Rollercoaster tour of the US

Hello fellow bald movers!

I'm writing this with hopes of getting some insights and tips for an upcoming grand tour of what I believe is not too far off the general Bald Move epicenter.

Basically we're a group of 5 friends from Norway in our late twenties and early thirties going on a 3 week rollercoaster (literally) trip i june/july, from Washington DC, through Virginia, North-Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. We will be travelling by car.

During this trip the goal is to ride as many of the areas rollercoasters as possible. We're planning to visit Kings dominion, Busch Gardens, Carowinds, Dollywood, Kings island, Kentucky kingdom, Cedar point, Kennywood, Hersheypark and Six flags great adventure. We are well aware of the magnitude of this schedule as it probably will be alot, we are also aware of the huge amounts of people in these parks during summer. Hence we are getting all the fast passes and such, no worries.

Our supreme great leader and rollercoaster connoisseur has been a life long rollercoaster autist, which means he has all the plans in order for the rollercoaster part. However the part of american culture guide has been left open to me to fill in the blanks in between the rollercoasters.

My assignment is to find fun, interesting, tasty, ironic and obscure sights and activities to do while on the road. The kind of ironc humour of our vacation, the mere fact that a group of adults with no children decide to spend a major part of their summer holiday going to the other side of the Atlantic to ride rollercoasters, should give you fine people an idea of our easy going ways.

I've been doing a couple of Google searches and ploughing through the travel app Tripadvisor, but all I seem to find is museums and segway tours (we are an ironic group, but not that ironic). I'm struggling to find the ooompf. 

So far I've been able to locate these activities
- Sausage eating contest in DC
- The amazing creationism museum in Kentucky where you can see Jesus riding dinosaurs
- The Abe Lincoln birth site, which actually sounds interesting given the historic magnitude of Lincoln
- Doing a hike in some mountains called Greaty Smoky Mountains

Apart from tips for activities I'm also on the lookout for tips into the culinary world of the US. Personally I have an intense hate of sweet potato and all things deep fried, but everything else is fine. We will be ending our trip in Eleven Madison Park, which should take care of our gourmet cravings, but apart from that everything that is in the realm of every day food is cool.

Ive made a Google map of our itinerary here. 4th of July we will be in Pittsburgh.

So, any insights, tips or stuff to share? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!


ghm3Michelle

Comments

  • GrahamGraham Grand Rapids, MI
    "Hey buddy how was your trip this month?"

    "It had its ups and downs."

    ...I'll see myself out.
    gguenotTravisMichellecdriveivarvassChinaskiDummyMurderbearken hale
  • Doctor_NickDoctor_Nick Terminus
    edited April 23
    Sounds like fun!
    "My assignment is to find fun, interesting, tasty, ironic and obscure sights and activities to do while on the road."

    I've been to Gatlinburg when I went to Smoky Mountain National Park.  You'll be there for Dollywood.  Gatlinburg is also an amazing cultural experience.  This dinner show, for instance, probably ticks all your boxes.

    Also you can go slightly out of your way to South of the Border in South Carolina, which is kitschy out of time....
    ivarvass
  • Primanti Brothers Sandwich - Pittsburgh
    Andy Warhol Museum - Pittsburgh
    Kennywood - Pittsburgh
    Rock and Roll hall of fame - Cleveland

    ivarvass
  • MrXMrX CO
    edited April 23
    Definitely stop off in Asheville, it's a really cool mountain city in North Carolina and looks like you're going right by it. Good food, good craft beer. Biltmore Estate (mansion/estate built by the Vanderbilts, one of America's most rich/powerful families in the 1800's) is worth checking out when you're there. Also if you have the time for a detour a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway would be nice - it's a beautiful scenic route for the mountain. Also a lot of areas to stop off for hiking.

    Edit: and also you're going through prime BBQ country. I'm most familiar w/ North Carolina bbq having lived there ... a bunch of places on this map are along your route:

    http://www.ncbbqsociety.com/bbqmap/trail_map.html

    There will be plenty of good options in TN and KY as well (not to mention bourbon in Kentucky!)
    ivarvass
  • MichelleMichelle California
    @ivarvass are you just passing through NY state or are you going into NYC?
  • That sounds awesome! So is this basically a russefeiring sequel? Or coasterfeiring as it were? 

    I grew up going to King's Dominion and Busch Gardens, riding the Grizzly at night is probably my favorite roller coaster experience. I still vividly remember riding Flight of Fear right when it opened in 1996, the same summer when Independence Day and Duke Nukem 3D came out, and The X-Files hadn't started to suck yet, it was a cool alien-themed summer, 13-year old me loved it (when it opened it was The Outer Limits: Flight of Fear themed more on the '60s sci-fi anthology). The lines were absolutely insane back then, like 4-8 hours through the opening summer and still 2-3 hours years later.

