Every summer, masses of tourists flock to our beloved San Diego. Whether on a mini vacation with friends to soak up the consistently sunny weather and hang out on the sandy beaches, or on a fun-filled family trip to visit the many iconic tourist attractions and theme parks, everyone wants to experience summertime in San Diego.
Thankfully, you don’t have to be a tourist to enjoy the fun-filled summer attractions in San Diego. The sunny summer weather we locals have been missing out on this season is finally here and what better way to beat the heat than heading to wet 'n wild water parks?
From the all-new LegoLand Water Park in Carlasbad and Knott’s Soak City in Chula Vista, to Raging Waters in San Dimas and Wild Rivers in Irvine, the San Diego area is jam packed with aqua attractions.
Discover the best water parks in San Diego and beyond.
San Diego Water Parks
Knott’s Soak City in Chula Vista
As the largest water park in San Diego, Knott’s Soak City features more than 20 water rides and attractions for the entire family. If thrill seeking is the name of your game, head to the back of the park to find the “Big Kid” rides. From La Jolla Falls which boasts four 80-foot high vertical speed slides (Banzai, Dropoff, Pipeline, and Straight Shot) to the six tube slides at the Palisades Plunge (Heavy Swell, Rincon, Wave Chaser) and Solana Storm Watch Tower (Cyclone, Tornado, Typhoon) areas and Imperial Run’s six slip-sliding body slides (Beach Blaster, Green Room, Point Break, Riptide, Silver Strand, Surf Advisory), you’re guaranteed to have a whirlwind ride. If you’re feeling lazy, grab an inner tube and relax in the Sunset River or grab three of your friends and hop on the Pacific Rim raft ride. Soak City also boasts a wealth of fun for the little tykes in tow. Bring your tiny tots to Gremmie Lagoon children’s pool or head to the junior body slides at Dick’s Beach House for slip sliding fun.Save now and buy your tickets online for only $25.99 or buy a season pass for only $59.99. For more information and to buy tickets, please visit knotts.com.
Legoland Water Park in Carlsbad
The first and only existing LegoLand Water Park has finally opened its doors to the public just in time for summer. Feel the excitement when you view the centerpiece of the Water Park, a 45-foot tall brightly colored tower designed to immerse children in the creative world of LEGO. Head to the Build-A-Raft River where kids can customize their own raft made of soft LEGO bricks before floating down a lazy river. Grab the whole family and hop on Orange Rush, a tube slide where up to four people can ride together down a 312-foot-long curving track on an 11-foot in diameter half pipe. Race a friend on the Twin Chasers, two side-by-side enclosed red tube slides that stretch nearly 130 feet and pour into a wading area below. The Water Park also features more than 20 LEGO models including giant LEGO friends who splash or spray water on guests, two sandy beach wading areas, and a water play area designed especially for toddlers with three small slides and interactive DUPLO characters modeled after the actual pieces found in LEGO sets. For more information and to buy tickets, please visit legoland.com.
The Wave Water Park in Vista
Although it may not be comparable to other colossal-sized San Diego water parks, the Wave Water Park in Vista packs in a plethora of fun-filled activities and attractions. The Wave features a variety of fun-filled rides and attractions perfect for the whole family. From the 35-foot-tall Salsa Twist waterslide and the Flow Rider & Riptide Slide with constant simulated breaking waves, to the El Rio Loco floating river and If you’re ready to get wet, head to the Flash Flood waterslide or Slam Dunk, a three-story water slide that plunges riders through complete darkness and into a 3’6” pool. If you’ve brought along the youngsters, head over to Rippity’s Rainforest, the Wave’s newest area for little tykes under 4 feet tall. In addition to the fun-filled water park attractions, the Wave also offers swim lessons for children and adults of all ages, weeklong aqua summer camps for children ages 7 to 15, and Aqua Aerobics classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The Wave is also a great place to host your birthday party, work function or special event. For more information and to buy tickets, please visit thewavewaterpark.com.
