I went bananas at the International Banana Museum near the Salton Sea and Coachella Valley! Who knew there was a museum devoted to bananas? And I couldn’t wait to visit since I love the yellow skinned fruit.
Fred Garbutt is the man behind all things bananas and his wife Kym enjoys telling the story how it began. The building has been owned by his dad since 1958 and Fred came up with an idea to use the old place in a fun way. He bought the Guinness Book of Records largest banana collection on eBay and set up the museum. Since then, it’s been a labor of love and “apeels” to many people. It’s even gathered publicity throughout the world with visitors coming to this desert museum. Everyone has a banana story to share.
It may be small inside but don’t rush because there are over 20,000 banana items to look at in every shape and size. And since they are collectibles, they are not for sale.
A little bit of trivia I learned is the original Twinkies had banana filling but short supply tuned the yellow sponge cakelets filling into vanilla cream. In this hot desert climate, Fred serves homemade banana ice cream in the what else but banana milkshake. I asked how the ice cream is made and was told it’s a secret! I ordered the milkshake and it was so flavorful and refreshing.
On Hwy 111, look for the yellow Camaro and tall yellow sign pointing to the museum.
I suggest to call ahead of time and find out the days and times it will be open because it varies throughout the year.
The International Banana Museum is good for all ages and who doesn’t love a festive banana!
International Banana Museum
98-775 Hwy 111
North Shore, Ca (near Mecca, Ca)