One of the best parts of this whole California City trip was exploring the abandoned Lake Shore Inn.

According to Atlas Obscura, the hotel closed down around twenty years ago. But to my eye, the detritus strewn throughout the place seemed to suggest that it folded during a much earlier era. My friends and I came across robins egg blue washer/dryer machines, bright flowery wallpaper, a bar covered in red vinyl, and vintage elevator buttons that all strongly recalled the sixties more than the eighties.

It was weird to see the garish trappings of that bygone time entombed in this desolate, dirt-infested heap of rubble. Graffiti covered everything, and some of it was rather creepy (“Stay out,” “I died here,” “Enter at your own risk,” etc.). The whole place was slowly crumbling. Broken glass littered the floor, cracked plumbing equipment lay in random piles, and pink insulation peeked out from the many holes in the walls.

The outermost walls had all been entirely taken down, making trespassers easily visible to the people living in the incongruous cookie-cutter mansions across the street. But the Lake Shore Inn’s state of disrepair didn’t prevent us from getting into all the rooms on all four floors. We walked through bedrooms, bathrooms, halls, broken elevator shafts, stairwells, and kitchens. We even made it onto the snow-covered roof.

The bar was especially fun. It reminded me of that bar from “The Shining” for some reason, and I liked the fractured mirrors behind the counter. The empty, debris-ridden pool and jacuzzi outside were also nice touches. Its proximity to Central Park made it the perfect representative image of California City’s long-lost delusions of grandeur. 

This great video makes for a nice tour through all the nooks and crannies of this incredible place.