Courtesy of Cedar Point, Sandusky OH  The first Cedar Point first roller coaster was constructed in 1892.

Cedar Point Amusement Park/Resort is a 364-acre peninsula in Sandusky, Ohio, that first became popular in 1870 as a bathing beach. Today it is home to the world's largest collection of rides and roller coasters. It is considered by many to be among the best amusement parks in the world. Critics rave about it, roller-coaster enthusiasts love it, and families enjoy its full range of theme park entertainment.

Besides its menu of heart-pounding coasters and various other amusement park rides, Cedar Point boasts a water park, four resort hotels, a luxury RV campground that includes cottages and cabins, and two large marinas. In addition, the park has an entertainment complex, live shows, gift shops, restaurants, kids' areas, and much more.

The adrenaline junkies in your family will love Cedar Point's 16 roller coasters, which are some of the tallest and fastest around. The Top Thrill Dragster reaches a height of 420 feet, hits a speed of 120 miles per hour in four seconds, and plunges riders into corkscrews and a stomach-in-the-throat freefall. The Millennium Force coaster reaches a height of 310 feet and blasts riders along at 93 miles per hour through the center of the park and across a lagoon.

If rocketing through the stratosphere at breakneck speeds seems too much for your child, Camp Snoopy offers a selection of activities sure to appeal to the younger set, such as a paddlewheel boat ride, lollipop-themed swings, and a miniature railroad. Its centerpiece attraction is the 38-foot-tall Woodstock Express, an excellent introduction to roller coasters for small children. When it's time to take a quiet moment, head to Early Petting Farm, where families can visit and feed barnyard animals that roam the area.

Frontier Trail, a charming wooded hollow filled with arts, crafts, and shaded benches, offers a look at the artisanship of earlier times. Visitors are treated to demonstrations of pottery-making, weaving, and glassblowing. You can also watch a real blacksmith at work and visit woodworking shops.

Nearby, Thunder Canyon sends rafts through 1,600 feet of churning rapids. Snake River Falls, an 82-foot-tall water flume, features a gigantic tidal wave that soaks riders as well as onlookers standing on a bridge over the splash-landing zone. There are rides for all ages, as well as shows featuring extreme diving stunts, Snoopy and his gang of comic characters, and elaborately staged singing and dancing productions.

Adjacent to Cedar Point you'll find Soak City Water Park, an 18-acre water park that has 14 slides; Challenge Park, where you pay as you go for thrill rides, a speedway, and mini golf; and Castaway Bay, an indoor water park and resort open year-round that features 38,000 square feet of tropical-themed fun. Families visiting Cedar Point by boat can dock at the marina during their stay.

Cedar Point Amusement Park/Resort Information

Address: One Cedar Point Way, Sandusky, OH

Telephone: 419/627-2350

Hours of Operation:
  • May-Oct.: Hours vary

Admission: Adults, $41.95; children, $11.95

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:
  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • Ohio State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Ohio, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Laura Sutherland is a widely acknowledged authority on family travel and has published several books on the topic, including Best Family Ski Vacations In North America and Tropical Family Vacations.