In addition to having some of the best weather, awesome beaches, and coolest vibes of all the 50 states, California also has a lot of theme parks for those of you who are adventure-inclined. I’m going to go over some of the biggest and best that California has to offer, but know there are smaller parks and fair types as well.

I can’t have a list about theme parks in California without mentioning Knott’s Berry Farm. It owns the title of America’s 1st Theme Park, but they’ve gone a great job of keeping it up. It has some amazing, modern thrill rides (the recent refurbishment of GhostRider comes to mind) and lots of Camp Snoopy themed fun for the young ones. There’s even a water park. Not bad for a place that started as a way to entertain guests while they were waiting for a table at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant on a berry farm!

Then there’s Disneyland, and I include California Adventurein with that. The two parks have distinct personalities. Disneyland is more along the lines of what you would expect from a family-friendly theme park, and California Adventure is all the great stuff an amusement park should be. Also, if you’ve been to the park in Florida, don’t worry, you’ll have a completely different experience here. There are some rides that are the same (or at least similar) but all kinds of things are done differently. Disney Land was first, after all.

Another place that is increasing in popularity is LEGOLAND (also with a location in FL) and it’s just fun. It’s not a thrill-seeker’s paradise, but if you are a fan of LEGO or you have kids, this is a great place to go. There is a main park with the majority of the rides, a water park, and then an aquarium. There’s also a resort hotel, with several rooms themed on popular LEGO sets. And before you ask – everything there is awesome.

Universal Studios also has a presence in both Orlando and Hollywood. There are plenty of theme rides and live shows. However, their world-famous studio tour is probably the best thing you can possibly do there and it is worth the price of admission. You get to see historic sets and be part of the action with some amazing special effects. You are on one of the busiest and active lots for tv and film ever made. How cool is that? And it’s not an experience you get anywhere else.

Six Flags has two parks in California – one near San Francisco and one by Los Angeles. The Six Flags Magic Mountain has the most roller coasters anywhere in the world, so if you’re a big fan of those types of rides, this is your Mecca. It also might be familiar as the “Walley World” seen in “National Lampoon’s Vacation”. Both parks also have water parks but those require separate admission.

This should get you started on the great parks California has to offer. Let me know what your favorite is in the comments!

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