Theme Parks Where You Can Make the Most of Summer

For thrill-seekers, families, and fun-lovers of every stripe

By ; published Tuesday, July 17th, 2012
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Located in Branson, Missouri—a renowned Midwestern destination for family and kid-friendly travel—Silver Dollar City was voted number one theme park in our 10Besties Readers' Choice Awards, and with good reason. Like Dollywood, Silver Dollar City draws on regional culture and history, with much of the park aiming to replicate the experience of 19th century Midwestern living. If you're looking for a theme park with cutting-edge roller coasters, but also a little something more, this is the one for you.

Photo Credit: Dollywood

Adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and brimming with much of that region's local flavor and culture, Dollywood is a theme park with character and soul. Of course there's no shortage of roller coasters, kiddy rides, water slides, and restaurants, but there's also an array of craft shops and country music performers (including, from time to time, legendary co-owner and namesake Dolly Parton herself) that draw on the traditions of the Great Smokies.

Photo Credit: Disneyland

Disneyland® Park should be a staple of any family vacation to California. To call it merely a park is something of a misnomer; Disneyland® is actually made up of eight distinct parks, each with their own theme and own brand of fun. Check out these tips on specific attractions younger ages are sure to love from one of our family travel experts.

Photo Credit: Roller Coaster Philosophy - flickr

If traveling with little ones, be wary of large summer crowds at Busch Gardens in Tampa (mornings are usually best for visiting.) Aside from that, get in and enjoy thrills and sights! Busch Gardens is somewhat unique in that a large part of the park is a dedicated zoo, which offers tours and edifying, hands-on activities that will no doubt appeal to all children and curious adults. Aside from the animal-related and themed activities, there are six top notch roller coasters in the park.



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