Knott’s Berry Farm
Believe it or not, other amusement parks make their home in Orange County. For a taste of history along with some ultra-modern thrill rides and plenty of cooling waterslides, head for Knott’s Berry Farm (8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, 714/220-5200, http://knotts.com, Mon.–Fri. 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.–7 p.m., adults $43, seniors and children $20).
This park’s unusual name stems from its agricultural past. The fertile land beneath the roller coasters really was a berry farm decades ago. The Knott family grew strawberries, raspberries, boysenberries, and more here, then made the fruits of their labors into preserves. Knott’s jams retain their popularity in supermarkets across the country to this day.
Today, instead of berry vines you’ll find twisting tracks at this thrill-oriented park. From the tall landmark GhostRider wooden coaster to the 30-story vertical drop ride to the screaming Silver Bullet suspended coaster, even the most hard-core ride lover will get excited by Knott’s.
For the younger crowd, Camp Snoopy offers an array of pint-sized rides and attractions, plus Snoopy and all the characters they love from the Peanuts comics and TV shows.
In the heat of the summer, many park visitors adjourn from the coasters to Knott’s Soak City (daily Memorial Day–Labor Day, weekends May–Sept., adults $24, seniors and children $18). The full-sized water park has 22 rides, a kid pool and water playground, and plenty of space to spread out and enjoy the O.C. sunshine after cooling off on the waterslides.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition