Matelly / Cultura / Getty Images

Pile Everybody Into the Car

Family-friendly destinations accommodate all your travel companions — whether they include babies, pets, teenagers, grandparents, or all of the above. From the wide selection of parks in Orlando to the golfing, shopping and swimming in Myrtle Beach, family trips are a time for enjoying what you love with the people you love.
Disney's Magic Kingdom 
Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom

The purported happiest place on Earth, Disney's Magic Kingdom is sure to entertain the kids - whether with one of their parades or classic rides like Space Mountain. 960 1280

Bloomberg / Getty Images  

EPCOT

EPCOT

Travel around the world without leaving Orlando in EPCOT Center's World Showcase. You can also take a ride through the future as imagined decades ago in the famous golf-ball shaped dome, Spaceship Earth. 960 1280

Danielle Gali / Getty Images  

Universal Studios Orlando

Universal Studios Orlando

Universal Studios Orlando, next door to its roller-coaster-laden cousin, Islands of Adventure, is a must for movie fans. Where else can you experience an attack from Jaws, save New York from aliens along with the Men in Black, or hang out with Beetlejuice? 960 1280

John Greim / Getty Images  

Islands of Adventure

Islands of Adventure

Universal's Islands of Adventure is the go-to place for those with a need for speed. Thrill seekers will especially enjoy Dr. Doom's Fearfall and the Incredible Hulk Coaster. 960 1280
Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom

Disney's Animal Kingdom features more than 500 acres of grounds where animals can roam freely. Guests can roam in open safari vehicles, watching out for giraffes, hippos, lions, and more. 960 1280

Alan Solomon / Getty Images  

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Of course, the most popular attraction at Universal's Islands of Adventure is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Fans will be treated to plenty of performances, a dragon-themed roller coaster, and even (non-alcoholic) butterbeer. 960 1280

Gustavo Caballero / Getty Images  

Silver Springs Amusement Park

Silver Springs Amusement Park

The glass bottom boats at Silver Springs allow you to get up close and personal with local wildlife, like alligators, turtles, and if you're lucky, a manatee or two. 960 1280

Smithlandia Media / Getty Images  

SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld Orlando

See all your favorite aquatic animals in one place ' SeaWorld Orlando. See interactive shows with killer whales and experience thrilling roller coasters and water rides. 960 1280

Jan Kopec / Getty Images  

Wet 'n Wild Orlando

Wet 'n Wild Orlando

Spend the day at one of the biggest water parks in Florida. Wet 'n Wild has over 30 acres of slides, flumes, surfing and more. Founded by Sea World creator George Millay in 1977, the park was honored by Aquatics International as being the first true water park in America. 960 1280

Godong / Getty Images  

Discovery Cove

Discovery Cove

Located in Orlando and partnered with SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive getaway where visitors get up-close and personal with the park's animals. Take a day or 2 to swim with dolphins, experience an underwater tropical reef and visit Explorer's Aviary to see and hear tropical birds from all over the world. 960 1280

Toni Salama / Getty Images  

Daytona International Speedway

Daytona International Speedway

In Daytona Beach, NASCAR fans can enjoy one of the most famous racetracks in the world, the Daytona International Speedway. 960 1280

Jeff Zelevansky / Getty Images  

Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens

About a 2-hour drive from downtown Orlando, Tampa Bay is home to Busch Gardens. The main feature is SheiKra, a roller coaster with "floorless" cars giving the riders a unique view at 70 mph. 960 1280

Joe Raedle / Getty Images  

Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park

Florida's Everglades National Park is known by many as the place to see alligators and ride airboats. This National Park is home to thousands of species of birds, reptiles, mammals and, best of all, beautiful Florida sunsets. 960 1280

Robin Hill / Getty Images  

John F. Kennedy Space Center

John F. Kennedy Space Center

If you're a fan of space travel, the Rocket Garden at the John F. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex just outside of Cape Canaveral, FL, is a must. Visitors can stand under the massive rockets that first put NASA astronauts into space and much more. If you spend an entire day at the Kennedy Space Center and there happens to be a night launch, stick around ' it's a must-see. 960 1280

Images Etc Ltd / Getty Images  

Florida Keys

Florida Keys

The southern-most tip of the US main land, the Florida Keys are known for beautiful beaches, boating, fishing, Key Lime Pie and Margaritaville. The Keys were also the onetime home to Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemmingway. Pictured here is Mallory Square, the center of Key West's historic waterfront. 960 1280

Corey Jenkins / Getty Images  

Holy Land Experience

Holy Land Experience

Orlando's Holy Land Experience is surely a unique Florida attraction: visitors can have the Last Supper with Jesus and disciples (actors, of course). 960 1280

John Greim / Getty Images  

Apollo's Chariot, Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, Virginia
Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, Va.

Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, Va.

Soaring high on Apollo's Chariot at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va.
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Sea World Parks & Entertainment  

Six Flags Great America, Chicago, Ill.

Six Flags Great America, Chicago, Ill.

Passengers fly on Superman: Ultimate Flight at Six Flags Great America in Chicago, Ill.
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Six Flags Great America & Hurricane Harbor  

Kings Island, Mason, Ohio

Kings Island, Mason, Ohio

Riders prepare to be flung about by The Diamondback at Kings Island in Ohio. 960 1280

Kings Island  

Dutch Wonderland, Lancaster, Pa.

Dutch Wonderland, Lancaster, Pa.

Kids enjoy the Leaping Frogs ride at Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster, Pa. 960 1280

Dutch Wonderland  

Hersheypark, Hershey, Pa.

Hersheypark, Hershey, Pa.

The Great Bear at Hersheypark in Pennsylvania whips riders upside down. 960 1280

courtesy Hersheypark  

Sesame Place, Langhorne, Pa.

Sesame Place, Langhorne, Pa.

Kids will enjoy meeting Elmo and other Sesame Street characters at Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pa. 960 1280

Sea World Parks & Entertainment  

Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio

Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio

The Millennium Force takes visitors on a wild ride at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio.  960 1280

Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio  

Knoebels Amusement Park, Elysburg, Pa.

Knoebels Amusement Park, Elysburg, Pa.

The Looper at Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, Pa., turns humans into hamsters. 960 1280

Knoebels Amusement Resort  

Knotts Berry Farm, Buena Park, CA

Knotts Berry Farm, Buena Park, CA

The Silver Bullet at Knotts Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA, churns stomachs. 960 1280
LEGOLAND, Carlsbad, Calif.

LEGOLAND, Carlsbad, Calif.

San Francisco, as reimagined in LEGO at LEGOLAND in Carlsbad, Calif.
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LEGOLAND California Resort  

Bikini Debut Makes History

Bikini Debut Makes History

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Keystone  

Timeless Treat

Timeless Treat

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Bert Hardy Advertising Archive  

1950s Aquaplane

1950s Aquaplane

Americans on vacation in the 1950s aquaplane over 30 miles per hour in San Diego, CA. 960 1280

Huton Archive / Getty Images  

Beach Bombshell

Beach Bombshell

A 1950s woman on a sailboat applies sunscreen. 960 1280

Hulton Archive / Getty Images  

Vegas Pool Life in the ’50s

Vegas Pool Life in the ’50s

In the early 1950s, a Las Vegas hotel offers the ultimate pool experience -- cocktails and gambling in a swim-up casino bar. 960 1280

Gamma-Keystone / Getty Images  

Retro Hotel

Retro Hotel

A woman sits outside a hotel pool. 960 1280

Retrofile RF / Getty Images  

Summer Drive-Ins

Summer Drive-Ins

Two women in a vintage convertible drive past a sign advertising Hollywood's Olympic Drive-In Theatre in Los Angeles, CA, in 1951. 960 1280

Hulton Archive / Getty Images  

Vintage Coney Island

Vintage Coney Island

A bird’s eye view of tourists on the beach in Coney Island, NY. 960 1280

SuperStock / Getty Images  

Retro Paragon Park

Retro Paragon Park

A look back at Paragon Park, a small amusement park in Hull, MA, across from Nantasket Beach, in the 1950s. 960 1280

SuperStock / Getty Images  

Dive in to the 1950s

Dive in to the 1950s

A group of teenagers swim off a floating wooden dock with a diving board in Eel River, Garberville, CA. 960 1280

Retrofile / Getty Images  

Vintage Hawaii

Vintage Hawaii

A group of ‘60s surfers perform stunts in Hawaii. 960 1280

Hulton Archive / Getty Images  

Vintage Hamptons

Vintage Hamptons

Sunbathers on a beach near Southampton, NY, greet a trio of surfers pulled along the beach by an all-terrain vehicle in 1955. 960 1280

Hulton Archive / Getty Images  

Road Trip Throwback

Road Trip Throwback

RVs became an increasingly popular mode of transportation for road trips and long family vacations in the 1960s and 70s. 960 1280

Lambert  

Kiddie Pool

Kiddie Pool

In 1971, a mother, father and teenage daughter all squeeze in a kiddie pool on a hot summer day. 960 1280

Fototrove / Getty Images  

Kiddie Pool

Kiddie Pool

In 1971, a mother, father and teenage daughter all squeeze in a kiddie pool on a hot summer day. 960 1280

Fototrove / Getty Images  

Atlantic City in the 20s

Atlantic City in the 20s

Circa 1920, beachgoers stand in front of a boat in Atlantic City, NJ. 960 1280

Retrofile / Getty Images  

Vintage Summer   16 Photos

Castle Park (Riverside, CA)
Castle Park in Riverside, California

Castle Park in Riverside, California

In Southern California, head to Castle Park. You’ll love the park’s medieval castle, mini golf course and 21 amusement rides, such as Merlin’s Revenge and Dragon Flyer (pictured).

More California Amusement Parks:

Adventure City - Anaheim

Belmont Park - San Diego

California's Great America - Santa Clara

Castle Park - Riverside

Children's Fairyland - Oakland

Funderland Amusement Park - Sacramento

Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park - Gilroy

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Castle Park  

Disneyland in Anaheim, California

Disneyland in Anaheim, California

Beyond Disneyland’s entrance, the wonder of childhood dreams await: Step inside Sleeping Beauty’s Castle; take a ride through Splash Mountain; and hop aboard a carriage as you take in the sights of Main Street, in the “happiest place on Earth.”

More California Amusement Parks:

Knott's Berry Farm -- Buena Park

Pacific Park -- Santa Monica

Pixieland Amusement Park -- Concord

Rotary Storyland & Playland -- Fresno

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk -- Santa Cruz

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Disney  

Legoland in Carlsbad, California

Legoland in Carlsbad, California

Love Legos? You got to visit this Legoland -- the first one outside of Europe. Spread across 128 acres in Carlsbad, California, "Legoland greets the kids with a welcoming dinosaur right by the entrance. Lie inside a life-sized dinosaur footprint on Dino Island; venture into the wilds of Africa in Duplo Village or get soaked with 350 gallons of water at the waterpark.

More California Amusement Parks:

Scandia Amusement Park -- Sacramento and Victorville

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Legoland  

SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego

A San Diego attraction since 1964, SeaWorld San Diego upped the ante in summer 2012 when it launched Manta, the mega-coaster that features two launches of up to 43 m.p.h. Manta joins park mainstays like the Dolphin Point exhibit, the Bayside Skyride gondola ride and the Sky Tower, a 320-foot-high panoramic tower.

More California Amusement Parks:

Six Flags Magic Mountain -- Valencia

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom -- Vallejo

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SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment   

Universal Studios Hollywood in California

Universal Studios Hollywood in California

Don’t panic! That guy going up in smithereens is part of the moviemaking magic at Universal Studios Hollywood. The movie studio is one of the oldest and most famous Hollywood movie studios still in operation. One of its theme park highlights is Transformers: The Ride, which opened in 2012 featuring 3-D technology, fight simulation and more!
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Universal Studios Hollywood  

Elitch Gardens Theme Park in Denver

Elitch Gardens Theme Park in Denver

From late April through Halloween, this seasonal, 70-acre park in Denver is worth a family’s visit. With 30 rides, including nine roller coasters, Elitch Gardens's attractions include Half Pipe, a snowboard ride that will have you thrashing and spinning around … and around. Plus, cool off in Elitch’s waterpark. 960 1280

Elitch Gardens  

Lake Compounce in Bristol, Connecticut

Lake Compounce in Bristol, Connecticut

You’re looking at the oldest continuously-operating amusement park in the U.S. Lake Compounce first opened its doors in 1846. Today, the amusement park spans 332 acres, with more than 40 rides, including Thunder n' Lightning (pictured). The park also has a beach and waterpark.

