20 Should-See California Roadside Sights!

California is dwelling to many iconic landmarks and sights, from the Golden Gate Bridge to Disneyland. Nonetheless, there are additionally many distinctive and quirky California roadside sights that may be discovered all through the state. These sights typically seize the creativeness of vacationers and supply a enjoyable and memorable expertise. Whether or not it’s a large dinosaur, a towering thermometer, or a museum devoted to crocheting, these California roadside sights provide a glimpse into the varied and eclectic tradition of the state.

California Roadside Attractions graphic for Mike's Road Trip

On this checklist, we’ll discover 20 of essentially the most fascinating and entertaining roadside sights within the Golden State.

Cabazon Dinosaurs – Cabazon, California

Cabazon Dinosaurs is one of the top california roadside attractions in the state.

Cabazon Dinosaurs is a beloved roadside attraction situated in Cabazon, California, a small desert metropolis situated in Riverside County, about 20 miles west of Palm Springs and 90 miles east of L.A. This California roadside attraction options two towering dinosaur sculptures, that are each distinctive and quirky, in addition to its historic significance in popular culture.

The Madonna Inn – San Luis Obispo

The Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo is a unusual and colourful roadside attraction that has been fascinating guests since 1958. From its distinctive structure to its vibrant and eclectic decor, the inn is a testomony to the creativity and imaginative and prescient of its founder, Alex Madonna. The inn’s 110 rooms are every uniquely embellished, that includes the whole lot from rock partitions and velvet upholstery to themed suites just like the Caveman Room and the Previous Mexico Room. With its charming ambiance, enjoyable facilities, and gorgeous environment, The Madonna Inn is a must-see vacation spot for anybody touring by means of central California.

The Big Artichoke – Castroville, California

If you're looking for quirky California roadside attractions, check out the The Giant Artichoke.

The Big Artichoke in Castroville is a well-liked California roadside attraction situated within the coronary heart of the “Artichoke Capital of the World.” Castroville is a small city situated in Monterey County, simply off of Freeway 1. The Big Artichoke is a 20-foot-tall artichoke statue that has turn out to be an emblem of the city’s agricultural heritage and its standing as a serious producer of artichokes. Guests can discover the adjoining present store and restaurant, which provide a wide range of artichoke-themed souvenirs and scrumptious dishes made with recent, regionally grown artichokes. With its distinctive and quirky attraction, The Big Artichoke is a must-see attraction for anybody touring alongside the scenic California shoreline.

World’s Largest Thermometer – Baker, California

World's Largest Thermometer is a BIG California roadside attraction

The World’s Largest Thermometer is an iconic roadside attraction situated alongside the historic Route 66. Standing at a towering peak of 134 toes, the thermometer serves as a tribute to the acute temperatures that may be discovered within the Mojave Desert. The thermometer was first inbuilt 1991 by Willis Herron as a solution to promote his journey heart, and it has since turn out to be a beloved landmark for vacationers passing by means of the realm. The thermometer is absolutely useful and may show temperatures as much as 134 levels Fahrenheit, which is the very best temperature ever recorded in the US. The World’s Largest Thermometer is a worthy California roadside attraction attributable to its distinctive and quirky design, in addition to its historic significance as a tribute to Route 66 and the American West.

The Massive Donut Drive-In – Inglewood, California

The Massive Donut Drive-In is a fascinating roadside attraction that has been serving up scrumptious donuts and low since 1950. Positioned simply off of the historic Route 66, the drive-in is unimaginable to overlook due to its iconic big donut signal, which stands at 32 toes tall and 10 toes large. The donut store has been featured in quite a few films and TV exhibits, together with “Iron Man 2” and “Mad Males,” and it has turn out to be a beloved native landmark for residents and guests alike. The Massive Donut Drive-In’s basic American diner vibe and scrumptious, freshly baked donuts make it a must-visit vacation spot for anybody touring by means of Southern California.

Bubblegum Alley, San Luis Obispo

Bubblegum Alley in San Luis Obispo, California

Bubblegum Alley is a singular and quirky roadside attraction that has been drawing guests because the Fifties. The alley is strictly what it feels like: a slender pedestrian alleyway that’s utterly lined in used chewing gum. Guests are inspired so as to add their very own piece of gum to the wall, making a continuously evolving murals. Whereas the origins of Bubblegum Alley are unclear, it has turn out to be a well-liked vacation spot for vacationers and locals alike, with some estimates placing the variety of items of gum on the partitions at over a million. Regardless of its unconventional nature, Bubblegum Alley is a beloved a part of San Luis Obispo’s historical past and tradition, and it’s nicely value a go to for anybody passing by means of the realm.

The World Well-known Crochet Museum – Joshua Tree, California

The World Well-known Crochet Museum is a one-of-a-kind California roadside attraction that celebrates the artwork of crochet. The museum is housed inside a tiny, 7-foot-by-7-foot roadside stand, and it’s dwelling to an enormous assortment of crochet items, together with the whole lot from hats and scarves to animals and home goods. The museum was based in 2006 by artist Shari Elf, who started filling the tiny area along with her personal crochet creations earlier than opening it as much as contributions from different artists and fans all over the world. Whereas the museum could also be small, its dedication to celebrating the creativity and artistry of crochet has made it a beloved vacation spot for guests to Joshua Tree and past.

The Salton Sea – Imperial and Riverside Counties

GMC Terrain at Salton Sea

The Salton Sea is an attention-grabbing roadside attraction in California attributable to its distinctive and sophisticated historical past and pure options. Positioned within the southeastern a part of the state, the Salton Sea is an enormous and shallow saltwater lake that was created accidentally in 1905 when the Colorado River breached an irrigation canal. Through the years, the Salton Sea has gone by means of intervals of increase and bust, with the encompassing space as soon as being a well-liked resort vacation spot within the Fifties and 60s. At this time, the Salton Sea is an interesting ecological and environmental web site, with its excessive salt content material and rising air pollution ranges making it a difficult atmosphere for wildlife to thrive in. Regardless of its challenges, the Salton Sea stays a well-liked vacation spot for photographers, birdwatchers, and nature fans, and its stark and otherworldly magnificence continues to captivate guests from all over the world.

Eclectic California Roadside Sights in Slab Metropolis and Salvation Mountain

Slab City and Salvation Mountain one of the most eclectic California roadside attractions in the state

Slab Metropolis/Salvation Mountain is among the most attention-grabbing and eclectic California roadside sights within the state. Positioned only a quick distance from the Salton Sea, Slab Metropolis is a singular and offbeat neighborhood of artists, musicians, and free spirits who’ve made their dwelling in a former navy base. On the coronary heart of Slab Metropolis is Salvation Mountain, a vibrant and colourful artwork set up that’s devoted to spreading love and the message of Christianity. Created by artist Leonard Knight over a interval of a number of a long time, the mountain is made fully out of adobe, straw, and 1000’s of gallons of brightly coloured paint. Collectively, Slab Metropolis and Salvation Mountain provide a glimpse into a very various lifestyle, and their unconventional magnificence and spirit of freedom and creativity have made them a beloved vacation spot for vacationers from all over the world.

The Integratron, Landers

The Integratron - Landers California

The Integratron is a exceptional roadside attraction situated in Landers, California, only a few miles north of Joshua Tree Nationwide Park. It’s a white dome-shaped construction made fully of wooden and designed to reinforce human potential by means of sound, meditation, and different types of various therapeutic. The Integratron was constructed within the Fifties by George Van Tassel, who claimed to have obtained the design for the construction from aliens. The distinctive structure and its historical past, coupled with the promise of an otherworldly expertise, make the Integratron an intriguing and in style vacation spot for vacationers and religious seekers alike. Guests can take part in sound baths, meditation periods, and benefit from the surrounding desert panorama, making the Integratron an unforgettable roadside attraction.

The Thriller Spot, Santa Cruz

The Mystery Spot is among the finest California roadside sights as a result of it provides a singular and mind-bending expertise that guests can’t discover anyplace else. Positioned in the midst of a dense forest, the Thriller Spot is an space of land the place the legal guidelines of physics appear to be distorted. Guests can witness unusual optical illusions, corresponding to objects showing to roll uphill, individuals showing to vary heights, and water flowing uphill. The location’s historical past is shrouded in thriller, including to the attract of the attraction. It’s a well-liked vacation spot for these searching for a bit of pleasure and marvel, and the workers gives an entertaining and informative tour of the realm. The Thriller Spot can also be conveniently situated close to different in style sights, together with the Santa Cruz Seaside Boardwalk and scenic coastal drives, making it an excellent addition to any California highway journey itinerary.

California Roadside Sights to The Tree Circus – Gilroy, California

The Tree Circus is among the most uncommon California roadside sights within the state. This whimsical arboretum encompasses a assortment of bushes which have been fastidiously pruned and formed into fanciful shapes, together with hearts, chairs, and even a large phone. The Tree Circus was created within the early 1900s by horticulturist Axel Erlandson, who spent a long time experimenting with tree shaping methods to create these unimaginable works of residing artwork. At this time, the Tree Circus stays a beloved and offbeat vacation spot for vacationers passing by means of the realm, situated roughly 33 miles from San Jose.

Winchester Thriller Home – San Jose, California

The Winchester Mystery House is one of the most fascinating California roadside attractions.

The Winchester Thriller Home is among the finest and most original California roadside sights within the state. This sprawling mansion was constructed within the late 1800s by Sarah Winchester, the widow of gun magnate William Winchester. Legend has it that Sarah was haunted by the spirits of these killed by Winchester rifles, and she or he believed that the one solution to preserve the spirits at bay was to constantly construct and broaden her dwelling. The result’s a maze-like mansion with over 160 rooms, secret passageways, and staircases that result in nowhere. The Winchester Thriller Home is an interesting instance of Victorian structure, in addition to a testomony to 1 lady’s singular imaginative and prescient and obsession. At this time, the home is open for public excursions, and it stays a well-liked vacation spot for these in search of a spooky and intriguing roadside attraction.

