce - Holiday Park, Hassloch, Germany

Like Bizarro, Expedition GeForce has also claimed the coveted "No. 1 steel roller coaster" title several times. From the initial twisting 175-foot-first drop to rocketing through over 4,000 feet of airtime-filled track, Expedition GeForce tops many roller coaster enthusiasts "best of" lists. It's kind of out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere Germany, but it's well worth traveling to. 960 1280

Holiday Park  

Balder - Liseberg, Gothenburg, Sweden

Balder - Liseberg, Gothenburg, Sweden

Balder, simply put, is an "airtime machine" -- a wooden roller coaster that turned the wooden roller coaster world on its side when it debuted. It featured the world’s steepest drop on a wooden roller coaster, 70 degrees at the time, and a track layout that literally left you flying out of your seat for the 2-minute duration of the ride. It's about as perfect as a wooden roller coaster can get! 960 1280

Liseberg  

Bizarro - Six Flags New England, Agawam, MA

Bizarro - Six Flags New England, Agawam, MA

Bizarro is Superman's alter-ego version of Superman, and this is his roller coaster! This steel "hyper coaster" has won the No. 1 steel coaster in the world award many times for its out-and-back combined with a twister design, airtime-filled bunny hops, and steep, sharp drops. It's easily one of the don't-miss roller coasters in the world. 960 1280

Six Flags  

Nemesis - Alton Towers, Stoke-On-Trent, England

Nemesis - Alton Towers, Stoke-On-Trent, England

Nemesis is a vicious monster! No, for real! This intense, inverted roller coaster is themed after a monster from another dimension that has been unearthed at Alton Towers. Because of local area height restrictions, the ride had to be built mostly underground and much of the area had to be blasted away to make room for the ride. Because of this, the coaster travels through trenches and ravines, over rivers of blood, and throughout the "Forbidden Valley" section of the park. It's truly a perfect combination of "thrills" and "theming," and should not be missed! 960 1280

Alton Towers Resort  

Phoenix - Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, PA

Phoenix - Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, PA

It doesn't get anymore old school than Phoenix! This traditional wooden roller coaster was originally built at Playland Park in San Antonio in 1948, and was relocated to Knoebels in 1985. One of the most classic wooden roller coasters with a "survival story," this roller coaster thrills riders of all ages. Phoenix is an airtime-filled machine; you find yourself floating out of your seat more than you're in it! 960 1280

Jeremy Thompson  

Goliath - Walibi Holland, Biddinghuizen, Netherlands

Goliath - Walibi Holland, Biddinghuizen, Netherlands

Goliath is not the tallest or fastest coaster in the world, but it packs some serious power behind its multiple airtime hills, sharp drops and intense helixes, and delivers one of the most airtime-filled rides that any roller coaster has to offer. It's located just about an hour outside of Amsterdam, and it's well worth the visit for any thrill-seeker. 960 1280

delawega  

iSpeed - Mirabilandia, Ravenna, Italy

iSpeed - Mirabilandia, Ravenna, Italy

Launching roller coasters started becoming all the rage about 10 years ago, and iSpeed is one of the best! Riders are launched from 0 to 62 mph in about 2 seconds, and then maneuver through a series of twists, turns and 2 inversions over more than 3,000 feet of track. It's one of the best roller coasters in all of Europe! 960 1280

Jeremy Thompson  

Intimidator 305 - Kings Dominion, Doswell, VA

Intimidator 305 - Kings Dominion, Doswell, VA

Intimidator 305 is a MASSIVE steel roller coaster -- 305 feet tall, over 5,000 feet of track and blazing speeds of 90 mph! It's one of the top 10 coasters in the world for biggest drop, height and speed! Extreme g-forces on this coaster may cause "gray out" sensations at the bottom of the first drop, where riders feel light-headed! It's one incredibly intense roller coaster -- which is why it's one of the best in the world. 960 1280

