Unusual Amusement Parks in California

California has an abundance of amusement parks, and here are a few that are unique in their offerings and that may appeal to you and your family when you are traveling on the West Coast of the United States.


Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk


This is one of the few remaining oceanside parks. It has three roller coasters including the vintage Giant Dipper from 1924. Their Casino Arcade and Neptune’s Kingdom have an amazing selection of video games, pinball, pool tables, Laser Tag, video arcade and redemption games, Air Hockey, a Shooting Gallery, and more.


Their Buccaneer Bay Mini Golf is an 18-hole and two-story pirate-themed course with a black light cave. From June 16 through September 1, featured will be two FREE Friday Night Bands on the Beach at 6:30 PM and 8:30 PM.


Gilroy Gardens theme park


This is unusual because it is devoted to horticulture. Among the features are the famous “circus trees,” living trees that were magically designed. In addition there are more than 40 rides and exhibits added to their six majestic gardens that are located throughout the park. The rides are geared mostly to younger children and include a Ferris Wheel, Mushroom Swing, a railroad, and a Quicksilver Express Mine Coaster that has the theme of a local abandoned mine.


Children’s Fairyland in Oakland


This is a small lakeside park but is a treasure especially to those children who are under age eight and love the fables and rhymes of childhood. There are almost 60 storybook sets, friendly live animals, 10 acres of gardens, and child-size rides such as a train, a Ferris wheel, and a small carousel.


Castle Park in Riverside


This family entertainment center has four mini-golf courses, an arcade, games, and more. A small amusement park has rides including a Ghost Blasters interactive dark ride, a spinning roller coaster, a log flume, and a drop tower ride.


Best Haunted Houses To Visit Traveling to the West Coast of the USA

Summertime is the season for road trips, but if you’re willing to wait until late fall to take that road trip, you can spice it up with a little terror. Here are some of the best haunted houses you should visit on a road trip heading to the west coast.


Trail of Terror

Wallingford, CT


Rated 4.5/5 stars on Yelp, this haunted trail promises frights like you’ve never experienced. A winding trail with different areas makes it feel like a labyrinthian path connecting multiple worlds with special lighting, talented actors, and detailed props. Very popular, so the lines are long. Buy tickets in advance.


Darkside Haunted House

Wading River, NY


Rated 4.5/5 stars on Yelp, this haunted house is a heart attack factory as soon as you step up to the front door. Boasting a cast of dedicated actors, realistic sets, and two locations straight out of a horror film, Darkside Haunted House is not for the faint at heart!


Field of Screams

Mountville, PA


Rated 4/5 stars on Yelp, this large haunted field contains six different attractions and a thoroughfare of merchandise, food, haunted games, and music. The attractions are brought to eerie life with lit pumpkins, grotesque decorations, and professional actors. A bit pricey for VIP passes, but well worth the drive and the price!


Basement of the Dead

Aurora, IL


Rated 4/5 stars on Yelp, this haunted house has three unique experiences. Not many details are given, but you are put into different rooms with only one way to get out of each room: you must escape using puzzles, fight with laser tag, and survive the horrors. Sure to get your adrenaline pumping!


Fright Factory

Buckley, WA


Rated 4.5/5 stars on Yelp, we’ve finally arrived at the west coast and to the doorstep of hell. This haunted house is NOT suitable for children. With detailed sets and creepy actors, this is a short, but thrilling trip down into the circles of terror.


Travel Healthy In California

Health reports show that California is one of the healthiest states in the nation. Some studies show that part of that equation is how much there is to do outdoors there, and the fact that many locals really take advantage of it. There is also the difficulty of keeping your diet on track while travelling. California is known for its healthy food options. If you decide to go on a west coast trip yourself, you can be lucky enough to take advantage of this as a part of your vacation.


Often, staying active on vacation can be difficult. Hotel gyms are not always the best, while plane and car travel keep you stationary. Airplane food is not good, if existent, and the airport, though better, is not always as great as you might like.


This is why visits to the many great, healthy restaurants along the west coast should be a part of your trip. So many choices, from fantastic Pacific seafood to locally grown produce are all waiting. Many of the famous Napa wine tours have delicious and healthy food associated with them. Healthy choices are easy to find in almost every city in the state.


