Offbeat San Diego Road Trip

Head south in search of adventure, interesting architecture, and model railroads.

Atlas Obscura

FEELIN' FINE ON THE FIVE: Los Angeles and San Diego have a two-way street when it comes to road trip adventures. We know, we know: It's called the 5. But residents to the south like to visit The Getty and Universal Studios and Farmers Market and Angelenos regularly head down south for the pleasures of Coronado and Balboa Park. But making for San Diego with more offbeat adventuring in mind is also a pleasure, and one best undertaken with others eager to unearth, or at least partake in, interesting outings. Like? Well, The Sunny Jim Cave Store, "one of the only caves accessible by land in San Diego." Fans of "The Wizard of Oz" may also recognize the name because "Wizard" writer L. Frank Baum was the man who named it. You can admire the ocean-close formation, and a trio of other architectural and cultural gems, when Obscura Society LA packs up the wagons and cruises down the 5 for San Diego. It's a road trip, with an eclectic theme, and it's happening on Saturday, March 15.

BEYOND THE SUNNY JIM... you'll find other unusual treats. A stop by the San Diego Model Railroad Museum -- that's in Balboa Park, as train enthusiasts know -- is on the day's planner, as are Lucha Libre Tacos for lunch. And a visit to the La Jolla-based Salk Institute, with its dramatic and austere architecture, will round it all out. (Austere, yes, but not cold; sitting in that open courtyard of the Salk on a perfectly sunny day is a warm spot, in all the ways.) A ticket? It's eighty bucks, which gets you on the bus, and back, and the tours. Still, you'll need some extra cash for lunch. But if you've been looking to change up your road-trippin' style -- yeah, we said "road-trippin'" -- and do a city you know well in a fresh 'n funky way -- yeah, we said "fresh 'n funky" -- and meet a few fellow adventurers, this could be your head-out-onto-the-5 outing. There's always new horizons out there, California explorers.

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