Legoland California

Check out the model of Washington, D.C.’s Capitol, ride on the Knights' Tournament, then cool off at Legoland Water Park.

Claim to fame

This became the first Legoland outside Europe when it debuted in Carlsbad in 1999. Its outdoor Miniland USA exhibition celebrates the cities that define America. Gape at a detailed model of Washington, D.C.’s Capitol, made from 380,792 Lego bricks, or chuckle at miniature pirates battling outside Treasure Island on the Las Vegas Strip.

Thrills for teens

Guarded by a fierce red Lego dragon, the Knights’ Tournament lets riders pick their preferred level of intensity. Take “Level 5, Lord Vladek, Extreme” if you dare, get strapped on to a giant golden arm over a pond and get spun, jerked and twisted with vertigo-inducing delight.

Fun for wee ones

Those aged three to five can drive Lego-styled cars at the Volvo Junior Driving School, navigating gentle streets populated by kid-sized Lego people, from a poodle-walking lady to a hot dog vendor. Or ride the Safari Trek past Lego giraffes and lions. Hot and sweaty? Cool off at Pirate Reef, a new ride opening this month, or at the Legoland Water Park, built in 2010.