California

Find California travel tips, stories, maps, videos and news for unusual tourist attractions and sights.

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  • City of Ten Thousand Buddhas

    City of Ten Thousand Buddhas

    Ukiah, California

    Since 1977, this center for Buddhist teachings has featured a hall of 10,000 Buddha statuettes. You can never have too many.

  • Noah's Ark

    Noah's Ark

    Sebastopol, California

    Artist Patrick Amiot's humorous junk art version of the Flood-defying floating zoo.

  • Garden Hose Volunteer

    Garden Hose Volunteer

    Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California

    Tribute to a civic leader who volunteered to tend the grounds in a narrow park between highways.

  • Blackie, Horse That Never Moved

    Blackie, Horse That Never Moved

    Tiburon, California

    Retired rodeo and army cavalry horse stood in the exact same spot in a pasture for 28 years. A a bronze sculpture marks the spot.

  • Nike Missile Site SF-88L

    Nike Missile Site SF-88L

    Mill Valley, California

    The National Park Service conducts tours through this remarkably well-preserved and maintained Cold War facility, built to fire supersonic missiles at approaching Soviet bombers.

  • Athena's Hollow Head

    Athena's Hollow Head

    Cotati, California

    Ancient Greek virgin goddess of wisdom and warfare, daughter of Zeus. Gaze out of her eyeholes at the statue across the street of a guy with a bowl haircut playing an accordion.

  • Ski Demski, Peppy, and The Pole

    Ski Demski, Peppy, and The Pole

    Long Beach, California

    Lasting tributes to Thomas "Ski" Demski, Long Beach gadfly and one-time owner of the World's Largest Flag.

  • Urban Putt

    Urban Putt

    San Francisco, California

    Steampunk-inspired indoor mini-golf with elaborate designs, sound effects, lots of mechanical contraptions. and a bar and restaurant for adults. How many skulls can you find in the Dia de Muertos hole?

Sights for Oddball Excursions

  • Queen Califia's Magical Circle Garden

    Queen Califia's Magical Circle Garden

    Escondido, California

    Colorful fantasy sculpture world of tiles and serpents. Massive work by sculptor and painter Niki de Saint Phalle.

  • Official Center of the World

    Official Center of the World

    Felicity, California

    Mayor Istel built his town smack over the Center of the World, now site of a pyramid, church and world history in granite.

  • In the Box Tour: Battles in Fake Iraq

    In the Box Tour: Battles in Fake Iraq

    Fort Irwin, California

    Fake Iraq and Afghan villages built for Army training employ actor-citizens and insurgents. Special attack tours.

  • Trees Of Mystery

    Trees Of Mystery

    Klamath, California

    Giant statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox guard the entrance of Trees of Mystery, where corkscrew trees and other arboreal mutants stand for your viewing pleasure.

  • Simon Rodia's Watts Towers

    Simon Rodia's Watts Towers

    Los Angeles, California

    An oft analyzed and revered monumental junk art construction of tall spires by outsider artist Sabato Simon "Sam" Rodia, built from 1922 to 1954.

  • Salvation Mountain

    Salvation Mountain

    Niland, California

    The late outsider artist Leonard Knight painted huge, divinely inspired visions on a desert dirt ridge he called Salvation Mountain.

  • Ken Fox's Great Statues of Auburn

    Ken Fox's Great Statues of Auburn

    Auburn, California

    Concrete colossi built by Auburn dentist-sculptor Ken Fox.

  • Cabazon Dinosaurs

    Cabazon Dinosaurs

    Cabazon, California

    Built by the late Claude Bell, who ran the Wheel Inn on I-10; currently owned by folks who don't buy the Theory of Evolution.

  • Museum of Jurassic Technology

    Museum of Jurassic Technology

    Culver City, California

    A collection both cryptic and illuminating, dedicated to raising public appreciation of the Lower Jurassic.

  • Unarius Academy of Science

    Unarius Academy of Science

    El Cajon, California

    Headquarters of the Unarians, firm believers that 33 city-ships of the galactic Federation would arrive on Earth in 2001 (they didn't).

  • Bigfoot Discovery Museum

    Bigfoot Discovery Museum

    Felton, California

    The hairy biped, spotted between surfing beaches and Silicon Valley.

  • Pee Wee Golf

    Pee Wee Golf

    Guerneville, California

    The 36-hole course opened in 1948 may be the birthplace of Odd Golf Sculpture. Restored in 2010.

  • Big Mike the Muffler Man

    Big Mike the Muffler Man

    Hayward, California

    1960s vintage fiberglass Paul Bunyan statue spent career standing in front of Hayward businesses before finding a home at a local plastics fabrication business.

  • Tour-Thru Tree

    Tour-Thru Tree

    Klamath, California

    A living 800-year-old redwood you can drive thru for a few bucks.

  • Drive-Thru Donut: The Donut Hole

    Drive-Thru Donut: The Donut Hole

    La Puente, California

    A doughnut shop sandwiched between two giant doughnuts is the very definition of the drive-thru attraction.

  • Velveteria: Museum of Velvet Paintings

    Velveteria: Museum of Velvet Paintings

    Los Angeles, California

    Caren and Carl share their unmatched collection of naked ladies, unicorns, African-Americans in love. Black light room!

  • Battery Townsley

    Battery Townsley

    Mill Valley, California

    World War II era coast artillery bunker restored and open once a month for tours. Big guns, nuclear pressure tests, former teen burner hangout.

  • Steinbeck's Spirit of Monterey Wax Museum

    Steinbeck's Spirit of Monterey Wax Museum

    Monterey, California

    The history of Monterey unfolds in wax: prostitutes, Indians, a bull and a bear in a bloody death struggle, and John Steinbeck.

  • Columbia, Challenger, and Criswell in Valhalla

    Columbia, Challenger, and Criswell in Valhalla

    North Hollywood, California

    Portal of the Folded Wing, space shuttle memorial, and remains of the Amazing Criswell.

  • Out-of-Control Rombeiro Christmas House

    Out-of-Control Rombeiro Christmas House

    Novato, California

    A holiday-crazed home buried in Christmas cheer and open to the public, including the rooms inside.

  • Champions For Humanity: Mount Rushmore of California

    Champions For Humanity: Mount Rushmore of California

    Oakland, California

    Giant bronze heads of 25 "champions" of peace and perseverance show sculptural solidarity in a park plaza.

  • Elmer Long's Bottle Tree Ranch

    Elmer Long's Bottle Tree Ranch

    Oro Grande, California

    Two acres of desert chock full of hundreds of cactus/folk art sculptures, made from welded pipe and bottles by the late Elmer Long, who erected his first bottle tree in 2000.

  • Military Antiques and Penry Museum

    Military Antiques and Penry Museum

    Petaluma, California

    Military antiques, a small-but packed museum focused on WW2, Vietnam Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Richard A. Penry.

  • Confusion Hill

    Confusion Hill

    Piercy, California

    Simultaneously classic and weird tourist fun -- a mini train ride and a gravity-defying mystery shack.

  • Wigwam Village Motel No. 7

    Wigwam Village Motel No. 7

    Rialto, California

    Sleep in cement teepees at one of the few remaining -- and now restored -- wigwam motels. Right on Route 66.

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March 30, 2020

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