Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park

Knott's Berry Farm is a 160 acre amusement park in Buena Park that originally opened in 1940, 15 years prior to the grand opening of Disneyland (the parks are about 7 miles apart). I like Knott's because it is low key and has a fun combination of old time Western motif with modern amusement park rides. This overview of Knott's is current as of March 2012 and of course subject to change.

The areas of the park include, Ghost Town, with over 50 themed shops, eateries and attractions, Indian Trails, Camp Snoopy, Fiesta Village and Boardwalk.

Knott's Resort Hotel is a 320 room hotel with 16 Snoopy-themed rooms adjacent to the park and California Marketplace, just outside of the park entrance, has over a dozen shops and restaurants outside of the main park that include Pink's Famous Hot Dogs, TGI Friday's and other businesses.

Higher intensity roller coasters at Knotts include Boomerang, GhostRider, Jaguar, Montezooma's Revenge, Pony Express, Sierra Sidewinder, Silver Bullet, Timberline Twister and Xcelerator.

Thrill rides include La Revolucion, Rip Tide, Screamin' Swing, Supreme Scream and WindSeeker.

Family rides include Butterfield Stagecoach, Calico Mine Ride, Calico Railroad, Dragon Swing, Hat Dance, High Sierra Ferris Wheel, Merry Go Round, Sky Cabin, Waveswinger, Wheeler Dealer Bumper Cars and Wipeout.

Camp Snoopy has about a dozen rides geared towards kids.

Water rides include Bigfoot Rapids, Perilous Plunge and Timber Mountain Log Ride.

Live shows and entertainment include a Wild West Stunt Show, Mystery Lodge, Calico Saloon Show, Native American Dancers, Peanuts Character Show and Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang.

Visit www.knotts.com or call 714.220.5200 to learn more. Knotts is located at 8039 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park.

Blue Ocean Kayaking Guided Tours of Channel Islands

Blue Ocean Kayaking welcomes you aboard the “SUNFISH” a custom built Supported Kayak Vessel. The boat has a special built Swim Step for very easy boarding on both Kayak & Vessel. All Kayaks are stored overhead, so there is no clutter on board.

Professional kayak guided tours of Channel Islands National Park, Anacapa Island. Paddle thru caves and seal rookeries on this family fun tour. Includes kayak and gear and boat ride.

The benefit of a Supported Kayak Vessel is we start your tour at one end of the Island then pick you up at the other end. You will not have to fight the wind, current or repeat the same sites on the way back.

Located at Channel Islands Harbor, 3001 S. Victoria Avenue, Oxnard. Visit www.blueoceankayaking.com or call 805.204.0977 for more information.

Channel Islands Helicopters in Oxnard

Take an adventure in the sky and see the Channel Islands region of California as it was meant to be seen...from a luxurious and fast helicopter. Channel Islands Helicopters' professional helicopter pilots and staff can help make your vacation memorable, a birthday or anniversary or a first date absolutely unforgettable!

Stop by 1601 West 5th Street or call 805.512.1371 to learn more. Or visit www.channelislandsheli.com.

Go Kart World - Carson

On the way to Long Beach we saw the Go Kart World sign to the left of the 405 freeway.  So on the way back to Thousand Oaks I impulsively took the Carson Street offramp to check it out.  With me were several 14 year olds and a 5 year old.  It had been 30 years since I tried a go kart.

Access was very quick and easy and there was plenty of parking on this Saturday afternoon in July.  So within minutes we had to decide which ticket package to purchase.  Wristbands offer as many rides as you can do in a given time period.  Or purchase a discount pack of tickets, with each ticket purchasing a 3 1/2 minute ride on one of 6 tracks.  We opted to purchase a pack of 17 tickets for $60.

I had a blast!  Each track was unique.  There are 3 "speed" tracks for kids/adults, the Super Track, Turbo Road Course and Slick Track.  I tried the Super Track (the longest and newest track at one third of a mile long).  My 5 year old sat beside me.  We had a blast.  Kind of intense and loud, but a lot of fun!  The Slick Track was even more fun as it is a highly polished sprint car oval configuration.  I wasn't able to try the eighth-mile Turbo Road Course but it also looked fun!

There is also a bumper car area, a Kiddy Track and Mini Indy course for kids.  There is a snack bar (the hot dog and lemonade was good), Chuck E Cheese style arcade (with game tickets, prizes, etc.), banquet room and picnic tables.  This would be a great place place for a birthday party!

Go Kart World is an hour away from the Conejo Valley but if you want some cheap thrills and fun, stop by if you're driving the 405 in the vicinity of Carson.  In fact, next time I may just leave the kids at home!

Visit www.gokartworld.com or call 310.834.3800 for more information.  Go Kart World is located at 21830 Recreation Road in Carson.