New York Jane Byrnes and her family traveled last summer from their home near New York City to visit friends in Buffalo, then west to Ohio, with Pelee Island in Lake Erie as the final destination.
But one stop on the trip loomed large for Jane's son John: Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, which calls itself the world's largest roller-coaster park. John counted down the days to Cedar Point, and he'd researched the biggest rides, so he knew all about the 420-foot-high Top Thrill Dragster, which opened shortly before the Byrnes family arrived.
"He was unbelievably excited," Byrnes recalled. As luck would have it, despite lines that stretched for hours and intermittent closures that are typical of brand-new rides, John got to ride the Dragster on his 12th birthday.
Like the Byrneses, many vacationing families set aside a day of a longer trip to visit an amusement park as a way of varying the itinerary -- and pleasing the children. Wherever you are and wherever you're going, there's a park full of rides, splashes and fun nearby.