Distance from Baltimore:35 miles, about a 45-minute drive Why it's worth the gas: 1) Six Flags America is Maryland's only theme park; 2) Six Flags America has eight roller coasters, including the classic wooden Wild One, which dates to 1917 (relocated here from Massachusetts in 1986), and the brand new Apocalypse, a stand-up coaster that reaches speeds of 55 mph; 3) Six Flags America includes the water rides of Hurricane Harbor, just the thing for a hot summer afternoon; 4) Six Flags America features wandering Looney Tunes characters -- and what kid wouldn't want to hang out with Bugs Bunny? Don't miss: The Wild One. This baby's been inducing screams for nearly a century, and roller coaster enthusiasts say it's one of the best. There's nothing like a classic wooden coaster to get you shaking all over. Information: 13710 Central Ave., Bowie/Mitchellville, Md., 20721. Call 301-249-1500 or go to www.sixflags.com/America.
Jerry Jackson, Baltimore Sun