Skip Navigation

Weird or Wacky

Travel Forums North America Weird or Wacky

1. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 11y

Calcruzer has indicated that this thread is about USA

What's some of the weird or wacky things located in your part of the country?

2. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 11y

I'll start by talking about my own area.

Here are some of the wild, unusual, or wacky things to know about the San Francisco/Silicon Valley/Napa Valley/Monterey area:

In San Francisco, there are clubs where you can go to have sex with clowns or freaks, and nobody would think twice if you had sex with circus animals, or participate in S/M. Even the female city attorney and the mayor has said they don’t want to waste time or money prosecuting prostitution laws--but smoking inside buildings is illegal and very strictly enforced.

The Winchester Mystery house in San Jose has 160 rooms—quite impressive when you consider when it was originally bought it had 6 rooms. Sarah Winchester kept her contractors building on this place rated the 2nd most haunted mansion in the US day and night for over 36 straight years because she wanted to confuse the ghosts of those killed by Winchester rifles—who she was sure were out to get her.

Lombard Street is considered the crookiest street in the world. At one point, it has eight 90-degree turns in a one block radius. See the picture here:

The housing prices in the areas near San Francisco are some of the highest in the world. Atherton, just a ways south of town was rated by Forbes magazine as the highest per house zip code in the country at $2.5 million per house. The highest single home price in the area is at Pebble Beach (Monterey) were the “Far Niente” house on the 18th hole of the Pebble Beach golf course is currently listed for sale at $27 million.

Where else but in San Francisco would they have a prison as a tourist attraction—built on an island in the bay? Alcatraz is probably the #2 tourist attraction in the city—right after Fisherman’s Wharf—which is where you get the boats to go there. (Golden Gate Bridge would be #3).

Every year the AT&T golf tournament is held in early February in Monterey. It’s a pro-am event, meaning the professionals pair off with amateurs. Usually the amateurs are all well-known celebrities or sports personalities. Last year’s attendees included musicians Michael Bolton, Kenny G., Glenn Frey, Huey Lewis, Clay Walker, and Glenn Campbell; actors Clint Eastman, William Devane, Chris O’Donnell, Kevin Costner, Ray Romano, Craig T. Nelson, James Woods, Andy Garcia , Samuel L. Jackson, George Lopez, Bill Murray, and Kevin James; and sports personalities Oscar de la Hoya, Bob Griese, and Lynn Swann. It’s one of the best places to go if you want to see a lot of celebrities all in one place.

Speaking of celebrities and special events, every June in Napa Valley there is a gigantic event held entitled the Napa Wine Auction. It was held this year on the weekend of June 2-3-4th, and had celebrities such as Jay Leno and Teri Hatcher in attendance. The cost per couple is $7,500 for the weekend, and you can’t even apply for tickets unless you are a member of the Napa Valley Vintner’s association. More reasonably priced ($25 to $350 per person) vintner’s festivals are held in Monterey, Santa Cruz, and Sonoma counties throughout the summer. A couple of years ago, a case of Screaming Eagle Merlot wine sold at this auction for $500,000. That’s a measly $46,667 per bottle.

There are different other festivals held throughout the region (garlic, strawberries, artichokes, Greek food, olives, etc.). The best known would be the Gilroy Garlic Festival held the last weekend in July. Probably the most unusual event would be the Begonia festival in Capitola in September, which features multiple Begonia floats being pushed down the river by swimmers near the Capitola Esplanade.

One tour you can take here that’s a little different is the “Great White Adventures” that allow you to go cage-diving near the Farallon Islands (28 miles offshore) to see the Great White Sharks located there. Not too sure you’ll ever go in the water again, though.

To me, the most unusual winery in California is the Kathryn Kennedy winery in Saratoga. Kathryn Kennedy winery is owned by a lady by the same name and consists of approximately 1000 acres in an area where land is selling for over $1 million an acre for housing. Rather than sell her land—which would make her one of the richest people in the country, Kathryn Kennedy continues to put out some of the best wine in the country on a regular basis. (In 1995, one of her wines won the National Wine Competition as the best wine in the country). Yet, she sometimes sells as few as 40 cases of a wine, since that’s all the winery makes of it that year.

Few people realize that there is a mountain range that runs directly south from San Francisco to San Jose and splits the bay from the ocean. On the bay side live approximately 2 million people, on the ocean side, only about 2,000. The reason for this is not desirability, but rather that a land trust formed years ago for ecological reasons started buying all the land on the ocean side—and much of it is now preserved for posterity—in order to retain the beauty that is there.


3. Posted by Cupcake (Travel Guru 8468 posts) 11y

AWESOME Thread!! :)
Actually Isa posted this a while back (not the thread, the link)
it is FULL of unusual sites and attractions across the U.S.
If you are talking my very own little corner of the world...we have a Cornish Pump (old mining pump with tours) The largest cast Iron Skillet (why? I have noooo idea;)) Other than that I am surrounded by woods, lakes and animals. :)
Thank you for the excellent read...(It makes me want to go back there...and HOW did I miss all the the first go-round???)

4. Posted by evilflair (Budding Member 5 posts) 11y

this website is the mother of all wacky and off beat things to see !!!

"Happy Trails"