Travel: Busch Gardens, Williamsburg

While Busch Gardens Williamsburg has never tried to compete in the highest-fastest-scariest roller coaster derby, it's America's most beautiful theme park. If you're a parent stuck there for a day, that's important. Uploaded by

Busch Gardens gives visitors the feeling of traveling to Europe without such unpleasantries as the expensive Euro, French snobbery, and unreadable alphabets. It’s a theme park that adults can enjoy, with beautiful landscaping, more entertaining shows than most theme parks provide, and plenty of rides to keep kids of all ages entertained.

It’s hard to believe that the park is now more than 35 years old. Its Old World sections include Britain (Banbury Cross), Ireland (Killarney), Scotland (Heatherdowns), Italy (San Marco and Festa Italia), Germany (Rhinefeld and Oktoberfest), and France (Aquitaine). In addition, there are two areas devoted to children – Land of the Dragons and Sesame Street: Forest of Fun.

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Busch Gardens has never competed in the higher/faster/scarier roller coaster competition. Which isn’t to say that it doesn’t have some great rides. The Loch Ness Monster is still a favorite even after being open since 1978. And Mach Tower, featuring a 240-foot drop, is scheduled to open just after Memorial Day, 2011.

Busch Gardens has received the amusement industry’s Golden Ticket award for Best Landscaping for 13 consecutive years. And The National Amusement Park Historical Association (NAPHA) named Busch Gardens the world’s Most Beautiful Park for the 21st consecutive year in 2011.

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