Perhaps the most important part of a healthy, west coast trip is the many outdoor activities. The many national and state parks available there is some of the best hiking in the world. This article on Huffington Post talks about the seven best hikes in California. That list contains some of the most beautiful and historic spots in the United States.


And, of course, there are the beach and other water options. Everyone knows of the beauty of southern California beaches, or the majesty of the rocky coasts up north, but the rivers also contain some best whitewater and rafting in the nation.


Even if some of these choices are more than you might want to take on, make sure to take time to take care of yourself during your west coast vacation.


More People Saving Money on Their Trip to the West Coast

Going on vacation is a great way to get away from the boredom of everyday life, but it can also be too costly for most families. If you’ve been trying to take a trip to the west coast, you know how expensive it can be to make flight arrangements, hotel reservations and pay for all the attractions while you’re there. Thankfully, there are a multitude of ways that will help you save a ton of money when making your next trip to the west coast.


It is important to know that the longer you give yourself to plan the trip, the more money you’ll save. This is ideal for individuals who are on strict budgets and don’t necessarily have the money to pay full price. If you try to make arrangements last minute, expect to pay full price for flights and hotels with very little monetary breaks. You can also make use of deal websites that enable you to get money off of the trip when you bundle items together. For instance, if you’re going to be bundling your flight and hotel together in one, you can save hundreds of dollars as opposed to booking both of these things separately.


You might also want to consider the benefits of renting a car when traveling to the west coast. It can be incredibly expensive to always rely on taxis and other car sharing services. If you don’t have it within your budget to hire a taxi several times a day just to get to different locations, you need to rent a car of your own. Rental cars aren’t expensive at all, and they provide you and your family the freedom that you all need to get around while you’re on vacation. Many vacation planning sites offer deals to those who bundle flights, hotels and rental cars together so that you wind up saving a ton of money long-term because of the planning you have done in advance.


Why People Plan in Advance When Traveling to the West Coast

California is the sunshine state of the U.S., and it’s where so many people travel when it comes to getting away from it all and having a worthwhile vacation. Once you make the decision to travel to the west coast, it’s important that you plan accordingly. Without making the proper arrangements, it can be difficult to know that you’re doing things correctly and will actually get to see everything that you’d like. There are many ways for you to plan out the trip, but the most important thing is to understand what you want to do while there and how much time you have to see the different attractions.


Once you know where you’ll be going, it’s vital that you plan the trip well in advance to get the best price for everything. The main issue a lot of travelers have is that it’s just too expensive to go on vacation, and this is partly due to the fact that they are booking hotels and flights last minute. If you give yourself a few weeks to a few months to plan the trip, you’ll find that it is actually cheaper for you in the long run. This makes the trip a lot easier on your budget and it doesn’t cause you to feel badly about the price that you’ll be paying. It is just as crucial to have some money for yourself while there as well, as you’ll be going to restaurants and buying goods that you can then bring home.


West Coast Travel Expected to Increase

The West Coast of the United States is often considered one of the top tourist destinations in the world. While the west coast is a popular travel destination every year, some were concerned that the area would be impacted by the variety of proposed travel bans. However, a recent study has predicted that the 2017 summer travel season could be a record breaking year for tourism and travel in the west coast (http://www.kpbs.org/news/2017/may/26/southern-california-summer-travel-expected-be-robu/).


Overall, the Southern California Automobile Club has predicted that travel in the west coast would be up more than three percent compared to prior years. There are several reasons for this. One of the top reasons for travel will be the fact that the overall economy in the United States has continued to improve. Now that the housing market and overall economy seem stable, there are more people that are looking to take trips domestically across the country.


Overall, the west coast will have a number of popular destinations for travelers. One of the top locations for travelers will be the cities of San Diego and Las Vegas, which are frequently two of the top domestic travel destinations in this part of the country. Another reason why some believe that the west coast will be busy this year is that we are now one year removed from the centennial anniversary for a number of major national and state parks. It is believed that some tourists took the year off last year to avoid some of the larger crowds.


