One person’s tourist trap is another person’s must-see. Here are the Pacific Coast Highway roadside attractions that will have you pulling over.

The Prehistoric Gardens in Oregon. Photo © June Vette/pixabay.

The Prehistoric Gardens in Oregon. Photo © June Vette/pixabay.

  • Marsh’s Free Museum features exhibits like the world’s largest frying pan and Jake the Alligator Man.
  • The Prehistoric Gardens is the only place you can see life-sized dinosaurs outside of Jurassic World.
  • The Trees of Mystery poses the question “Is that Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox striding through the California redwoods?” Yes, yes it is.
  • The Kinetic Grand Championship is a race run between Arcata and Eureka that’s more like a race between the swift and the ridiculous. Human-powered sculptures shaped like dinosaurs, donkeys, and dung beetles are in it to win it.
  • Drive-Thru Trees are just what they sound like. How many times do you get to drive through a redwood tree? At least twice on this road trip.
  • The Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree in Leggett, CA. Photo © Lisa Robinson/Department of Creativity.

    The Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree in Leggett, CA. Photo © Lisa Robinson/Department of Creativity.

  • The Madonna Inn is a roadside motel that shows that there’s no limit to bad taste. Sleep in the Cave-Man Room or make a pit stop at the waterfall urinal.
  • Solvang is a faux-Danish village that might make you wonder if Hans Christian Andersen was born in California. He wasn’t.
  • The Venice Beach Boardwalk hosts a wild parade of counterculture that proves people are the kitschiest attractions of all.
  • Sunny Jim Cave was once used by smugglers. It’s the only sea cave on the West Coast with a staircase.

Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip.