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Rides & Thrills

Enjoy the Best Of South Carolina’s Rides & Thrills

Take your vacation activities up a notch and experience South Carolina’s rides and thrills. The state is home to amusement parks, water parks, and a variety of adventure-themed attractions that will appeal to all ages. Some of the most popular amusement parks offer combo tickets to adjacent water parks. Most offer locker rentals and changing areas so you can stash bathing suits, towels, and dry clothes. Take a cooler and enjoy a family picnic on the park grounds, or choose from a variety of eateries offering everything from light snacks to sandwiches, salads, burgers, and hot dogs. Be sure to take plenty of sunscreen and save time for browsing the gift shops for souvenirs.

Located off I-77 at the border of South Carolina and North Carolina, Carowinds Amusement and Water Park has been delighting families for over 40 years. The park features more than 50 rides including 13 thrilling roller coasters and a 12-acre children’s section, Planet Snoopy. See a live show, visit the arcade, or cool off at Carolina Harbor water park and enjoy water slides, wave pools, a lazy river, and play areas.

Family Kingdom Amusement Park in Myrtle Beach features 37 fun rides. Ride the legendary wooden roller coaster, Swamp Fox, or take in views of the Atlantic Ocean from The Giant Wheel, an open gondola Ferris wheel. Popular rides include the Hurricane, Log Flume, Slingshot, Kite Flyer, and bumper cars. On a hot summer day, you’ll appreciate the chance to cool down at Splashes Oceanfront Waterpark. It features 18 attractions including speed slides, rain trees, a lazy river, serpentine water flumes, waterfalls, and kiddie slides. Combo tickets for both parks are available.

The SkyWheel is a must-see attraction on the Oceanfront Boardwalk and Promenade in Myrtle Beach. Marvel at sweeping ocean views from 187 ft. high as you ride in a climate-controlled gondola. The Pavilion at Broadway at the Beach features the 1912 Herschell-Spillman Carousel, carnival rides, an arcade, and midway games. You’ll also find fun zones like 710 North Myrtle Beach, where you can enjoy bowling, arcades, bocce ball, table tennis, shuffleboard, and board games.

Myrtle Waves Water Park in Myrtle Beach features 24 slides and water attractions including a wave pool and lazy river. The thrilling Turbo Twister rises 10 stories high. Sliders enter a dark tunnel and descend the slide at 50 ft. per second. Kids love Arooba Tooba, a single or double inner tube ride that swirls riders around in colorful bowls before the final splashdown. The LayZee River Float is a fun way for parents to relax while kids tackle the water slides. Visit Saturation Station, the tropical themed area, for a mix of slides, platforms, waterfalls, and bridges.

Wild Water and Wheels in Surfside Beach features 33 rides, a river and wave pool. The 16-acre park also offers bumper boats, miniature golf, carnival rides, and a picnic area. Thrill rides include Free Fall Cliff Dive and the Dark Hole. Kid-friendly rides like Wild H20 Racer, a four-lane mat slide, and the Kids Activity Pool entertain smaller children with a variety of water-themed amusements. The whole family will enjoy floating along Lazy River past waterfalls, a rain forest, and wave channel.

Wannamaker County Park in North Charleston is situated on 1,015 acres with access to woodlands and wetlands. Bicycles and kayaks are available for rent. Go mountain biking on the Wannamaker North Trail, an eight-mile off-road experience adjacent to the park. Enjoy pedal boating on the freshwater lagoon, or let the dogs romp at the off-leash dog park. Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark sprawls over 15 acres with fun attractions like a tree house, otter bay, water slides, and a small lagoon for tiny tots.

Frankie’s Fun Park of Charleston is a family-oriented park with plenty of attractions to please children of all ages and their parents. Test your skill on three different go kart tracks, challenge other park goers on the bumper boats, or enjoy a fun game of miniature golf. Other activities include a rock-climbing wall, driving range, arcade, and batting cages.

Thrill seekers have ample opportunities to try zip lining in South Carolina. Soar and Explore at Broadway at the Beach features a 1,000-ft. zip line where you’ll be suspended 50 ft. above the ground. A tri-level ropes course offers 33 different challenges. Myrtle Beach Zipline Adventures offers zip line thrills in downtown Myrtle Beach. Speed along at 40 mph and experience a free-fall from a 60-ft. tower. Go Ape Zip Line and Tree Top Adventure in Little River offers zip lines and tree top challenges including bridges, crossings and a ropes course. Aerial Adventure Hilton Head and Zipline Hilton Head feature thrilling high ropes courses and the fun of navigating through a forest while leaping from strategically placed platforms.

The Grand Strand offers a wide array of water sports adventures. Try parasailing, take a fast banana boat ride, or spend an afternoon on a rented jet ski.

Top Attractions

Amusement Park

Family Kingdom Amusement Park

Free to the public, the Family Kingdom Amusement Park is a South Carolina coast theme park located in Myrtle Beach. Open from Good Friday to Labor Day, the Family Kingdom park boasts 37 rides on 13 acres.

Family Kingdom Amusement Park features the Swamp Fox wooden coaster, the O.D. Hopkins Log Flume, and the Family Kingdom's Giant Wheel. Home to Splashes Oceanfront Water Park, FKAP also offers kiddie rides, food, and games.

Myrtle Waves

Open May through September, Myrtle Waves Water Park is located in Myrtle Beach on the South Carolina coast. Take a chlorinated break from the Atlantic Ocean and hit the Ocean In Motion Wave Pool, LayZee River, and the Bubble Bay.

Thrill seekers, head to Myrtle Waves for the 10-story Turbo Twisters, the 20-foot Super Chute, plus Snake Mountain, Thunderbolts, and Night Flight. Kids love the Caribbean-themed Saturation Station, while eateries include Island Café and Sharkey’s Snack Shack.

Whirlin' Waters Adventure Waterpark

A 15-acre water park, the Whirlin' Waters Adventure Waterpark is located in North Charleston – a suburb of Charleston on the South Carolina coast. Found at North Charleston Wannamaker County Park, the park is operated by the Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission.

Open from early May through Labor Day, Whirlin' Waters Adventure Waterpark features attractions like the Rollin' River, Big Splash Tree House, and Big Kahuna wave pool. Kiddie areas include Otter Bay and Lily Pad Lagoon, while thrill seekers can get in line for Riptide Run and Tubular Twister.