Watts Towers, Los Angeles

Watts Tower

The Watts Towers in Los Angeles is taken into account one of many prime California roadside sights attributable to its spectacular and distinctive artistry. The towers had been constructed over a interval of 34 years by Italian immigrant Simon Rodia utilizing discovered supplies corresponding to damaged glass, sea shells, and ceramic tiles. The towers stand at a peak of as much as 99 toes and are adorned with intricate mosaics and sculptures, making them a real masterpiece of outsider artwork. The Watts Towers additionally maintain historic significance, as they had been constructed within the Twenties and 30s throughout a time of racial pressure and social unrest. The towers have since turn out to be an emblem of neighborhood resilience and cultural delight. Guests can tour the location and study in regards to the historical past and development of the towers, making it a must-visit vacation spot for artwork and historical past fans alike.

The Nut Tree – Vacaville, California

The Nut Tree is a beloved and historic roadside attraction that has been entertaining vacationers for many years. Initially a small fruit stand, the Nut Tree developed right into a sprawling advanced that included eating places, outlets, and even a small amusement park. At this time, the Nut Tree continues to attract guests with its nostalgic attraction and family-friendly environment. It options an eclectic mixture of sights, together with a toy retailer, a prepare trip, and a life-size mannequin of a T-Rex dinosaur. The Nut Tree is situated simply off the I-80 freeway between San Francisco and Sacramento, and is roughly 20 miles from the closest giant metropolis of Fairfield.

Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox – Klamath, California

One of the most iconic California roadside attractions is the Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox statue

The Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox statue is among the most iconic and recognizable California roadside sights within the state. The large statue of the legendary lumberjack stands at a towering 49 toes tall, whereas his companion, Babe the Blue Ox, measures in at a formidable 35 toes lengthy. The statue was inbuilt 1949 as a tribute to the timber business that after dominated the area, and it shortly grew to become a beloved and enduring image of the realm’s wealthy historical past and tradition. At this time, the statue stays a well-liked vacation spot for vacationers and locals alike.

The Monarch Butterfly Grove, Pismo Seaside

The Monarch Butterfly Grove is a pure marvel and a prime California roadside attraction. This grove is dwelling to 1000’s of monarch butterflies, who flock to the realm every year to flee the colder temperatures within the north. Guests to the grove can witness the unimaginable sight of the butterflies as they cluster collectively in huge teams, overlaying the bushes and creating a very breathtaking spectacle. The Monarch Butterfly Grove is a singular and enchanting vacation spot that provides a uncommon alternative to witness the majesty of nature up shut. It’s situated simply off the scenic Pacific Coast Freeway, making it a handy cease for vacationers exploring the Central Coast area of the state.

The Caboose Motel – Dunsmuir, California

One of the coolest California roadside attractions is staying at the Caboose Motel.

The Caboose Motel is a memorable roadside attraction that provides vacationers a very one-of-a-kind lodging expertise. Because the title suggests, the motel consists of a set of renovated prepare cabooses, every transformed into a comfortable and comfy visitor room. Guests to the Caboose Motel can benefit from the thrill of sleeping in an actual prepare automobile whereas additionally taking within the gorgeous pure great thing about the encompassing space. The motel is situated within the small city of Dunsmuir, which is roughly 60 miles north of Redding, the biggest metropolis within the space. The Caboose Motel is a must-visit vacation spot for anybody searching for a unusual and unforgettable in a single day keep on their California highway journey.

The Painted Cave, Santa Barbara

The Painted Collapse Santa Barbara is a putting and historical cave portray web site that dates again over a thousand years. Positioned within the Santa Ynez Mountains, the cave is adorned with intricate and vibrant depictions of animals, symbols, and different photographs, and it provides an interesting glimpse into the artwork and tradition of the Chumash individuals who as soon as inhabited the realm. The Painted Cave is among the largest and most well-preserved cave portray websites in California, and it’s a testomony to the wealthy and sophisticated historical past of the area. At this time, the cave is protected by the Nationwide Park Service, and guests can take guided excursions to study extra in regards to the artwork and historical past of this distinctive and fascinating web site.

California Roadside Sights to The Desert View Tower – Jacumba, California

California Roadside Attractions to The Desert View Tower

The Desert View Tower is a singular and historic roadside attraction that has been drawing guests because it was constructed within the Twenties. The tower stands at over 70 toes tall and provides panoramic views of the encompassing desert panorama, in addition to an interesting assortment of artifacts and curiosities, together with a preserved specimen of a prehistoric camel. The tower was constructed by an area entrepreneur, Bert Vaughn, who wished to create a singular attraction for vacationers passing by means of the realm. At this time, the Desert View Tower stays a beloved vacation spot for highway trippers and historical past buffs, providing a glimpse into the wild and untamed spirit of the American West.

When you have any options for extra California roadside sights to be included, please depart a remark under. So, till subsequent time, we’ll see ya on the highway…

The publish 20 Should-See California Roadside Sights! first appeared on Mike’s Street Journey.

The publish 20 Should-See California Roadside Sights! appeared first on Mike's Street Journey.