The Quick Report

The Best Amusement Parks in Every State

Are you looking for a fun weekend activity in your state? If so, this list will absolutely fit the bill. Let’s take a look at the best theme parks in each state to help you figure out where your next day trip or weekend vacation should be!


OWA Amusement Park
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Alabama’s Gulf Coast is home to OWA Amusement Park in Foley. The park is mostly dominated by the 14-acre lake at its center, ringed by 21 rides that include roller coasters and kid-friendly attractions.


Indoor Water Park
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H20asis Indoor Waterpark has a cute name and a great gimmick. It’s a sprawling, delightful waterpark in Anchorage, Alaska. If you were out of the loop, it stays pretty cold in Alaska, so going for a swim is usually a dire prospect unless you’re in a heated building!


Castles 'n Coasters
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Castles-n-Coasters in Phoenix, Arizona is a ten-acre park with plenty of roller coasters to earn its name. It sports 20 rides, as well as an arcade, mini golf, and bumper cars. It’s easily the coolest park in the state and one of the most fun attractions in Phoenix.


Magic Springs - Crystal Falls Children's Pool
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The best theme park in Arkansas is Magic Springs and Crystal Falls in historic Hot Springs, Arkansas. The spot is part amusement park, part water park, allowing visitors to split their time between two different types of fun in the sun!


brown and blue concrete castle under blue sky during daytime
Photo by Capricorn song via Unsplash

There are so many great theme parks in California that it would be tough to even visit them all! Between Six Flags Magic Mountain, Disneyland, and Universal Studios, it’s hard to go wrong when you’re looking for a summer vacation in sunny California.


Ferris Wheel
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Believe it or not, there’s only one combination water and theme park in all of Colorado! Head to Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park to discover thrilling rides, refreshing water park attractions, and regular events that will entertain the whole family.


Lake Compounce
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If you’re looking for a great amusement park for the kids, you’ve got to check out Lake Compounce in Bristol, Connecticut. Interestingly enough, this is the oldest theme park in the US that’s still operational! It first opened in 1846.


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What’s more fun than going to Funland? This traditional boardwalk-style park in Rehoboth Beach is an old-school attraction that hosts 19 awesome rides. This park is open from Mother’s Day to Labor Day, making it a bit more limited than some similar parks—but it’s well worth making the time for a trip.


Fireworks over Disney World Castle
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Like California, it’s hard to pick the “best” theme park in Florida. For many park enthusiasts, it’s easy to pick Disney World as the finest park in the state, as it’s probably also the best amusement park in the world. It’s also the most popular vacation destination on the planet!


Six Flags over Georgia 2010
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If you want to ride some seriously fast and exciting roller coasters, check out Six Flags Over Georgia. This park features some titanically massive coasters, a 200-foot drop called Acrophobia, and even a nearby waterpark called Hurricane Harbor. It’s a fantastic vacation spot!


Wet 'n Wild
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Wet ‘N’ Wild in Hawaii isn’t a traditional theme park—the state is famously bereft of classic amusement park attractions. However, Wet ‘N’ Wild is a great water park for travelers to check out when they’re in Hawaii! Who doesn’t want to visit a water park on a tropical island?


Silverwood Theme Park
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If you’re looking for a fun vacation in Idaho, check out Silverwood Theme Park (and Boulder Beach) in Coeur d’Alene. Incredibly, this is the largest theme park in the entire Pacific Northwest! It’s got no fewer than 70 attractions, making it the kind of park you can’t fully experience in one visit.


Six Flags Great America
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Six Flags Great America in Illinois carries on the Six Flags tradition of massive, fast roller coasters that will blow your hair back and make you feel like you’re flying. Maxx Force, the fastest ride launch in the North America, is one of the park’s coolest attractions.


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There’s a city in Indiana called Santa Claus. That might be strange, but what isn’t strange is that such a fun-sounding city has a genuinely fun theme park: Holiday World and the connected waterpark Splashin’ Safari! Holiday World is home to Mammoth, the world’s longest roller coaster.


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If you live in Iowa, you owe it to yourself to check out Adventureland Resort. This park is close to Des Moines and sports an impressive 100 rides and attractions, including wooden coasters, water rides, and double-loop coasters. Make sure you get there between June and August to check it out, though! Those Midwest summers are short.


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The best amusement park in Kansas is actually a water park! Salina, Kansas is home to Kenwood Cove Aquatic Park, a Caribbean-inspired park with numerous slides and attractions. Check out the wave pool and lazy river next time you visit!


Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom
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Kentucky Kingdom and the connected waterpark Hurricane Bay take up a massive 53-acre space and offer some truly unrivalled roller coasters. These include Storm Chaser, a thrill-inducing 100-foot-tall ride with a ten-story drop that will make you feel like you’re about to rocket off into space.


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People might think that New Orleans isn’t an appropriate destination for a family-friendly vacation, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Case in point: New Orleans is home to the amazing Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, a delightful attraction for the whole family. Check out the adorable mini train, Ferris wheel, and carousel when you visit.


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Is there anything fun to do in Maine? Well, the “main” attraction is easily Funtown Splashtown USA, a redundantly named but genuinely awesome park in Saco. The massive wooden coaster is the park’s marquee attraction, reaching blistering 50 mph speeds as it zooms around turns!


Six Flags Baltimore
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If you’re visiting near Baltimore, make sure you take the time to stop in and enjoy Six Flags America. This massive park is the largest in the area and has the trademark Six Flags style of towering, zooming coasters that make visitors feel like they’re breaking the sound barrier.


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Six Flags New England is the oldest operational park with the Six Flags name, though it’s not technically the oldest Six Flags; it was opened in the late 1800s as Gallup’s Grove. In any case, it’s a fantastic park that boasts a stunning lineup of stomach-dropping roller coasters and refreshing water attractions.


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The aptly named Michigan’s Adventure in Muskegon is the largest amusement park in the state and a local favorite. It’s a sprawling park, covering some 250 acres of ground and encompassing nearby Wildwater Adventure Waterpark. The park has a wide operational window, from May to September.


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This might sound strange, but Minnesota’s best amusement park is actually located inside the Mall of America. No, seriously! Nickelodeon Universe is a seven-acre park with 27 rides that is open year-round. It’s one of a small handful of entirely indoor amusement parks!


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Geyser Falls Water Theme Park in Mississippi is home to some beloved attractions. Take, for instance, Whitewater Express: a combination waterslide and dragstrip that moves you faster than you thought a waterslide could. The park is only open from late May through late July, though, so make sure you get there in the summer!


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Branson, Missouri is home to Silver Dollar City, a 50-year-old park with 30 rides and over 40 live shows. It’s an old-school park that deals in nostalgia and folksy charm. If that’s your thing, this park makes for a perfect vacation destination!


Image via Big Sky Waterpark

Big Sky Waterpark in Montana has a killer name and an even better lineup of water attractions. These include ten water slides and a huge whirlpool! If you’re not looking to take a dip, you can also enjoy bumper cars, a climbing wall, or mini golf.


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Nebraska’s best theme park is Fun Plex in Omaha. The large park has tons of attractions, including the state’s only roller coaster, which automatically makes it the coolest theme park in Nebraska. Come on, who doesn’t want to ride a roller coaster when they go to an amusement park?


Image via Cowabunga Vegas

If this list were to award recognition to the theme parks with the best names, Cowabunga Vagas Waterpark would still be the best park in Nevada. As it stands, this park still rocks for being the best place to cool off in the scorching desert. It’s got 25 water slides and is the most fun way to waste water in a barren desert that we can imagine.

New Hampshire

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New Hampshire’s premier amusement park is the downright delightful Story Land. “Where Fantasy Lives,” their motto, is truer than you’d think. Located in the White Mountains, this picturesque theme park is home to fantastic attractions like Cinderella’s Castle, Splash Battle, and the Pola Coaster.

New Jersey

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It shouldn’t be surprising to hear that the best theme park in New Jersey is Six Flags Great Adventure. Six Flags’ entire MO is installing huge, fast-moving roller coasters in its excellent theme parks, and that’s on full display here, too. Jump on the Kingda Ka coaster and enjoy a trop that hits 128 mph.

New Mexico

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Cliff’s Amusement Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico is an old-school theme park that offers wooden coasters, throwback attractions, and a charming atmosphere. It’s also got some modern rides for people who want more up-to-date thrills and fast-moving roller coaster trains!

New York

white ferris wheel under blue sky during daytime
Photo by Marcell Viragh via Unsplash

Luna Park on Coney Island is about as iconic as a theme park can get. You’ve seen Coney Island in plenty of movies and TV shows, and yes, it’s as fun as it looks. Between the instantly-recognizable Cyclone roller coaster and unmistakable Ferris wheel, this is one of the country’s best theme parks.

