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7 Best theme parks in California

Michelle Maffei is a freelance copywriter covering a variety of topics both online and in print, from parenting to beauty and more. Combining her two favorite loves, writing and motherhood, she has found joy in even the most challenging ...

The best amusement parks

This summer, you won't want to miss the chance to hit some of the seven best theme parks in California for some fun in the sun. From sky-high roller coasters like Six Flags Magic Mountain's Goliath to good old-fashioned family fun at amusement parks like Disneyland, you can find the theme park that fits the fun you seek!

Goliath rollercoaster

Best amusement park roller coasterBest amusement park roller coaster

Six Flags Magic Mountain
26101 Magic Mountain Parkway, Valencia

Whether it's the more than 200-foot drop into a hole in the ground or the complete stop, leaving you hanging on your side above the ground, Six Flags Magic Mountain's Goliath is known as one of the best roller coasters in California. For the best experience, wait the extra few minutes for the front seat.

Best amusement park thrill ridePerilous PlungeBest theme park thrill ride

Knott's Berry Farm
8039 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park

Combining a 115-foot drop and a lot of water, the Perilous Plunge roller coaster at Knott's Berry Farm will leave you feeling like you're riding down a waterfall. The 75-degree drop-off is just a few feet short of Niagara Falls' height, and will have you screaming at the top of your lungs. Just remember to bring a towel!

Best amusement park for familiesBest theme park for families

Disneyland & Disney's California Adventure
1313 Harbor Boulevard, Anaheim

The "happiest place on earth" offers two great amusement parks for every member of your family. With baby centers that include facilities for diaper changing, nursing and bottle feeding throughout Disneyland, Disney's California Adventure and the Downtown Disney District, visitors young and old can have fun with the comforts of home while hanging with the Disney family of characters.

Young children and amusement park vacations: Discover expert advice on how to make your family vacation to an amusement park fun for everyone >>

Best amusement park for adultsUniversal Studios HollywoodBest amusement park for adults

Universal Studios Hollywood
100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City

Hollywood magic is brought to life when you get a VIP pass to Universal Studios' movie-based theme park. Although there are attractions and shows for every age, this amusement park is best suited for teens and adults due to loud noises, high action and life-like special effects.

Best water park in CaliforniaBest water park

Raging Waters
111 Raging Waters Drive, San Dimas

Nestled inside the Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park's boundaries, Southern California's largest water park is packed with seasonal water park fun. With a lazy river, rafting slides and body slides at every thrill level, water play areas and gentle water fun designed especially for babies and preschoolers, you can cool off while having a sizzling good time.

Best theme park for kidslegolandBest theme park for kids

Legoland California
One Legoland Drive, Carlsbad

This Lego-themed amusement park uses its famous plastic building blocks everywhere they can, including their rides. Legoland offers fun for older and younger visitors, but is best for families with kids ages 4 to 9 years old.

Best amusement park for teensBest amusement park for teens

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
2001 Marine World Pkwy., Vallejo, CA 94589

Take thrilling roller coasters, wild animals and marine life, and you're guaranteed a day of fun. With thrill rides for the adventure seeker and family-friendly fun, you'll feel safe letting your teens spend time exploring the park on their own.

Before you let your kids loose in a theme park, be sure your teens brush up on amusement park safety tips >>

To save some dough while having some amusement park fun, pack your own picnic lunch. Many theme parks have a picnic area just outside the park, such as Disneyland's Downtown Disney, to allow visitors to eat their own fare. Just check out the websites of the seven best theme parks in California before you go and be prepared for some big-time fun!

More travel tips

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7 Ways to eat healthy at the airport
5 Tips for a fun family road trip

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