by Carrie Nusbaum
I'm generally more interested in roadside attractions of the natural variety, but sometimes the man made kind are equally (if not more) entertaining. Felicity, CA was founded by the "father of American skydiving," Jaques-André Istel, who bought the land and then told his wife, "I don't know what I'm going to do with this bare land, but it has to be entertaining." I'm not 100% certain it's entertaining in the way he was going for...but I definitely found it entertaining nonetheless.
In the '80s, Istel convinced the county to legally recognize a spot on his property as the "center of the world," and shortly thereafter he built a pyramid on top of it (it's in the middle of the desert after all, so...we get it). Now you can enter the pyramid for a $5 fee, and get a certificate of proof/celebration. The Museum of History in Granite is pretty much what it sounds like. Huge slabs of red-pink granite engraved with historical timelines (as chosen by Istel) span the property. Istel also created a huge hill on which to house the town's church, which you can climb up and look at. There are other curiosities (intentional and otherwise) spread around the property, all of which I found perfectly weird in the best kind of way.