Whether you live in Southern California or you are just visiting, you’ll soon discover that SoCal has a weird and wacky side that must be experienced to fully appreciate. You’ll find 10 of those places featured here that all capture SoCal’s truly odd nature that you must see to believe.
Please note, the Museum of Death, Hollywood Forever Cemetery/Cinespia, and International Banana Museum are all temporarily closed.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Museum of Death
With a name like Museum of Death, it's easy to see why this destination ended up on this list. Make a visit to the Museum of Death and you'll find a variety of death-related items that will give you the creeps. From body bags to coffins and even a collection of authentic crime scene photos, you'll walk away from this place feeling glad to be alive. You can find the Museum of Death at 6031 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028.
2. Elmer's Bottle Tree Ranch
Take a leisurely drive along Historic Route 66 and you'll encounter one of SoCal's hidden gems. Elmer's Bottle Tree Ranch, located at 24266 National Trails Highway, Oro Grande, California 92368, is an unusually beautiful ranch filled with all sorts of glass art created from used bottles. Perfect for a memorable day trip, this is one unexpected gem that is worth experiencing in person.
3. Teakettle Junction
Located in Inyo County along an unimproved road on the way to Hunter Mountain, you'll find an odd roadside sign welcoming you to the tiny town of Teakettle Junction. Although you could easily miss this destination out in the middle of nowhere, you'll find yourself looking twice as you pass the sign with a variety of tea kettles hanging from it. Now that's just odd, isn't it?
4. Time Travel Mart
Located at 1714 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026, the Time Travel Mart is a quirky shop that features a variety of goods that any time traveler would appreciate. With an array of items including mammoth chunks, robot milk, and barbarian repellent, this store is quite unlike anything you've ever seen. Whether you're here to buy a unique and memorable gift or you're just in the market to buy a memorable treasure that can't be found anywhere else in SoCal, this is a great place to be.
5. The Mushroom House
If you're a local to Southern California, it's quite possible you've spotted this unique house along Black's Beach in La Jolla. Fondly referred to as The Mushroom House, this unique building is attached to a private residence on the street above and connected by a 300-foot tram. Although this destination can't be toured, it's still quite an odd sight to see while strolling along the beach.
6. Cabazon Dinosaurs
Take a drive down Hwy 10 and you'll be treated to a towering display of dinosaurs that is impossible to miss. Located at 50770 Seminole Drive, Cabazon, CA 92230, the Cabazon dinosaurs are one of those things that everyone in SoCal should experience at least once. Although you may have spotted these dinosaurs in TV and movies before, there's nothing quite like experiencing them in person.
7. Hollywood Forever Cemetery/Cinespia
For a really odd night in SoCal, you'll want to head to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Not only does this historic cemetery hold the remains of some of the most famous celebrities in the world, but it also turns into an outdoor movie theatre after dark that is hosted by Cinespia. You can find Hollywood Forever Cemetery at 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90038.
8. International Banana Museum
Who knew SoCal was home to an International Banana Museum?! Located at 98775 CA-111, Mecca, CA 92254, this quirky museum in Riverside County definitely belongs on the odd list. With over 20,000 banana-related items on display, you'll have tons of fun taking a look around.
9. Alien Fresh Jerky
Located in the town of Baker, Alien Fresh Jerky is a fun place to stop after a long road trip. When you first arrive you may think this is your standard convenience store, but take a closer look and you'll see this little shop specializes in all sorts of jerky, and is tricked out in a bizarre-o alien theme. Hence the name Alien Fresh Jerky. You can find this store at 72242 Baker Blvd, Baker, CA 92309.
10. The Chemosphere House
Last but not least, a look at this unique architecture in Southern California will make your visit to SoCal's oddest places complete. Located at 7776 Torreyson Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90046, this ultra-modern home in the Hollywood Hills, designed by John Lautner in 1960, may look familiar as this home has been in tons of movies including Charlie's Angels and Tomorrowland. Although you can't tour this space-age house, you can get a glimpse of it from the road. And believe us, it's quite the sight to see.
What do you think of these places in Southern California? Would you add anything else to this list of odd places in SoCal?
Looking for more bizarre destinations to check out in Southern California? Then make sure to check out these
eight towns in Southern California that have the most unique names ever.