Board a Shuttle from Portland to Multnomah Falls

This summer, the Columbia Gorge Express will resume service between Portland and Multnomah Falls. It makes the journey 12 times per day at a rate of $5 per trip. Families with children are encouraged to use the express to make the otherwise inconvenient trip. With more funds from the outdoors department, the shuttle will now be able to carry up to 40 passengers at once, a massive increase from last year’s 20 passengers. Larger shuttles are also safer and easier to manage for drivers. While most parties take the shuttle from Portland to Multnomah Falls, it is also possible to traverse the route backwards. Portland has great restaurants, shops, and hotels to stay at. Multnomah Falls is home to beautiful waterfalls, wildlife, and incredibly green flora. On both ends of the express, there are amazing sights to see. Once you buy your ticket at the gate, wait at the station for the next shuttle to arrive. Hop onboard with your friends, enjoy the ride, and get off at your final destination. Aside from holidays and days recognized by the national park service, the Colombia Gorge Express will operate from 9-5 on weekdays and Saturdays. Alternatives to the shuttle include buses, cars, and vans. However, you won’t be able to travel through the majestic scenery of the gorge. Avoid crowded parking lots and the congestion of the road with this fabulous shuttle.


Planning Your Trip to Disney

Disney World in California is a prime tourist destination for many travelers. It’s a great place for both kids and adults alike, as there are a plethora of activities and things to do while there. When it comes to actually traveling to the park, it’s important to plan out your trip accordingly so that it goes as smoothly as possible. The way to do this is by making arrangements months in advance to ensure that you are not only able to get a reasonable flight for a decent price, but also a hotel room where you’ll be comfortable staying.


Another important aspect to consider when traveling to the west coast is creating an itinerary that you and your family can follow. With this type of schedule, it’s easy to know which areas of the park you’re going to explore on which days. This is ideal for so many individuals who would otherwise miss sections because they do not know where to go. You can find a variety of maps and pamphlets on the park online, making it effortless on your part to figure out where you’ll be going on any given day. Once you make the trip to Disney with your loved ones and friends, you’ll realize why so many have said it’s the happiest place on earth. There are so many amazing things to check out within the park itself, making it an ideal hot spot for adults and kids who just want to have some fun away from home.


Can Americans Afford to Travel to the West Coast?

In a recent Huffington Post article, David Landsel helps American travelers with helpful ways to afford an exciting trip to the west coast. For the past five decades, California has been one of the most popular destinations for travelers in the United States and abroad for good reason. This populous U.S. state is filled to the brim with beautiful landscapes, breathtaking ocean views, and some of the best restaurants in the world. Although California undoubtedly holds certain fascinations for every type of traveler, the trip can also be quite costly for the average American traveler. Because California holds some of the most expensive markets for hotel stays, restaurants, and local travel (taxi cabs, trains, etc.), it has become unrealistic for some families to make a trip to the Golden State, as much as they may desire to go. David Landsel of the Huffington Post has developed a list of tips and strategies that can make this trip more affordable and fun for the average American.


Finding Cheaper Hotel Rates


One of the most costly portions of any traveling experience is the fee associated with temporary residence. Hotel rates combined with the hotel tax and adjusted fees can make trip to the west coast almost unbearable even for upper middle class Americans. By finding alternatives to expensive hotels, travelers can make their trips 70 percent cheaper than if they booked hotels at their normal costs. By opting to use travel sites designed to find the lowest hotel rates combined with lowered plane rates, Americans have considerably lowered their west coast travel bill. Websites that offer alternative housing for temporary trips like Airbnb, are also quite beneficial to those seeking less expensive travel to the west coast.





Where to Plan Your Next West Coast Trip

The scene of the U.S. West Coast amongst Seattle and Los Angeles is the absolute most lovely on the planet. It has the volcanoes of the Cascade Range, high cascades, old redwood timberlands, forested coastlines, enormous streams, untamed natural life, and the exuberant soul of the west. The full wonderfulness of the Pacific Ocean is in plain view when you go along the coastline. However, you need to be adventurous to see it. It takes two days on Interstate 5 to cover the 1,100 miles amongst Seattle and Los Angeles – one day for those who move quickly. However, in the event that you back off and explore the real roadway course, everything changes. In spite of the fact that you can’t turn out badly with any route, there are such a large number of efficient approaches that you ought to invest some time into. By investigating what every region brings to the table, you can broaden a day here or shorten one somewhere else. Lease a vehicle, drive one way and fly back, head back on I-5, or spend an entire weekend on the West coast. Overall, traveling to this part of America is a trip to remember. Because of the numerous possibilities, you won’t have a lack of options to explore. Make sure to pack accordingly and bring your best camera. The scenery along the I-5 is truly something to behold.