Visit Great Wolf Lodge

California is home to some of the nation’s sunniest cities, which makes finding somewhere to cool off a pretty important task. While the beach is always fun, sometimes it’s nice to mix in a little adventure and get wet and wild at a water park.

Whether you’re a thrill seeker looking for an adrenaline rush, or a family looking for a fun day in the sun, there’s something for everyone below.

Check out our list below to learn more about the best water parks in California.

Quick view: California’s 15 best water parks:

1. Great Wolf Lodge, Garden Grove

Ariel view of the Great Wolf Lodge indoor water park
Great Wolf Lodge opened the doors to its Southern California location back in 2016. Ever since then, the property has been busy keeping families entertained with its impressive selection of water slides, thrill rides activity pools, play ponds and more!

Located in the city of Garden Grove, the 84-degree indoor water park provides a range of activities, from six-story slides to slow rides down the lazy river. The property also contains a kids day spa, a bowling alley, an arcade and ton of other activities and attraction.

Those residing in the northern part of the state will be pleased to know that Great Wolf Lodge has recently announced plans to open a San Francisco location by 2020 as well.

No need to travel south because Great Wolf Lodge is coming to you!

2. Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, Concord

Visitors lounging in the pool at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor

Source: Twitter

Move over Magic Mountain! The Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Concord location has kids rides, family rides, thrill rides and more! What else you could ask for out of a water park? There’s also the Kaanapali Kooler Lazy River to enjoy — an especially appealing options for those who prefer to lounge over ride.

There are also three restaurants on site, so feel free to stop in and refuel!

3. Raging Waters, San Dimas

There are a lot of water parks in Los Angeles that are worth checking out, but you’d be wise to prioritize a visit to the Raging Waters San Dimas. The 60-acre water park hosts more than 50 “world-class” rides, slides and attractions. It’s also home to California’s only hydromagnetic water coaster!

Pack some sunblock, shades and a change of clothes and you’ll be good to go! Don’t worry about forgetting anything, either. There are three shops on site that stock anything you might need.

4. California’s Great America, Santa Clara

Water Coaster at California's Great America

Source: Twitter

California’s Great America is theme park. And a water park. And a holiday fun zone (during December). Basically, it’s got a little bit of everything which makes it such a great year-round destination.

You can cool off from the heat, enjoy a visit from Santa or just spend some quality time with the family! The water park, also known as Boomerang Bay, contains tons of rides, including a 45 ft. drop tube ride. The Santa Clara destination also hosts song-and-dance shows, which means visitors get a little bit of theater injected into their water-park experience.

There really is a little something of everyone at California’s Great America.

5. Knott’s Berry Farm, Buena Park

Night view of the boardwalk at Knott's Soak City

Source: Twitter

Don’t let the name fool you – there aren’t many berries floating around the property. What Knott’s Berry Farm does offer is a hotel, a theme park, and an adjacent water park.

Also known as Knott’s Soak City, the water park boasts a total of 23 speed, tube and body slides, plus a 750,000-gallon Tidal Wave Bay wave pool. There’s also Gremmie Lagoon, a hands-on water playground for younger kids and families.

The 15-acre property is located just outside of Garden Grove and considered the largest water park in Orange County.

6. Aquatica, San Diego

Children smiling at the Aquatica water park

Source: Twitter

Welcome to one of the largest wave pools in Southern California! Bouncing around a comfortable 82 degrees Fahrenheit, this 5000,000 gallon pool periodically experiences swells of up to five feet! The resort also set up 43,000 feet of white sandy beach for visitors to relax on.

Attractions range from a 75-foot watery plunge to a stroll down the lazy river.

7. Legoland Water Park, Carlsbad

Little girls playing in the pool at Legoland Water Park

Source: Twitter

Yeah, it’s that kind of legoland. This themed water park is located right outside of San Diego and features more than seven slides, a wave pool, sandy beaches and a unique built-a-raft feature.

That’s right – guests will have to design and build their very own LEGO raft before getting to float downstream!

8. Waterworks Park, Redding

This water park boasts an exciting selection of rides, from the Dragon, the Cyclone to the Lazy Lagoon and Kiddie Playground. Pick up a day pass today!

You can rent a locker to store your things and tubes to help you coast through the slides. You can also rent your own private cabana. The VIP option comes with a ceiling fan, speaker, patio furniture, TV and more!

9. Splash Kingdom Waterpark, Redlands

The Splash Kingdom Waterpark is home to the world’s tallest freestanding waterslide tower. The Tower of Kings runs 745 feet in length and wraps up with an electrifying 31-foot drop.

That’s how the park become known as the thrill-seekers “ultimate oasis.” The park is als Watero home to the the world’s tallest fully-enclosed body slide, which stands at an impressive 90 feet tall.

No wonder why it’s considered a California kingdom!

10. Wild Water Adventure Park, Clovis

Water park goers at the Wild Water Adventure Park in California

Source: Twitter

Splash around The Wild Water Adventure Park! Located just over three hours north of Los Angeles, this water park spans over 52 shady acres of land, making it the largest water park in California.

This destination is situated in Clovis, California, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Its got over 20 attractions and 38 water slides and tons of other splash pools to keep you busy all day long.

We promise it’s worth the trip!

11. Drytown Waterpark, Palmdale

The DryTown Waterpark is located in Antelope Valley, just North of Los Angeles. Visitors should know that town was founded back in 1856 and soon became as a rich mining town.

The folks over at DryTown Waterpark decided to run with that legacy and actually found ways to incorporate old mining artifacts into the water park! Stop on by and have some fun!

12. Island Waterpark, Fresno

Visitors floating down the Lazy River at the Island Waterpark

Source: Twitter

Unfortunately, this one is only open during the summer season, so you’ll have to wait for the warmer months to check this out. But don’t worry – it’s well worth the wait!

The Island Waterpark is located a little over 2 hours outside of either Santa Clara or San Jose and features all the usual entertainment you’d expect to find at a water park.

There are free-fall plunges, kid areas, thrill slides and more. The park receives upwards of an impressive 240,000 guests every year.

13. Wake Island Waterpark, Pleasant Grove

The Floating Playground at the Wake Island Waterpark

Source: Wake Island

Unlike the other water parks on this list, the Wake Island Waterpark exists almost entirely off-land. Their “floating playground” consists of a series of inflatable slides, runways, jumping pillows and bouncers connected together.

You can find the island playground floating in the middle of their man-made lake. Make sure you carve out some time to check out the swings, ramps, jumps, ladders, trampoline, slide, wiggle bridges and more!

14. The Wave Waterpark, Vista

Mother and son float on raft at the Wave Waterpark

Source: Twitter

Though there aren’t many slides or rides at this water park, there are a lot of other favorite attractions.

This park offers swim lessons, flow rider and water polo classes, splash camps and tons of other fun! It’s a great way to learn to swim, practice water sports or simply spend time with the family.

15. Castle Park, Riverside

Father and infant son playing with the sprinklers at Castle Park

Source: Twitter

Founded back in 1976, Castle Park contains an amusement park, four championship miniature golf courses, a vast selection of carnival midway games, and a water park that features four levels of family water play.

It contains five interactive water slides, aqua domes, fun spray cannons, spray loops and cylinder spray fountains as well! Lounge chairs and seating is also provided for guests looking to spend a little time on land.

Shaded cabanas are also available.

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