More Connecticut Amusement Parks:

Quassy Amusement Park -- Middlebury

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Lake Compounce  

Funland in Rehoboth, Delaware

Funland in Rehoboth, Delaware

There’s something for the whole family at Funland. Choose from among 19 rides -- everything from the carousel to the more fast-paced Sea Dragon thrill ride. The kids and you can also enjoy games, from Ring Fling to amusement-park fave Whac-a-Mole. Perhaps the coolest part about Funland: Many of the rides are decades old, so adults can enjoy a walk down memory lane while the kids discover rides for the first time. 960 1280

Chris Darr  

Aquatica Orlando in Florida

Aquatica Orlando in Florida

There’s a reason this is the ninth-most visited amusement park in the U.S.: Spanning 200 acres, Aquatica Orlando showcases live shows and animal exhibits -- stingrays, turtles, flamingos and more -- plus rides like Dolphin Plunge, the most popular ride in the park.

More Florida Amusement Parks:

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay -- Tampa

Fun Spot -- Kissimmee

Fun Spot -- Orlando

Legoland Florida -- Winter Haven

Old Town -- Kissimmee

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SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment  

Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida

Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida

What kid wouldn’t love swimming with (and smooching!) a bottlenose dolphin? Interactive fun is yours at Discovery Cove. Also snorkel alongside rays in the Grand Reef and wade through water in the Freshwater Oasis, where a face-to-face encounter with an otter awaits.

More Florida Amusement Parks:

Sam's Fun City -- Pensacola

Silver Springs -- Ocala

Weeki Wachee Springs -- Spring Hill

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Discovery Cove  

SeaWorld Orlando in Florida

SeaWorld Orlando in Florida

Along with Discovery Cove and Aquatica, this massive theme park is part of the SeaWorld Parks and Resorts entertainment complex. You could spend days in this one alone: Spanning 200 acres, SeaWorld Orlando boasts four roller coasters, including the fierce Manta and Kraken. 960 1280

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment  

Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida

Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida

It’s a small world after all… except at Walt Disney World! As the largest vacation resort in the world -- and the most visited -- this legendary entertainment complex is pretty darn big: over 30,000 acres, with 24 themed resorts, four theme parks and two aterparks. 960 1280

Disney  

Six Flags Over Georgia in Austell, Georgia

Six Flags Over Georgia in Austell, Georgia

Just west of Atlanta, Six Flags Over Georgia spans 290 acres, with more than 40 rides -- including Batman: The Ride (pictured). Twirl in a 98-foot-wide circle -- as your feet dangle 24 stories above ground and wind blows in your face at 40 m.p.h. You just might scream.

More Georgia Amusement Parks:

Lake Winnepesaukah -- Rossville

Wild Adventures -- Valdosta

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Six Flags Over Georgia  

Silverwood in Athol, Idaho

Silverwood in Athol, Idaho

Live in the Northwest? You’ll want to check out Silverwood. Spread across 413 acres, the amusement park is the largest theme and waterpark in the region. Silverwood has more than 65 rides, slides and other attractions. Top draws include Silverwood’s Aftershock, the champion of inverted coasters! 960 1280

Silverwood  

Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois

Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois

Another reason Chicago is our kind of town: Six Flags Great America. Located in Chi-town’s metro area, this theme park boasts 51 rides (including 13 roller coasters and four water rides) spread across 304 acres. Hop aboard Columbia Carousel, the world’s tallest carousel, and Raging Bull, the park’s tallest, longest and fastest coaster.

More Illinois Amusement Parks:

Santa's Village Azoosment Park -- East Dundee

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Six Flags Theme Park  

Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana

Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana

This combo theme park-waterpark in southern Indiana celebrates the holiday spirit year-round; Holiday World is divided into four themes: Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving and July Fourth. Lest you start thinking this is some folksy traditional hangout, Holiday World’s Voyage coaster will set you straight.

