It’s always road trip season in Southern California, and the truth is that some of our most fun and quirky attractions are located near the open road and beautiful Pacific coast. You’ll find dozens of eccentric museums, statues and points of interest near our highways, but these are seven of our favorites.
1. The Spooky Whaley House Museum, San Diego
Do you believe in ghosts? You might after visiting this place. The Whaley House is known for its paranormal activity, and some even say it’s the most haunted building in America. The property was the site of one of the town’s most famous public executions, the hanging of a thief named Yankee Jim Robinson. Thomas Whaley purchased the land in 1855 anyway and built his home on it.
Shortly after moving in, the family’s 18-month-old son died from scarlet fever. Unfortunately, that was only the beginning of the despair that the Whaley family faced throughout their lives. The Whaley House Museum is located in Old Town San Diego and is open every day but Wednesday. They offer daytime tours as well as spooky nighttime ghost tours (more info here).
2. The Korean Bell of Friendship, San Pedro, Los Angeles
Located in a stone pavilion in Angel’s Gate Park in San Pedro, the Korean Bell of Friendship is a massive bronze bell that symbolizes friendship between Korea and the United States. The bell was presented by the Republic of Korea and dedicated in 1976. This monument is a beautiful structure worth seeing.
3. Pirate House, Newport Beach
When you’re driving down Marcus Street in Newport Beach, you really can’t miss this quirky gem on the corner of 35th and Marcus. Pirates of the Caribbean figures, a giant rooster and the Statue of Liberty are just a few of the things you’ll see. This is someone’s private residence, so you can’t go inside, but the owners are well aware that the home draws a lot of spectators.
4. Old Sarge, Sea Breeze Pet Cemetery, Huntington Beach
Sarge, also known as Major Von Luckner III, was a Marine Corp Devil Dog during World War II. He was credited with saving the lives of at least nine people and served loyally in the military for five years. He even received a purple heart! These days, Sarge is honored at the Sea Breeze Pet Cemetery in Huntington Beach. If you’re an animal lover or a history buff, stop by and pay your respects.
5. Bunnyhenge, Newport Beach
Depending on your age and stance, Bunnyhenge is either cute or creepy. It’s located in the middle of an “enchanted” garden right next to the Newport Beach Civic Center, surrounded by plenty of other interesting art work. The bunnies themselves are made from solid rock, and they sit staring at each other with blank eyes. Visitors should take time to walk the trails in this lovely park located at the intersection of Avocado Ave and San Miguel Drive.
6. Red Car Museum, Seal Beach
This little train car museum sits on the corner of Main and Electric in downtown Seal Beach. Its hours are limited, but if you catch it when it’s open, it’s a great place to stop and learn about local history.
7. Crazee Burger, San Diego
After a day spent exploring offbeat roadside attractions, you’ll need an offbeat meal. At Crazee Burger, you can have exotic meats like elk, wild boar, camel, water buffalo, and even alligator. The food here is actually very tasty, and it’s served with a smile and a side of sass from the team of employees.
You may also like these unique beaches that you can drive on.