Eight summer destinations to visit


The Wizarding World of Harry Potters walkway inside the Universal Studios Hollywood, Los Angeles.

Noah Garcia, Staff Writer

With the spring semester finally coming to an end, the endless possibilities of the summer season are open. Whether summer school, job hunting or relaxing is on the summer agenda, here are eight events that will make anybody’s summer a memorable one.


  1. Universal Studios: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Officially opened on April 7, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a must for all Harry Potter fans, theme park enthusiasts and pop culture aficionados alike.

The area itself is just a small piece that makes up Universal Studios California, but still holds many attractions.   The main rides are Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Flight of the Hippogriff, Ollivander’s Wand Shop Show, the Frog Choir and Tri-Wizard Spirit Rally.

There are also several shops and restaurants such as Ollivander’s Wand Shop, The Three Broomsticks, Hog’s Head Pub and more.

An arial view of Knotts Berry Farm amusement park in Buena Park.
  1. Knott’s Berry Farm 75th Anniversary of Ghost Town

Since 1952, Ghost Town has been one of the more well-known and popular attractions of Knott’s, and the park will celebrate it from May 27 to September 5. Besides offering a new experience called Ghost Town Alive, Knott’s is re-opening Ghost Rider.

The ride itself had been under restoration, but can now go back to being the tallest and fastest roller coaster on the West Coast. It is even opening a Starbucks right outside the entrance and reopening Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant, which was under a comprehensive renovation.


  1. July 4th Spectacular on Big Bear Lake

30 minutes of blazing beauty will be offered at Big Bear’s 4th of July Spectacular celebration. Besides the fireworks, it offers games, crafts and entertainment, all leading up to the main event. It even offers a special meal from its own Rotary Club BBQ.

Big Bear’s pyrotechnic show often ranks in the top five in California. Although there are lots of different activities available for purchase, the fireworks display itself is free for anyone.

The Orange County Fair, located in the OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa.
  1. Orange County Fair

Most people who live in Southern California have attended this fair at least once. If they haven’t, why not this year?

This all-ages fair holds wine seminars, a 5k fun run, a concert amphitheatre, centennial farm, agricultural exhibits and a carnival. General admission and parking are $12 and $10, respectively. The OC Fair will take place, from Wednesdays to Sundays, July 15 to August 14.


  1. Weezer and Panic! At The Disco Summer Tour

This 42-show tour will feature the amazing rock/alternative bands, Weezer and Panic! At the Disco. Both released new albums in 2016, Weezer’s “The White Album” and Panic!’s “Death of a Bachelor,” which were both positively received, with Panic! and Weezer placed first and 10th on the Billboard’s Top 200.

In California, the tour will be stopping twice in August, in Chula Vista’s Sleep Train Amphitheatre and Irvine’s Meadow Amphitheatre.


  1. Surf ‘n’ Suds Beer Festival 2016

Taking place in Ventura and Carpinteria on May 21 and August 13, the Surf ‘n’ Suds beer festival will provide rock/reggae group performance, with over 55 breweries and wineries.

They even will have professional surfboard shapers present to show off their designs.Their beer festival was ranked eighth top beer fest in the U.S. There are several different types of entry tickets that are available, with a chance of winning an Electric Cruiser 1 with the purchase of a VIP ticket.


  1. Heroes and Villains Fan-Fest

Taking place in the San Jose convention center, this fan festival focuses on the heroes and villains of popular culture.

There will be panels, featured artwork, celebrity photo ops, games and collectibles. Celebrities such as the television series, “Arrow”’ Stephen Amell and Katie Cassidy, “Doctor Who’s” Karen Gillan, and “Heroes’” stars Robbie Kay and Jack Coleman will all be present at the convention.

raging waters
The top three water rides at Raging Waters in San Dimas are shown above, High Xtreme, the Wave Cove, and Flowrider.
  1. Raging Waters

Some would think that most water parks are the same: a tide pool, a few slides and lazy rivers. Raging Waters San Dimas is the largest water park in Southern California where you can move at 40 mph in under four seconds.

They have a ride called the Aqua Rocket, which is California’s only water coaster which uses hydromagnetic technology to send participants 30 mph in a four person rocket like capsule.

There are more than 10 other slides, rides and tubes. General admission is $42.99 and junior/senior admission is $29.99.

Whether any of these events are considered memorable or important is, of course, subjective. At the same time, however, these events have been around for a while in some form or another, so why not try them this summer.

Try something new and try to enjoy the summer season in community events that make people communicate, work together and have fun.