More Indiana Amusement Parks:

Indiana Beach -- Monticello

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Holiday World & Splashin' Safari   

Adventureland in Altoona, Iowa

Adventureland in Altoona, Iowa

This family-owned amusement park has you covered, with more than 100 rides, shows and attractions. Adventureland spans 180 acres, making it the biggest family resort in all of Iowa. Don’t miss the Giant Skywheel, the largest open-gondola wheel built in the U.S. since the 1800s. Plus, take a dip in Adventure Bay waterpark.

More Iowa Amusement Parks:

Arnolds Park Amusement Park -- Arnolds Park

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Adventureland Park  

Beech Bend Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky

Beech Bend Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky

If you’re in Kentucky with the kids, Beech Bend is the place to go. Take a ride on one of three coasters (Kentucky Rumbler is the star, with a 96-foot drop). Enjoy Granny Jones’ Petting Farm (sheep, goats and more); and ride Sea Dragon, which was purchased from Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch.

More Kentucky Amusement Parks:

Guntown Mountain -- Cave City

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Beech Bend Park  

Carousel Gardens in New Orleans

Carousel Gardens in New Orleans

The 15 rides at this seasonally operated amusement park will have your kids smiling. Hop aboard the antique coaster -- one of only 100 carousels of its kind in the U.S. -- that’s been a fixture of Carousel Gardens for more than a century. Take a ride on the Miniature Train, or cool off with a trip down the Fun Slide.

More Louisiana Amusement Parks:

Dixie Landin' -- Baton Rouge

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New Orleans City Park  

Funtown Splashtown USA in Saco, Maine

Funtown Splashtown USA in Saco, Maine

This family-owned amusement park features Excalibur, the only wooden roller coaster in Maine; it’s also the tallest and longest roller coaster in northern New England. Funtown’s other attractions include Dragon’s Descent (a 220-foot-tall drop tower) and Splashtown waterpark, with 18 waterslides and pools.

More Maine Amusement Parks:

Palace Playland -- Old Orchard Beach

York's Wild Kingdom -- York Beach

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Funtown  

Six Flags America in Mitchellville, Maryland

Six Flags America in Mitchellville, Maryland

Just 15 miles from D.C., and 30 miles southwest of Baltimore, Maryland’s only theme park goes all out, with more than 100 rides, slides and shows. Of them all, Six Flags America’s top attraction is Superman: Ride of Steel, one of the tallest coasters on the East Coast.

More Maryland Amusement Parks:

Frontier Town -- Berlin

Jolly Ranger -- Ocean City

Trimper Rides -- Ocean City

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Six Flags Theme Park  

Six Flags New England in Agawam, Massachusetts

Six Flags New England in Agawam, Massachusetts

Visiting Connecticut or Massachusetts this summer? Take the kids to Six Flags New England. Less than a mile from the Connecticut border, and three miles from Springfield, Massachusetts, this park houses Superman: The Ride, formerly called Bizarro, one of the world’s top coasters with a new virtual reality feature.

More Massachusetts Amusement Parks:

Edaville USA -- Carver

Salem Willows -- Salem

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Six Flags Theme Park   

Michigan’s Adventure in Muskegon, Michigan

Michigan’s Adventure in Muskegon, Michigan

You want adventure? You’ve come to the right place! Spanning 250 acres, Michigan’s Adventure is the largest amusement park in the state, with 53 rides -- including Shivering Timbers roller coaster -- as well as WildWater Adventure, an outdoor waterpark.

More Michigan Amusement Parks:

Crossroads Village -- Crossroads Village

Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park -- Pinconning

Dutch Village -- Holland

Stagecoach Shop USA -- Irish Hills

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Michigan's Adventure  

Valleyfair Amusement Park in Shakopee, Minnesota

Valleyfair Amusement Park in Shakopee, Minnesota

This 125-acre playground is your ticket to fun! At Valleyfair Amusement Park, choose from among 48 rides, including eight roller coasters -- try Wild Thing, a steel beast that’s currently the tallest coaster in the park.

More Minnesota Amusement Parks:

Como Town -- St. Paul

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Valleyfair Amusement Park  

Six Flags in St. Louis, Missouri

Six Flags in St. Louis, Missouri

Home to nearly 10 roller coasters, Six Flags St. Louis added Boomerang to its lineup in 2013. The steel roller coaster leads you on a pulsating vertical loop ride reaching speeds of 47 m.p.h. -- in just under two minutes. Keep the adrenaline pumping at Six Flag’s Hurricane Harbor water park, home to Bonzai Pipeline, the looping waterslide.

