Located on a once-desolate stretch of Interstate 10 just twenty minutes from downtown Palm Springs, the famous Cabazon Dinosaurs is a roadside attraction you do not want to miss. These incredible creations took decades to construct and are known as the world’s biggest dinosaurs (fake ones, that is).
They may look familiar because they have been featured in cult classics like “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” and “The Wizard.” They were also the stars in various music videos in the eighties, such as Tears For Fears’ “Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” and Rubber Rodeo’s “Anywhere With You.” Whether you are visiting the area for a weekend, live in Riverside County, or are taking a road trip across California, we guarantee you want to add these giant dinosaurs to your list of sites to see.
History of the World-Famous Cabazon Dinosaurs
There is no question about whether the dinosaurs are worth visiting, but the main question you may ask about this roadside phenomenon is, “how did they get there”? The answer starts with one man’s childhood memory of visiting Atlantic City when he was young and seeing a building shaped like an elephant.
This man’s name is Claude Bell, and he is the mastermind behind the formation of and creativity behind the Cabazon Dinosaurs. More than two decades of work, time, and energy went into making his dino-dream a reality (do not forget the $300,000, too). The two dinosaurs are a 100-ton Tyrannosaurus Rex named Rex and a 150-ton concrete brontosaurus named Dinney. Well, it might be an apatosaurus. It’s a whole thing.
A certified creationist, Bell created the dinos to draw business to his Wheel Inn Cafe, which opened in 1958. Dinny was the first dinosaur erected and was made from salvaged materials found at a nearby construction site. The build started in 1964 and took eleven years to complete. The T-Rex, Mr. Rex, was up next, and his construction began in 1981. A third creation, a Wooly Mammoth, was intended to join the pack but was never executed as Claude Bell passed away in 1988.
Visiting the Roadside Attraction in California
To see the dinosaurs and visit the gift shop, you must travel on Interstate 10 in Southern California from either Phoenix or Los Angeles. A photo op worth traveling for, the Cabazon Dinosaurs are a year-round hit for adventurers of all ages. Whether you are visiting for a themed holiday like Valentine’s Day or Easter or simply driving by to snap a pic, the Cabazon Dinosaurs will be waiting for you.
Admission is only available at the door, and rates are $13 for adults (ages 13-55), $11 for children (ages 3-12), and $10 for seniors and the military. The Cabazon Dinosaurs are open for visiting every day from 9 AM to 6:30 PM Monday through Thursday and 9 AM to 8 PM Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Please note that ticket sales end thirty minutes before closing time. Be sure to stop by the gift store and pick up a souvenir. The address is 50770 Seminole Drive, Cabazon, California, 92230. Other nearby attractions include the Cabazon Outlets, the Robotic Dinosaur Museum Cave, and the Morongo Casino Resort and Spa.
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