California Attractions

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Crazy, Curious California Attractions

Are you more interested in the odd side of life-- or at least you need something to laugh about so you can lighten up?  Pictured is the one-of-a-kind Swinging Bridge in Arroyo Grande.

There's plenty of humor and craziness going around so you'll not be lacking for things to smile about. We've uncovered a few that are worth thinking about or maybe visiting and checking out if possible. Let's get started:

Unique and Crazy California Attractions Photos and Information

Laguna Beach Greeter - This tall thin man who used to meet and greet everyone passing by busy Coast Highway in Laguna Beach did eventually die, but is commemorated in two statues along the highway. He was considered the ambassador of smiles & goodwill in city that some associate with stuck-uppity.

Encinitas Dual Boat Houses - You're not the only one that appreciates this unique side-by-side attraction in San Diego County. Local residents have commissioned schematics so that they could submit the houses that look like boats to Historic Landmark boards and get them approved (which they succeeded in doing.) The houses have never been boats, and have never been seaworthy, though they sit on a hill just a few blocks from the beach.

San Jose  Giant Monopoly is something you have to see to believe. The giant game board in the park puts life-size people like you and me into the game with costumes and hats representing Monopoly game pieces. The giant dice made of inflatable material are so huge, people look like pint-size miniatures of actual humans when the throw and roll to move forward on the board. If you go straight to jail, you put on the black & white striped uniform till you get released.

Castroville Giant Artichoke sits at the entrance to an artichoke cafe, just beyond the fields where the artichokes grow abundantly in the Central Coast city. Marilyn Monroe became the first Artichoke Queen, way long ago.

Chico World's largest Yo-yo is located at the Yo-yo Museum where each year there's a contest to see who wins title as best spinner, trickster, and overall great yo-yo artist. Visit the museum to see the amazingly big yo-yo made of wood.   

Tallest Thermometer in Baker is one of our favorite oddities. Located in the desert where the temperature during the summer routinely is above 110 degrees, the thermometer can be seen as you whiz by in your air-conditioned car (I once passed through that desert without air conditioning and boy, it was hot!)  So when people think you're telling a tall tale, snap a photo and email or post it to your Facebook page to prove that it's nearly hot as death in the California desert. 

Oxnard Santa Claus Statue that left Santa Claus Lane in Carpinteria, and now resides in a neighborhood visible from the I-101  in Oxnard. We used to go to Santa Claus Village, which served jolly good food and fun throughout the year. You knew it by the Santa Claus rooftop statue. People got really upset when the owners sought to remove the old guy who rules Christmas. But neighbors in Oxnard took it and have painted and cared for it. It is the pride of the region and each day people smile and think about giving to others because of Santa being there, representing Christmas spirit and goodwill.

San Luis Obispo 1st Motel in the World  on the outskirts of the city along hotel row was built after the advent of the automobile. The mo-tel concept allowed from drives with these new-fangled cars to park their mighty road machines virtuallyl outside the door of the rooms where they slept.

McKinleyville Largest Totem Pole in the World is just a 10 minute drive from the airport you'll fly into when visiting. The totem pole sits next to a strip mall with a community park, grocery store and convenience stores. The totem pole is made from a single tree base. It is so tall, you can barely photograph it unless you stand way back.

Samoa Cookhouse serves lumberjack size meals meant to be shared at shared tables where the lumberjacks used to eat their hearty fare in the company town, Samoa. The building is over 100 years old, and the kitchen there has served mega-meals to the public ever since the logging industry shut down in the area. There's a logging museum located in a room off the dining hall.

Sacramento's Winko the One Man Band is located in a beat up van where the owner has the mini-piano bar set up for customers to step in, listen to the music and make requests. Winko performs on a variety of instruments and often sings his own  songs he's written. He may put on a wig, or some costume. He plays for tips.

San Luis Obispo Bubble Gum Alley is gross--but fun--and it has been around for more than 30 years. It's where you stick your chewed up stick of gum. A sign posted tells you where you must stop plastering gum on the brick building wall, so the owner of the neighboring business can showcase his merchandise and try to make a living.    You can go stick your gum there.

San Jose Winchester Mystery House is one of the oddest places you =will ever visit and tour. Stairs dead-end at the top with nothing to walk into but a wall.

Are you looking for crazy hotels?

Upon entering your room at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego, your favorite musical themes play for you as you open the door. At the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, each room offers a special color and theme--the exterior treatments and signage is painted hot pink. And San Luis Obispo is home to the First Motel.


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