More Missouri Amusement Parks:

Route 66 Carousel Park -- Joplin

Silver Dollar City -- Branson

Worlds of Fun -- Kansas City

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Six Flags Theme Park  

Fun-Plex in Omaha, Nebraska

Fun-Plex in Omaha, Nebraska

Take the family to the largest amusement park in Nebraska. Fun-Plex is also home to the Big Ohhhhhh!!! -- the only roller coaster in the state. Also enjoy a “Putt-Terrific” 18-hole golf course, a twisty ride down a five-story waterslide and slip-and-slide fun in a speedy go-kart. 960 1280

Fun-Plex  

The Roller Coaster in Las Vegas, Nevada

The Roller Coaster in Las Vegas, Nevada

Head to the New York-New York Hotel & Casino on the Strip for the ride of your life: a 203-foot lift, then a 144-foot drop -- that’s just the start of what awaits aboard The Roller Coaster. Did we mention the speed on this exhilarating ride is 67 m.p.h.

More Nevada Amusement Parks:

Buffalo Bill's Hotel and Casino -- Primm

Stratosphere Tower Thrill Rides -- Las Vegas

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MGM Resorts International  

Santa’s Village in Jefferson, New Hampshire

Santa’s Village in Jefferson, New Hampshire

Since 1953, Santa’s Village has entertained the whole family with holiday magic. Ride above the trees in Santa’s Skyway Sleigh; hop aboard Rudolph on the Reindeer Carousel; and get behind the wheel of a bumper car -- they’re among the 16 rides the kids will enjoy at this Christmas-themed amusement park.

More New Hampshire Amusement Parks:

Canobie Lake Park -- Sale

Clark's Trading Post -- North Woodstock

Hampton Beach -- Hampton Beach

Six Gun City -- Jefferson

Story Land -- Glen

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Santa’s Village  

Luna Park in Coney Island, New York

Luna Park in Coney Island, New York

Ride the granddaddy of all roller coasters: Coney Island’s Cyclone. Luna Park’s other thrill rides include Elctro Spin and Sling Shot -- who wouldn’t want to get shot up over 150 feet in the air… at 90 mph?

More New York Amusement Parks:

Adventureland -- Farmingdale

Darien Lake -- Darien Center

Deno's Wonder Wheel -- Coney Island

Enchanted Forest -- Old Forge

The Great Escape -- Queensbury

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Luna Park  

Carowinds in Charlotte, North Carolina

Carowinds in Charlotte, North Carolina

See the Thrill Capital of the Southeast! The 398-acre Carowinds is home to 13 roller coasters. Can you brave Afterburn and Intimidator?

More North Carolina Amusement Parks:

Ghost Town in the Sky -- Maggie

Gold City -- Franklin

Santa's Land -- Cherokee

Tweetsie Railroad -- Bowling Rock

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Carowinds  

Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio

Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio

Explore the second-oldest amusement park in the U.S. (behind Connecticut’s Lake Compounce). Opened in 1870, Cedar Point boasts 72 rides, including stars like Millennium Force!

More Ohio Amusement Parks:

Coney Island -- Cincinnati

Jungle Jack's Landing -- Powell

King's Island -- Mason

Memphis Kiddie Park -- Brooklyn

Stricker's Grove -- Hamilton

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Cedar Point  

Oaks Amusement Park in Portland, Oregon

Oaks Amusement Park in Portland, Oregon

A short way’s from downtown Portland is Oaks Amusement Park. Spread across 44 acres, the park includes Looping Thunder, a steel looping roller coaster; Disk'O, a pulsating flat ride; and the Rock-O-Plane, kind of like a Ferris wheel, only these seats rock and roll!

More Oregon Amusement Parks:

Enchanted Forest -- Salem

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Dorney Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania

Dorney Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania

“Two Great Parks for the Price of One” is no exaggeration: Located between N.Y.C. and Philadelphia, Dorney Park is also home to Wildwater Kingdom waterpark. Try braving Steel Force, the world’s ninth-longest steel roller coaster. Or kick back in a cabana rental within the waterpark.

