California

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

New Reports

  • 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.

  • Rocky and Bullwinkle

    Rocky and Bullwinkle

    West Hollywood, California

    Full-color 1961 statue honors Rocket J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose, stars of Jay Ward Productions' most successful cartoon. Restored in 2020.

  • World's Tallest Thermometer

    World's Tallest Thermometer

    Baker, California

    Built in 1992, the World's Tallest Thermometer's 134-foot height matches the nearby world's highest recorded temperature of 134 degrees.

  • 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.

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: Giant Bunyan and Babe

    Trees of Mystery: Giant Bunyan and Babe

    Klamath, California

    Giant statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox guard the entrance to Trees of Mystery, full of corkscrew mutants and other arboreal anomalies.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Claude Bell's Dinosaurs

    Claude Bell's Dinosaurs

    Cabazon, California

    Over-photographed desert dinosaurs, immortalized in Pee Wee's Big Adventure. Built by Claude Bell, who ran the Wheel Inn on I-10.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Shrine Drive-Thru Tree

    Shrine Drive-Thru Tree

    Myers Flat, California

    One of California's original drive-thru tree attractions is along the Avenue of the Giants.

  • 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.

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September 21, 2020

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