Weird California
Weird California
Weird California - By Joe Parzanese

Metal Dinosaurs

Map Huasna T-Rex in a Field
10747 Bobcat Lane, Arroyo Grande, California 93420

Map Atascadero Dinosaurs
10205 Morro Road, Atascadero, California 93422

Map Gualala Nursery and Trading Company
38660 CA-1, Gualala, California 95445

Map Spanish Town
501 San Mateo Road, Half Moon Bay, California 94019

Map Charlie Browns
8317 Pearblossom Highway, Littlerock, California 93543

Map Pismo Beach T-Rex Eats Tourists
1376 Longview Avenue, Pismo Beach, California 93449

Map Dug the T-Rex
3427 Jefferson Avenue, Redwood City, California 94062

Dragon / Dinosaur Skeleton
Bradshaw, Sacramento, California

Map T-Rex Protects Auto Dealerships
Auto Park Way, San Luis Obispo, California 93405

Map The Dinosaurs of Santa Monica
3rd Street and Broadway, Santa Monica, California 90401

Vail Lake Resort
38000 Hwy 79 S, Temecula, California 92592

Map Queens Motel
16959 Stoddard Wells Road, Victorville, California 92394

Metal Dinosaurs and other animals once lurked in Oceano
Metal Dinosaurs and other animals once lurked in Oceano

A pack of raptors ready for you to purchase down in Woodland Hills!
A pack of raptors ready for you to purchase down in Woodland Hills!

Dinosaurs still roam the hills and roads of California. Granted they're the metal kind, but at least they're not fully extinct yet. Sadly, they tend to come and go, moving around a lot. The most common species is the metal T-Rex, and he's often found alone, much like a real T-Rex. However, there are several high concentration areas of dinosaurs spread throughout California; areas where not one, not two, but often half a dozen or more dinosaurs band together to greet roadside travelers. Dinosaurs aren't the only animal to get in on the act. Mammoths, giant apes, giraffes, tapirs, deer, horses, and even a giant sea serpent all have gotten in on the metal sculpture craze and can often be found with their more common dinosaur friends.

Yermo - Peggy Sue's 50's Diner

One of the more famous sets of metal dinosaurs is located at Peggy Sue's 50's Diner along interstate 15 near Yermo on the way to Las Vegas. Behind the diner is a dinosaur park, pun-fully called a "Diner-Saur Park" by the establishment, containing multiple dinosaurs and even a giant King Kong.

Peggy Sue's Diner-saur Park
Peggy Sue's Diner-saur Park
Peggy Sue's Diner-saur Park
Peggy Sue's Diner-saur Park
Peggy Sue's Diner-saur Park
Peggy Sue's Diner-saur Park
Peggy Sue's Diner-saur Park
Peggy Sue's Diner-saur Park

Santa Monica - Third Street Promenade

Back in 1989, Santa Monica got their very own herd of dinosaurs, as they established six topiary dinosaur fountains along the Third Street Promenade. The six dinosaurs were designed by Claude and Francois-Xavier Lalanne and were a result of an art competition held by the city's Arts Commission. Initially some of the dinosaurs breathed fire at night, but that was put a stop to extremely quickly by Santa Monica's risk management group. Currently, as California is in a drought the six dinosaurs are no longer spitting water, as according to the city, despite using recycled water, even our Jurassic buddies need to pitch in and conserve water. This marks the first extended time the fountains have been turned off since they were installed.

Santa Monica Dinosaurs
Santa Monica Dinosaurs
Santa Monica Dinosaurs
Santa Monica Dinosaurs
Santa Monica Dinosaurs
Santa Monica Dinosaurs
Santa Monica Dinosaurs
Santa Monica Dinosaurs
Santa Monica Dinosaurs
Santa Monica Dinosaurs
Santa Monica Dinosaurs
Santa Monica Dinosaurs

Half Moon Bay - Spanish Town

And East of Half Moon Bay along Highway 92 is Spanish Town, which is literally crawling with giant metal dinosaurs. Spanish Town is filled with little shops, but outside there are metal dinosaurs and other creatures everywhere! T-Rex, Triceratops, a mammoth, and even a brontosaurus are just some of the dinosaurs on display there.

Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay

Some pictures of the Half Moon Bay dinosaurs courtesy of Jandro Gamboa. Check out his Instagram account, Forgotten California, to see more pictures of abandoned and forgotten sites throughout California!

Atascadero

Luckily there are still dinosaurs in San Luis Obispo County. In Atascadero, a place along Highway 41 West has been invaded with the prehistoric beasts. T-Rex, brontosaurus, triceratops, and other dinosaur species roam the hill before the house. The T-Rex is even eating a surfboard. To find the house, take Highway 101 to Atascadero and exit at Highway 41 West towards Morro Bay. About 2.5 miles down the road, on the left will be the house.

Atascadero Dinosaurs
Atascadero Dinosaurs
Atascadero Dinosaurs
Atascadero Dinosaurs
Atascadero Dinosaurs
Atascadero Dinosaurs
Atascadero Dinosaurs
Atascadero Dinosaurs
Atascadero Dinosaurs
Atascadero Dinosaurs
Atascadero Dinosaurs
Atascadero Dinosaurs

Gualala

On Route 1 in Mendocino County in the small town of Gualala is the Gualala Nursery and Trading Company and it is filled with giant metal dinosaurs! There are no less than five that can be seen from the road, plus additional dinosaurs inside the shop, as well as other metal non dinosaurs.

Gualala Dinosaurs
Gualala Dinosaurs
Gualala Dinosaurs
Gualala Dinosaurs
Gualala Dinosaurs
Gualala Dinosaurs
Gualala Dinosaurs
Gualala Dinosaurs

Pismo Beach and Oceano

But many other dinosaurs in San Luis Obispo County have sadly disappeared, going the way of their extinct brothers. Oceano and Pismo Beach use to have several metal dinosaurs and other animals, mostly at a shop called Plumerias that was right next to one of the Giant Clams, but that was long ago. Luckily the business that has replaced Plumerias has some small metal dinosaurs at least keeping up the original spirit of the past business. In Oceano, once at the corner of Front Street (Oceano's name for Route 1) and Paso Robles Street there existed a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex, a giraffe, some deer, an elephant and other metal animals, but sadly the location also went out of business.

One of the now gone Oceano Dinosaurs
One of the now gone Oceano Dinosaurs
One of the now gone Oceano Dinosaurs
One of the now gone Oceano Dinosaurs
One of the now gone Pismo Beach Dinosaurs
One of the now gone Pismo Beach Dinosaurs
One of the now gone Pismo Beach Dinosaurs
One of the now gone Pismo Beach Dinosaurs

Assorted T-Rex

However, a few loner T-Rexs lie scattered around California. For example in the hills high above Pismo Beach lurks a tourist eating Tyrannosaurus Rex threatening those who drive by its house. He proudly wears a sign stating "I Love Tourists, They Taste Like Chicken". Google's Headquarters in Mountain View has a T-Rex skeleton locked in mortal combat with a pack of pink lawn flamingos. And another T-Rex use to guard a car dealership in San Luis Obispo off of Los Osos Valley Road, but as of 2014 it is now sadly missing, the dealership it stood outside having been sold. And a new T-Rex in Carmel is currently being disputed by some of its neighbors who resent the dinosaur moving into the neighborhood.

Pismo Beach Dinosaur Eats Tourists
Pismo Beach Dinosaur Eats Tourists
Pismo Beach Dinosaur Eats Tourists
Pismo Beach Dinosaur Eats Tourists
SLO Dinosaur guards the Auto Dealerships
SLO Dinosaur guards the Auto Dealerships

Huasna T-Rex

Located about 20 minutes due east of Arroyo Grande and Highway 101 is the small unincorporated community of Huasna. If you travel down some country roads for about 12 plus miles you'll come to the farming area where they grow fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs. Located out in the middle of nowhere next to a dilapidated barn is one of the most picturesque T-Rex's to be found in California. He stands in the middle of a field, surrounded by hills and trees, guarding his falling down barn.

Huasna T-Rex
Huasna T-Rex
Huasna T-Rex
Huasna T-Rex
Huasna T-Rex
Huasna T-Rex

Redwood City - Dug the Dinosaur

Perhaps the most famous of the loner T-Rexs is Dug the Dinosaur. Dug the Dinosaur not only stalks Redwood City, but dresses up for the holidays having appeared in costume for everything from Easter to Father's Day. He wears a Santa cap and chews on an animatronic Rudolph for Christmas and is apparently a San Francisco 49ers fan.

Dug the T-Rex
Dug the T-Rex
Beware of the Dinosaur
Beware of the Dinosaur
Dug the T-Rex
Dug the T-Rex
Dug the T-Rex
Dug the T-Rex

Queen's Motel - Victorville

An old green frill headed dinosaur stands outside the office of the Queen's Motel in Victorville. He's been there awhile and appears to be made out of some sort of concrete or plaster. Although he could use a touch up, it could be argued that the motel which he stands outside of could use a bigger face lift.

Queen's Motel Dinosaur
Queen's Motel Dinosaur
Queen's Motel Dinosaur
Queen's Motel Dinosaur
Queen's Motel Dinosaur
Queen's Motel Dinosaur
Queen's Motel Dinosaur
Queen's Motel Dinosaur
Charlie Browns in Littlerock
Charlie Browns in Littlerock

Charlie Browns - Littlerock

Charlie Browns in Littlerock on 138 (also known as the Pearblossom Highway) claims to be the largest gift shop in Antelope Valley. That being said they do have an impressive array of junk and other "memorabilia" to purchase, plus BBQ, snacks, beverages, sodas, shakes, jerky, etc. I particularly enjoyed the mini-doughnuts. The location started out as a fruit stand in 1929 and has been pulling in motorists on the Pearblossom Highway ever since. But the big appeal for us was the several dinosaurs on display. Although mostly behind fences, Charlie Browns has a dimetrodon, a stegasaurus, a styracosaurus, and a velociraptor. There are also horses, knights, lions, tigers, a small replica of the Eiffel Tower, and other quirky things. The velociraptor is in front of the business and makes for the best photo ops.

Charlie Browns in Littlerock
Charlie Browns in Littlerock
Charlie Browns in Littlerock
Charlie Browns in Littlerock
Charlie Browns in Littlerock
Charlie Browns in Littlerock
Charlie Browns in Littlerock
Charlie Browns in Littlerock
Charlie Browns in Littlerock
Charlie Browns in Littlerock

Other Dinosaurs in California

Other suspected locations include California Nurseries in Northridge which has several dinosaurs and (formerly?) 29 Palms Highway in Joshua Tree, also sporting several dinosaurs. The Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center in Riverside has at least a T-Rex, a triceratops, a brontosaurus skeleton, and a mammoth. Galleta Meadows in Borrego Springs not only has several dinosaurs, but also metal mammoths, tapirs, sheep, sloths, birds, horses, and even a giant sea serpent! And in other areas east of San Diego, even more metal dinosaurs and creatures have been spotted! Google's main campus up the Bay Area has a T-Rex skeleton being swarmed by an angry flock of flamingos. And additionally, a park east of Temecula, Vail Lake Resort, is crawling with some giant metal animals and dinosaurs. One of the events formerly held there was a zombie 5K race, which, led to some awesome pictures of zombies, dinosaurs, and racers trying to elude both.

A 5K Zombie Race is always better with dinosaurs
A 5K Zombie Race is always better with dinosaurs
One of many Temecula Dinosaurs
One of many Temecula Dinosaurs
Dinosaurs at Vail Lake Resort
Dinosaurs at Vail Lake Resort

Sacramento also plays host to a strange dragon / dinosaur like skeleton. Located along Bradshaw Road, the skeleton is done up for Christmas complete with lights and Santa Claus hat. See picture below.

Gila Bend, Arizona

But California isn't the only state to have giant metal dinosaurs. Gila Bend, Arizona showcases that classic battle between Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus Rex!

Gila Bend Arizona
Gila Bend Arizona
Sacramento
Sacramento

Giant metal dinosaurs and other long thought extinct metal animals still roam the countryside of California. If you run across any, please let us know!

Special thanks to the following people for all the photos of giant metal dinosaurs that they have provided!


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Last Edited: 2016-12-24