Mystery Spot
About
The Mystery Spot is a gravitational anomaly located in the redwood forests just outside of Santa Cruz, California. It is a circular area of effect around 150 feet or 46 meters in diameter. Within the Mystery Spot you will be stunned as your perceptions of the laws of physics and gravity are questioned. But don't take our word for it, come and decide for yourself! The Mystery Spot was discovered in 1939 by a group of surveyors and opened to the public in 1940. The Mystery Spot has amazed and perplexed hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world, and many return time and time again to experience these puzzling variations of gravity, perspective, and height. Some speculate that cones of metal were secretly brought here and buried in our earth as guidance systems for their spacecraft. Some think that it is in fact the spacecraft itself buried deep within the ground. Other theories include carbon dioxide permeating from the earth, a hole in the ozone layer, a magma vortex, the highest dielectric biocosmic radiation known anywhere in the world, and radiesthesia. Whatever the cause is, it remains a mystery.
Duration: 2-3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
What is Travelers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.

Top ways to experience Mystery Spot and nearby attractions

See what travelers are saying
  • Bonnie S
    Mesa, Arizona15 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Awesome family fun!.
    Really crazy awesome...we had a blast! It can leave you quite dizzy and off balance. Be careful if you have balance issues Laughed a lot, great fun, especially younger kids, they will be mind blown!
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 14, 2023
  • Linda W
    Los Angeles, California84 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Interesting but not as exciting as expected.
    Book your tickets online in advance. The tickets get sold out quickly at the site and you may need to wait for an hour or longer for next available time. The tour was ok, about 25 min long, not as exiting as expected. You will have a tour guide who will guide you to walk up a short hill to a small cabin - the “mystery spot”. You get to stay inside the cabin for like 10 min to get some photos. That’s about it. If you are near the area, it’s an interesting spot to stop by since the ticket is only $10/person. But I wouldn’t go out of my way just to come for the tour.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 22, 2023
  • Milap S
    Ahmedabad, India146 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Definitely worth a visit
    This is nice place to go with kids, if you have senior citizens in your family it is very difficult for them to maintain balance, it is a unique place where gravity seems to be messed up. Don’t drive immediately after visiting this place as some of us may feel dizzy after touring mystery spot. My family had an awesome time at this place
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 4, 2023
  • CHMac🎉
    California177 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fun tour in the woods
    The kids loved it & I did too. Rory was a great tour guide. Funny jokes and a Beatles fan! Our kids were engaged and really enjoyed it. The entire staff we encountered was fun. I didn’t experience anyone “odd.” Buy your tickets online. They do sell out and I did see people being turned away.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 7, 2023
  • Alexa A
    2 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    August Tour review
    Rae our guide was great! She was funny and very sweet! She was respectful and had great jokes. Only downfall was the communication between the reservation host and the other guides. We had to wait after our ticket said a certain tour group number. They did not communicate with each other and we had a different tour time then what we reserved and booked in our reservation. One of the female tour guide was rude because the staff did not communicate well. However, our tour guide Rae made up for it with her being very nice and funny.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 28, 2023
  • ashish
    Bengaluru, India288 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Good if you are passing by, else Skippable
    It's a good attraction for 10 bucks and you can spend about an hour here. Though location is out of the way so overall time taken can be longer. Of course, there is no mystery here but simply an optical illusion and perception trick. Could be good for 12-18 yr students to understand why, and silly fun for younger folks.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written January 2, 2024
  • Dsar6798
    Memphis, Tennessee159 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    So cool
    This place was so cool! The tour was very informative and the guides are really personable. It’s not a terribly long tour, as it’s not a big place, but the whole experience was fun! I’m glad we visited during our stay in Santa Cruz!
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 25, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles1,162 reviews
Excellent
465
Very good
460
Average
158
Poor
40
Terrible
39

Lisa L
Tampa, FL83 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
This place was super cool. I loved the whole vibe when we first got there. It's in the middle of the Redwoods, so it's just so calm and peaceful....well, until you go on the tour. I thought it was going to be very gimmicky, but I didn't feel like that at all when I was there. The place made me feel dizzy and nauseated. It was cool, though. If you're in the area, I definitely recommend this and it's only $8.
Written July 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

pablucho35
Savannah, GA250 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022 • Friends
Fun attraction, something you don’t experience every day. It is a bit pricey but I’ve spent more money on less memorable things. I love it how they present it as a gravitational anomaly and the staff really play in that. Something unique.
Written February 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Boromir1234
San Francisco, CA62 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2020
This was an amusing use of 45 minutes. And we have seen bumper stickers for it forever, and wanted to check it off the list. We were able to just show up and walk right onto the tour that was starting when we arrived. The Mystery Spot is really just one cabin that is mysterious. So the tour guide talks about the cabin, then you go in the cabin, then you come back down. I won't spoil it here, but I think I know what the mystery is.
Written November 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

