robtheller's User Profile - Atlas Obscura
Unusual adventures and hidden discoveries. Explore our 2018 trips now »
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Places visited in Barstow, California
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Inside the Tent of Tomorrow of the New York State Pavilion (2009)
Queens, New York

Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

The remnants of two World's Fairs are here, complete with a 12-story globe, a mini-Manhattan, and a UFO-shaped pavilion.
40.7462, -73.8445
Cars for scale
Castroville, California

World's Largest Artichoke Statue

It should come as no surprise that the world's largest artichoke lies in the town that calls itself the "Artichoke Center of the World."
36.7623, -121.7529
Dennis the Menace Playground
Monterey, California

Dennis the Menace Playground

This municipal playground was co-created by the father of one of the most playful characters ever.
36.5978, -121.8863
McConnelsville, Ohio

Big Muskie Bucket

All that remains of a gigantic earth-moving machine.
39.6993, -81.7313
Cambridge, Ohio

Hopalong Cassidy Museum

A tribute to one of the most famous cowboys on TV, and the consumerism that fueled his popularity.
40.0239, -81.5862
Roswell McDonalds
Roswell, New Mexico

Roswell McDonald's

This fast food outlet is the only space and UFO-themed McDonalds in the world.
33.4005, -104.5232
The Diana Site.
Wall Township, New Jersey

Project Diana Site

The first dish to bounce radio signals off the Moon, it was the forerunner to the U.S. Space Program.
40.1849, -74.0565
San Jose, California

Santana Row Chess Plaza

A giant chess set, minus the psychedelic drug trip.
37.3211, -121.9473
The Winchester Mystery House.
San Jose, California

The Winchester Mystery House

A peculiar mansion built by the troubled heir to the Winchester gun fortune.
37.3189, -121.9506
The stairs at night
Washington, D.C.

The Exorcist Stairs

Site of the climactic scene from The Exorcist.
38.9055, -77.0702
Hell, Michgan
Hell, Michigan

Hell, Michigan

Hell on Earth is actually a small town in Michigan where anyone can be mayor for a day.
42.4347, -83.9850
McLaren is shown with his feet on the ground, rather than on a pedestal to show his connection with nature
San Francisco, California

John McLaren Statue

The legendary statue-hating superintendent of Golden Gate Park is honored with... a statue.
37.7718, -122.4649
San Francisco Naval Shipyard. (chrisd2006/Flickr)
San Francisco, California

San Francisco Naval Shipyard

Radioactivity still cause for concern at this urban explorer's paradise.
37.7267, -122.3594
San Francisco, California

Maltese Falcon Alleyway

Alleyway plaque commemorating the death of a fictional character in The Maltese Falcon, not far from the author's home.
37.7902, -122.4075
Alcatraz from the Bay 2012
San Francisco, California

Alcatraz Island

In all of the 29 years it was in operation, no prisoners ever escaped successfully... or so they claim.
37.8267, -122.4230
California City, California

California City: The Unbuilt Suburb

The "3rd largest" city in California is an empty mirage of suburbia in the middle of nowhere.
35.1768, -117.7880
George Air Force Base. (Benedict Siegel/Atlas Obscura)
Victorville, California

George Air Force Base

Abandoned Air Force base that has fallen into disrepair.
34.5782, -117.3631
Painted Rocks.
Barstow, California

Painted Rocks

The cluster of boulders near Fort Irwin is covered in military insignia.
35.2048, -116.7498
Rock-A-Hoola Waterpark
Newberry Springs, California

Rock-A-Hoola Waterpark

The "Fun Spot of The Desert" is now a haunting ruin acting as a reminder that putting a water park in a desert is a bad idea.
34.9482, -116.6875
Building near the railway
Ludlow, California

Ludlow

One of the ghostly stops along Route 66.
34.7211, -116.1600
The World's Largest Thermometer
Baker, California

World's Largest Thermometer

This giant temperature attraction created some giant electric bills.
35.2660, -116.0733
Amboy Crater
San Bernardino County, California

Amboy Crater

This dormant volcanic crater has been converted from a roiling pit of magma to a pleasant hiking spot.
34.5447, -115.7903
Route 66
Amboy, California

Amboy Ghost Town

The ghost town that ended up on Ebay.
34.5578, -115.7444
Female lion
Amboy, California

Guardian Lions of Route 66

A pair of large white marble lions guard this stretch of the Mojave Desert, and it is utterly mysterious how they got there.
34.5602, -115.6423