If your wanderlust often takes you beyond the typical, time-worn tourist destinations, we have great news: There’s now a guidebook that veers way off the beaten path. Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders, which comes out today, is exactly what it purports to be—a book packed with bizarre destinations that your honeymooning friends haven’t already Instagrammed (no offense, Alex and Haley—your pics at the Leaning Tower of Pisa were lovely).
Entries include a Bolivian hotel built entirely of salt, an abandoned nuclear power plant turned into a theme park in Germany, a lake in India mysteriously surrounded by thousands of human bones, and a secret cabinet in Italy where the erotic sculptures unearthed at Pompeii are kept.
The list of strange and wonderful destinations goes on (there are more than 700 entries), and you don’t have to go far to start exploring—the guide devotes a few pages to L.A. and its environs. Here are a few.
This Echo Park animation studio is devoted to the waning art of stop motion puppetry.
Occidental College keeps a collection of 60,000 stuffed bird specimens.
The crumbling remains of an Alpine resort are still accessible on Echo Mountain
This San Fernando Valley shop sells terrifyingly realistic horror movie props.
Faux-Egyptian ruins are still buried beneath the sand at the location of the 1923 epic The Ten Commandments up near San Luis Obispo, and a nearby visitor center houses the artifacts that have been unearthed.
One of the book’s authors, Dylan Thuras (co-founder of the Atlas Obscura website from which the guide’s content is drawn) is coming to the Last Bookstore (also listed in the Atlas) on Tuesday, October 4, for a book signing and conversation.