Best Water Parks in the San Francisco Bay Area
It seems like one of the summer rites of passage is piling into the car and heading to a water park, preferably one with thrilling water slides, for a day of fun in the sun. If you grew up in Marin or the North Bay surely you spent a summer afternoon or two at the long-gone Windsor Water Works north of Santa Rosa.
These days, you'll have to venture even further away, to the East Bay or South Bay, for a taste of this summertime tradition. Here's the rundown on water parks in the San Francisco Bay Area. All of these parks offer thrilling water slides and gentler aquatic adventures like lazy rivers, wave pools, and kids' activity areas. (Don't forget the amusement park junk food, too!) They're fun for all ages.
Most water parks open for the season on or before Memorial Day Weekend (May 27–29, 2023). Advance tickets are either required or highly recommended; check with each location before you go.
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor (formerly Waterworld) in Concord is probably the closest water park to Marin, and offers a wide array of water slides ranging from mild to extremely wild, along with Northern California's longest lazy river, a wave pool, and a kids' area. Location: 1950 Waterworld Parkway, Concord, CA 94520. Open daily mid-June through mid-August, and weekends in May (opens Saturday, May 20) and September. www.sixflags.com/hurricaneharborconcord
This water park is part of the California's Great America amusement park and offers plenty of waterslides of varying levels of excitement, a lazy river, a heated tropical lagoon, and a kids' area. Location: 4701 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, CA 95054. Opens Memorial Day Weekend on Saturday, May 27; check website for complete summer schedule. www.cagreatamerica.com
Raging Waters is Northern California's largest water park, and has been thrilling families for 30 years. This park features nine thrilling water slides, an endless river, a 350,000-gallon wave pool, a family raft ride, pools, and two kiddie play areas with waterfalls and tiny tot slides. Location: 2333 South White Road, San Jose, CA 95148. Opens May 20; check their website for a full summer schedule. www.rwsplash.com
This smaller water park in the East Bay city of Fremont boasts a selection of water slides on the Fortress of Fun, a climbing structure, a lazy river, a kids' play area and several different pools. Cabanas are available for rent. Location: 4500 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont, CA 94538. Opens Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday May 27. goaquaadventure.com
This newly opened aquatics complex in the East Bay city of Dublin features a boardwalk-themed water park with a six-slide water tower, a Splash Zone "extreme" toddler wading area with slides and interactive features, and an outdoor sports pool that's open for swimming when not in use for team practice or competition. Opens Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday, May 27. www.thedublinwave.com
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