Whether you are looking for an affordable vacation close to home or an exciting adventure halfway across the country, a day at the amusement park should be part of your plans.

There are plenty of amusement parks within driving distance of Santa Barbara County, so you can start planning those day trips as soon as the kids get out of school for the summer. And if you’re planning a full summer vacation elsewhere, you will literally be surrounded by amusement parks of every size, type and description.

In fact, in these vacation meccas your hardest task may be choosing the right one.

Age Considerations

Of course choosing the right amusement park is always important, whether you are staying close to home or traveling further away.

Some amusement parks cater to smaller kids, with lots of fun yet gentle rides and lots of things for the smallest travelers to enjoy.

If you are traveling with your young kids and grandkids, be sure to seek out these hidden gems for a day of fun in the sun.

If the kids in your family are a bit older, they are probably looking for few more thrills at the amusement park. If you have a roller coaster enthusiast in your family, you can plan your summer vacation around the list of the best roller coasters in your area.

Just take a look at the list of the world’s tallest, fastest and steepest coasters, then seek out the ones that lie on your vacation driving path. Many roller-coaster enthusiasts travel all around the country every summer, seeking out the biggest thrills and the newest and baddest rides at the amusement park.

Look Local

If your time is more limited, you can still find plenty of thrills at local parks. Take the time to visit a local park and see what it has to offer.

Many of us fail to take advantage of the attractions in our home towns. It would be a shame to repeat that mistake. You might even want to invest in a season pass for the family and give them a fun and affordable vacation that lasts all summer long.

But whether you are vacationing close to home to save money or embarking on a road trip across the country, it would be a shame to let the summer go by without at least a few trips to the amusement park.

These fun factories are not just for kids. In fact, the parents often enjoy the thrills and spills just as much, if not more, than their children.

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