colleen
Sewell, NJ17 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Family
Stopped at the Mystery Spot on our way out of Santa Cruz… so glad we stopped!!!! First, we had THE BEST tour guide, Cameron! We really felt like he made it even more fun- such a great sense of humor while also showing us the weird, or interesting, things about this place. Definitely a warning that you might feel some physical effects from the weird gravity pulls in there, but we all did fine. My whole family loved this place! Worth stopping for sure!
Written July 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

NA22
Northampton, UK113 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Couples
A bit of a novelty experience. As another reviewer suggests- go once to see what it’s all about, but you need only budget around 30 minutes.

It’s a good optical illusion and the staff put a lot of effort into the story and the acting, which kept it fun.

This is also a beautiful setting but it is in the middle of nowhere. If we had known that this was such a brief ‘tour’ with only one thing to look at, we probably wouldn’t have gone out of our way.
Written June 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

s0cal310
Torrance, CA2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023
Fun place! Our kids and their cousins enjoyed it (ages 9-15). Get a reservation to ensure the timeframe you want. The tour is about 30 minutes and the guides are funny and relatable. The short hike up to the main attraction is super steep. The cabin and the ground it’s on are very crooked; the tall wooden fence around it makes the optical illusion possible. Therefore, this tour is not recommended for those with mobility issues or vertigo. Everyone received the famous bumper sticker at the end of the tour and we bought souvenirs from the gift shop. Highly recommend!
Written April 10, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ColoradoMts
Lafayette, CO159 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Family
I’ve been driving past the Mystery Spot for over 60 years as we lived within a few hours. Finally a trip with my 12 yr old Granddaughter made me finally stop by and see the illusion for ourselves.
I must admit we were skeptical and yet it was amazing!! Can I explain it?! No!
It was fun to see the water and billiard balls run uphill. I was quite dizzy and had to hang in to the rails so I wouldn’t tumble.
It was worth the money and I’d highly recommend it if you are passing by.
FYI. You also pay $5.00 to park after you buy your tickets. Beautiful location in the redwoods.
Written August 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SV
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
Surprisingly fun. Beautiful forested location. I was expecting an event where I could take some interesting photos, but the tour guide had some humor and flair and that made for a fun outing for the family. A bit of an uphill, sidewalk climb and some strength needed for balance at the slanted spot as you leave handrails behind. Bring cash for tip and parking. I felt bad I had no cash for tip, $5 would have been appreciated I'm sure. For management, I would allow for a add-on tip on register receipt from store for tour guide for people that buy a souvenir.
Written June 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KnickerbockerJones
San Francisco, CA294 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021 • Couples
My husband and I had the day off and wanted to get out of the city but not go to far. So why not go to the Mystery Spot and enjoy some food down in Santa Cruz. I can't believe I stayed once in Santa Cruz for 3 months and never went out of my way to watch this $8.00 attraction. $5.00 parking. This road side unique oddity attraction was great. It is about a 40 minute tour that makes science fun and I appreciate that. The young girl at the ticket booth was incredibly polite and handled the large crowd well. Our tour guide Sean was fantastic. He engaged adults and children a like. I appreciated the jokes, sarcasm, and tips for a good picture. I chose the smooth criminal. Word of caution...your equilibrium will be thrown off. This can make you dizzy.

The gift shop attendant's customer service was superb. Going back and forth between the clients at the window and the ones in the shop without missing a beat and a smile on his face. I was able to leave with a little redwood tree to grow at home.

I love a place that knows who they are and don't take themselves to seriously. They offer you a good time. Thank you Mystery Spot and thank you Sean for a good time. I strongly recommend this tour. PLEASE tip your tour guides!!!
Written November 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Balasubramanian R
Chennai (Madras), India805 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022
Mystery spot is located on the way to Santa Cruz. Entrance fee is there and the guide is taking the tourists in batches. The spot is on a hill with steep slope. Tilted cabin with two rooms are made on the spot. We felt little uneasy when passing through the place. Guide dragged the visiting time to the place and it took maximum 45 minutes for the visit.
Written September 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 1,092
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Mystery Spot - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

All Santa Cruz HotelsSanta Cruz Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Santa Cruz
All things to do in Santa Cruz
Amusement Parks in Santa CruzCasinos & Gambling in Santa Cruz
RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars