Tourist attractions don’t always have to photogenic, pristine or hard to get to. They can easily be extravagant, gigantic, run-down and at cheap locations. Some of them artists can even describe as bad taste of the highest order, but that’s just another reason to see the unique site.
Don’t worry; the trip itself won’t be a waste of your time. After all, you are going to explore the country’s odd side.
Certain spots are worth a detour; others are so weird, and, frankly, gross, that you may want to skip them.
If an airline lost your luggage and you never got it back, go to this center. The lost bags arrive by the tractor-trailer load at the processing facility to be sorted and priced. Clothes are dry-cleaned and laundered at our in-house facility, the largest in Alabama. Everything you see there is up for grabs. This is the only lost luggage store in the U.S.
It was supposed to be a hotel and hub to a thriving new city in Alaska, but it only really housed bears, moose and wolves. The building, a concrete hotel that is four stories tall, was too big to demolish, so it was left abandoned for decades. You can even see it from a plane flying at 30,000 feet.
Tucson, Arizona is home to the nation's largest cacti, according to the National Park Service. The giant saguaro, the universal symbol of the American west, is found only in a few parts of the county. The enormous cacti are best seen silhouetted by the beauty of a superb desert sunset.
If you can’t go to Brazil to see the real one, go to Arkansas. The seven-story statue of Christ, which overlooks the Ozarks and Eureka Springs, should be enough. It is lighted for night viewing and can be seen for miles. It was created by Emmett Sullivan, who was one of the sculptors of Mount Rushmore.
The dinosaurs are a nice surprise in what is mostly desert. Mr. Rex’s Dinosaur Adventure includes a dinosaur exhibit with more than 50 lifelike dinosaurs, a dinosaur dig, fossil panning, and access to climb inside Mr. Rex all the way up to his mouth.
This one of a kind castle built with glass bottles, beer cans and other metal refuse is a unique attraction that’s worth a visit. The “architect” and builder is Donald “Cano” Espinoza, a Native American Vietnam veteran. There are four separate structures – “the king”, “the queen”, “the palace” and “the rook.”
This is a unique collection if deceased brains. Located at Yale’s medical school library in New Haven it was donated in 1939 in the name of Dr. Harvey Cushing, the father of neurosurgery. The Cushing Brain Tumor registry has over 2,200 case studies which includes human whole brain specimens, tumor specimens, microscopic slides, and over 15,000 photographic negatives dating from the late 1800’s.
The huge concrete oval at Dover International Speedway race track, more popularly known as “The Monster Mile,” looks like The Hulk. His glowing red eyes look a little scary. They can be seen from nearly half a mile away. The Monster has been the track’s mascot since 2000.
It weighs half a ton. The gigantic chicken wing hangs from a fishing hook on a 14-foot-tall crossbeam, over buckets of mild, medium, and hot sauces. There is a sign warning curious travelers to not hang on or climb on the odd attraction.
People often refer to the granite monument as the American Stonehenge. The stones are engraved in eight languages — English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese and Russian. Each relays 10 "new" commandments for "an Age of Reason,” the first of which gets a lot of attention: “Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.”
Have you ever felt like making a pit stop is the actual attraction? This is the case with what has to be “the most scenic urinal in the world” or certainly among the top. A walkway bridge leads to a magnificent view over the plumbing.
This is one of the most unusual B&Bs in the world, and dog lovers love it. You spend the night in the belly of a giant beagle. The Dog Bark Park Inn can sleep up to four people in its Dog Suite loft, which has a queen-size bed and two twin folding futon mattresses.
What is odd about the Chicago River is the fact that it’s the world's only river to flow backward. The reversal of the Chicago River was necessary due to an epidemic of waterborne diseases caused by sewage contamination. Canals, built from 1892 to 1922, were constructed to make the river flow backwards, away from Lake Michigan.
This odd monument is a non-denominational church open to the public. Its creators wanted a church where the only roof large enough to encompass a world of worshippers was the sky, according to Visit New Harmony. This is a popular site for weddings and other sacred ceremonies.
This is the tallest working grain windmill in the country – 124 ft ., 6 in. The 1850’s-style mill was physically originally in Hoogmade, the Netherlands. It was de-assembled, shipped to Iowa, and re-assembled here in Pella in 2002.
The Ball of Twine was a finalist for the 8 Wonders of Kansas because it is a legendary icon of Kansas and the largest Ball of Twine in the world still growing. Frank Stoeber started winding twine on Dec. 24, 1953, and soon neighbor farmers started bringing their twine to him. The rest is history…
Stroll among hundreds of life-sized dinosaurs in a natural setting. The kids will love the interactive exhibits as well as the dino-themed playground featuring slides and swings. The 5,000 sq. ft. gift shop offers prehistoric artifacts, toys, games and beautiful geodes.
He is not that yet but that doesn’t stop him from making arrangements. The St. Louis Cemetery is an attraction in its own right (this is NOLA, after all because of the architecture and history). The tomb is built in the shape of a pyramid, and it takes the space of about four normal-sized graves. Some tourists even kiss it.
Cryptozoology is the study of unknown and/or mysterious animals. Naturally, this is where you go to explore what’s never been proven. Find out about the mystery of Bigfoot (you’ll see dozens of preserved footprints), Loch Ness Monster, mermaids, to name a few. There is an 8-foot-tall Bigfoot, ideal for pictures.
