South Carolina is a state often known for its history, especially during the American Civil War. The first shots that were said to have started the Civil War took place in South Carolina. Aside from its history, South Carolina is also known for being a hub of tourism. In fact, tourism is its biggest industry and the state’s official tourism motto is “Made for Vacation”. A lot of people come to South Carolina to enjoy a holiday, staying in one of the best beach houses or island resorts. One of the best activities is a trip to its many theme parks. So if you’re one of those eyeing a vacation here, you may want to check out our top amusement parks and theme parks in South Carolina below.
1. Wild Water & Wheels, Surfside Beach
Coming to South Carolina this summer? Take the whole family for a fun, splashing day at Wild Water & Wheels! This water park in Surfside Beach features pools, slides, and rides that all ages will enjoy! Let the little ones enjoy kiddie attractions like Wally’s Lagoon and Wee Kids Water World. For challenging speed slides, try the body-only Triple Dip and Side Winder. Finally, adrenaline rush and big thrills await at one of the park’s top attractions—Free Fall Cliff Dive!
Wild Water & Wheels
Address: 910 US-17 BUS, Surfside Beach, SC 29575, United States
Website: Wild Water & Wheels
2. Whirlin' Waters Adventure Waterpark, North Charleston
For summertime fun and entertainment in North Charleston, there’s no better place to go than Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark! The rides and slides here aren’t just for kids, kids-at-heart are more than welcome too. For families with toddlers, Lily Pad Lagoon offers a shallow pool with spray geysers and a play area. For group rides, be sure to try The Washout and Tubular Twister. If you dare race your friends, get on the mat and jump onto Rip Tide Run!
Whirlin' Waters Adventure Waterpark
Address: 8888 University Blvd, North Charleston, SC 29406, United States
Website: Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark
3. Pedroland, Hamer
Sitting on the border of South Carolina and North Carolina, Pedroland is an amusement park within the vicinity of South of the Border, a mini village for rest and recreation. Other places to visit inside this attraction include Reptile Lagoon and Sombrero Tower. Because of its location, South of the Border has become a frequent stopover of many travellers heading for Florida and this has become a factor in the theme of the entire park. Mexican culture is profound particularly at Pedroland, with its mascot, Pedro, a Mexican bandit welcoming the crowds to the park. Pedroland is a Mexican take on classic carnival rides like the carousel, bumper cars, flying airplanes and other rides.
Address: South of the Border Motor Inn, 3346 US-301, Hamer, SC 29547, United States
Opening hours: Fri - Sun: 10am - 8pm
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4. Pavilion Park, Myrtle Beach
Established in 1948, Pavilion Park has become more than just an amusement park; it’s become a tradition. Some even call it the Pavilion Nostalgia Park because it has been a historic part of Myrtle Beach for quite some time. For many in South Carolina and those who come over to visit, Pavilion Park is one of the best places to get your dose of fun and excitement. The park is divided into three areas which are the East Park, Central Park, and West Park. There are a lot of rides to choose from including the carousel, a roller coaster, a bunch of tea cups, thrilling spinning discs, a pirate ship, and many more. The time schedules vary during different seasons so best to check out their website first before your visit to be sure it’s open then!
Address: 1171 Celebrity Cir, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577, United States
Website: Pavilion Park
Opening hours: December 21 - 23, 26 - 31: 11am - onward (West Park); December 24: 11am - 4pm (West Park); see website for more details
Price: 1.50 USD
5. Family Kingdom Amusement Park, Myrtle Beach
As the name gives away, Family Kingdom Amusement Park is a fun seaside amusement park in South Carolina that is perfect for families. Located on Myrtle Beach, it has long been a getaway for families to bond and have fun together. It’s also a fun alternative to family resorts as guests of all ages will find plenty of exciting things to do. The park has nearly 40 rides including traditional ones like a carousel, bump cars, and go-kart racing. But the roller coaster and Ferris wheel are the park’s most recognized features and stands out from all the other rides with its colorful lights and towering heights. You can enjoy the best of the panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean from the top of these structures.