More Pennsylvania Amusement Parks:

Bushkill Park -- Easton

DelGrosso Amusement Park -- Tipton

Dutch Wonderland -- Lancaster

Idlewild and Story Book Forest -- Ligonier

Kennywood -- West Mifflin

Knoebels Amusement Resort -- Elysburg

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Dorney Park  

Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania

Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania

More than 65 rides and other attractions await at this oh-so-sweet family theme park. Head to Hersheypark for a mix of high-adrenaline thrill rides and more laid-back fun, from the extreme coaster Skyrush, to the more leisurely Intercoastal Waterway water ride.

More Pennsylvania Amusement Parks:

Lakemont Park -- Altoona

Sesame Place -- Langhorne

Waldemeer Park -- Erie

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Hersheypark  

Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Head to the biggest ticketed tourist attraction in Tennessee: Spread across 150 acres, Dollywood showcases 27 rides, including six roller coasters: You owe it to yourself to try Dollywood’s Thunderhead -- our own Bert Kreischer calls it the best wooden coaster he’s ridden!

More Tennessee Amusement Parks:

Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park -- Chattanooga

Fun Mountain -- Gatlinburg

Ober Gatlinburg -- Gatlinburg

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Dollywood  

Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, Texas

Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, Texas

“Slippery road” is what this waterpark’s name literally translates to -- and with three locations in Texas, Schlitterbahn delivers with tube chutes, kiddie pools and water coasters. Brave the Downhill Racer -- we dare you not to scream.

More Texas Amusement Parks:

Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier -- Galveston

Joyland -- Lubbock

Kemah Boardwalk -- Kemah

Kiddie Acres -- Austin

Kiddie Park -- San Antonio

Six Flags Over Texas -- Arlington

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Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts  

SeaWorld San Antonio in Texas

SeaWorld San Antonio in Texas

One of the largest of the three parks in the SeaWorld chain, SeaWorld San Antonio spans 250 acres, with a marine mammal park, oceanarium and theme park. See One Ocean (the newest Shamu show), explore aviary habitats, and ride on The Great White, the park’s first coaster, which reaches speeds of 50 m.p.h.

More Texas Amusement Parks:

Six Flags Fiesta Texas -- San Antonio

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SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment  

Lagoon in Farmington, Utah

Lagoon in Farmington, Utah

Head 17 miles north of Salt Lake City to Lagoon. Its star attraction is Wicked, which speeds up to 55 mph across more than 2,000 feet. Also step back in time at Pioneer Village, a reconstruction of a late 1800s frontier community. 960 1280

Lagoon Park  

Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia

Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia

Head to Busch Gardens for an edge-of-your-seat ride on coasters Alpengeist, Griffon and Apollo’s Chariot.

More Virginia Amusement Parks:

Dinosaur Land -- White Post

King's Dominion -- Doswell

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SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment  

Riverfront Park in Spokane, Washington

Riverfront Park in Spokane, Washington

Every spring and summer, Spokane’s 100-acre Riverfront Park sees its Pavilion transformed into an amusement park wonderland: Enjoy rides like the Sizzler, which speeds up to 70 m.p.h., and the Spider, which, you guessed it, will have you spinning and twirling.

More Washington Amusement Parks:

Wild Waves -- Federal Way

Fun Forest -- Seattle

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Riverfront Park  

Swiss Chocolate Train
Swiss Chocolate Train

Swiss Chocolate Train

Say the words "chocolate train" to your kids, and they’ll be all aboard for this day trip in the Swiss countryside. You will be, too, as you nibble your way through the regions where world-famous Cailler chocolate and Gruyere cheese come from. You’ll be treated to first-class comfort as you travel from Montreux to the Gruyère region in either a vintage Pullman car or an ultra-modern panoramic coach car. And your ticket includes a tour of the Gruyères castle and tickets to chocolate and cheese-making factories. 960 1280

Goldenpass  

Darjeeling Toy Train

Darjeeling Toy Train

A luxury train trip in India becomes a family adventure with the 8-hour ride on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway “toy train.” This historic railway from 1881, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, travels through the Eastern Himalayas to the lush, green Darjeeling tea plantations. The miniature steam train travels at the slow pace of 7 miles per hour, so you’ll have time to take in all the spectacular scenery as you “choo- choo” along. 960 1280

