Obscure travel junkies and love experts,, Destin Pfaff and Rachel Federoff tell us some of their favorite weird spots in Los Angeles.
DESTIN: My wife, Rachel, and I have traveled the US in search of some of the craziest, weirdest and randomest (this should be a word) locations ever discovered. From abandoned insane asylums to haunted pet shops to suicide fields to UFO landing pads to paranormal-stricken mansions to former cult compounds to deceased celebrity apartments to rundown, half-standing theme parks – we have driven, flew, sailed and trespassed just for the chance to check-out the most obscure sites off the beaten path. It is passion… it is adventure… it is magical! Along the way, we have stumbled upon some pretty amazing places right here in our own backyard – Los Angeles, California. Whether you live here or plan on visiting, here are five of the “randomest” places you should definitely check out:
1. BACK TO THE FUTURE BURGER KING
Near the beginning of the first Back to the Future, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) skates past a Burger King then grabs the back of a passing truck to hitch a ride. It’s a famous moment from the flick. That Burger King STILL exists (although remodeled) and you can totally geek out by re-enacting that same moment (minus the grabbing the truck bit, you’ll kill yourself)! It’s the only
Burger King in Burbank, CA., and located on Victory Boulevard! The connected Toys R Us parking lot even served as the original location for Doc Brown’s (Christopher Lloyd) lab!
2. THE DEATH HOTEL
Home of intense paranormal activity, The Cecil Hotel, located in downtown Los Angeles, has a torrid history of murderous and suicidal happenings. The Black Dahlia, Richard “Night Stalker” Ramierz, Unterweger and most recently Elisa Lam all have ties to this once glamorous hotel. (If you don’t know who Elisa Lam is, google “Elisa Lam elevator” – just be prepared for some very bad
dreams.) Check in here, if you dare… but you may not check out!
3. THE ABANDONED ZOO OF GRIFFITH PARK
Located off Crystal Springs Drive in Los Feliz, CA., Griffith Park is a favorite for locals to have birthday parties, go jogging, hiking or just get away from the day-to- day annoyances of the city. It’s a large park connecting numerous cities. But nestled about a mile inside is a hidden gem – an old abandoned zoo complete with left over cages, caves and rundown exhibit structures you can
freely explore. Artsy, beautiful… and creepy.
4. THE NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET HOUSE
Nancy’s (Heather Langenkamp) home from the original 1984 horror classic, A Nightmare on Elm Street, actually exists on North Genesee Avenue in Hollywood, CA. It even has the same numerical address! Located just off of Sunset Boulevard, the producers and Wes Craven chose wisely when they decided to name the street Elm instead of Genesee – way more catchy! If you
decide to check it out, please be mindful – this is a private residence and the owners don’t need any more nightmares!
5. THE I’M DEAD GIFT SHOP
The LA Coroner office, located off Mission Road in LA, has a gift shop. Seriously. And it’s a pretty special one. Skeletons in the Closet’s souvenirs include the standards – hats, mugs, tees and key-chains. But they also have specialty items like toe tags and chalk! This is tourism done right… or at least weird.