Knott’s Berry Farm Theme Park

Credit: Travis Conklin
Credit: Travis Conklin

Sprawled over the site of a sunny Buena Park berry farm once owned by founder Walter Knott and his family, this 160 acre entertainment destination with a patently Wild-Western flavor is now one of America’s most popular theme parks! What began in the 20′s as a roadside farmstand plying travelers to the area with wonderful wares-homemade jams, preserves and boysenberry pies-soon grew to include a down-home fried chicken and biscuit dinner served in a small tea house. As the Knotts flexed a healthy entrepreneurial spirit and expanded their horizons, new shops and attractions sprang up all over the property-a classic replica ghost town among them. By 1968 the family began charging eager comers admission to “Knott’s Berry Farm”-and America’s first family theme park was born! Open year-round and featuring scores of attractions including vibrantly colorful live entertainment like The Calico Saloon Show at Ghost Town, good time bluegrass with Crazy Kirk and the Hillbillies at the Birdcage Theater,  flamboyant Native American Dancers on Indian Trails, and Fool’s Gold Stunt Show at Wagon Camp, and a total of 40 mild-to-wild rides- ten roller coasters among them-a visit to Knott’s Berry Farm promises and delivers a great time for all ages and inclinations-even John Wayne, who took the inaugural seat on the Timber Mountain Log Ride’s opening day in 1969! (To this day it remains one of the most elaborate log flume attractions in the Country!) Hop aboard the Silver Bullet, brave The Ghostrider, grab your seat on The Sierra Sidewinder, scare yourselves silly on Supreme Scream or try your luck on the Timberline Twister! History buffs in your group-there are always a few-will want to travel back in time to witness the signing of the Declaration of Independence at Knott’s own Independence Hall, an indistingishable replica of the iconic historic landmark, right down to its perfectly-cracked, full-sized Liberty Bell, or watch a skilled Ghost Town wood artist painstakingly restoring the park’s unbelievable hand-carved model display of the 21 Historic California Missions. Your travel group is sure to delight in the dozens of exciting Camp, Marketplace, Village and Boardwalk dining and shopping opportunities –a veritable piñata of pleasurable possibility- in this “First American Theme Park!” An afternoon’s prospecting and playing  is sure to work up a hearty appetite; grab a killer burger at the largest Johnny Rocket’s in North America, enjoy hot, fresh pizza and ice cold beer at Hollywood Hits or dig into Mrs. Knott’s homestyle fried chicken and biscuit dinner-be sure to save room for a slab of that famous home-baked boysenberry pie!

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