California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 36

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ROAD TRIP

15

Quirky Museums
Beginning in West Los Angeles and cruising into
the Coachella Valley, this drive includes everything
from Soviet-era Eastern Bloc art to a museum
celebrating classic American hot rods
T H O U G H B E ST K N OW N F O R I T S M OV I E ST U D I O S , Culver
City is where you'll find a pair of Southern California's most distinctive
museums. In a renovated 1949 armory, The Wende Museum preserves
Cold War-era artifacts from Eastern Bloc countries-including the largest stretch of the Berlin Wall outside of that city.
In just over a mile, you'll travel past two moviemaking landmarks,
Sony Pictures Studios and the colonial-style façade of Culver Studios,
before reaching the Museum of Jurassic Technology. Inside you'll find
an assortment of seemingly unrelated exhibits (decaying dice, miniature Disney figures) that share one thing in common: the unorthodox
sensibility of founder David Wilson, recipient of a coveted MacArthur
Foundation "genius" grant.
The drive along I-10 lets you take in distant views of the Hollywood
Sign high in the Santa Monica Mountains and the city skyline rising in
the east. Navigate your way to Chinatown, where lovers of velvet and
Elvis will feel like they've died and gone to Graceland at Velveteria. This
reliquary is jam-packed with masterpieces that not only depict the King
but American presidents, too. For more fuzzy fun, hop over to Altadena
at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains to see the Bunny Museum, a
veritable Lepus Louvre thanks to more than 35,000 rabbit-related items.
Parallel the San Gabriels along the 210 before dropping through the
hills to reach Pomona's Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum. Celebrating Southern California's racing tradition, it's filled with dragsters
and hot rods, as well the Challenger I streamliner, the first automobile
driven by an American to break the 400-mph barrier.
One town over in the leafy precincts of the college burg of Claremont,
the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology is not only notable for
a collection of dinosaur remains, it's also the country's only nationally
accredited museum on a high school campus. Rare and delicate too
are the treasures at Redlands' Historical Glass Museum, which traces
the evolution of American glassmaking dating back to the 1830s (open
weekends 12-4 p.m.).
I-10 leaves Redlands' graceful streets behind. Soon the bulwark of
loom over the freeway as you reach the desert. Arriving at Cabot's
Pueblo Museum in Desert Hot Springs, you may just think you've driven
too far and ended up in Arizona. That's because back in 1941, adventurer
and artist Cabot Yerxa began building this Hopi-inspired compound
from handcrafted adobe bricks and materials he found in the desert.
Stop into the trading post to treat yourself to authentic folk art such as

V E LV E T E R I A

Hopi katsinas and elaborately painted Oaxacan wood carvings.

2

days

S TA R T Culver City
F I N I S H Desert Hot Springs

B E S T S H O P P I N G The trading post at Cabot's Pueblo Museum

36
VISITCALIFORNIA.COM

145
miles

INSIDE TIP
Because most of the drive is
through urban areas, expect
more traffic after 3 p.m.

PHOTOGRAPH: © SARAH REINGEWIRTZ/SCNG VIA ZUMA WIRE

Mount San Jacinto rises to the south and the famous Cabazon dinosaurs


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California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures

Contents
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Cover1
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Cover2
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 1
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Contents
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 3
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 4
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 5
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 6
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 7
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California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Cover3
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