Possessing a number of excellent amusement parks, California is one of the top destinations in the country for thrill rides and other one-of-a-kind adventures. Due to the great weather in California, amusement parks are a great vacation option year-round. Many of the parks are located in close proximity to one another, which makes it possible to hop between them in a single trip. The best amusement parks in California include:
Located in San Diego, SeaWorld stretches across 189 acres and provides various rides and experiences for people of all ages, including mesmerizing marine life performances. While some individuals think of SeaWorld primarily as an aquarium, the park has a lot more to offer, such as Manta, a roller coaster that is shaped like a giant manta ray. The ride dives more than 50 feet underground and features a 30-foot drop. Younger children will appreciate the submarine dive located at Turtle Reef that provides an up-close look at wildlife. During particularly hot days, visitors should be sure to ride Shipwreck Rapids, which takes you over a waterfall. The Bayside Skyride is a great place to begin your visit, as it transports visitors on a round-trip ride above the park, were you can see everything that it has to offer.
Perhaps the most iconic amusement park in all of California is Disneyland, which brings fairy tales to life. Here, visitors will find a number of celebrated rides that have become famous across the world, including Space Mountain, the Haunted Mansion, and It’s a Small World. Over the course of a day, visitors will encounter many of their favorite Disney characters for some excellent photo opportunities. This Anaheim attraction should be on everyone’s list of parks to visit in Southern California. Guests should be sure to check ahead for any special events or festivals that may be happening at the park.
3. Knott’s Berry Farm
While this Buena Park amusement park does not have the same national reputation as Disneyland, it remains a perennial favorite among locals and tourists alike. The park, which encompasses 160 acres, features a wide array of different rides, including many designed for families or their youngest members at Camp Snoopy. However, visitors will also find some great thrill rides, such as Supreme Scream, which includes a 50-mile-per-hour shot more than 250 feet into the air followed by a few seconds of weightlessness before falling back to the ground. More than a dozen of these sorts of thrill rides exist. One of the most famous attractions at the park is the Timber Mountain Log Ride, which offers a trip around a long waterway that culminates in a 42-foot flume.
Designed for children between the ages of 3 and 12, Legoland California offers more than 60 different shows and rides, all of which celebrate Lego culture. Tubs of Legos are located throughout the park for children to use in making their own creations while they take a break from the various coasters, which themselves appear as if they’re made from Lego blocks. The destination also offers Legoland Water Park, where guests can build custom rafts that they can then use to float along a lazy river. This part of the park has its own aquarium with stingrays, sharks, starfish, and more.
5. Six Flags Magic Mountain
This Santa Clarita attraction has been recognized for its extreme number of roller coasters, making it the perfect choice for thrill seekers. Goliath has emerged as one of the top options. The coaster drops riders more than 200 feet to the ground and has a sudden stop that leaves people hanging on their side. Another favorite is Superman: The Escape, which reaches speeds of 100 miles per hour. Fans of classic coasters should check out Twisted Colossus, a wood and steel hybrid. While most of the coasters are designed for adults, there are also several designed for younger guests, such as Elmer’s Weather Balloons and Yosemite Sam’s Flight School.
6. Universal Studios Hollywood
The perfect destination for movie buffs, Universal Studios Hollywood features a number of excellent simulator rides designed to appeal to all of your senses, as well as cutting-edge 3D rides celebrating some of the studio’s most famous movies. One of the top attractions here is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which transports individuals from the hot streets of Los Angeles to the snowy alleys of Hogsmeade. Individuals can also go on the studio tour to obtain a behind-the-scenes glimpse at film production. Visitors will have the opportunity to view actual sets and props from popular films like Psycho and Jaws.
7. Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
While the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is not an amusement park in the truest sense, it is a wonderful experience that transports you back in time to the days of classic concession stands and wooden coasters. In fact, the Giant Dipper coaster dates back to 1924. However, guests will find some more modern thrills with the Typhoon, the Tsunami, and Shockwave. Another favorite is the Cave Train, which actually runs beneath the boardwalk with glow-in-the-dark features. Of course, visitors will find many of the expected classics, including a teacup ride, as well as some gentle options for the younger members of the family. The rides operate daily between April and August, although they are only available on weekends during the rest of the year.