Saturday, May 27, 2023


The top 10 BEST roller coaster road trips in the U.S.

By Cheri Sicard
What a fun idea—nobody is too old for roller coasters! Hit the road for the top 10 roller coaster road trips in the U.S. Roller coaster fanatics of all ages are going to love the video below from Brandon of Theme Park Predictions. If the idea of visiting multiple theme parks over a short period of time is appealing, then this video is for you!

Now, I enjoy roller coasters but am not a bona fide coaster geek. If you are, know that each of the trips will score you lots of credits. My coaster geek buddy, Mike, tells me this is towards some sort of roller coaster bucket list bragging rights.

Based on your schedule, Brandon recommends visiting a park on a Friday, a Saturday, and a Sunday.

However, having spent decades working at amusement parks all over the world, I have different advice. I say, if the park is open during the week and your schedule can accommodate it, leave the weekends to the nine-to-fivers and go during the week. Doing so will probably give you time for extra rides, as the park will be less crowded.

Brandon says all the parks on his list are within a 3-day time span of each other. His video also does not include kiddie coasters that requires a child to be with you in order to ride. Be sure to watch the video as he shares insider tips and lingo that true coaster aficionados will understand.

OK, ready for the top 10 roller coaster road trips?

#1 Eastern Pennsylvania Roller Coaster Road Trip: Hershey Park, Knoebels, and Dorney Park:

  • 3 Days
  • 3 Parks
  • 211 Miles
  • 24 Credits

This is a great option as it provides a great collection of roller coasters in close proximity of each other in Eastern Pennsylvania including Talon: The Grip of Fear, and Steel Force. Brandon’s pro tip is to be sure to visit Knoebels at night as Phoenix is one of the best night rides around.

#2 New England Roller Coaster Road Trip: Lake Compounce, Six Flags New England, Quassy

  • 3 Days
  • 3 Parks
  • 122 Miles
  • 16 Credits

While the bulk of your time should be spent at Six Flags New England, Brandon says the #1 priority of this trip is to ride Boulder Dash at Lake Compounce. He also advises that while Quassy’s Wooden Warrior coaster is small, it still delivers a great ride.

#3 Southeast Roller Coaster Road Trip: Carowinds, Dollywood, Six Flags Over Georgia

  • 3 Days
  • 3 Parks
  • 722 Miles
  • 32 Credits

This trip includes some world-class coasters including Lightning Rod, Twisted Cyclone, and BNM’s best coaster to date, Fury 325. Brandon’s pro tip for this trip is to not let the size of Copperhead Strike, Fire Chaser Express, or Twisted Cyclone fool you, as all three are awesome not-to-be-missed coasters.

#4 Ohio Roller Coaster Road Trip: King’s Island, Cedar Point

  • 3 Days
  • 2 Parks
  • 196 Miles
  • 29 Credits

These two mega parks have a whopping 29 roller coasters between them, including the world’s second tallest coaster, the world’s longest wooden roller coaster, and arguably the best coaster in the world that delivers the most air time in the world.

#5 Voyage Chaser Roller Coaster Road Trip: Holiday World, Beech Bend, Kentucky Kingdom

  • 3 Days
  • 3 Parks
  • 216 Miles
  • 13 Credits

These parks have a family vibe and a small park feel but with lots of great coasters. Brandon says to plan this trip to allow you night rides on Holiday’s World’s The Voyage roller coaster.

#6 Virginia Roller Coaster Road Trip: King’s Dominion, Busch Gardens Virginia

  • 3 Days
  • 2 Parks
  • 72 Miles
  • 19 Credits

These parks are less than two hours from each other. Brandon recommends two days at Busch Gardens and one at King’s Dominion. Camping tip: There is a KOA campground located right next door to King’s Dominion.

#7 Texas BBQ and Roller Coaster Road Trip: Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Six Flags Over Texas, ZDTs, Sea World San Antonio

  • 3 Days
  • 4 Parks
  • 331 Miles
  • 26 Credits

According to Brandon, Six Flags Fiesta Texas is the best park in the entire chain. Brandon also says you should never visit Texas without going to a Bill Miller’s BBQ restaurant for breakfast tacos, a Whataburger for lunch, or a stop a Buc-ee’s truck stop along the highway.

#8 Northern California Roller Coaster Road Trip: Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Santa Cruz Boardwalk, California’s Great America

  • 3 Days
  • 3 Parks
  • 137 Miles
  • 20 Credits

While most people focus on the southern part of the state, Brandon says Northern California also offers some incredible roller coaster experiences. In addition to the great coasters on this trip, be sure to not miss the great animal exhibits at Discovery Kingdom as well.

#9 Upper Midwest Roller Coaster Road Trip: Valley Fair, Lost Island Theme Park, Nickelodeon Universe, Adventureland

  • 3 Days
  • 4 Parks
  • 339 Miles
  • 20 Credits

While all of these parks have a great collection of coasters, out of the four, Brandon says Adventureland offers the best coaster lineup.

#10 Missouri Roller Coaster Road Trip: Silver Dollar City, Worlds of Fun, Six Flags St. Louis

  • 3 Days
  • 3 Parks
  • 339 Miles
  • 21 Credits

Brandon claims that Missouri is one of the best states in America when it comes to roller coasters. Plan this trip so that you get night rides at Silver Dollar City. Each one of its coasters provides an exceptional night ride.

Want more roller coaster road trips?

If you want even more, watch the whole video below. After he shares his Top 10 Roller Coaster road trips, Brandon shares other roller coaster trips for those feeling more ambitious. Those start at about the 7-minute mark into the video.



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1 day ago

Grew up going to Dorney each year. Loved the coasters.

Bob P
1 day ago

Your opening statement, wanna bet? July 1980, got on the coal mine at 6 flags over St Louis, lost my glasses, an expensive pen out of my pocket, and decided I was too old for that kind of entertainment and haven’t been on one since. I don’t ride Ferris wheels since August 1988 when the wheel was loading and it stopped on the top and I got to see the cobbled up assortment of bolts and nuts holding it together. 1/4” nuts and bolts where 3/8” were supposed to be and they weren’t even tight. Apparently there isn’t any kind of inspection program to ensure safety is observed and it falls on the operator as to whether it’s safe. You can have my share of excitement on any of these rides. I didn’t get to be 80 years young by entrusting my well being to some ride operators.

Michal Vorkapich
1 day ago

I’m currently on a roller coaster trip. 2 years, around the country, visiting as many parks as I can, stopping in non-coaster places between coaster parks. I’ve been all down the west coast, along the bottom of the US and now am heading up the east coast. Next stop: Dollywood!

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