North Carolina

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Carowinds actually straddles the border between North and South Carolina, making it the best attraction in two states. We’ve listed it in both states, however, because it’s leagues more impressive than any other park in either state. Coasters like the Intimidator, Fury, and Afterburn will get your heart rate going.

North Dakota

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Thunder Road Amusement Park in North Dakota is a bit of a different park than some of the others on this list. It doesn’t have much in the way of rides, but visitors can check out fun activities like bumper cars, mini golf, laser tag, and go-karts. It’s a fun time, trust us!


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Cedar Point is Ohio’s coolest theme park, featuring 17 roller coasters that will keep you entertained for your entire visit. If you’re not a fan of fast-moving trains then you can enjoy the Skyhawk, a towering swing ride that gives you a stunning view of Lake Erie.


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Frontier City, the only amusement park in Oklahoma, is automatically the best in the state. But that doesn’t mean this is a moot point—Frontier City rocks! It’s got attraction rides and an attached water park to help you cool off on a hot summer day.


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Enchanted Forest in Oregon opened all the way back in 1971 and remains popular thanks to its unique theme. It’s comprised of fairy tale themed attractions and is a huge hit with kids. It’s located in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest, making it a truly magical place to vacation in.


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Do you like chocolate? If so, you’ve got to check out Hersheypark. This famous attraction is essentially Willy Wonka’s factory in the real world. You can even take a trip to the actual Hershey chocolate factory, making this a perfect vacation spot for families with a sweet tooth.

Rhode Island

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Adventureland in Rhode Island isn’t the biggest theme park in the world by a long stretch, but it makes up for its small size with its awesome attractions. The Extreme Big Air Jumper, for instance, allows visitors to spring 25 feet straight up into thin air!

South Carolina

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Carowinds is the best theme park in South Carolina, but it also straddles the state line with North Carolina, so we’ve listed it in both states! Seriously, this park rules, and you owe it yourself to check it out if you live in the Carolinas or a nearby region.

South Dakota

Image via Travel South Dakota

Yes, there is an amusement park in South Dakota, and yes, it is awesome. Rush Mountain Adventure Park, near Mount Rushmore, features the only roller coaster in the Dakotas. It’s also got fascinating caverns you can explore and high-flying ziplines.


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Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is awesome for a lot of reasons, none the least of which is that it’s owned by Dolly Parton herself. The fast and exciting Firechaser Express and Lightning Rod roller coaster are among the park’s highlights.


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Texas is home to numerous amusement parks, and many of them are world class. The best of them, however, is Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio. It sports Thunder Rapids Water Coaster, a unique blast water ride, and Wonder Woman Golden Lasso, the world’s first single-rail coaster.


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Lagoon Park is more than just a water park, despite the aquatic-sounding name. The park has over 50 rides spread over the water park and Pioneer Village, a Wild West themed area that welcomes visitors with a unique, immersive experience.


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There aren’t many conventional attractions like roller coasters near Vermont. However, the state does have Killington Pico Adventure Center, which becomes a real amusement park in the summer with ziplining, climbing walls, and rope courses. And, naturally, the park sports the Beast Mountain Coaster, a bona fide alpine coaster that pulls 360-degree corkscrews.


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If you’ve ever been through Virginia, you’ve heard of Busch Gardens. The park is home to some genuinely heart-pounding roller coasters, like the Loch Ness Monster. It’s a towering coaster that once boasted the highest train speeds in the world. It’s still a blast, even if some other rides have now outclassed it in raw speed.


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Washington State’s Wild Waves Theme and Water Park is the only park in the state that features both traditional ground rides and water attractions. It’s located in Federal Way (which is just Seattle if you’re not from there) and offers access to both parks for just one ticket!

West Virginia

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Camden Park in Huntington is the only amusement park in the state of West Virginia that offers traditional rides. That automatically makes it the best park in the state, as you absolutely want to take a spin on the Big Dipper, a huge wooden coaster.

Read More: The Most Dog-Friendly City in Every U.S. State


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Noah’s Ark Waterpark has the strangest name but the largest footprint of any water park in the state. It sports a water coaster, several wave pools, and no fewer than two lazy rivers. Its newest attraction, Chameleon, is a 520-foot-long water slide.  

Read More: 10 Cheap Summer Vacation Destinations for Families on a Budget


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Star Plunge in Thermopolis (why is every city name in Wyoming so awesome?) is a water park near a hot spring. If that’s not enough to convince you to check it out, it features a natural steam room cut right into the nearby rock face that offers a relaxing break from the water slides and pools.

Read More: The Weirdest Tourist Attraction in Every State