Travelers have spoken and two New Hampshire theme parks have been rated among the best in the entire country. One was even said to be better than Disneyland in California and Busch Gardens in Florida.

It seems we are pretty lucky to live where we do because two of the best theme parks in the United States are just a few hours' drive away. New Hampshire's Santa's Village and Story Land came in the top 15 on Tripadvisor's Travelers' Choice Awards for Top Amusement/Water Parks.

That means the people who are actually heading out to these parks and reviewing them online are loving their experience at New Hampshire's family-friendly spots better than even the big guys.

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Not too shabby.

I have never taken my kids to Santa's Village, but maybe that needs to change this summer. Rave reviews for the Jefferson, New Hampshire, theme park are just too many to count.

Santa's Village, Jefferson NH via Facebook
Santa's Village, Jefferson NH via Facebook
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Bob M. from Maine called the park "a terrific place to spend a busy and fun family day." Rich N. from Massachusetts says, "Who needs Disney in the winter when there is Santa's Village?" A Connecticut reviewer said they "loved it and enjoyed it like I was a kid again."

Clearly, young or old, this park is a good time. So much so that the Travelers' Choice Awards placed it at No. 9 on their list of voter-ranked parks across the country. Busch Gardens in Florida came in at No. 10, Disneyland in California placed No. 11 and Disney World's Hollywood Studios and Blizzard Beach landed at 12 and 13 respectively.

Just behind those big parks was another local family favorite, Story Land out of Glen, New Hampshire. The now cashless theme park was hailed for its "safe and natural setting" as well as the "reasonably priced admission ticket, free parking, and free pet kennels."

Both parks are just a short drive from the SouthCoast, making a memorable family vacation closer and more affordable than you may have thought. So skip the mouse and make your way moose-ward this summer instead.

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