5 Unusual Things to Do in California

Like a Local Guide • 28 Sep, 2021

California has many famous tourist attractions; from Disney to the Golden Gate Bridge and Yosemite. Though all are great places to visit, experiencing the lesser-known parts of California, such as legends and a glory hole!

Marvel at the Salvation Mountain, Calipatria

marvel-at-the-salvation-mountain
Image credit: Cultural Heritage Online

A beautifully bright monument in the mountains, Salvation Mountain is a colourful combination of religion, art and love. Designed in the 1980s by local resident Leonard Knight, this man-made mountain is made from bricks, discarded tires and automobile parts contrasted against religious iconography and imagery, and even bible verses.

The Folk Art Society of America calls Salvation Mountain “a folk art site worthy of preservation and protection”, and it is widely regarded as a national treasure. Definitely, one to visit when you’re in California!

Discover the Labyrinth in the Middle of Nowhere, Apple Valley

labyrinth-in-apple-valley
Image Credit: Desert Sun

You may notice that California is an incredibly spiritual place. The west coast is known for embracing many holistic practices, both for pleasure and hobby – with over 200 rehab centres in California alone. 

If you’re looking for some spiritual guidance, or just want to take some time out from our travels to realign your mind, visit the ‘Labyrinth in the Middle of Nowhere’. This 60 foot labyrinth is in a remote section of Fairview Dry Lake in Apple Valley, around 100 miles from Palm Springs and Los Angeles

There is a lot of mystery surrounding who made the labyrinth and when, but many believe this ancient design represents a spiritual path, or the journey of life. 

Following the continuous path of the design, with only one entrance and one exit, is meant to help refocus and realign your mind. A wonderful stop off if traveling and new environments has become overwhelming.

Check out the Lake Berryessa Glory Hole, Napa

lake-berryessa
Photo: Mike Fusaro / Adobe Stock 

From spirituality to spectacle, the Lake Berryessa ‘Glory Hole’ is like a giant whirlpool. It resembles a black hole, with water being sucked through a hole in the river in a mesmerizing manner.

The higher the water is, the more terrifyingly amazing the Glory Hole looks!  It was built as a draining system so that the Berryessa Lake wouldn’t flood, but it looks like a natural phenomenon, adding to the awe.

Learn about the legend at Bigfoot Discovery Museum, Felton

bigfoot-discovery-museum
Image credit: Good Times

Believe it or not, in California ‘Bigfoot’ has a pretty big fan – (or fear) base! The Bigfoot Discovery Museum in Felton lets visitors learn more about the hairy giant, and even has maps that feature everywhere ‘Bigfoot’ has been spotted.

Offering pretty comprehensive and convincing evidence the museum is a great stop off. You never know, you may leave with a new sense of belief, or even a rare sighting of the sasquatch.

Walk with Giant Dinosaurs, Cabazon

giant-dinosaurs
Image credit: Laser Time Podcast

A huge roadside attraction, you’ve got to stop off at Cabazon Dinosaurs if you’re on a road trip in California. Take a picture with Mr. Rex the Trex and Dinny the Apatosaurus, or head into the open-air museum and take the ‘Dinosaur Walk’ viewing all 50 huge dinosaur sculptures and robotics!

Designed in the 1960s, this kitsch attraction is a really fun addition to your California itinerary.

Get Planning

When planning your trip to California, it’s easy to get swept up in the Hollywood Hills, or the stunning nature boasted on the west coast. But why not slot in some of these out-of-the-ordinary pit-stops to your itinerary?

Often just off the beaten track, these unusual and unique things to do in California might just give you a chance to learn something new, or even get a glimpse of a local legend. After all, it’s not every day you get to walk with dinosaurs!

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