5 Best Hidden Places in California

Planning a California road trip that will be worth the journey

So you’re planning on taking a road trip. You’ve already created an epic playlist for the road and you’ve outfitted your car with Bluetooth via your GOgroove FlexSMART FM transmitter. You’re ready to go on a car trek all the way through California… There’s just one problem: you have no idea where you’re going. Sure, you could take a trip to Disneyland (for the fifth time this year) but you’re looking for something new.

If that set of extremely specific circumstances is true for you, then it’s a darn good thing we wrote this article. Here are the top 10 road trip destinations in California that you might not have heard of.

5. The Winchester Mystery House (San Jose, CA)
Winchester Mystery House

Let’s get this first entry out of the way because there’s a good chance you’ve heard of this one. The Winchester House is one of the most famous Haunted Houses on the west coast although the words “haunted” and “house” don’t really do it justice. It is a giant sprawling Victorian mansion commissioned by Sarah Winchester in 1884, with construction lasting 38 years. Apparently designed to “ward off evil spirits,” with its hundreds of rooms, spider web shaped windows, secret passageways, stairs that lead to walls, and doors that lead to nowhere, you’d think the place would actually be inviting to any grim-grinning ghosts that wanted to stay. The house is open for daytime and nighttime tours as well as special events, but as the tour guides warn you, stay with the group or you could get lost for hours. http://winchestermysteryhouse.com/

4. The Museum of Jurassic Technology (Culver City, CA)
Museum of Jurassic Technology

Next we move on to something a little more hidden and obscure. The museum of Jurassic Technology is probably the weirdest museum to ever be conceived, primarily showcasing ‘technologies’ or ‘sciences’ that didn’t really catch on or are now completely useless. The result is a weird, indescribable hodgepodge of antiques and antiquated schools of thought. There’s an entire exhibit about how the string game of Cat’s cradle is “Totally gonna be big you guys”, and another about the practical uses of owning pet bats. If you need a break from the weird, the beautiful garden in the back offers free tea and cookies. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/the-museum-of-jurassic-technology-160774366/?no-ist

3. Normandy Village (Berkeley, CA)
Normandy Village

Tucked away on a small street in Berkeley, hides a fairy tale village frozen in time…. Kindof. Normandy Village (sometimes called Thornburg Village) is a small town built in the 1920’s made to look like something out of the 1520’s. Most of the buildings are condos or apartments now, but the buildings and gardens in the village still hold their “fantasy” vibe quite well, making Normandy Village a perfect stop for photo shoots or urban exploring. http://quirkyberkeley.com/major-quirky-20-normandy-village/

2. The Last Bookstore (Los Angeles, CA)
The Last Bookstore

When it comes to unique things to do, LA is filled with hidden treasures. The next entry on our list is a bookworm’s paradise- the increasingly instagram-famous labyrinth of The Last Bookstore. This unassuming bookshop has a massive collection of books, records, comics and the likes, but that’s just on the first floor. Climb the stairs to the second floor and you’ll encounter a giant maze built from books, shelves and sculptures, complete with themed areas, tunnels, and beautiful art installations. If you can venture through the twisting halls of the labyrinth, you can access the used books section on the third floor where each book is one dollar. http://lastbookstorela.com/

1. Raygun-Gothic Rocket Ship (San Francisco, CA)
Raygun-Gothic Rocket Ship

Upon researching for this article, we knew there was no other California attraction that could wrap up this list (because what else can end an article better than an honest to goodness rocket ship?!) The Raygun-Gothic Rocket Ship is an interactive art piece funded by Burning Man and built as a collaborative effort by a giant crew of artists. The retro-future design of this 4 story rocket is beautiful both inside and out. The art installation is currently in San Francisco, but it is available to rent for special events and is even available for purchase (so make sure to visit it before it launches and flies away forever) http://www.raygungothicrocket.com/

So what do you think? Thinking of planning a road trip? Be sure to check out the FlexSMART line of FM transmitters from GOgroove to get hands free Bluetooth in your car so you can travel to any of these hidden California attractions.