The opening times of the park varies according to the season so best to check the calendar on their website for more information before you visit. There may not be a Six Flags in South Carolina, but surely, this amusement park comes close!
Family Kingdom Amusement Park
Address: 300 Ocean Blvd, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577, United States
Website: Family Kingdom Amusement Park
Opening hours: Visit their website for more details
Price: Amusement park - from 28.95 USD / Water park - from 19.95 USD
Wonder Works is another amazing destination at Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. This eye-catching structure is not your usual amusement park because it’s more inclined to educating its young visitors through the different displays and attractions. Found inside the most quirky upside down house, Wonder Works is similar to an interactive museum filled with exhibits relating to the many branches of science including space travel, physics, nature, and many others. They also have additional attractions like the 6D Extreme Motion Ride, Indoor Ropes and Laser Tag. It’s a fun alternative for your kids to also learn at the same time.
WonderWorks Myrtle Beach All Access Ticket
7. Myrtle Waves Water Park, Myrtle Beach
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
If you want to take a break from the beach and experience a different kind of water fun, Myrtle Waves Water Park is the place for you. You and your family will surely enjoy their many attractions. Glide down several water slides, stay afloat on their lazy river, or swim through the waves of Ocean in Motion. You can also check out their top attraction, FlowRider, which allows you to “surf” on an artificial wave and give you that exciting thrill of rolling through waves without having to go to the ocean. The park also offers movie nights for the whole family every Thursday for an additional charge. Myrtle Waves Water Park is definitely the perfect summer holiday getaway for the whole family.
Myrtle Waves Water Park
Address: 3000 Mr. Joe White Ave, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577, United States
Website: Myrtle Waves Water Park
Opening hours: 11am - 5pm (daily)
Price: From 26.98 USD
8. Frankie's Fun Park - Charlotte, Huntersville
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
A little up north, you’ll find a fun alternative in Frankie’s Fun Park, located in Charlotte, North Carolina. It’s one of many branches of Frankie’s in the east coast and sits on 8 hectares (20 acres) of land that was transformed into a haven of fun. There are activities for all weather from indoor activities such as bowling, mini golf, and laser tag to a variety of outdoor thrills such as various racing tracks, swings and drop zone rides. There’s also an arcade, a fun house and a 3D ride. The prices depend on each of the rides, so you’ll have to check out their website for more details. Truly, Frankie’s is a real treat for every member of the family.
Frankie's Fun Park - Charlotte
Address: 10621 Bryton Corporate Center Dr, Huntersville, NC 28078, United States
Website: Frankie’s Fun Park - Charlotte
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 10am - 11pm; Fri - Sat: 10am - 1am; Sun: 11am - 11pm
Price: Free admission, but visit their website for individual ticket prices for the rides
Another amusement park located on the border of North and South Carolina you shouldn’t miss is Carowinds. The concept of the park came after a trip to Disneyland conjoined with the idea of bringing the two states closer and the dream came to life when it was opened in 1973. Carowinds has a lot of different rides depending on who you’re with or what piques your interest - from thrill rides, family rides, and kiddie rides. They also have a water park so you can enjoy some splashing fun even while at Carowinds. The park also has annual events during Halloween and Christmas, namely SCarowinds and WinterFest, respectively.
Fun times ahead in South Carolina
In spite of the many shopping malls and other tourist attractions, bringing out the child in you when you visit any of these amusement parks in South Carolina is surely an experience to cherish. It’s one of the best things to do in the state that is proud to proclaim itself as being a summer holiday hot spot. Regardless if you’re with family or friends, one thing’s for sure - you’ll never run out of fun and thrill when you drop by one of these theme parks. Jsut be sure to check out the best beach resorts and vacation rentals for your accommodations needs.
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