Theme parks in California include several Bay Area attractions. There's a Six Flags theme park, a combo amusement park and water park, and a park featuring rides, gardens and bizarre trees.
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is the closest park to San Francisco. It's a little over half an hour's drive, an hour and a half in heavy traffic. California's Great America is about 45 minutes to a little over an hour. Gilroy Gardens is a bit farther, located about 79 miles southeast of San Francisco, over an hour's drive, close to 2 hours in heavy traffic.
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom: This 135 acre theme park in California is a combination amusement park, wild animal park, and marine animal park. There are a variety of rides, including thrill rides, family rides, and kiddie rides.
The park has over 30 animal attractions, and a variety of animal shows. There are also special programs, including some where you can get up close to the animals, go behind the scenes, and even swim with the dolphins, for an extra fee.
This Six Flags theme park is located in Vallejo, in the east Bay Area, about 35 miles (close to an hour's drive) from San Francisco.
California's Great America: With over 50 rides (8 of them roller coasters), Great America is favored by both thrill ride lovers and families. The 100 acre park features Nickelodean characters like SpongeBob Squarepants and Dora the Explorer and Nickelodean themed rides, plus plenty of rides in Kidzville for the younger set.
This is the only theme park in California to also include a water park, the 3 acre Australian themed Boomerang Bay (included with admission). You can also enjoy live shows and entertainment.
The park is located in Santa Clara, in the South Bay Area, about 45 miles from San Francisco.
Gilroy Gardens: Clearly the most unique theme park in California, Gilroy Gardens features over 40 rides, 6 gardens, and the amazing Circus Trees, which are scattered around the park.
The park is geared toward families with young children, ages about 12 and under. There's a Splash Garden where kids can cool off, educational exhibits, restaurants and shops.
Located in Gilroy, about 35 miles east of Santa Cruz.
Click on the link below the map to see a larger image, with legend