A Quirky California Road TripCalifornia, Road Trips — By Alex B on September 23, 2011 at 11:59 am
Is there a better state for a road-trip than California? The 3,427 miles of shoreline provide a scenic route and tourist attractions spread throughout the state make for the perfect recipe. Here are nine things you should not miss if you’re road tripping through California. Be warned: This isn’t going to include your run of the mill hot spots like the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hollywood sign–it’s going to be a list of quirky things you just can’t miss! This road trip starts in Los Angeles and takes you down the coast to San Francisco.
1. Wild Wild West Set
If you’ve ever wanted to get a feel for what the Wild Wild West is like, then head over to Pioneertown where there is a fake Wild Wild West set preserved since 1946. The set was for a 1946 movie starring Gene Autry, the Cisco Kid, and Annie Oakley. Make sure to pack a cowboy hat for some photo-ops!
2. World’s Largest Yo-Yo & Yo-Yo Museum
Chico, CA is the home to the world’s largest Yo-Yo (256 pounds!) and a Yo-Yo museum. Admission is free and if you time your visit correctly, you can get free yo-yo lessons; call ahead to ask for times.
3. Oldest Running McDonald’s
This McDonald franchise was the third set of golden arches ever built, but the oldest McDonald’s still functioning today. Situated at 10207 Lakewood Blvd., Downey, CA, this circa-1953 McDonald’s still has the original design including a Speedee the Chef neon sign! A perfect stopover for an homage to the classic road trip meal.
4. Randy’s Doughnuts
If you need something sweet after lunch at Micky D’s, Randy’s Doughnuts is just a few miles from the LAX Airport off the 405. This drive-in chain in Inglewood opened up in 1953 and has a 22-foot doughnut on the top of the franchise. And while you’re there ogling the giant doughnut in the sky, taste some of their famous freshly baked doughnuts on flat land. The drive-in chain has served as a backdrop to many films through the years.
5. World’s Largest Thermometer
Baker, California harbors the world’s largest thermometer which stands 134 feet tall. The 76,812 pound landmark was built in 1991 by a resident named Will Herron. Why 134 feet? Because the highest recorded temperature in the United States was 134 degrees Farenheit in Death Valley, California.
6. Solvang, CA
Can’t go to Denmark any time soon? No worries! A quick stop to Solvang, otherwise known as the “Danish Capital of America,” will give you a preview of what you’re missing out on. Simply driving through the town will showcase the unique Danish architecture and if you have time to kill then renting a four wheeled surrey is a delightful way to peddle your way through the town.
7. Bubblegum Alley
Bubblegum Alley in downtown San Luis Obispo, California is a 70-foot wall with chewed up gum left by tourists passing by. Fraternity and sorority members, artists and visiting tourists all leave their mark in this ever-changing landmark. Legend has it the wall began in a rivalry between local San Luis Obispo high school students and Cal Poly students. Make sure to pick up some Double Bubble en route and add your own contribution!
8. Pez Museum
Pez lovers rejoice! Burlingame, CA has a collection of the cult-favorite candy dispensers including rare Pez dispensers such as the largest Pez dispenser ever made and even a Hitler Pez. The museum has a small entrance fee and has vintage Pez dispensers on sale. A must-see for any Pez lovers.
9. World’s Crookedest Street
Lombard Street in San Francisco, CA has eight consecutive 90 degree turns on one very steep block of street. Take a drive down the street, if you dare.
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