Mecca, California: International Banana Museum

Fruit collecting guy went bananas. Fred Garbutt is the current owner and worthy successor; he expanded the collection in new location opened in November 2012.
Address:
98775 Hwy 111, Mecca, CA
Directions:
Nine miles south of Mecca, on the southbound side of Hwy 111. Look for the old-style Skip's Liquor sign; the museum is in the building next to it.
Hours:
F-M 10 AM - dark (Call to verify)
Phone:
619-840-1429
Admission:
Adults $1.00
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights
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International Banana Museum:

When you take over a banana museum, you'd better be ready to wear the banana suit.

[01/10/2013] Complete Story...
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Visitor Tips and News About International Banana Museum

Reports and tips from RoadsideAmerica.com visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

International Banana Museum. International Banana Museum

When thinking about the international headquarters of bananas, of course one thinks of a place next to the Salton Sea, in the middle of the desert! Good times always at this stop!

[Mike Larson, 07/06/2014]
International Banana Museum

Call before you go -- it was closed on a Friday afternoon. The cashier at the liquor store said that's typical.

[Camella, 06/14/2014]
Banana Museum. International Banana Museum

"People come here to see strange things" is how curator/owner Fred explains the a-peel (sorry, expect more puns, how can I resist?) of slipping the International Banana Museum into a dusty corner off of the Salton Sea. He has a point.

Further south is a bunch of roadside attractions, like Salvation Mountain, Bombay Beach, Slab City, the mud pots and Obsidian Butte, and let us not forget the Calipatria flagpole. Then there is the Sea itself, with relics of long-gone resorts along the shores, juxtaposed with fish-boned beaches and wildlife refuges.

But the International Banana Museum is so much better than those other attractions. For one, you can get a Bananas Foster shake. It is also air conditioned, and Fred is an amiable fellow who is worthy of a good chat. Plus, bananas. Everywhere. Fred has obviously put a lot of thought into his museum. It's small, but nearly every space, including the ceiling vents and crossbeams, is adorned with some kind of banana-themed paraphernalia. Not just plastered with no rhyme or reason; he obviously enjoys the idea of a banana museum and showcases them nicely.

It is open late, but I think only Friday through Monday, until dark the hours say, and if the door is locked, the store next door will call Fred up and he'll be there quickly in his banana yellow VW bug. The stop can be for just a few minutes to pick up a souvenir, or stay awhile to really soak it up and investigate the sheer mass of ways people have been creative with bananas.

[Katherine Zander, 05/08/2014]

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July 22, 2014

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