Amusement parks in and around the area to visit this summer

Illustration of people at a waterpark
Vivian Du/Staff

You can be a couch potato in the summer, but too much time on the couch might leave you feeling burnt and mashed. Take a trip to an amusement park and take a break from your Netflix bingeing. Here are some fun destinations we at the Clog recommend adding to your summer bucket list.

California’s Great America

This amusement park south of San Francisco is known for its thrilling rides and attractions. RailBlazer, one of the newly constructed roller coasters, plunges the rider downward at a 90-degree angle. Flight Deck, considered to be an OG roller coaster, is constructed above a lake, which allows the rider’s feet to nearly skim the water. Not only are there a variety of suspenseful rides, but there’s also a waterpark — Boomerang Bay, included with admission to the park. If you want an exhilarating day trip experience, consider going to Great America.

Raging Waters

If the limited choices of water rides at Great America just aren’t enough to satisfy you, perhaps try Raging Waters — Northern California’s largest water park. The park has three locations in California, including ones in San Jose and Sacramento, but the park is only open during summer, so make sure to go while you can. All the slides are ranked with a “thrill level” from one to four. Many of the slides allow for several people to go at once, so bring your friends along. And remember to bring sunscreen to prevent sunburns and blisters!

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

North of San Francisco lies the famous Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. This unique theme park combines rides with wildlife attractions. And these attractions give visitors opportunities to engage with the animals — you can interact with with dolphins and ride elephants. After entering, you might see tropical parrots perform on the main stage. Next, you can walk through the lush garden, where exotic butterflies will flutter all around you. This park is a great pick if you enjoy animals and entertaining performances as well as your traditional theme park rides.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

This well-known boardwalk features an amusement park alongside Santa Cruz beach, making it an ideal destination for a summer day trip. The vibrant Sky Glider chairlift stretches across the park, minimizing the dreaded walking distance. Unlike many other parks, this place has pretty delicious food, too. There’s a wide variety of unique desserts, such as funnel cake, deep-fried Twinkies and Carousel Cones. And after exhausting yourself on a few rides, you can relax on the sandy beach below.

Golden Tee Golfland

Located in Castro Valley, this park isn’t far from Berkeley at all. If you prefer to chill rather than scream at the top of your lungs, then Golfland may be a better option for you. Instead of roller coasters and slides, this park has two main golf courses for mini-golfing. So, instead of feeling your stomach drop, you can spend your afternoon trying for a hole-in-one. Although the park may seem small, you can easily spend hours golfing on its simple but fun courses. Each hole is creatively designed to fit a theme, making it a place you’re sure to enjoy with some friends who also prefer a chill day at the golf course.

Now, with all of those recommendations, you surely can cure that summer boredom! So we urge you to gather up your friends and go find some easy, thrilling adventure at any one (or multiple, of course) of these theme parks.

Contact Vicky Bai at [email protected].