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Knott's Berry Farm
Billed as "The Theme Park Californians Call Home," this park is slightly different than its cousins. Its fans are loyal. It has a less strenuous feel to it, allowing you to actually amble now and then. The park's layout is a bit more old-fashioned and its coasters range from the tame to the exuberant. Rumor has it the water rides will get you wet (which is really good for a summer day in Orange County, by the way).
Apparently, the theme park has been available in one form or another since 1940, when Walter Knott relocates the Old Trails Hotel to the Farm from Prescott, Ariz. To the hotel's lobby Walter adds the Farm's first attraction: "The Covered Wagon Show," a cyclorama depicting the Knott family journey West. The hotel and cyclorama form the basis for "Old West Ghost Town," the first themed area of Knott's Berry Farm. The rest, they say, is history.
112 miles, estimated driving time 2 1/2 hours