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The Santa Cruz Mystery Spot (Explained!): Is It Worth Visiting?

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The Santa Cruz Mystery Spot is where the laws of physics seem to be defied. It’s a tourist attraction where people can experience weird gravitational effects and optical illusions.

Visitors can do a number of fun activities at the mystery spot, including standing on walls, walking upstairs that leads nowhere, and feeling like they’re spinning even though they’re standing still.

The mystery spot has existed since 1941, and no one knows how it works. Some say it’s just an optical illusion, while others believe that some supernatural force is at work.

No one knows for sure, but it’s definitely a fun place to visit if you’re looking for a little bit of mystery in your life. Imagine standing at a 45-degree angle to what your perception of gravity is supposed to be.

Imagine having your ideas of gravity challenged as you go hiking and exploring. All of that is possible with a visit to the Mystery Spot in California.

Originally opening in 1941, it is located in the redwood forests just outside the city and is billed as a gravitational anomaly in Santa Cruz County. Tour guides are limited, so online reservations are highly recommended if you plan a trip.

What is the Santa Cruz Mystery Spot?

Santa Cruz Mystery Spot

Though the Mystery Spot is far from the largest tourist destination you may ever choose to visit, it will certainly be one of the most memorable.

Your perspective of reality is immediately questioned as you walk toward the main building. Everything seems tilted, slanted, or “not right” somehow.

Is it a vortex of magma? A spaceship that has been buried in this specific spot? Though the claims might seem outlandish, one thing is certain: people come from all over the world to this fascinating circular area of California to specifically visit the Mystery Spot and keep returning year after year.

Who built the Mystery Spot?

The Mystery Spot—Santa Cruz became a famous roadside attraction under the management of George Prather in 1939. Prather was an interesting figure himself, as he was a local celebrity and businessman. He was also known for his work in developing both the Mystery Spot and California’s Big Tree Park.

It is unknown who originally built the attraction. However, it is speculated that it may have been a group of students. A more recent article claims that the spot was originally used as a storage space for moonshine during the prohibition.

What will you see at the Mystery Spot?

Sign for the Mystery Spot, Santa Cruz, California
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There are numerous tours and activities to do at the Mystery Spot. The most popular tour is the 45-minute walking tour, which includes an educational video, a guided tour of the grounds, and time to explore independently.

There are also longer 2-hour tours, including a zip-lining adventure through the mountains. No matter which tour you choose, you will surely be amazed by the bizarre optical illusions and gravity-defying phenomenon.

Some of the things you may see on a visit to the Mystery Spot are people standing on the walls, people walking upstairs that lead nowhere, and a tilted cabin. You will also experience optical illusions like the infinite staircase and the bent room.

What should you wear at the Mystery Spot?

The Mystery Spot is an outdoor attraction, so it is important to dress for the weather. The spot is open, rain or shine, so be sure to bring a jacket if it looks like it might rain.

Some areas also have uneven ground, so comfortable shoes are a must. The tour involves a lot of walking, so wear shoes that you can walk in for an extended period.

How do I get to the Mystery Spot?

The Mystery Spot is at 465 Mystery Spot Rd, Santa Cruz, CA 95065. It is about a 10-minute drive from Santa Cruz and an hour from San Jose.

If you are coming from out of town, the best way to get to the Mystery Spot is by car. A shuttle runs from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk to the Mystery Spot every 30 minutes.

When is the Mystery Spot open?

The Mystery Spot is open year-round, but hours vary depending on the season.

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It’s Not the “Solved Spot…” It’s the Mystery Spot!

Mystery Spot  in Santa Cruz

Plan to spend about 45 minutes on a guided tour at the Mystery Spot. You’ll get to see plenty of gravity variations that will make you question your knowledge of physics! There are also hiking trails around the area that explore the redwoods in the area, a eucalyptus grove, and beautiful oak trees, too!

There are many things to do after your visit! Once you’ve completed your trip, there will be additional opportunities for you to explore, so you don’t have to plan an entire vacation just for a 45-minute excursion! Snacks and other amenities are available for your enjoyment.

Even if you decide that the Mystery Spot isn’t for you, there are plenty of awesome sights to see in the Santa Cruz area. If the weather is nice, you can never go wrong with a visit to the beach, which is only 10 minutes away from the Mystery Spot. Driving through the redwood forest is the perfect way to explore on a grey, rainy day.

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How Much Is It To Visit the Mystery Spot, Santa Cruz?

The Mystery Spot Entrance
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Because the guided tours are limited, Mystery Spot recommends booking ahead by purchasing your tickets online or over the phone.

Tickets are $6 per person, though children under 3 are free. There is a gift shop on-site where you can buy tourist-trappings gifts like the legendary Mystery Spot bumper sticker for your car.

There is also a $5 parking fee for their parking lot. Plan on arriving at least 30 minutes before your scheduled tour guide time so you don’t miss out on all the fun! Best of all, the famous Mystery Spot is open all year round for your enjoyment.

Things to do in Santa Cruz Besides the Mystery Spot

Santa Cruz Boardwalk Sign

There are many things to do when visiting Santa Cruz besides the Mystery Spot. One can go to the beach, take a hike in the redwoods, go whale watching, visit the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, or go shopping and eat at restaurants in the downtown area.

Santa Cruz is a great place to spend a vacation, and there is something for everyone to do. The beach is a great place to relax, go swimming, or surf. The Santa Cruz Boardwalk is a historic amusement park with rides, games, and food.

Santa Cruz Beach with Boardwalk Amusement Park in Background

There are also many shops and restaurants in the downtown area. Hiking in the redwoods is a great way to exercise and see beautiful scenery. Because so many whales pass by the coast of Santa Cruz, whale watching is a common activity.

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Is the Mystery Spot, Santa Cruz Worth Visiting?

Sign for Santa Cruz, California

The Mystery Spot is a great place to bring the family for a day trip or a weekend getaway. With so many things to do in the area, you’ll never be bored!

If you are looking for one of the more bizarre tourist attractions and an iconic California historical landmark, the Mystery Spot will deliver! Have you visited the Mystery Spot before? Is it a tourist trap, slightly overrated, or an amazing tourist attraction?


What happens at the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz?

A gravitational oddity occurs in redwood forests called the Mystery Spot. It has circular anomalies that stretch roughly 150 feet and 46 meters in diameter. The way gravity is questioned will surprise you.

How long is the tour at the Mystery Spot?

The guided tour lasts about 40 minutes.

What is the secret of the Mystery Spot?

Tilt may be used to create gravity-based visual illusions known as mystery spots. An oddly angled setting or sitting on a slanted floor could produce this deception. Due to odd tilted conditions, misperceptions of height and position are occasionally registered in the tilting rooms at Mystery Spot.

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