After the Coasters, Chill out at South Bay Shores Water Park

Included with Admission to California's Great America

South Bay Shores Water Park at California’s Great America

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company

It's not enormous, but the water park at California's Great America offers a great way to cool down after a hot day on the coasters and other rides. If you are planning a visit on a day when the weather is accommodating, be sure to bring your bathing suit. Called South Bay Shores, the park features a coastal California theme. (The park was previously known as Boomerang Bay and Crocodile Dundee's Boomerang Bay.)

South Bay Shores offers many of the usual water park suspects, including water slides, a lazy river, and a wave pool. There are some more extreme attractions for thrill seekers. Younger kids and those seeking a less intense experience, will want to check out Pup’s Pier, an interactive water play center with small slides, sprayer elements, and a giant tipping bucket. Similarly, Tide Pool offers toned-down slides and a zero-depth entry pool for families with smaller children. Toddlers have their own attraction, Otter Trotter. It includes small fountains, and other fun ways to get wet.

Slide and Ride Highlights

Family raft ride at South Bay Shores water park

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company

  • Groups of up to four can pile into the large rafts on Coastal Cruz, a family raft ride.
  • The NorCal Wipeout sends riders on two-passenger rafts careening through twists and turns in an enclosed tube.
  • A halfpipe-like slide, Mission Falls features a near-vertical wall that passengers soar up, experience a bit of airtime, and then fall backwards into a splash pool.
  • Reef Racer offers two body slides: one is a speed slide that offers a freefall experience, while the other is an enclosed tube with a 360-degree curve.
  • Visitors have their pick of six water slides on Pacific Surge, including speed slides and a slide that incorporates a mini bowl experience.

Admission Info and Operating Schedule

California's Great America general admission passes include access to both the water park attractions and the dry rides. (It is the only theme park in California to include water park admission at no extra charge.) Reduced price tickets are available for seniors (62+) and juniors (48" and under). Children under 3 are admitted at no charge. Discounted tickets are available for purchase in advance and online at the park's Web site. Season passes are available.

Private cabanas are available to rent. Inner tubes are provided, but guests can rent tubes to use throughout the day at the water park. Complimentary life jackets are available.

As an outdoor water park, South Bay Shores is open daily in the summer and on select days in the spring and fall. See the park’s schedule for days and times.

What's to Eat?

There are plenty of dining options throughout California's Great America. Inside the water park, Pier 76 Cafe offers fried shrimp, fish tacos, chicken tenders, and other fare. Beer and other beverages are available at the Sand Bar In the amusement park, good choices include Sierra Creek Lodge, which includes paninis, pizza, salads, and hamburgers on its menu, and Maggie’s Smokehouse & Fried Chicken, which offers barbecue items such as brisket, pulled pork, and ribs. Note that guests are not allowed to bring their own food or drinks into the park.

Location and Directions

The park is in Santa Clara, California. From San Francisco, take US 101 S to the Great America Parkway exit. From San Jose, take US 101 N to the Great America Parkway exit. From Oakland, take I-880 S to 237 W to the Great America Parkway exit.

Other California Water Parks

If you are looking for other, larger parks, the following are among the nearby, standalone parks:

Was this page helpful?