Fancy doing something fun, strange or downright quirky in Southern California? Here are 16 unique attractions.
Source: Belmont Park
Just off Mission Beach, is San Diego’s only beachfront family amusement park. Thrill on the historic Giant Dipper Roller Coaster, The Overdrive Bumper Cars, and the Vertical Plunge. Entry and parking are both free – just pay as you ride!
Harper’s Topiary Garden
When Edna Harper and her husband returned from world travels, they recreated life-size topiary designs they’d fallen in love with – in their own San Diego front yard! A hidden delight away from the hubbub of the city!
Annie’s Canyon Trail
Trails don’t come any more unique than Annie’s Canyon in Solana Beach. A short, 2.2-mile loop featuring a remarkable narrow slot canyon, the trail is fantastic for hiking and nature trails.
A local favourite in San Diego and a must-visit for foodies, Crazee Burger combines Old American tradition with a European feel. “They serve over 30 handcrafted burgers, which – if you’re feeling adventurous – include exotic meats like ostrich, alligator, and kangaroo,” says Jerry V. Stevens, a writer at 1 Day 2 Write and Britstudent.
Prepare for some astonishing photo ops in Slot Canyon which is a 7.5-mile trail located southeast of Borrego Springs. Come late morning to early afternoon for the best hues of mesmerising siltstone.
Potato Chip Rock
At the Mt. Woodson summit, near San Diego, Potato Chip Rock is famous for… resembling a potato chip! Don’t get a chip on your shoulder but come stand on it, for a mouth-watering photo opportunity!
World’s Largest Lemon
A giant lemon next to the San Diego Orange Line Trolley tracks, in the city of Lemon Grove? Why on earth not? Weighing 3000 pounds, 10 feet long and 6 feet wide, the World’s Largest Lemon sure is a sweet spectacle!
Churros El Tigre
A family business, you’ll receive a warm, sweet welcome at the famed Churros EL Tigre, in Plaza Las Americas, San Ysidro, San Diego. A huge variety of churros and desserts for all tastes await, so bring your sweet tooth!
Source: California Through My Eyes
Not far from Salvation Mountain and Slab City – and in the middle of nowhere – is the experimental wasteland camp of East Jesus, home to a creative band of artists, writers, and musicians and a unique collection of manmade art made from recycled materials and trash.
For something truly unique and otherworldly, make your way to the boiling mud pots of the Salton Sea and witness fascinating popping sounds, cracked ground and bubbling waters.
Ruins of Bombay Beach
In the 1950s, Bombay Beach was a celebrity destination for the likes of Frank Sinatra, the Beach Boys, and Elvis Presley. “Today, the beach is a ghost town and a photographer’s dream, an eerie spectacle of abandoned homes and out-there art installations,” explains Francis D. Fuentes, a travel blogger at Australia2Write and Next Coursework.
International Banana Museum
Everyone can go bananas at The International Banana Museum! Located in Mecca, this one-room museum dedicated entirely to the banana contains more than 20,000 amazing items related to bananas. Totally a-peeling!
Center of the World
There’s no scientific evidence that the town of Felicia in California’s Sonora Desert is the actual center of the world but drive west of the border between Arizona and southern California and find not only one of the hottest and driest places in the U.S. but the intriguing Center of the World pyramid.
Goat Canyon Trestle
In San Diego County, and 182–229 m long, Goat Canyon Trestle is the world’s largest all-wood trestle. Built in 1933 as part of the San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railway – known as the ‘impossible railroad’ – it was made of wood, rather than metal, because of fluctuating temperatures in the Carrizo Gorge.
Desert View Tower
In western Imperial County stands a 3000 ft tower built in the Anza Borrego desert by local hotel owner, Bert Vaughn – in the 1920s – to commemorate pioneers and railroad builders, their traces remaining in the rock.
A unique landmark in the city of Riverside, Tio’s Tacos was founded by Martin Sanchez, who migrated from Mexico for a better future. A unique blend of authentic Mexican cuisine, Tio’s Tacos also features rare folk art.
Visit any of these quirky attractions and make your visit to Southern California truly memorable!
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