Top Vacation Destinations For Thrill Seekers
Summer is here and it’s time for a getaway! So, where do thrill seekers go for a vacation? Our experts have you covered with some of the best options!
In no particular order, the great state of Florida kicks off our list. It may not be the coaster capital, but the weather is beautiful majority of the year, plus, there are several destinations in Florida that the entire family can enjoy.
Busch Gardens Tampa is is the perfect Florida destination for thrills. Several of their world class coasters will have you throwing those hands up! State of the art rides as well as classics, have given BGT a fantastic reputation with coaster lovers. Coasters aren’t the only thing driving thrills intro Florida. BGT has some amazing wildlife and animal interactions that guests can purchase!
Near Lakeland, not that far away, you’ll find Legoland. While directed more towards a younger demographic, Legoland still offers plenty of fun rides with awesome Lego theming.
And then, there’s Orlando. The city that continues to be the biggest tourist spot in the US, has some major attractions…especially for theme park lovers. Obviously, Disney World’s four parks are the top tourist destinations. Disney provides entertainment for ALL ages, regardless of whether they consider themselves coaster enthusiasts. In fact, not many rides at Disney qualify as thrilling… but they are loved by all and have a rich history, none the less.
For more thrilling rides in Orlando, there’s Universal Studios Resorts. Over the years, Universal has added a plethora of new rides and coasters, such as the Incredible Hulk, and Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit. Recently, Universal has opened an entire new “water theme park” for thrill seekers called Volcano Bay.
Not to be outdone, however, Seaworld has been making quite the name for itself with thrill seekers. What once was nothing but tanks, now offers coasters such as Manta, Mako and Kraken…all of which are crowd-pleasers. Florida has truly always been the largest hub of amusement parks in one area…and may always be.
When thinking of locations with a lot of attractions in one place, however, never count California out! Like Florida, travelers will find Disneyland, Sea World, and even Universal! Along with those, there are some other fantastic options such as Knotts Berry Farm, and Six Flags Magic Mountain. As well as being a classic park, Knotts offers some very exciting rides. Xcelerator, Perilous Plunge, and Ghost Rider have been offering screams to visitors for years. At Magic Mountain, guests have been getting their thrills on rides like X2, Tatsu, and the infamous Goliath. California definitely does not fall short in the excitement department, and is a fantastic choice for enthusiasts looking for multi-park stops.
Outside of those two well-known destination states, one must not overlook Ohio. In Mason, Kings Island offers tons of fantastic drops, like Diamondback, Banshee, long-loved Beast, and a new wood favorite called Mystic Timbers! Along with a large selection of flat rides, King’s Island is no small park. Actually, it has grown to become our favorite park to visit in the states! Plus, Planet Snoopy at KI has been voted “Best Kids are in the World” 16 consecutive years in a row bu Amusement Today! Kings Island is slowly becoming closer and closer each year to take the top spot as Cedar Fair’s flagship park.
A few hours away, lives Cedar Point (also known as the, “Roller Coaster Capital of the World,”) and it will not disappoint. This park not only offers a a large section of world class coasters, but some record setting ones, as well. Gatekeeper, Millennium Force, Top Thrill Dragster, Valravn to name a few. Many coasters here either hold or have at one point held, record breaking stats. These rides, and many others here, continue to draw crowds from all over the world. This is a must visit parks for coaster lovers and a bucket list destination for thrill seekers around the globe.
Virginia is another state that offers tons of fun. Along with a beach and beautiful mountains, you’ll also find two great parks within driving distance from each other; Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens Williamsburg. These parks have been thrilling guests since the late 70’s. Kings Dominion offers 12 coasters, including the record setting, Intimidator 305, and Busch Gardens Williamsburg offers 7 fantastic coasters, including their newest wooden sensation, InvadR. These two parks both offer fabulous waterparks and are only a little over an hour away from each other; a weekend would be plenty of time to enjoy them both!
While New Jersey may not hold as many records for tourism, if you’re in this state, you can make quite the thrill trip by visiting Six Flags Great Adventure. Currently, this is the largest theme park in the world. At 510 acres, there are plenty of amazing rides here. Batman, Bizzaro, El Toro, Nitro… all great rides. One of the most famous rides in the world known as Kingda Ka, can also be found here. At 456 feet tall, Kingda KA boasts the record setting title, “world’s tallest coaster”. If you’re a coaster enthusiast or just ready to pump up your adrenaline, then this is the coaster stop for you! Also in reach of a day trip from Great Adventure is Morey’s Piers, Casino Pier at Seaside Heights, and also Lake Compounce in Connecticut.
Lastly on our list, is Gatlinburg, TN. This place is not only a thriving tourist town, but it also holds one of our favorite parks, Dollywood. Gatlinburg is a fantastic destination for the entire family. However, if you’re a thrill seeker or coasternerd (yes, that’s a thing) you’ll love all the choices of mountain coasters, zip lines, indoor waterparks, Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park, and more. No matter how long your stay is, Gatlinburg will not let you down. For thrill seekers, craft lovers, country music lovers, and even moonshine lovers, Gatlinburg is far from boring. The icing on this cake, for many, is Dollywood. Owned by country legend Dolly Parton, Dollywood does not fall short of record breaking rides. Wild Eagle is known for being, “America’s first wing coaster, ” and their new attraction, “Lightning Rod,” is known for being the world’s first launched wooden coaster. While this park can be done in one day, it’s also a good park for a multi-day visit. Lots of great rides, amazing food, and fantastic atmosphere, makes Dollywood one of the best options a thrill seeker can visit.
Luckily for all of us, we live in a time where amusement parks and roller coasters are getting bigger and better. They are also growing by number. As a traveler, there are literally thousands of places to go on vacation. For the thrill seekers and coaster enthusiasts, these are some of our top recommendations. Now, get out there and ride!
Looking for more thrills? Check out 10 new coasters you must ride in 2017 here!
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