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Quirky California Destinations for Your Next Road Trip

Quirky California Destinations for Your Next Road Trip

California is a truly amazing place. The weather, the food and the people all make this one of the most dynamic and inviting places on the planet. What really sets the Golden State apart, however, are the odd and unique attractions which the dot the roadsides. If you are thinking about exploring all that the state has to offer, here’s our quick introduction into some quirky California destinations for your next road trip!

Northern California

Museum of Pez

Located south of San Francisco, in Burlingame, The Museum of Pez Memorabilia is a unique look into the world of all-things Pez. A small museum – composing just two rooms open to the public – the museum boasts an impressive collection of rare and bootleg dispensers – and even features a 7-foot-10-inch one, which is the largest in the world!

Pier 39 Piano Staircase – San Francisco

San Francisco’s Pier 39 is a landmark in its own right. If you’re planning a California road trip make sure not to miss it. But, while exploring the famous pier, don’t forget to look out for the magical, musical stairs! Created by Remo Soraceni, creator of the floor piano in the Tom Hanks film “Big,” this unique staircase allows visitors to create music with their feet.

Garlic World – Gilroy

Do you like garlic? Like, really like garlic? Well, Gilroy’s Garlic World is for you! Just off Highway 101, Garlic World – featuring the world’s longest garlic braid – has everything a garlic lover can dream of, including garlic ice cream and chocolate chip cookies. Gilroy is the world’s garlic capital, so if you are passing through be sure to pay homage to a great foodstuff – and a vampire’s worst enemy!

World’s Largest Monopoly Board – San Jose

If you are looking for a unique way to get out of the car and have some fun, San Jose’s giant Monopoly board is for you! The world’s largest Monopoly board, visitors who sign up to play get to roll with extra large dice, wear large token-shaped hats and even don prison garb when sent to jail!

Southern California

Salvation Mountain – Salton Sea

Located about two hours from Los Angeles, and east of San Diego, in the heart of Salton Sea, California, Salvation Mountain is a quirky monument to one man’s love of God. Standing over three stories tall, this amazingly painted rock is equal parts odd, colorful and inspiring. Visitors are allowed to climb the “mountain” – complete with references to biblical scriptures – provided they stay on the yellow brick road which leads to the summit.

The World’s Largest Lemon – Lemon Grove

Originally built as a parade float way back in 1928, today a massive lemon statue rests in the heart of Lemon Grove, a suburb of San Diego. This 3,000-pound lemon rests atop a concrete plinth, which notes the city’s slogan: “the best climate on Earth.” Paying homage to the city’s history (it was originally – you guessed it – a lemon grove), this unique attraction has been putting a smile on visitors faces for nearly 90 years.

Shopping Cart Christmas Tree – Santa Monica

A seasonal entry onto the quirky California destinations list, every Christmas season a 30-foot tree, constructed entirely of upturned shopping carts is displayed in Santa Monica’s Edgemar Building. A local favorite for the past 23 years, the tree is a tongue-in-cheek nod to the “true” meaning of Christmas – spending money on presents.  

Fork in the Road – Pasadena

Originally placed illegally at the intersection of Pasadena and St. John Avenues in Pasadena, the city’s beloved “fork in the road” is not only a clever pun – it’s also a popular spot for philanthropic events such as food drives. Standing 18-feet high, it may not be the most impressive monument, but its quirky factor is unquestionable.

Road tripping across California is an unforgettable experience, full of strange sights and fascinating people. If you are planning to make the trek, it’s important to be fully insured, just in case something happens. At Insurance Online, customers can compare
hundreds of quotes – and not just from the big providers – at any time 24/7. We’re more than just an insurance company. Our agents live and work in the same communities as you so you can be assured you’ll get the right policy from an agent that understands your needs. So, when life happens, Insurance Online is just a click away. Call us today at 1 (800) 956-9611 to speak to an agent about auto insurance, so you won’t have to worry about anything but enjoying your road trip!

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Sandra Cruz | Linkedin

Based in Newport Beach, CA, Sandra has been a licensed insurance agent in California and Texas for 5 years and is an editor and writer specializing in all types of insurance matters. Sandra is Insurance Online's authority on auto, home, and business insurance and has been featured in publications such as Forbes, Yahoo! Finance, and US World News Report.

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