There are some pretty quirky places here in Northern California, and the ones on this list are the cream of the crop. Those of us who know and love this place are pretty used to its stranger charms, but when you stop and really think about these things, it’s pretty clear how odd they really are.
1. Bigfoot Museum, Willow Creek
If you aren't a believer, you will be after visiting the largest Bigfoot museum around. It's chalk full of Bigfoot foot print casts, Bigfoot pictures, maps, and other evidence that he walks among us.
The town is obsessed with Bigfoot and claims that the first sighting happened right here. They even hold an annual celebration for the creature every labor day weekend.
2. Grover Hotsprings, Markleeville
If you have ever taken a dip in a hot spring, you know how weird they are. It's definitely not like sitting in a Jacuzzi and it's something everyone should experience at least once.
3. The Sutter Buttes
They sure are beautiful to look at, but do you know how they were formed? They are actually a small circular complex of eroded volcanic lava domes that are all that's left of a volcano that has been dormant for over a million years.
4. Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, Westwood
This isn't the only sculpture of Paul Bunyan and Babe here in Northern California, but it's located way up north near Lassen and is pretty amusing when you stumble on it!
5. Hangman's Tree Historic Spot, Placerville
The dummy that hangs from a noose marking the historic spot of the hangman's tree may seem like a macabre and uncouth fixture, but the fact of the matter is locals love him and the history he represents. When the town took the dummy down a few years ago, locals were in an uproar. He's since been replaced.
6. The Trees of Mystery, Redwood State and National Parks
This roadside stop features a trail, museum, gift shop, restaurant, and motel. The highlight is definitely the interpretive trail, which is just under a mile long.
It points out interesting and unique redwoods and forest facts. You'll be amazed by some of the quirky things you learn about trees. (There's a Paul Bunyan Statue here as well!)
There are some perfectly normal, upstanding residents of the town of Weed, but the side of it you see as a tourist is definitely quirky.
It's a popular stop for tongue in cheek souvenirs like this one!
8. Nevada City
This small and odd little gold country town is supremely likable. It's got a lot of small town charm as well as a lot of influence from the city. It's an odd combo, but somehow it works.
9. Subway Cave, Lassen Volcanic National Park
How would you feel about descending into a mile long lava tube and stumbling around in the dark? Surprisingly, a lot of people love this short underground hike and it's one of the park's most popular features.
You really can't get lost because there aren't any antechambers or side tunnels to get lost in; they all lead back to the main route. It's really safe, but it still seems pretty frightening to those us who are a little claustrophobic.
10. The Redwoods State and National Parks
We’ve all experienced that crazy feeling when you walk around in a city and are dwarfed by skyscrapers, but what about trees? Looking up at these giants can be dizzying, especially for the first time.
Wow…Northern California’s “weird” places are some of the best places in the state! What are your favorite unusual or off the wall destinations in NorCal?