Here’s your daily travel guide to the best adventures and experiences in the Golden State. Each of these essential California adventures has been tried and tested by a Travel section staffer or contributor.
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Why: The Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum in Carlsbad is novel and quirky – and proof that good things come in small packages.
What: The collection includes painstakingly crafted, remarkable miniatures, many with moving parts. There are cars, planes, engines of all sorts, ships, thumb-sized guns and knives, and much more. These are not the plastic model car kits from your childhood; for example, there's an eye-popping version of a 1932 Duesenberg SJ that has more than 6,000 custom-made parts and is said to have taken more than 10 years to finish. The folks who built these tiny wonders spent decades perfecting their craft.
There are hundreds of works from around the world on display, and docents to describe the intricacies and makers of each. Try to time your visit to coincide with a tour of the machine shop/engine room for a little extra oomph.
Although it’s not geared for the toddler crowd, the museum, a few miles east of Legoland, can be an inspiring second stop for families with kids who like to build things. And while you're in the neighborhood, you could make it a triple play with a bonus stop at the nearby Museum of Making Music, where visitors have the chance to play musical instruments.
Where: Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum, 3190 Lionshead Ave., Carlsbad; 95 miles south of downtown L.A.
How much: Free. Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. Machine shop/engine room demos are at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.