Vote of the week: Best destination for visiting outside the parks?
Sorry for the lack of posts over the past few days. But here's something to talk about over the weekend.
By the fact that you are on this site, I'm pretty confident that I can assume you like visiting theme parks. But there are other things one can do on a vacation in addition to visiting the parks. I've picked five U.S. destinations with top parks in the Theme Park Insider reader ratings. Of those, which has the best vacation offerings *outside* their theme parks?
Lake Erie and Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame? Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown? Canoeing, the beach and the Kennedy Space Center in Florida? Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Or Los Angeles, with the beach, Beverly Hills and local mountains?
(FWIW, I left the international options off the list because it just seemed too weird to me to throw Paris and Tokyo in as options here. Maybe in a later poll I'll take the top two options here and face 'em off against those cities.)
Pick your choice, then talk about it in the comments.
The reason that I checked Central Florida is that there is the Kennedy Space Center just an hour ago and that I am a space enthusiast...
IT is going to be a long time before Central Florida is not #1.
Central Florida also hosts professional major-league sports teams (Orlando Magic, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Rays), excellent museums (MOSI in Tampa, the Salvador Dali museum in St Petersburg), beaches (on both coasts), salt- and fresh-water diving (offshore or in the springs), and is only a couple of hours away from Miami and the swamps of south Florida. There's NASCAR and Grand Prix auto racing (Daytona, Sebring, and the St Petersburg Grand Prix, one of the few remaining races through a downtown area!). Hunting. Fishing. Camping. What else do you do? We do it here in Central Florida, too.
I chose SoCal because not only do you have the Disneyland Resort, you have the Anaheim Resort with many fun features and museums. You also have close access to Knott's, Six Flags, The beach, San Bernadino Mountains, LA, The Honda Center (aka The Pond) with concerts and hockey, Anaheim Stadium, the list goes on and on
I chose the Smokies because its the closest to me. We live about 2 hours from Gatlinburg, so we visit quiet often. We never get tired of the mountains. As the first poster said, we visit Kennedy Space Center once a year and if lived close enough would love to go more often.
To me, being a lover of American History it has to be Williamsburg VA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I picked Southern Cal because I am a Hollyweird fan. I also love the good ol 90210 zip and the O.C. You also have Catalina island, Universal the original, Magic Mtn. Knotts Berry Farm, Lego Land and all the San Diego things like Sea World. You can tour the stars homes, there are it least 5 Hard Rock Cafe's, beaches that are popular like Hunington for the surfer, of course Malibu and Venice and then shown in numerous shows and movies you have the Santa Monica Pier. Long Beach has the Queen Mary and Aquarium of the Pacific. Then there is Medieval Times and the Pirates Show, Rodeo Drive the Sunset Strip, Chinease Theatre and the Hollywood Bowl. Don't forget the Hollywood sign and Griffith Park. Not too far away is also Palm Springs and the Salt and Sea and Ariel tram as well as tours of the San Andreas fault. :)GOD! I wish we could afford to live there. It is just too much for what you can get in housing and car tags etc... We live in Phoenix (SuperBowl Home tommorrow :) ) Arizona and are only 4-5 hours from Southern Cal. I love it there and you can really never get bored. I have been going there a few times a year for years.
I LOVE the mountains, so the Great Smokys have got my vote! We love to hike and I am a naturalist and love to watch for wildlife. Also, the calmness of a mountain trail balances the mindbending effects of rollercoasters and the noises of theme parks. Mountain trail hiking is the perfect way to end up a theme park vacation!
I voted Southern california.
I'll just echo what some have already said. Central Florida has it locked up pretty well right now. From putt-putt, t-shirt shops, outlets, malls, restaraunts, weather, beaches an hour away, Daytona Speedway, the Space Center, Gatorland, and other smaller attractions. So much to offer families and people young and old.
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