Maverick Cedar Point

Midwest USA Theme Park Road Trip: America’s Best, Part 3

Embarking on a Midwest USA Theme Park Road Trip is a thrilling odyssey woven with laughter, excitement, and cherished memories. In this edition of “America’s Best,” we present a carefully crafted itinerary showcasing the finest theme parks that the Midwest has to offer. Join us as we unfold a personalized adventure, guiding you through the heart of America’s iconic theme parks.

Having explored these amusement havens numerous times over the years, my family’s love for the thrill of roller coasters, the magic of beloved characters, and the enchantment of diverse attractions has fueled our passion for crafting the ultimate Midwest USA Theme Park Road Trip experience.

Our aim is to create a thematic tapestry, blending the rich history and excitement of these theme parks into an unforgettable exploration of the Midwest’s amusement landscape. Get ready to embark on a Midwest adventure that promises not only adrenaline-pumping rides but also a journey through the cultural and entertainment tapestry of the heartland.

Theme Park Road Trip Map

To enhance your journey, we’ve prepared a detailed theme park road trip map outlining the route from start to finish. Use it as a guide to customise your adventure based on your preferences and priorities.

Midwest USA Theme Park Road Trip Itinerary

1. Kennywood – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Nestled along the Monongahela River, Kennywood stands as a testament to the enduring charm of classic amusement parks. With a history dating back to 1898, this Pittsburgh gem seamlessly blends nostalgia with modern thrills. As you stroll through the park, you’ll encounter a diverse array of rides, from the iconic Phantom’s Revenge, offering breathtaking drops and high-speed excitement, to family-friendly attractions like the classic carousel and the nostalgic Potato Patch fries. The park’s unique ambience, featuring vintage architecture and beautifully landscaped gardens, adds an extra layer of enchantment to your experience.

Get your tickets to Kennywood here

  • Distance to Next Park: 155 miles

2. Cedar Point – Sandusky, Ohio

Cedar Point

Welcome to the thrill-seeker’s paradise, the renowned Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. Aptly dubbed the “Roller Coaster Capital of the World,” this amusement park boasts a staggering lineup of world-class coasters. From the record-breaking Millennium Force, with its heart-pounding speeds and towering drops, to the intense twists and turns of the Maverick, Cedar Point is a haven for coaster enthusiasts. Beyond the exhilarating rides, the park offers stunning views of Lake Erie, creating a unique backdrop for your adventure.

Get your tickets to Cedar Point here

  • Distance to Next Park: 254 miles

3. Kings Island – Mason, Ohio

Kings Island

Kings Island in Mason, Ohio, welcomes visitors to a world of family-friendly fun and thrilling attractions. Home to iconic rides like the Beast, one of the world’s longest wooden roller coasters, and the Banshee, an inverted coaster offering inversions and loops, the park caters to a diverse audience. As you explore the beautifully landscaped grounds, enjoy live entertainment, and savour a variety of culinary delights, Kings Island unfolds as a Midwestern gem, seamlessly blending excitement and entertainment for visitors of all ages.

Get your tickets to Kings Island here

  • Distance to Next Park: 300 miles

4. Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari – Santa Claus, Indiana

Holiday World mascots

Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari in Santa Claus, Indiana, uniquely combines the thrill of a theme park with the refreshing delights of a water park. This family-owned destination offers a perfect blend of heart-racing coasters, such as the Voyage, and world-class water attractions. The water park, Splashin’ Safari, boasts wave pools, lazy rivers, and exhilarating slides, providing a cool respite on warm Midwest days. The park’s commitment to guest satisfaction and its charming holiday-themed sections make it a distinctive stop on our road trip.

Get your tickets to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari here

  • Distance to Next Park: 186 miles

5. Indiana Beach – Monticello, Indiana

Indiana Beach

As we venture to Monticello, Indiana, Indiana Beach emerges as a unique fusion of amusement park excitement and lakeside charm. Set along the shores of Lake Shafer, this destination captures the essence of a traditional beachfront amusement park. The Cornball Express and Hoosier Hurricane, with their classic wooden coaster charm, add a touch of nostalgia to your adventure. With a vibrant boardwalk atmosphere, thrilling rides, and scenic views, Indiana Beach offers a delightful blend of old-world charm and modern amusement.

