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3 Weird Roadside Attractions in Southern California

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california welcome sign

Photo: Famartin

Hollywood, Disneyland, and beautiful beaches. Those are the main images that come to most people’s minds when southern California is mentioned. But what many don’t know is that there are quite a few oddities along the lower half of the Golden State. Here are three incredibly unique roadside attractions worth visiting in the southern part of California.

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The hand of Jerry Garcia

No, this is not as morbid as you might think. While the actual hand of the famous Grateful Dead guitarist is not on display in Santa Barbara, you can still view an 18-inch replica at the Santa Barbara Bowl. Deadheads can marvel at Garcia’s shortened middle finger, cast in bronze, atop a boulder with a plaque on it. The statue was created by artist Scott Brittingham, who gave it to the Santa Barbara Bowl as a donation, along with a million dollars (no big deal).


international banana museum california

Photo: sporst

International Banana Museum

What better way to praise a potassium-filled fruit than to immortalize it in a museum in Riverside County? The International Banana Museum is home to more than 20,000 banana-related items, such as jewelry, cookie jars, soap, games, and much more. While you’re visiting, be sure to partake in some of the delicious offerings like a banana-flavored milkshake or soda ice cream float. The museum, which claims to be “the world’s largest collection devoted to any one fruit,” also posts funny banana-themed photos on its social media pages, starring its ambassador Platty, a banana with googly eyes.


Bubblegum Alley

It’s likely that you’ve seen Bubblegum Alley on MTV, The Tonight Show, or PBS. The popular area in San Luis Obispo is well-known because it is a 65-foot-long, 15-foot-high alley boasting a gigantic accumulation of chewed gum. While the exact history of the alley is unknown, there are suggestions that it started with a rivalry between students at San Luis Obispo High School and college students at Cal Poly. Even after two full cleanings in the 1970s, following a complaint from local business owners, the gum survived its placement on the walls.


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