    Anyway, as for obscure things to do, for your consideration: goat yoga 

    Also when you go down to Busch Gardens you're close to Virginia Beach, maybe check it out for a day and go paragliding or something.
    Doctor_Nick
  • wow, thanks! ill be sure to check out all these suggestions! jesus christ there is a sombrero shaped observatory out there <3 this all sounds awesome! 

    your understanding of the cornerstone of Norwegian culture russefering is astounding @ghm3! ill also sure let it be known that the Grizzly is best ridden at night bourbon in hand!

    the bbq map is prime stuff @MrX! we will make Asheville a stop on the tour, great suggestion.

    if any of you guys drop by south western norway be sure to drop of a dm and ill happily provide some mediocre beds and some local mountain guiding.
    ghm3
  • Michelle said:
    @ivarvass are you just passing through NY state or are you going into NYC?
    We will spend some days in NYC at the tail end of the trip, yeah. Thinking bout doing some probing through NYC state post tour as well. Any good stuff coming to mind? 
    Michelle
  • MichelleMichelle California
    ivarvass said:
    Michelle said:
    @ivarvass are you just passing through NY state or are you going into NYC?
    We will spend some days in NYC at the tail end of the trip, yeah. Thinking bout doing some probing through NYC state post tour as well. Any good stuff coming to mind? 
    Aside from the usual touristy stuff that evvvvvveryone will recommend, you should go to Top of the Rock.  It's an observatory deck high above Rockefeller Center.  On the south-facing side, you have an amazing view of the Empire State Building.  If you go at night, you'll catch it lit up.  

    And yeah, Central Park, Times Square, the Empire State Building, the American Museum of Natural History (right by Central Park), all the touristy stuff.

    Have a great time!  It sounds like such a fun road trip!
    ivarvass
  • MattyWeavesMattyWeaves Mid-State New York
    The only one I can really speak for is The Nitro at Six Flags in New Jersey. Great drop to start, and had a ton of pretty good drops, felt longer than I expected.

    This was also over ten years ago, but my wife and I still talk about it.
    ivarvass
  • MichelleMichelle California
    Oh also, since you're going to Dollywood, check out the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee.  *So* beautiful.
  • LukeLuke Central Illinois
    Depending on where you are staying at Cedar Point, if you're not staying at the Breakers Hotel I would recommend checking it out.  

    Unfortunately they have rennovated most of the history out of the interior, but the exterior is still a pretty cool example of early 1900's hotel.  

    The beach there is fairly historic too.  It was where the forward pass in American Football was perfected by Knute Rockne  while he was a lifeguard there. 

  • cdrivecdrive Houston, TX
    This thread makes me miss AstroWorld.   :'(  
  • ChinaskiChinaski Santa Cruz, CA
    cdrive said:
    This thread makes me miss AstroWorld.   :'(  
    it's gone? i remember as a kid my cousins (who live in TX) always talking about it when i would visit in the summers. wasn't there a water park next to it?
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    cdrive said:
    This thread makes me miss AstroWorld.   :'(  

    So weird to have so many childhood memories in a place that no longer exists. XLR-8, Mayan Mindbender, Dungeon Drop...
    cdrive
  • cdrivecdrive Houston, TX
    JaimieT said:
    cdrive said:
    This thread makes me miss AstroWorld.   :'(  

    So weird to have so many childhood memories in a place that no longer exists. XLR-8, Mayan Mindbender, Dungeon Drop...

    Right?

    Sky Screamer, Greezed Lightnin', Looping Starship....sigh

    JaimieT
  • ghm3 said:

    I grew up going to King's Dominion and Busch Gardens, riding the Grizzly at night is probably my favorite roller coaster experience. I still vividly remember riding Flight of Fear right when it opened in 1996, the same summer when Independence Day and Duke Nukem 3D came out, and The X-Files hadn't started to suck yet, it was a cool alien-themed summer, 13-year old me loved it (when it opened it was The Outer Limits: Flight of Fear themed more on the '60s sci-fi anthology). The lines were absolutely insane back then, like 4-8 hours through the opening summer and still 2-3 hours years later.


    I miss the Big Bad Wolf.  Looking like you're heading into the scenery when you turned got me every time.  

