Just a few blocks from the rollercoasters and pies of Knott’s Berry Farm is Orange County's largest water park, Knott’s Soak City. A veritable water-fun wonderland, it also channels some of the thrills and names of the nearby SoCal beaches.
Admission is separate for Soak City, which is only open from mid-May through early September. Over its 15 acres, the water park offers 23 speed, tube, and body slides; the 750,000-gallon Tidal Wave Bay wave pool; a one-third-mile lazy river; and the three-story Beach House, with 200 water guns, nozzles, sprayers, and more.
If you want the ultimate thrills, go to Shore Break, the seven-story-high tower that’s home to six different slides—four of which send you into your free-fall ride using an Aqua-Launch chamber, where the floor drop outs from under your feet.
Or, you can race each other on the six-lane Banzai Falls slide, or splash on one of the features named after famous SoCal beaches. Malibu Run features four individual inflatable-tube slides that start at a height of nearly 40 feet, while the Laguna Storm Watch Tower offers three inflatable raft tube slides for one or two riders each. Take the whole family together on the The Wedge, a raft-ride-style slide that’s a nod to the infamous wave in nearby Newport Beach.
Little kids, meanwhile, will like the Gremmie Lagoon, a water playground for families. To upgrade your day at the park, book one of the cabanas, which come with shaded loungers and a dining table as well as four inner tube rentals and waiter service. As a reminder that you’re not too far from the origins of the theme park next door, the Portside Pizza eatery at Soak City offers a boysenberry-topped funnel cake for dessert.