Without a doubt, museums all over the world have interesting stories, facts, and history to share. However, some museums go beyond interesting and enter the world of strange. California is home to many incredible and unusual museums. Some are fascinatingly unique, while others are just plain peculiar. Find out about California’s must-see unusual museums here.
Winchester Mystery House
This is the destination for lovers of the odd and ghostly. The Winchester Mystery House is a mansion that was once home to Sarah Winchester, the widow of gun man William Wirt Winchester. With the Winchester fortune, Sarah didn’t stop building the estate, nor did she stop trying to reach the dead. Tour the estate to see for yourself the doors that lead to nowhere, a seance room, and the overall bizarre architecture.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Walt Disney Family Museum
Young and old will love the Walt Disney Family Museum. Take a glimpse into the life of the infamous genius behind the Disney conglomerate, Walt Disney. Discover the legacy he left behind for everyone to be entertained by his beloved creations.
Located on buzzing Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, Musée Mécanique is an unforgettable treat. It’s an interactive museum of 20th-century penny arcade games and artifacts. Walk through the early history of gaming, even play a few of the more modern pinball games while listening to the self-playing piano!
Legion of Honor
The Legion of Honor is part of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. The building itself is immaculately gorgeous, as is the art. Come and see the masterpieces you won’t be able to see anywhere else, as well as beautiful fine art exhibits.
Architecture lovers and enthusiasts won’t want to miss the Gamble House. Finally, architecture and design is presented as fine art. This National Historic Landmark is a stunning display, inside and out. Take a guided tour around the museum to admire fine pieces from the arts and crafts era.
Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum
This unusual museum highlights ancient Egypt and its mysterious legends. See real mummies on display, walk through halls that simulate the majestic pyramids, and take a stroll in the peaceful rose gardens. The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum has the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts on display in western North America.
Museum of Death
Despite the morbid name, the goal of the Museum of Death in L.A., according to its establishers, is “to make people happy to be alive”. Visitors will enjoy the authenticity and enthralling nature of the exhibits. The museum is meant to educate visitors about death, something that is incredibly lacking in the United States. The exhibits entice, and peak curiosity and make for a truly interesting day.
California Automobile Museum
Inside this 72, 000 square-foot museum sits a collection of more than 150 classic cars, muscle cars, race cars, and historic models on display. There’s also an interesting make-up of other interactive and educational exhibits. The California Automobile Museum is truly a one-of-a-kind place.
Whaley House Museum
If you’ve always wanted a haunting experience, look no further than the Whaley House Museum in historic Old Town San Diego. Dating back to the 1800s, the tragic history of the house consists of mysterious killings and hauntings. It is definitely something to experience. You may or may not see any ghosts, but the tour and stories of the house are worth it either way.
USS Hornet Museum
Another spooky stop is the USS Hornet Sea, Air and Space Museum. The museum itself is inside the USS Hornet aircraft carrier, which was built in the 1940s and was retired in the 1970s after serving with the U.S. Navy. The museum displays pieces of U.S. history and military history, although rumors and stories of hauntings have floated around the museum for years. One of the tours offered at the museum highlights the hauntings and chilling history after the museum has closed.
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I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.