California has great national parks, world class cities and beautiful beaches. I've lived here for 25 years and seen them all. I'm ready to get weird. What are the strange hidden California gems I should discover?
Tough question especially for someone who has lived in the state for 25 years and likes to explore (making what is hopefully a correct assumption on that one) - have to really think about this! Here are a few weird places to visit in California that I've had the opportunity to visit and can vouch for their weirdness!
Bubblegum Alley in San Luis Obispo - went to school up there and watched this wall get weirder over time
The Esotouric Bus, South Figueroa (tour company in Los Angeles) offers some very weird tours of the area
Skeletons in the Closet: The LA Coroner Gift Shop
Museum of Death, Hollywood
Museum of Jurassic Technology, Culver City (doesn't get any weirder than this museum!)
Quixote Winery in Stag's Leap sub appellation in the Napa Valley
Winchester Mystery House in San Jose
Not sure if natural attractions qualify - but perhaps these:
Alabama Hills near Lone Pine
Bumpass Hell in Lassen National Park
Racetrack Playa, Death Valley
Hope there are a few here you haven't yet seen.
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Definitely head towards the Salton Sea. It is a shallow, saline, endorheic rift lake located directly on the San Andreas Fault. Its located in California's Coachella Valley. I went there last year and I seriously felt like I was on Mars. It is a VERY desolate area.
If you decide to head in that direction, check out Salvation Mountain. Salvation Mountain is a large, vibrant art installation covering a hill. The hill is made from adobe, straw, and thousands of gallons of paint. The mountain is covered with biblical verses and the message that "God is love". Again, I went there last year and it is definitely an interesting place to visit if you're looking for something outside of the box.
Hope that helps, good luck!
I did a fun overnight trip to Moss Landing in the Monterey area and it is really a bizarre and quirky place to visit. I detailed some of the cool things to explore in this blog post http://travelphotodiscovery.com/exploring-moss-landing-in-monterey-county/
Without doubt, Hearst Castle. Nobody expects there to be a castle in California.