The Washington Post/ Getty Images  

Dauling Dragon - Happy Valley Wuhan, Wuhan, China

Dauling Dragon - Happy Valley Wuhan, Wuhan, China

No, that's not a typo -- the name of the ride is "Dauling" Dragon! This one-of-a-kind double-tracked, racing wooden roller coaster features a "high-five" element where both tracks simultaneously speed through a 90-degree banked element, creating a visual where it looks like the riders in both trains could "high five" each other! While you're not close enough to actually touch, the element is insanely thrilling; it's about as close to another 65 mph moving roller coaster train you're ever going to get! 960 1280

milts via Wikimedia Commons  

Pyrenees - Parque Espana - Shima, Japan

Pyrenees - Parque Espana - Shima, Japan

Located just a couple hours outside of Nagoya sits one of the best roller coasters anywhere, at a park that isn't well known outside of central Japan. Pyrenees is an "inverted" steel roller coaster with some extreme g-forces, blazing fast speeds and some crazy inversions. I've been on quite a few inverted coasters in the world, but Pyrenees always comes close to the top of my list. Well worth the trek out to Parque Espana. 960 1280

Yanajin33  

Kawasemi - Tobu Zoo - Tokyo, Japan

Kawasemi - Tobu Zoo - Tokyo, Japan

Kawasemi is proof that a ride doesn't need to be the tallest or the fastest to be fantastic! At just about 100 feet tall, Kawasemi has some of the most extreme airtime of any roller coaster I've encountered! One of the best roller coasters in the world, and certainly the best coaster in all of Japan! 960 1280

momokkey  

Kumba - Busch Gardens Tampa - Tampa, FL

Kumba - Busch Gardens Tampa - Tampa, FL

No question that Kumba is one of the best "multi-looping" roller coasters in the world! The ride opened in 1993, and 20 years later is still thrilling millions of riders. Kumba takes you upside down 7 times through a series of dive loops, cobra rolls and interlocking corkscrews. You'll never know which way is up! 960 1280

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc.  

Superman Escape - Warner Brothers Movie World - Queensland, Australia

Superman Escape - Warner Brothers Movie World - Queensland, Australia

Blasting at a speed of 0 to 62 mph in a mere 2 seconds, Superman Escape is one of the most thrilling "launched" coasters on the planet! The ride features not only a fast-paced roller coaster but a complete "dark ride" prior to the launch that takes riders through a metropolis to the scene of an incident that Superman helps you escape from! 960 1280

Paul Broben/ Getty Images  

Honorable Mention - Formula Rossa - Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi

Honorable Mention - Formula Rossa - Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi

While I don't feel Formula Rossa is in the "top 15" coasters in the world, you can't create a list like this without mentioning the world’s fastest roller coaster! Located in Abu Dhabi, Formula Rossa is built at Ferrari World, an entire theme park dedicated to the race cars of the same name. And Formula Rossa lives up to what you would expect from a park like this. Formula Rossa launches to speeds of 149 mph in 4 seconds -- you can feel every bit of that launch speed through your body! It's an amazing experience! 960 1280

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi  

Banff National Park

Banff National Park

Explore the pristine shores of Lake Louise, a luxurious base camp for a tour of the Canadian Rockies. 960 1280

By Benefactor123 (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park

Kids can explore Maine's rugged coast at Acadia National Park and set off on nature walks on the park's many trails. 960 1280

By Kim Carpenter (Near Thunder Hole, Acadia National Park 8911) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Stowe Mountain

Stowe Mountain

Families can try trout-fishing at Sterling Pond, zoom down the Stowe Alpine Slide and sample Vermont's most famous dessert, Ben & Jerry's ice cream.
960 1280
Pike's Peak

Pike's Peak

The 14,000-foot Pike's Peak isn't Colorado's tallest mountain, but it inspired 'America the Beautiful.'
960 1280
Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

Park rangers provide plenty of educational adventures in the great outdoors at Yosemite National Park.
960 1280

By chensiyuan (chensiyuan) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Great Smoky Mountains

Great Smoky Mountains

Asheville is surrounded by towering mountains and national parks, including Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
960 1280
Pisgah National Forest

Pisgah National Forest

Take a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway outside of Asheville, and pack a picnic for lunch at Pisgah National Forest.
960 1280

By Ken Thomas (KenThomas.us(personal website of photographer)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons  

Adirondack Park

Adirondack Park

Head to northern New York for an Adirondack vacation with mountain views, zip-line tours and swanky resorts.
960 1280

By en:User:Mwanner [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

The Hot List

Explore America’s most stunning scenery.
Join the conversation on Social Media!
Stay updated on the latest travel tips and trends.
Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss Travel Channel in your favorite social media feeds.