I was allowed to explore unusual sights with fascinating stories.

Point Reyes shipwreck.

Ryder Kimball / Insider

The Bay Area offers many strange and often unexpected features that are fun to do. The first I ever visited was the Point Reyes Shipwreck in Inverness: an abandoned boat that was housed in a wetland and is now a local memorial.

There’s also Flintstone House, a Stone Age-inspired property with colorful sculptures that is almost impossible to miss while driving on Interstate 280.

There is also the former prison island of Alcatraz, a famous landmark off the coast of San Francisco that held many famous criminals, including Al Capone, captive.

Lesser-known secrets, like an old church turned into a roller-skating rink, take more time to find, but are just as awesome.