IndiaPictures, Getty Images  

Grand Canyon Railway

Grand Canyon Railway

The most epic of all family adventures? Grand Canyon, of course. Experience the ride of a lifetime onboard the Grand Canyon Railway as you take in one of the world’s most impressive natural wonders. With entertaining characters and musicians onboard, kids will think they’ve travelled back in time to the Wild West. 960 1280

Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel  

Alaska’s Denali Star

Alaska’s Denali Star

For many families, a bucket list trip like Alaska might seem daunting with young children, but seeing the last frontier is doable (and quite comfortable) via train. Travel on the Denali Star from Anchorage to Fairbanks through the majestic Denali National Park. Keep your eyes open as the train moves through Alaska’s spectacular landscapes -- you might get lucky and see a bear, moose or caribou. And look out for what native Alaskans call “The Great One” -- the 4-mile- high Mt. McKinley. 960 1280

John Greim, Getty Images  

Niagara Falls Train

Niagara Falls Train

Take the kids to the one of the world’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders, Niagara Falls, without the hassle a car trip can bring. If you’re craving an international adventure, take Canada’s Via Rail line from Toronto directly to Niagara Falls. Or head out from New York City aboard the Maple Leaf Train, and travel through Hudson River Valley and the Finger Lakes Region to the see the spectacular waterfalls. 960 1280

Courtesy of Via Rail  

Cass Scenic Railway

Cass Scenic Railway

Take the kids back in time to the era of steam-driven locomotives on this historic train ride through West Virginia’s Cass State Park. Kids will love sitting in the open-air cars, while parents will enjoy the wide-open vistas on the 11-mile journey. Stay overnight in a renovated turn-of-the- century cottage in the charming mill town of Cass. 960 1280

West Virginia Department of Commerce  

Whistler Sea to Sky Climb

Whistler Sea to Sky Climb

Planning on a family mountain getaway to Whistler? Leave the car behind and take the “Sea to Sky Climb” train from downtown Vancouver to Canadian’s popular mountain resort town, Whistler. This 3- and-a-half ½- hour train trip offers breathtaking views of the Hound Sound and the British Columbia Coast Mountains. And this way, you won’t have to worry about navigating the steep mountain roads up to Whistler on your own. 960 1280

Rocky Mountaineer  

Hocking Valley Scenic Train

Hocking Valley Scenic Train

Take a trip back in time on this historic train along Ohio’s Hocking River that passes through a canal lock and a pioneer village. Throughout the year, differently themed train rides, like the Easter Bunny, Santa and even old-time “train robbers,” offer kid-friendly entertainment onboard. 960 1280

jpmueller99, flickr  

Great Smoky Mountain Railroad

Great Smoky Mountain Railroad

Take the whole family on a railroad adventure through North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains. A unique trip each season, a journey in fall offers some of the best fall foliage in the country, while a ride during the holidays offers extra fun for the kids with a visit from Santa on the “Polar Express.” 960 1280

Getty Images  

Coast Starlight

Coast Starlight

Traveling between Los Angeles and Seattle, the Coast Starlight is one of the most scenic train trips in the country. You’ll pass through San Francisco, Santa Barbara and Portland as you ride along the Pacific Coast and pass the Cascade Mountains. There’s something for the whole family on this historic bi-level Superliner -- the kids will learn about the passing regions with onboard National Parks programs, and the adults will enjoy daily tastings of local wines and artisan cheeses in the parlor car. 960 1280

Courtesy of Amtrak  

Harry Potter Train

Harry Potter Train

Calling all Hogwarts fans (both kids and parents), this is the trip for you! Ride on West Coast Railways’ “Jacobite” steam engine and carriages that were used in the Harry Potter films. Travel through Scotland’s lush countryside, and cross over the famous Glenfinnan viaduct, an unforgettable landmark for all Harry Potter fans. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Heber Valley Railroad

Heber Valley Railroad

See Utah’s Heber Valley onboard a 1907 vintage steam locomotive, sure to wow both kids and train buffs, alike. The 16-mile track twists and turns between Heber Valley and Vivan Park in Provo Canyon. Lookout for bald eagles, deer and elk as you ride along the Provo River.  960 1280

Utah Office of Tourism/Steve Greenwood  

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