If you love roller coasters, you'll love Six Flags Magic Mountain. Many people think of theme parks when they come to Los Angeles: Disneyland, Universal Studios, Knott's Berry Farm-- but Magic Mountain is the place not to miss.
Located in Valencia, just outside Los Angeles, you'll need a car to get there, but it's only about a 30-minute drive. Six Flags has over 100 rides, and if you're a nut for roller coasters, this is your place. Rides are divided into three categories, Kid Rides, Family Rides (families can ride together), and Thrill Rides. Magic Mountain was the first park in the world to open a 360 degree loop roller coaster, and this park continues to out-do itself, year after year, with the addition of the craziest, wildest, coasters you'll find anywhere. Six Flags plans to add two new rides in the next few months and reclaim the 2011 Roller Coaster Capital of the World title.
This is a fantastic place to bring kids, as the park has focused primarily on children these past years, with the opening of many children-specific areas, like the Thomas Town/Whistlestop. Also, there's live entertainment throughout the park, with concerts during the summer (and weekends in the winter). Nighttime is when the park comes alive, with the lights illuminating the area, but there's nothing like going upside-down in a loop in the dark.
Just next door to Six Flags is Hurricane Harbor, a huge park of water slides, kiddie pools and wave pools. Both are open every day in the summer, and weekends during the school year (extra days during the holidays, including Fright Fest in October). Admission (plus parking) changes, as coupons are often offered, but check the website for deals. It takes a full day to visit the park as wait times can be long.
Six Flags Magic Mountain 26101 Magic Mountain Parkway Valencia, California 91355 661-255-4100
Take the 405 to the 5 North (toward Sacramento), exit at Magic Mountain Parkway.
[Photo Credit: Flickr/respres]