Get your tickets to Indiana Beach here

  • Distance to Next Park: 217 miles

6. Michigan’s Adventure – Muskegon, Michigan

Michigan's Adventure

In Muskegon, Michigan, Michigan’s Adventure unfolds as a hidden gem amidst the natural beauty of the state. This amusement and water park combo provides a well-rounded experience for visitors seeking a variety of thrills. The park’s centrepiece, Shivering Timbers, stands tall as one of the Midwest’s classic wooden coasters, delivering an exhilarating ride through the scenic landscape. Thunderhawk, the park’s inverted coaster, adds a unique twist to the coaster lineup. As you explore the diverse attractions and enjoy the serene surroundings, Michigan’s Adventure offers a relaxed yet thrilling stop on your Midwest journey.

Get your tickets to Michigan’s Adventure here

  • Distance to Next Park: 204 miles

7. Six Flags Great America – Gurnee, Illinois

Six Flags Great America

Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois, beckons with its reputation as a thrill-seeker’s paradise. Boasting a collection of record-breaking coasters and heart-pounding rides, this Six Flags destination promises an adrenaline-fueled experience. From the intense loops of Goliath to the towering heights of Raging Bull, the park offers a diverse range of thrills for guests of all ages. The vibrant atmosphere, live entertainment, and themed sections enhance the overall experience, making Six Flags Great America a must-visit on your Midwest adventure.

Get your tickets to Six Flags Great America here

  • Distance to Next Park: 430 miles

8. Valleyfair – Shakopee, Minnesota


As we journey to Shakopee, Minnesota, Valleyfair welcomes us with a dynamic mix of thrills and entertainment. This amusement park stands out for its diverse attractions, including the iconic Wild Thing coaster and the Soak City water park

. With a focus on family fun, Valleyfair provides a balanced experience for visitors of all ages. The park’s beautifully landscaped grounds and engaging live shows add an extra layer of enjoyment, making it a refreshing and entertaining stop on our Midwest road trip.

Get your tickets to Valleyfair here

  • Distance to Next Park: 322 miles

9. Worlds of Fun – Kansas City, Missouri

Detonator at Worlds of Fun

Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, Missouri, seamlessly combines Midwestern charm with adrenaline-pumping rides. The park’s signature attractions, including the Mamba and Prowler coasters, offer an exhilarating experience in the heart of the Midwest. As you explore the themed areas, indulge in delicious treats, and enjoy live entertainment, Worlds of Fun unfolds as a family-friendly destination with a perfect blend of excitement and charm.

Get your tickets to Worlds of Fun here

  • Distance to Next Park: 273 miles

10. Six Flags St. Louis – Eureka, Missouri

Six Flags St louis

Our final destination on this Midwest adventure, Six Flags St. Louis, is a fitting conclusion to our road trip. With a diverse collection of coasters like the Screamin’ Eagle and Mr. Freeze, this Six Flags park delivers a thrilling finale. The park’s commitment to providing world-class entertainment, combined with its iconic attractions, marks the end of a memorable journey through the heart of the Midwest. As you bid farewell to Six Flags St. Louis, your Midwest adventure comes to a close with lasting memories of laughter, excitement, and the enduring magic of theme parks.

Get your tickets to Six Flags St Louis here

  • Your Midwest adventure is complete!

Final Thoughts:

Embarking on this Midwest USA theme park road trip was a symphony of laughter, thrills, and cherished moments. Each park, with its unique charm and offerings, created a chapter in our adventure, making every mile of this journey a treasure trove of experiences. If you choose to follow this itinerary or select specific parts of it, may your Midwest road trip become a kaleidoscope of joy, discovery, and the enduring magic that theme parks bring to our lives. Happy travels, and may your adventures in the Midwest be filled with laughter, excitement, and the thrill of new discoveries.

For other road trip ideas click here.

For the rest of this Theme Park road trip series click here

Bonus Option – Kentucky Kingdom – Louisville, Kentucky

Thunder Run Kentucky Kingdom

Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville promises thrills with rides like Lightning Run and Kentucky Flyer. It’s a family-friendly destination offering diverse attractions, including a refreshing water park.

This park’s commitment to balancing excitement and family-friendly fun makes it a must-visit. Families can enjoy classic rides, interactive games, and diverse dining options.

Kentucky Kingdom leaves a lasting impression, combining ride excitement with regional hospitality. Bid farewell, enriched with laughter, excitement, and the enduring magic of theme parks.

Get your tickets to Kentucky Kingdom here

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