California theme parks
many people, visiting California means a trip to a theme park
and this is most likely to mean a trip to Disneyland in Anaheim, on the
southern fringe of Los Angeles.
But Disneyland is far from being the only theme park in California.
California was the birthplace of the modern theme park, and
include all kinds of theme parks, from simple amusement parks to parks
with a special theme, including water parks, safari
parks, and others, then California has more to offer
than any other state - somewhere in the region of fifty
places to visit for a
day out – or in some cases far more than just a day out.
This page takes the expression "theme park" in its full
sense; but we've divided the guide into two parts, firstly amusement parks
after that "themed" parks
and places, that may or may not also include roller-coasters and other
adrenalin-packing rides. In the second part we've also included parks
that are themed for young children.
As this guide shows, a family day out at a park is something that can
come in at a hefty price-tag,
or can also be a lot less demanding on your budget - depending on where
you go, how long you stay, and what you do. Theme parks are not all
about white-knuckle heart-in-mouth rides.... there can be a lot more to
them than that.
The best theme parks in California
California theme park pass
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Here are the best theme parks in the state of California, listed by
Information and price comparison: prices indicated are for standard
single person 1-day basic admission prices in 2017 to park and/or rides.
Los Angeles and southern California
A small amusement park with plenty of rides. $18.95
- Belmont Park .San
Diego. Opened way back in 1925 and still has some historic
as well as much more modern ones.. Free admission. Rides: $49 day pass.
- Disneyland -
165 acres. Anaheim.
Disneyland includes two theme parks - Disneyland Park and Disney
California Adventure. Day tickets start at $97 for one park
(which is more than you can do in one day) Website
- Knott's Berry
Farm - Buena Park, south of Los Angeles. 165
acres. Substantial amusement park with lots of rides. Single day
ticket: $75 at
the gate or $48 online. Website
California - Carlsbad, north of San Diego.
128 acres. Family orientated. Daily ticket $90. Or
$95 to include Legoland water park and sea life aquarium.
- Pacific Park
- Small 2 acre Seaside amusement park in Santa Monica. Free entry, pay
per ride, or day pass to all rides from $29.65 online
Amusement park, Ontario, greater Los Angeles.
- Six Flags
Magic Mountain - Santa Clarita. North of Los Angeles. 262
A lot of rides, including 19 roller-coasters. Single day
ticket: $82.99 at
the gate or $57.99 online
San Francisco and Northern California
- Castle Park .
25 acres. Riverside, near San Francisco. For families. Day
pass with unlimited rides from $19.99
at the gate. Cheaper options available, advance booking discounts.
Gardens - near San Francisco. 536 acres. Family
oriented. From $35
- Great America.
100 acres. Santa Clara, south of San Francisco.
Day ticket from $39.99
- Santa Cruz
- Historic theme park beside the sea, 50 miles
south of San
Francisco. Opened 1907, so over 100 years old. Lots of rides
Themed parks / areas
state historic park. Gold rush era ghost town. ► See Bodie
- Sonoma TrainTown
10 acres. model train themed park. Miniature train rides
Oakland (near San Francisco). Day ticket $10.00. Theme
park for young children, up to age
10 or so. 60 storybook sets, rides for young children, friendly
animals, and 10 acres of gardens. Website
State Historic Park. Columbia (2½ hrs east of
San Francisco : near Yosemite
)The California Gold Rush. Living and working open-air museum with
historic reenactments. Free
entrance... this is actually a functioning small town, which happens to
be a preserved Gold Rush era town, with 30 historic
buildings and interactive exhibits. Website
State Railroad Museum, Sacramento. Admission $12. The biggest
railroad museum in the USA, (complete with heritage train trips
on Saturdays and Sundays) Website
- Goldbug Park
and mine, Placerville, east of Sacramento. Admission $7, under 17s $4. A
small mining museum, including a self-guided audio tour in a real
- Six Flags
Kingdom - Animal theme park, with rides. Between San Francisco and
Sacramento. 135 acres.
Single day admission $68.99
at the gate, $48.99 online. Essentially a standard theme park with
animals, including lions and tigers, penguins, aligators and
- the classic Hollywood
film studio theme park. One day admission from
The park includes the sets of various popular movies, movie
enactments and also rides. Themed areas include the Harry Potter area
and Jurassic park area. Website
Water parks - glorified swimming pools, with a lot more than
just a pool to swim in.
Zoos, wildlife and Safari parks
Best art galleries in California