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8 Craziest Things Ever Found on California Beaches

What can one find on a California beach? You’ll be surprised to know!

You just never know what you will find on a walk along the beach. In most cases, your found treasures will be relatively classic—driftwood, seashells, maybe a piece of dead fish. But what about discovering places you never expected to run into?

Over years of traveling the California Coast to explore beaches, we have found so many crazy places and also some weird things. We wanted to share our discoveries with you because they deserve some more recognition.

Without further ado, here are 8 strange things found on California beaches!

things found on california beaches
Photo by Kyle Kidrick from Shutterstock

1. Mushroom House (Blacks Beach, San Diego)

No. 1 on things found on California beaches is the Mushroom House at Blacks Beach, a unique mushroom-shaped building hidden below the bluffs in a remote area. It was built in 1965 and operated as a guest house for a house located on the top of the hill.

A steep tramway (also known as a furnicular) connects the Mushroom House and the upper property. The building’s unique design is claimed to discourage trespassers and vandals from invading it. The place is located about equidistant from the beach access at South Blacks Beach and Scripps Pier, but avoid high tide if you want to check this unique building out.

2. A mysterious tower (Victoria Beach)

Going on with our list of unique things found on California beaches, we have one that seems to have popped out of a fairy tale. Nestled around the corner to the north of Victoria Beach, there’s a tower that looks like it belongs on the Scottish coast instead of southern California.

This tower, called “La Tour” (French for tower) or affectionately nicknamed the “Pirate Tower” by locals, is sixty feet tall and appears to have emerged directly from the cliffs that surround it.

It was built in 1926 and was initially meant to provide a protected spiral stairway from the house located on the bluff to the beach below. Similar to other things found on California beaches, you need to avoid high tides when going here because it may be unsafe.

3. Historic sutro baths (San Francisco)

On the shore, around a half-mile north of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, you will find what’s left of an historic bathhouse known as the Sutro Baths. Once the world’s largest indoor swimming establishment, the Sutro Baths are now an eerie ruin located in one of the most stunning settings in San Francisco.

The place was opened to the public in 1896 but ultimately shuttered in the 1960s. In 1966, an arson fire burned the buildings down, leaving only the foundations. The place is open to visitors, and footpaths lead to many nooks and crannies of the old structure. Moreover, you’ll even find a couple tunnels. That’s definitely one of the best things found on California beaches.

california beach
Photo by StillSparkPhoto from Shutterstock

4. The Sunken City (Point Fermin)

Next on our list of crazy things found on California beaches are other remains, but this time of a city. In the 1920s, a housing area in San Pedro began sliding toward the ocean. People were immediately asked to leave, and the houses were condemned.

Most of them were removed, but several fell into the water. Pipes and graffiti-covered concrete slabs are all that are left of the old structures. The place, now known as The Sunken City, is currently still moving, but much slower than when the hill started to move.

While public access is illegal, many people go there every day to explore it. We don’t encourage you to do the same, as some folks have fallen down the cliffs and ended up dead. What you can do instead if you want to see The Sunken City is walk the trails that give you a view of the perimeter.

You may want to bring your camera with you if you want to visit this place. Get an Instax Mini Camera and you’ll have your photos printed on the spot!

5. Concrete ship (Seacliff State Beach)

We’re halfway through our list of interesting things found on California beaches, so stay tight because you’re about to see other unique places.

It’s hard to believe that concrete ships are a real thing that would ever make sense. However, during World Wars I and II, several concrete ships were constructed. Many of them were eventually used as breakwaters and jetties or deliberately sunk in deeper waters.

If you want to see what they look like, go to Seacliff State Beach in Aptos. There you’ll find the SS Palo Alto, a concrete ship that was beached in 1929 to be utilized as an entertainment venue.

The ship could be seen very close from the end of a pier until this year, when a major storm seriously damaged the pier, dooming it to be soon demolished. Yet, while the ship itself has been broken up into pieces, it’s still there and can be seen from the beach.

Keep reading to discover other interesting things found on California beaches!

6. Golden dog man (Fort Funston Beach)

Next on our list of interesting things found on California beaches is something rather strange. Now, if you still think beaches in San Francisco are usual, think again. If you walk by the seaside below Fort Funston, you will find several concrete structures that are both utility and military in origin.

In fact, among the unique things found on California beaches, there is something that you simply don’t see on a daily basis. Facing the water on one of the largest structures, a peculiar sculpture stands out: a gold-painted one of a person with a dog’s head. It’s kind of weird, we have to admit, but it’s still interesting.

Moreover, Fort Funston boasts so many things to explore, including some sand dunes, Battery Davis on the bluff, and the structures on the beach.

california beach
Photo by Adam Mustafa from Shutterstock

7. Green rings (Emma Wood State Beach)

Next on our list of unique things found on California beaches, we have a couple of large mossy rings located at low tide in the sand of Emma Wood State Beach in Ventura.

These peculiar rings with concrete chunks inside them are called Panama Mounts and are World War II military gun placements. The guns that once stood there featured support arms that rotated on the steel rails and into the concrete rings. History buffs will definitely love this place!

The best time to see these things found on California beaches is during low tide in the winter, when storms sweep the sand on the beach.

8. Strange structure (Gray Whale Cove State Beach)

We could not include this on on our list of unique things found on California beaches.

High above Gray Whale Cove, on a spot surrounded by very steep cliffs, you’ll see a curious structure. From a certain distance, it’s hard to tell what exactly is there. However, if you’re interested in investigating, you’ll learn that the strange structure is actually an old concrete World War II bunker that was uncovered when the earth around it was excavated.

The structure is called the “Devil’s Side Bunker,” and at some point, it was hard to spot from ships and planes, but now it’s exposed. Moreover, now it’s covered with bright graffiti, standing out like a sore thumb.

To see it up close, park at the trailhead and walk south along the highway. You may want to know that fences and signs may discourage access. Also, the steep cliffs and teetering structure are dangerous enough that you should maybe just take the trail or the beach.

If you liked our list of unique things found on California beaches, you may want to read Top 6 Most Dangerous National Parks in the US.

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