Like popsicles, barbeques, and sunscreen, amusement parks have become a staple of a classic American summer. If you’re anything like me, some of your earliest childhood memories may involve spending time at local amusement parks, riding your favorite rides over and over until you got sick of them. As an adult, visiting an amusement park brings back that same feeling of childlike wonder, and you’re reminded of how much joy it brought you. There are plenty of theme parks to choose from on the East coast, most of which are only a short car ride away. Here are a few of the best amusement parks on the East Coast to visit this summer.
Located in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom offers both an amusement park and a waterpark, giving visitors the option to visit both parks or choose just one. Dorney Park has long been a summer staple for many Pennsylvanians, as the park features approximately 47 rides, ranging from roller coasters to waterslides. One of the park’s most popular roller coasters is Steel Force, a 200-foot steel coaster that has earned a reputation for being one of the tallest and fastest roller coasters on the East Coast. Since its debut in 1997, Steel Force has been one of the park’s biggest tourist draws, and riders often find themselves getting back in line after their first ride! If roller coasters aren’t really your speed, there are plenty of other attractions in Dorney Park for people of all ages to enjoy. Wildwater Kingdom is another popular draw to the park, especially on hot summer days when standing in line in the main park can be unbearable. Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom is a great destination for people who like being able to choose between a classic amusement park and a waterpark.
Six Flags Great Adventure, located in Jackson, New Jersey, has long been recognized as one of the best amusement parks on the East Coast. Six Flags Great Adventure is known for its family-friendly appeal, and there are plenty of attractions for people of all ages. Families looking at houses for sale in NJ will be delighted to live near Six Flags Great Adventure, as the park is a popular weekend destination for locals. During the Halloween season, Six Flags Great Adventure holds Fright Fest, where the park is decked out in spooky decor and employees dressed as ghosts, zombies, and monsters roam around scaring visitors. Fright Fest is one of the park’s most popular events, and continues to draw large crowds each year. The park also features plenty of other rides and attractions, including El Toro, a Spanish-inspired roller coaster that has been voted the world’s best wooden roller coaster. There are also several areas of the park geared towards children, including Bugs Bunny National Park and Looney Tunes Seaport. Six Flags Great Adventure is undoubtedly one of the best amusement parks on the East Coast, and definitely worth a visit this summer!
Hersheypark, located in Hershey, Pennsylvania, is every chocolate lover’s paradise. The park features approximately 70 rides, some of which are chocolate-themed! Hershey’s Chocolate World is an attraction where visitors observe the chocolate-making process through a fun and interactive ride. Each guest receives a free chocolate sample and are encouraged to visit the attached gift shop to purchase Hershey’s goodies. The park also features plenty of other attractions, including Fahrenheit, an intense steel roller coaster that has been regarded as the 7th steepest roller coaster in the world. The park is also home to Kissing Tower, a sightseeing ride that allows riders to check out incredible views of the park from 250 feet in the air, and the Reese’s Xtreme Cup Challenge, where riders are split into two teams (Team Chocolate and Team Peanut Butter), and compete by shooting targets in order to win. Hersheypark is one of the most fun and family-friendly amusement parks on the East Coast, and a longtime favorite of many chocolate lovers!
This is a guest post by James Neff. James is a professional writer, adventurer, and travel aficionado.