Wave House in Mission Beach
Granted, it may not be your average water park packed with a mass of winding tube slides and forty-foot slides, but it’s what we big kids consider a fun-filled day on the beach. Every Sunday, Wave House hosts the wild Sun Daze day parties, featuring live entertainment, drink specials, rotating guest DJs, an unobstructed ocean view and, of course, San Diego’s very own manmade wave. Flowboarding is an awesome spectator sport because everything happens right in front of the crowd. You’re near enough to get splashed by the spray of a turn and an audience can see the expression on a rider’s face as they miss their landing and get worked as they go over the falls. The entry-level wave is the FlowRider and this wave offers riders of all levels, from beginner to expert, the perfect canvas to improve their riding. The FlowRider is a sheet wave that emulates an ocean swell giving riders the thrill of flowboarding without the intimidation of a barrel. Its large open face allows riders to throw tricks of all kinds from learning the basics to advanced moves. The more challenging FlowBarrel has, as the name suggests, a barrel along with a nice steep face, which resembles the type of hardcore wave surfers travel the world looking for. The FlowBarrel can break as big as 10 feet at 30 mph but instead of coral, rocks and urchins lurking beneath the surface, sheet waves flow over a soft, flexible surface. For more information please visit wavehouse.com.
Splash Canyon in Temecula
Slated to open in summer 2010, the construction of the Temecula proposed water park has currently been put on hold. Clearwater Waterpark Development who designed Wild Rivers in Irvine, California, designed the 19.7-acre Splash Canyon Park to consist of wave pools, towering water slides and winding tubes, as well as an array of other attractions and amenities. Splash Canyon is now set to open its doors to the public in Summer 2011. For more information and to buy tickets, please visit splashcanyon.com.
Greater San Diego Area Water Parks
Wild Rivers in Irvine
Located 75 miles north of San Diego in South Orange County, Wild Rivers is one of the finest family water parks in So California with over forty rides and attractions and two side-by-side wave pools. This water park has water rides ranging from mild-to-wild, including inner tube slides, a lazy river, body and speed slides. Thrill-seekers will find plenty of attractions on Wild Rivers Mountain. Dare to take on the Abyss, a 655-foot, totally dark, radically wild ride with a 50-foot vertical drop in a single or double inner tube, or even the 500-foot winding white water Congo River Rapids. If you want to have some relaxing fun in the sun, enjoy a quarter-mile ride around Explorers Island as you float down the Safari River Expedition. The Bazooka Bowls are guaranteed to have your heart thumping as you prepare to be launched from a four-story platform into the barrel of the Bazooka Tube and plunged three-feet into a nine-foot pool below. One-day general admission tickets start at $32.98, but splurge and spend $69.98 and get an individual season pass. For more information and to buy tickets, please visit wildrivers.com.
Raging Waters in San Dimas
With over 50 beautifully landscaped acres and a whopping 36 slides and attractions, it’s easy to see why Raging Waters in San Dimas is the largest and most loved water park in California. Grab a board and catch a wave on the new Flowrider or make your stomach jump on the thrilling seven-story Dropout slide. Test your coordination and balance skills on the Lilly Pads obstacle course. Grab three friends and charge through Neptune’s Fury, a 600-foot-long wild rapids ride that plunges into total darkness and down a 60-foot drop at 30 miles per hour or opt for a solo ride on the Vortex, a four-story tower featuring two enclosed, 27foot long spiral body flumes. Younger guests will never tire of Kids' Kingdom, a 30,000-square-foot water playground, and Splash Island, an attraction which features five slides, water cannons, web crawl tunnels, spiral cargo nets and swinging bridges. This summer, Raging Waters has unveiled one of its spookiest attractions yet, Dr. Von Dark’s Tunnel of Terror. This amazing new water ride is one of only three in the entire nation and involves a breathtaking 40-foot drop against a backdrop of total darkness. Buy your tickets online and save! General admission tickets cost $33.90 or buy a Family 4 Pack for only $99. For more information and to buy tickets, please visit ragingwaters.com.
Discover more fun entertainment ideas in our San Diego events calendar!