Myrtle Beach, SC
Going to the beach is only half the fun in a town with nearly a dozen theme parks.
The Myrtle Beach Pavilion Amusement Park is the granddaddy of them all. For more than 50 years, this park has provided a carnival-like atmosphere right at the beach.
There are 40 grown-up and kiddie rides, including the new $5 million Hurricane, the tallest roller coaster in South Carolina climbing 110 feet. The oceanfront arcade has row after row of video games -- and even some old-fashioned pinball. Along the boardwalk, you can play skill games like darts, water guns, and ring tosses, and vendors sell beach stuff like kites and balls.
At Family Kingdom Amusement Park, a mile south, take a ride on the Swamp Fox, a big wooden roller coaster or the state's largest ferris wheel. There are plenty of kiddie rides for toddlers and chicken adults. Across the street on the ocean, the Family Kingdom Water Park has both wild and mild water slides, wading pools, and a lazy river. Parents can hang out in the river while the kids shoot down the slides.