7 Lesser Known U.S. Theme Parks Worth Visiting


When you hear about theme parks in the United States, you probably think automatically of Disneyland and Disney World. There’s also Six Flags, with parks all over the nation, and Universal Studios parks in both California and Florida.

These popular destinations are fun to visit, but it can be overwhelming to try to navigate the crush of crowds and long lines that feature at these destinations, particularly during the summer and holiday months.

If you love theme parks, but don’t love the crowds and hype, you should thing about visiting some lesser-known but terrifically enjoyable amusement parks. Check these out:

  1. Cedar Point – Sandusky, Ohio

This small-town Ohio theme park is an excellent option for residents in the Midwest or people who happen to be traveling through. The creators call it the “Roller Coaster Capital of the World,” and it won’t disappoint on that score. The park boasts 16 coasters, plus 56 other rides ideal for people of all ages and scare tolerances. Aside from the world’s largest swing ride and a giant Frisbee, three of the roller coasters in this park were named to the list of scariest roller coasters in America.Knoebels

  1. Knoebels Grove – Elysburg, Pennsylvania

Rather than pay $100 each to enter the park and go on only a few rides, you can enter this park free of charge and pay per ride for as many as you like. There are plenty of family-friendly rides, including a historic wooden roller coaster. The food at Knoebels Grove has been ranked among some of the best in the nation, and it’s even better because there’s no admission price if you just want to visit the vendors.

  1. Grand Texas Theme Park – Houston, Texas

This one is unique in that it hasn’t actually opened yet, but it should be up and running this year, and the hype is promising a grand adventure for all visitors. It’s meant to be a park that offers all the best of Texas, including historic venues, thrilling roller coasters and rides, stagecoach rides, riverboat adventures, railroads, and more. The roller coaster-like history of Texas should make for an interesting theme park, and Houston is a such nice place to visit, you might even want a vacation home there.

  1. Story Land – Glen, New Hampshire

For East Coast residents, Story Land is one of the best places to take children. Kids can ride in a Cinderella pumpkin coach, swan boats, Alice’s tea cups, and more. They can also take pictures with and meet their favorite characters from various familiar stories. It’s like a kid-centric Disneyland, but without the crowds.Cliffs_San_Antonio

  1. Cliff’s Amusement Park – Albuquerque, New Mexico

You might not believe that New Mexico would have one of the most thrilling amusement parks in the nation, but Cliff’s is just that, conveniently nestled in the state capital. There are fast-paced roller coasters and thrill rides for kids and daring adults. There’s also a water park to beat the sweltering New Mexico heat. You won’t hear about this one as often as Six Flags, but many reviewers claim it’s just as much fun.

  1. Hershey Park – Hershey, Pennsylvania

If you like roller coasters, water slides, and free chocolate, visit Hershey, Pennsylvania, the chocolate capital of America. What’s more, you can take pictures with your favorite chocolate bars. It might seem like a somewhat bizarre concept, but there’s no shortage of fun and great food.

  1. Knott’s Berry Farm – Buena Park, California

Looking for a vacation with plenty of sunshine but not the crowds at Disneyland or Universal Studios? Head to Knott’s Berry Farm, where you can enjoy some of the best food in the country. All of it comes from the farm itself, and the berries here are world famous. In between stuffing your face with fried chicken and funnel cakes, you can jump on a roller coaster. Just try to keep all that great food down during the ride!


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