Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Fun in SoCal !

Those of us who were lucky enough to spend at least a part of our childhoods in Southern California had a lot of options when you wanted to have some good clean fun with your family. Here are just a few...

I love this awesome shot of the entrance to the California Alligator Farm in Buena Park (right next to Knott's)! The undated photo is from the mid-to-late 50's. Check out the sign - "Drop In"! Back in those days it really was a kind of road-side attraction. My family went there a few times when I was a kid, and there was something strangely fascinating about those scaly reptiles; you realized that they'd be perfectly happy to eat you if they had the chance. Did you know that alligators are only native to the United States and China?


One of my favorite places in L.A. is the wonderful Griffith Observatory. Why, I was just there a few months ago! Even if you don't go into the observatory (which is free, so why wouldn't you?), the view alone is worth the trip. You can see miles and miles of the city, all the way to the ocean - on a clear day of course. This photo (probably from around 1957) shows a great sign that is long-gone. You may remember the lady in this picture, who we previously saw miniature golfing.


There's the RMS "Queen Mary", you can still visit the ocean-liner-turned-tourist-attraction (seen here in April, 1972) at its permanent berth in Long Beach. Take a tour and check out the art deco splendor, and get a feel for what it was like to cross the Atlantic in luxury (and long before air travel was common). I have some early-70's photos from aboard the ship if anybody cares to see them!


From 1966, here is the sign for Marineland of the Pacific, formerly in beautiful Palos Verdes. The leaping Pilot Whale ("Bubbles"?) and couple of Common Dolphins make for a striking tableau. A stylized spray of water (resembling a whale's exhalation) also forms the letter "M". Marineland has been closed for many years, and although buildings remained up until fairly recently, I've read that all traces have been torn down for a new luxury development.

16 comments:

TokyoMagic! said...

What a great selection of pics today, Major! And I would love to see more of the Queen Mary....or any of these other tourist spots. I can't believe it's been almost a year since we saw that lady miniature golfing....where does the time go?

Davelandweb said...

Yes - more Queen Mary photos! Thanks Major!

stu29573 said...

Yep, I could go with more Queen Mary pics. I still have my ceramic Queen Mary bank that I bought there in 1973!

Connie Moreno said...

Wonderful assortment! I remember begging my Dad to take me to the Allegator farm but he wouldn't. I wonder if he was scared? Back then dads didn't admit those things, LOL!

The Planetarium is indeed a great place to visit and I just love this old sign!

I have some 1980's shots from the Queen...would be fun to compare. It is a beautiful ship and when you walk down those old halls alone it's rather creepy. I took the ghost tour one night - cheesy but lots of fun.

And Marineland! Oh, how I miss it!! Drove by theere about 6 months ago and yes, all traces of it are completely gone. So sad.

Anonymous said...

Marineland in 1966 ... just two years after the Clampett family went fishing there (and Granny tangled with a killer whale)! Wooohoooo!!!

Viewliner Ltd. said...

WOW! Leave it to the Major to come up with some truly great Americana slides.

I would be at the Planetarian on a daily basis of the golf lady was there. A very nice set of planets.

I know, I know, but still a great place to visit.

Please by all means post everything. Thanks.

Andrew said...

Fun set of slides! That Queen Mary with a neat old parking lot is especially interesting! I remember going to see the Queen Mary and the Spruce Goose as a kid in the 80s. You are right about SoCal having lots of fun things to do for a kid growing up, as I did in San Diego. Thanks for bringing back some memories!

Major Pepperidge said...

Anonymous.... huh??!

Meanwhile, I have no idea how much the Queen Mary has changed over the years... I haven't been since I was about 9 years old! I'll have to dig up those slides and scan 'em.

Anonymous said...

Another vote for more QM slides, thank you.

Also more of the golfing lady...Viewliner and I both noticed her.

JG

Chiana_Chat said...

Cool on the Queen Mary. :) And golfing gal is sure to be good with a... well she's sharp huh? Caption it, "Nahw you just want to get me gazin' at the stars with you. You a fresh one ain'tcha?"

Grand Marineland sign.

"Motel - Restaurant - Cocktails"

Cocktails! Watch the seals blubber around and get a fat tire at the same time. Sounds swell! tee hee.

Similarly, Aligator farm:

"One of... The World's Largest Reptile Farms"

Chris Merritt said...

Love todays post - the Planetarium Theatre slide in particular...

Let's Talk Knott's said...

Great post! As far as I know there is nothing left of Marineland. The luxury resort has been built and I believe covers almost the entire peninsula. It was while sneaking into the ruins of Marineland that I realized I was a themepark junkie.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

I'm late to the party but WOW - I've been to all of these places!!! The Marineland slide is luscious...

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I'm not a Beverly Hillbillies fan, but I believe Anonymous is referring to when they shot an episode at Marineland. I believe Lucille Ball went there too in one of her shows and ended up in the dolphin tank.

Nancy said...

great set of pictures....

so any cool things to see and do there. i definitely would like to see more of the Queen Mary, too! :)

Barry said...

Of course more Queen Mary...and I like 60s-70s Griffith Park too.
Always great photos on your site!