Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Summer Transit HOWTO: Amusement Parks

It's well into summer here in the northern hemisphere, and so it's past time that I publish a guide to public transit between Riverside and those amusement parks, water parks, outdoor parks and beaches that folks flock to this time of year. Since I'm sure plenty of you are enjoying a "staycation" this year because of the recession, here's the perfect excuse to get out and enjoy some of the amenities of our region.

All directions are provided from downtown Riverside unless otherwise noted.

Let's start with amusement parks and water parks.

Castle Park
This small "family" amusement park is the only one in Riverside proper, and boasts two roller coasters, over 20 smaller amusement rides, an arcade and four courses of miniature golf. Parking is ordinarily $5, but why throw that money away? Take RTA!

Ride either the 1 or the 12 eastbound to Magnolia & Park Sierra, then walk south (towards the 91 freeway) on Park Sierra to the park. The 15 is also within walking distance at Magnolia & La Sierra, though it's a long walk, and you could ride the Metrolink to Riverside-La Sierra, walk over the freeway, and turn right at Diana.

More info on the park and pricing here.

Fiesta Village
This small "family" amusement park is just north of Riverside in Colton, and has the honour of hosting the nearest water slides to Riverside. Take the Omni 215 to Mt. Vernon/Washington, and either walk south on Mt. Vernon to Washington, then east on Washington over the freeway to the park, or cross the street to wait for the Omni 19.

More info on the park and pricing here.

Pharaoh's Adventure Park
The recently re-opened Pharaoh's Adventure Park and Pizza Buffet, formerly Pharaoh's Lost Kingdom, is a large water-park and smaller amusement centre in Redlands, with mini golf, bumper boats, race cars and apparently pizza. Take the Omni 215 to Mt. Vernon/Washington or the 25 to the V.A. Hospital, and then the Omni 19 east to Redlands & California. Walk north on California about a block above the freeway.

More info on the park and pricing here.

Raging Waters
Made famous as "Waterloo" in "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure", Raging Waters is one of the nation's largest and most popular water parks. There are a few ways to get here, and it depends on what day you're travelling. The simplest method is to take 204 to Montclair Transcenter, then Foothill 492 to Bonita & San Dimas, and walk south on San Dimas until you come to Raging Waters Dr., which will take you to the park. Obviously, this only works on weekdays, and it has the additional shortcoming of dropping you off in the morning around 90 minutes before the park opens.

You can also take Metrolink's Riverside Line to the Downtown Pomona station, followed by the Foothill 291 or 292 to Bonita Ave, and the 492 to Bonita & San Dimas.

On weekends, you can take the Omni 215 to San Bernardino and either walk or take the Omni 1 to the Metrolink station, followed by the San Bernardino Line to Claremont and the 492 to Bonita & San Dimas. For a cheaper alternative, you can ride the 49 to Cherry & Etiwanda in Fontana, catch the 82 from there to Foothill, and the 66 to Montclair Transcenter, followed by the 492 again.

More info about the park and pricing here.


Need I say more about this one?
Take the 216 to the Village at Orange, and the OCTA 46 straight to Ball and Harbor. Walk south on Harbor to get to the main shuttle centre, which is adjacent to the entrance plaza.

More info about the park and pricing here.

Knott's Berry Farm
At this site, Walter Knott once ran a berry farm, coining the word "boysenberry." The farm expanded from a single food stand, to a restaurant, to a theme park over the course of the 20th century. On the eastern side of the park is Knott's Soak City water park, available for an additional entrance fee.
The park is a short distance from the Buena Park Metrolink. On weekdays, you can take the 91 Line straight here, and on weekends you'll need to transfer from the IE-OC Line to the OC Line at Orange. From the station, take the OCTA 29 down Beach Blvd. straight to the front entrance.

More info about the park and pricing here.

Six Flags Magic Mountain
The roller coaster capital of the West Coast, and occasionally the world (the park has been duelling with Sandusky, OH's Cedar Point for the title for years), Magic Mountain holds a special place in any coaster enthusiast's heart. There is also a large water park, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, on this site. The ride TO the park from Riverside, however, is the most difficult to accomplish on this list.

While the trip may be possible on the weekend, I recommend against it. On weekdays, take Metrolink's Riverside Line to Union Station, and transfer to the Antelope Valley Line to Newhall station. Take the Santa Clarita Transit 1 or 2 signed for Castaic or Val Verde, or a Santa Clarita Transit 4 or 14, to the McBean Transfer Centre. There, catch either a 3 or 7 to Six Flags Magic Mountain.

More info about the park and pricing here.

Keep in mind
While all of these routes are possible, and will get you to the park with enough time to enjoy it before having to head home, please check when the last trip home leaves, and take steps to ensure you are on it. I disclaim all liability for poor trip planning.

Keep your browsers pointed at this blog for upcoming posts in the series: part 2 about beaches and the outdoors, and part 3 on museums and other attractions.

No comments: