7 Best Roadside Attractions in California

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Road tripping through California? Wanting to see more than the typical beach scenery and iconic landmarks?

You’ll want to read this list of seven of the coolest roadside attractions in California–you’ll definitely want to stop at some of these.

Get your camera ready!

7 Awesome Roadside Attractions in California

California is one of the largest and most populated states in the US, and with that comes some of the coolest roadside attractions in the country!

Whether you’re traveling along old Route 66 or taking scenic Highway 1, you’ll find cool and unusual roadside stops worth snapping a few pics!

1 Cabazon Dinosaurs in Cabazon

Location: 50770 Seminole Drive, Cabazon CA 92230

Why You’ll Love It: The Cabazon Dinosaurs are two giant steel and concrete dinosaur sculptures named Dinny the Dinosaur and Mr. Rex. 

Dinny the Dinosaur is a 150-ft-long Brontosaurus, and Mr. Rex is a 65 ft tall Tyrannosaurus Rex. Both have provided a popular stop since the 1970s, and their most notable appearance was in the film Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. 

California Road Trip Vibe Score: 8/10

2. Salvation Mountain in Slab City

Location: Beal Rd, Calipatria, CA 92233

Why You’ll Love It: Salvation Mountain is a vast art creation created by artist and Slab City resident Leonard Knight. Slab City itself is a squatter and art commune located in the southern California Desert, and Salvation Mountain is one of the main tourist draws to the area. 

Salvation Mountain is a massive formation that you can walk on and inside. It was created out of adobe bricks, discarded tires and windows, car parts, and thousands of gallons of paint. 

After a long life of creating art, the original artist passed away in 2014, but a public charity of volunteers maintains this colossal formation. 

California Road Trip Vibe Score: 10/10

Art Print of Salvation Mountain found at HWY Vintage on Etsy

3. Roys Motel and Cafe Sign in Amboy

Location: 87520 National Trails Hwy, Amboy, CA 92304

Why You’ll Love It: Roy’s Motel and Cafe is an iconic site along historic Route 66 through southern California. This sign is the tallest human-made sight for miles, and some say it’s the most photographed spot along Route 66. While there are no tours of the former hotel and cafe, you can explore the outside and snap some fantastic pics. 

As an added bonus to your stop, head to the nearby Amboy Crater. The crater is an extinct cinder cone in a lava field, which offers some pretty incredible photo opportunities!  

California Road Trip Vibe Score: 9/10

4. Galleta Meadows in Borrego Springs

Location: 1700-1844 Borrego Springs Rd, Borrego Springs, CA 92004

Why You’ll Love It: Galleta Meadows is an interesting roadside attraction in Borrego Springs, California, that’s made up of various metal sculptures.

There are over 130 substantial metal sculptures along the property based on various themes like vehicles, insects, dragons, and more!

California Road Trip Vibe Score: 10/10

5. Winchester Mystery House in San Jose

Location: 525 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128

Why You’ll Love It: The Winchester Mystery House is one of the most unique and strange houses in the entire country. It all started a century ago as the personal house of Sarah Winchester, the firearm magnate William Winchester’s widow.

Sarah Winchester directed the building of this strange house that has doorways and staircases leading to nowhere. Sarah believed that ghosts of those Winchester rifles killed haunted the place.  As a result, the house was under constant construction until Sarah Winchester died in 1922. 

Today, the Winchester house has private owners with tours available. 

California Road Trip Vibe Score: 8/10

6. Trees of Mystery in Klamath

Location: 15500 US-101, Klamath, CA 95548

Why You’ll Love It: Trees of Mystery is a roadside attraction in Klamath, California, in the redwood forest. This area has a mile of interpretive trails with sections dedicated to the legend of Paul Bunyan. 

Moreover, Trees of Mystery is more than just a quick stop–in fact, their website says to plan at least half a day exploring!

California Road Trip Vibe Score: 8/10

7. Original McDonald’s Museum in San Bernardino

Location: 1398 N E St, San Bernardino, CA 92405

Why You’ll Love It: Mcdonald’s is an American Icon, and you can stop at the original McDonald’s restaurant in San Bernardino, California. 

The original is now a museum for everything Mcdonald’s throughout the years. 

California Road Trip Vibe Score: 8/10

Must-See Roadside Stops in California

If you’re road-tripping through California, add one (or several) of these roadside attractions to your list!

To sum up, it doesn’t matter if you like nature attractions, indoor sights like the McDonald’s Museum, or unique architecture like Winchester house; these attractions are simultaneously educational and awe-inspiring and a must-add to your California travel bucket list.

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