Paramount's Carowinds Theme Park
Set on the border of North and South Carolina, this park catches the winds from both Carolinas. You’ll certainly feel them as you’re soaring through the air on one of Carowinds’ many thrilling rides. The theme park boasts some of the tallest, fastest and longest roller coasters in the southeast. You can also ride the rapids, plunge down a 45-foot (14-meter) waterfall, or take a high-speed spin on the Windseeker.
Carowinds Theme Park is not just for adrenaline seekers. Kids and families will enjoy the Boo Blasters interactive haunted house and classic dodgem cars. Planet Snoopy provides imaginative, themed adventures, from carousels and helicopter monorails, to pirate and balloon-themed rides. Meet your favorite Peanuts character for a photo opportunity. Carowinds also has live entertainment, which sometimes includes shows with the Peanuts gang. Musical performances run seasonally throughout the year at the Carolina Showplace.
Dinosaurs roam the earth once more at the Dinosaurs Alive! interactive walk-through experience. Learn about life in the Cretaceous and Jurassic periods as you interact with 32 animated, roaring dinosaurs and then get your hands on some fossils at the dinosaur dig site.
When you’re done with dinosaurs, dive into the Great Barrier Reef in the Australian-themed Boomerang Bay water park. Speed down the dark tubes of the Awesome Aussie Twisters, go tubing in the Crocodile Run or catch some surf at Bondi Beach.
Food and drink options are never far away with more than 30 snack bars, candy shacks and restaurants located throughout the park.
Carowinds Theme Park is a 20-minute drive south from central Charlotte. You can pay to park or come by bus from Charlotte. In summer, the park’s open longer so that guests can enjoy nightly rides and fireworks shows. The animatronics Dinosaurs Alive! park entry is not included in the main ticket. Note that there are height requirements for many thrill rides.