Written by travel  |  19. May 2003

The amusement park voted "The World's Most Beautiful Theme Park" for ten years in a row by the National Amusement Park Historical Assn. is Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia. And there's good reason, since "The Old Country" at Busch Gardens is an amusement park even an adult can love. Sure, the adventure rides sought by the daredevil teens are still there, with roller coasters such as The Loch Ness Monster and Alpengeist able to compete with any of the country's most thrilling. But Busch Gardens offers so much more, with Broadway-calibre shows, 4-D virtual rides, a wildlife preserve and some of the best restaurants available in any amusement park. Its European-inspired areas makes Busch Gardens all the more interesting, as you get an injection of European atmosphere in such "hamlets" as San Marco (Italy), Reinfeld (Germany), Banbury Cross (England), Heatherdowns (Scotland), Aquitaine (France), New France (Canada), and the newest area, Killarney (Ireland). Shows, crafts and shopping from the various countries are featured in each "hamlet." Among the sensational musical productions are "Holiday in Roma," a musical tour of Italy, "Jukebox 2000," a tribute to American pop music, and "Irish Thunder," a Riverdance-style Celtic dance show. Some of the restaurants you won't want to miss, both because of the delicious food and the huge portions, are the Festhouse German Beerhall and the Trappers Smokehouse Barbeque. You also won't want to pass up the "Beer School" where you'll learn everything you wanted to know about the brewing process. General admission to the park is $44.99, with a two-day pass going for $59.99. For further information, you can log on to www.buschgardens.com, or call (800)343-7946. Lodging can be arranged by calling the Williamsburg Hotel/Motel Association at (800) 446-9244. Enjoy!

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