5 Midwest Theme Parks Just a Drive Away

Experience some thrills at these regional amusement parks

The Maverick roller coaster at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio

By Corinne Minard

To many of us, amusement parks just scream summer, particularly in the Midwest. It’s often the only season we ride roller coasters, get on a Ferris wheel or eat a funnel cake. There are many throughout the Midwest, but we’ve found some of the best in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee to help you and your family make a quick getaway.

Cedar PointSandusky, Ohio

Considered to be the roller coaster capital of the world, Cedar Point is home to 18 roller coasters, including several world-recording breaking coasters like Steel Vengeance, Millennium Force and Top Thrill Dragster. If your family needs to slow down after riding these high-intensity attractions, head on over to the waterpark and its 16 slides and pools.

Dollywood – Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Yes, Dolly Parton does have her own amusement park. But Dollywood is so much more. The park has more than 40 rides and attractions, including award-winning wooden coasters like Thunderhead, and a family-friendly area, called Wildwood Grove.

Holiday World & Splashin’ SafariSanta Claus, Indiana

In Holiday World, you really can celebrate several holidays at once. With lands named after Halloween and Thanksgiving and rides like Prancer’s Merry-Go-Round, the park is truly holiday themed. However, the park is more than a novelty—for example its Thunderbird Steel Roller Coaster is the country’s only launched wing coaster.

Kentucky Kingdom & Hurricane BayLouisville, Kentucky

With 70 rides and attractions, which includes a waterpark and six roller coasters, Kentucky Kingdom is great for families that want a variety of rides. The park’s newest coaster, Kentucky Flyer, was actually designed with families in mind, providing thrills while keeping speeds under 35mph.

Kings IslandMason, Ohio

Kings Island has both intense thrills and family-friendly fun. For roller coaster fans, there’s The Beast, the world’s longest wooden roller coaster, and the new Orion, which drops riders from 300 feet in the air. But for more family-friendly fare, park visitors can head to Planet Snoopy, the park’s award-winning kids’ area.

Interested in booking a vacation at one of these locations? Click here to view travel accommodations through booking.com, our travel partner.