    MrX said:
    Definitely stop off in Asheville, it's a really cool mountain city in North Carolina and looks like you're going right by it. Good food, good craft beer. Biltmore Estate (mansion/estate built by the Vanderbilts, one of America's most rich/powerful families in the 1800's) is worth checking out when you're there. Also if you have the time for a detour a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway would be nice - it's a beautiful scenic route for the mountain. Also a lot of areas to stop off for hiking.

    I second all of this, I really liked Asheville, and having a drink and the classy old Grove Park Inn there overlooking the mountains is very nice   Tail of the Dragon is a famous sports car / motorcycle road or the Cherohala Skyway is also worthwhile,  you can drive them on the way to Gatlinburg/Great Smoky NP.  

    ghm3MrX
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Yeah, driving the Dragon is always fun.  What day will you be in Cincy?  I've got a season pass to Kings Island, and I'm about 15 minutes away.  I'd love to see a bunch of crazy Norwegians try the Beast for the first time.
    Murderbear
  • cdrivecdrive Houston, TX
    edited April 25
    Chinaski said:
    cdrive said:
    This thread makes me miss AstroWorld.   :'(  
    it's gone? i remember as a kid my cousins (who live in TX) always talking about it when i would visit in the summers. wasn't there a water park next to it?
    Sorry man I somehow didn’t see this. Yeah it closed in 2005.  There was WaterWorld right next to it.  You got entrance to both with 1 ticket so you’d just wear your swim trunks while at Astroworld and then take a connecting sidewalk to WaterWorld to finish out the day. This thread made me so nostalgic I bought family season passes to the latest H-Tine waterpark a few days ago.  I stared at an AstroWorld map for a straight 10 minutes today.  And also now I’m waiting for that Travis Scott AstroWorld album to drop. 
    JaimieT
  • cdrivecdrive Houston, TX
    I derailed this thread bad. (No rollercoaster pun intended). Sorry Norwegian dude.  I wish I had something I could contribute but I haven’t been to that part of the U.S.   Should have sat this one out.  Super jealous of your vacation though man. I’m sure it will be legendary!  
    ivarvass
  • ghm3 said:

    I grew up going to King's Dominion and Busch Gardens, riding the Grizzly at night is probably my favorite roller coaster experience. I still vividly remember riding Flight of Fear right when it opened in 1996, the same summer when Independence Day and Duke Nukem 3D came out, and The X-Files hadn't started to suck yet, it was a cool alien-themed summer, 13-year old me loved it (when it opened it was The Outer Limits: Flight of Fear themed more on the '60s sci-fi anthology). The lines were absolutely insane back then, like 4-8 hours through the opening summer and still 2-3 hours years later.


    I miss the Big Bad Wolf.  Looking like you're heading into the scenery when you turned got me every time.  

    Oh yeah Big Bad Wolf was awesome, the part towards the end where it takes you down towards the water edge and swoops around was so awesome. 
  • Yeah, driving the Dragon is always fun.  What day will you be in Cincy?  I've got a season pass to Kings Island, and I'm about 15 minutes away.  I'd love to see a bunch of crazy Norwegians try the Beast for the first time.
    According to the itinerary we will be in King Island Sunday the 1st of July. If you (or anyone else for that matter) want to join us for a day in the park you are most welcome! I would at least be stoked as hell to hang out with my favourite podcaster for a day of rollercoasters, sweat and beer!
    Murderbear
  • MurderbearMurderbear Cold Spring, Ky
    That damn creation museum.....sigh. My state can be embarrassing for a many number of reasons but that just might be number one. Actually, our shitball Governor is definitely number one but that's for a different thread. That place is funny and sad but it's a lot of money to go there. It didn't entirely feel worth it to me. And that was when it was $10 cheaper and way before the Noah's Ark replica was there right next door. (Which also costs $35 to see) But as someone who doesn't live in this state and hearing about the millions and millions they got in tax breaks to build that bullshit, I can see it being an obvious destination for people.
  • MurderbearMurderbear Cold Spring, Ky
    Also, Cedar Point is incredible! We went there right after they built Millennium Force. We tried sitting in the front seat of every roller coaster, and did, but we also sat in the absolute last seat and its wayyyyyyy scarier! Highly recommend it!
    majjam0770
  • Hm @Murderbear i def got some mixed emotions contributing funds to the idiot people behind the creationism stuff. Still, its just so beyond i kinda want to see the madness with my own eyes. 
    Murderbear
  • MurderbearMurderbear Cold Spring, Ky
    Agreed. I also probably see way more of that type of stuff around here than someone who lives in Norway so I think you should absolutely check it out! It is bananas.
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