kristopherballard's User Profile - Atlas Obscura
THE GASTRO OBSCURA BOOK An eye-opening journey through the history, culture, and places of the culinary world. Just released! The Gastro Obscura book is here! Order Now
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San Francisco, California

The Wave Organ

A huge musical instrument played by the ocean.
Napa, California

Monticello Dam Morning Glory Spillway

The largest drain hole in the world.
San Francisco, California

The Stern of the Brigantine Galilee

Once the fastest ship from San Francisco to Tahiti, the Galilee now lays in pieces in three different cities.
Alameda, California

St. George Spirits

One of the best absinthe distilleries in the United States.
Oakland, California

Phap Duyen Tu: The Buddha Shrine of Oakland

A hardware store Buddha statue installed to deter vandalism wound up attracting Vietnamese immigrants who came to pray.
Oakland, California

Ratto's Market & Deli

International delicatessen has been owned and operated by the same family for more than 110 years.
Oakland, California

Gnomes of Lake Merritt

This mysterious series of teeny guerrilla installations sheds a whimsical light on street art in Oakland.
Oakland, California

Cleveland Cascade

A restored 1920s cascade stairway provides one of the best views of Oakland's Lake Merritt.
San Francisco, California

Pacific Unity Sculptures

Deco Modern sculptures of the people of the Pacific, cast for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition.
Oakland, California

Bay Bridge Troll

A creepy steel gremlin has protected the Bay Bridge since 1989.
Sausalito, California

The Bay Model

A working model of the entire San Francisco Bay and much of the Sacramento River Delta, complete with regular tides that change every 14 minutes.
Emeryville, California

Big Daddy's Complete Rejuvenating Community Garden

This small oasis of flora and art was created in remembrance of a local auto business owner.
Oakland, California

Mountain View Cemetery

Oakland's beautiful monumental cemetery.
Oakland, California

'World's Smallest Park'

A gap in the concrete has been transformed into a miniature playground for the mind.
Cotati, California

The Accordion Man

A tribute to one man's legacy of improving the accordion's reputation.
Belvedere Tiburon, California

Lava House

An abandoned, unfinished mansion on grounds strewn with lava rocks.
Jenner, California

Fort Ross

The southernmost outpost of the Russian Empire in colonial America.
Pope Valley, California

Litto's Hubcap Ranch

Wheels of chrome by the thousands adorn this California Historical Landmark.
Marshall, California

The Marconi Conference Center

Built by the inventor of the radio, this abandoned hotel has housed early radio employees, military men, and a dangerous cult.
Duncans Mills, California

Mammoth Rubbing Rocks

Massive prehistoric mammals used these stones as oversized scratching posts.
Petaluma, California

Rancho Obi-Wan

The largest Star Wars collection in the world is its own galaxy of collectibles.
Glen Ellen, California

The Wolf House - Jack London State Park

The haunting ruins of Jack London's dream house.
Calistoga, California

California's Old Faithful

California's own majestic geyser is powered by a subterranean volcano.
Calistoga, California

Sharpsteen Museum

A veteran Disney animator turned his gift for storytelling to a museum devoted to his love of a California city.