Top 10 Amusement Parks To Visit This Summer

With the weather getting warmer, and summer getting closer and closer, it's time to start thinking about your summer vacation plans. There will be plenty going on across the country this year thanks to the Centennial celebration of the National Park Service, but for those of you looking for a little more of a thrill on your vacation, why not check out any one of the nation's many amusement parks? Here are the top ten parks in the United States, as selected by viewers of The Travel Channel, to help you plan your own park excursion this summer.

1. Cedar Point

Located in Sandusky, Ohio, Cedar Point has long prided itself as the "roller coaster capital of the world." The park features a total of 17 coasters, including the Millenium Force, the Raptor, and the Rougarou, and is located right on the banks of Lake Erie, so you get a ocean-like view with every hill that you climb!

2. Knoebels

Knoebels is credited as America's largest free-admission amusement park. It was opened in 1926 in Elysburg, PA and, to this day, does not charge an admittance fee. You do, however, have to purchase ride packages if you wish to ride the coasters, and pay for things like food and all that. That still has the potential to save you a ton of money on a great day of fun.

3. Walt Disney World – Magic Kingdom

Everybody still loves taking a trip down memory lane when visiting Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. Here, grown-ups can see old Disney characters from their childhood, take a trip to Space Mountain, and enjoy all of the other commodities of Florida, and Walt Disney World. The park is located in Lake Buena Vista, but you can also visit Orlando, which is just a quick 60-90 minute drive in the Florida sunshine.

4. Schlitterbahn Water Park

Although Texas seems like a terrible place to be in the middle of the scorching summer months, this water-filled oasis is a great place to take the family if you find yourself passing through the state, or can't resist all the fun-to-be-had on a 65-acre water park! Schlitterbahn has held the title of Best Water Park on Amusement Today for the last 13 consecutive years, so it might be well worth your time to go and check it out.

5. Universal Orlando Resort – Island of Adventure

While you're in Florida visiting the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, take a trip up to Orlando and visit the Universal Orlando Resort's Island of Adventure. Not only does it feature an array of coasters, 3D rides, and impressive nightlife activities, but it is also home to the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter feature. You can even try a mug of Butterbeer while you're there on a hot, summer day.

6. Magic Mountain – Six Flags

If you feel like making a Griswold Family-style road trip to California, your destination should definitely include a stop at Six Flags Magic Mountain. This park finally beat out Cedar Point for the record of most coasters, coming in at 18 with the addition of the Green Lantern. The park is also located close to Los Angeles, so you can see all the sites of Hollywood before heading back for home.

7. King's Island

Coming back to Ohio, the seventh entry on the list is King's Island, located off I-71 between Columbus and Cincinnati. King's Island is known for its extensive collection of family-friendly and classic coasters, most notably The Beast, Vortex, The Racer, and the Snoopy Island and Nickelodeon parks. General admission also includes access to the Boomerang Bay water park.

8. Wisconsin Dells

Wisconsin Dells is pretty much a water park junky's heaven-on-earth. The Dells is a series of resorts that feature a collection of indoor and outdoor water parks the whole family will love. Among these many parks is the largest outdoor water park in the United States, appropriately called Noah's Ark. The Dells is located in Wisconsin along I-94, halfway between Chicago and the Twin Cities.

9. Hersheypark

Located in Hershey, PA, the home of the Hershey Chocolate Factory, Hershey Park was originally created as a recreational area for the factory employees until it was transformed into an amusement park in 1906. This one is great for all of the chocolate lovers out there, and tickets to the park also get you admission to nearby ZooAmerica.

10. Knott's Berry Farm

The last entry on the list is Knott's Berry Farm, located in Buena Park, CA. Knott's is the 13th most visited park in North America. It was first opened in 1920 and is known as "California's Best Theme and Amusement Park." If you do happen to make it out to Six Flags, consider taking a day off to go and check out this family-friendly theme park, just southeast of Los Angeles.