Just like Noah’s ark, but more modern. You will find it in the hills of western Maryland, right by the busy I-68. It is being built as a sign to the world of God's love. It is also being built as a warning of the second coming of Christ.
The name cannot be more literal than this. The Paper House is an actual house made from newspaper. It was built by Mr. Elis F. Stenman, a mechanical engineer who designed the machines that make paper clips, began building his Rockport summer home out of paper as a hobby in 1922. The paper was meant to be good insulation. The furniture is also made from paper.
Two towns in the state are competing for the prize – Traverse City and Charlevoix – and they are practically neighbors, located only about 50 miles apart. Traverse City claimed the title in 1987.
Many people may expect to find such museum in Hawaii, where Spam is a staple food. But you’ll have to go to Austin, Minnesota to find out more about the iconic meal-favorite. There are interactive exhibits so visitors can “go behind the can” for a unique experience.
The inside seating is larger than you think, people have said on TripAdvisor. This quirky roadside eatery is serving big portions of homemade everything. It was built in 1940 with the intention of being a roadhouse.
Having the words adventure, trail and nuclear in one sentence sounds very weird, but the hiking and biking path in Weldon Springs, which is actually on the site of a former uranium production plant, is safe for public use. Still, no one will blame you if you decide to go elsewhere.
It was constructed in 1989 to honor its Cut Bank’s s status as the coldest town in the country. The concrete penguin is 27 feet tall and a weight five tons. It signals to people passing by from its spot in front of the Glacier Gateway Inn. It’s supposed to talk – to say “Welcome to Cut Bank, the Coldest Spot in the Nation” – but the speaker is often out of order.
This famous site replicates Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England. Carhenge, located north of Alliance, consists of the circle of cars, three standing trilithons within the circle, the heel stone, slaughter stone, and two station stones. The site includes a “Car Art Preserve” with sculptures made from cars and parts of cars.
With a barren, arid desert and mountains in the background, the cottonwood tree is literally threaded with footwear. The shoe tree was unfortunately cut down by vandals in 2010. Years later locals designated a tree nearby as the new shoe tree, and it is already decorated with an impressive number of shoes, according to Atlas Obscura.
This is the oldest extant covered railroad bridge in the U.S. It was originally constructed in 1849-50 with major reconstruction in 1889. The bridge is 140 ft., 1 in long and has clear spans of 64 ft., 67 in. The rail line has been abandoned and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
This is the world’s largest railroad. The average family will spend more than two hours on a tour of Northlandz, according to its website. The Atlas Superflex HO Gauge tracks is over eight miles; the longest loop is 1,150 feet; there are about 400 bridges and tressels. If you go you should bring binoculars.
It will “sing” if you drive fast enough along this pretty desolate stretch of Route 66. The tune is “America the Beautiful” and it you can only hear it if cars are traveling at exactly 45 mph, according to the Smithsonian Magazine. This is a clever way of keeping people from speeding.
The Cross Island Chapel, build in 1989, is a non-denominational church located on a dock on Mason's Pond in Oneida. You can totally get married there but the guests present at the ceremony will have to wait ashore. It only sits two people (and possibly the officiant).
“The world’s largest freestanding chest of drawers,” which is three and a half stories high, is for sale. The remake of a 19th century dresser was built as a tribute to High Point’s furniture and hosiery industries. It is actually an office build that can be yours for $235,000.
This is the world's largest man-made turtle. It was erected as a novelty in 1982. It was made by more than 2,000 steel wheel rims. The head alone weighs over a ton. The turtles’ creator, George Gottbrecht, had been saving them for over 16 years, hoping he might actually get to use them one day.
Sometimes around the holidays in the winter the lighthouse is nice coated in ice due to the freezing spray from Lake Erie. If you really try you can see it as a wedding cake or even an ice hotel. Don’t worry though – nobody is freezing inside. It’s automated.
This is the largest land animal skull ever discovered. The skull is on display at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. Pentacertaops was a horned dinosaur from around 75 million years ago. Its name means “five horned face” and it is related to the Triceratops, the name of which means “three horned face.”
If you ever wondered – there is a museum that houses an unusual collection of items, such as weird animals, Native American artifacts, porcelain figurines, clerical vestments, and other oddities. You’ll find them at the Mt. Angel Abbey Museum. The world's largest pig hairball is just one of the highlights.
This is the world's oldest operating roller coaster, built in 1902.It’s also America’s last side friction roller coaster still operating. It was restored in 1997. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places it’s a National Historic Landmark.
This is the mascot of the U.S. Naval Construction Battalion. It is located at the Seabee Museum and Memorial Park, which is the site of the original Naval Construction Battalion in World War Two.
This is the world's largest fire hydrant. It is four stories high and weighs 675,000 pounds. The construction took 14 months to complete. Two other cities in North America claim to house the "world's largest fire hydrant," however, "Busted Plug Plaza" is taller than both structures by over 10 feet and heavier by many thousands of pounds, according to Experience Columbia SC.
This is reportedly the only one in the world. About half a million visit every year. They are drawn to the uniquely designed corn murals. The Corn Palace was built as a way to prove to the world that South Dakota had a healthy agricultural climate.
Stop by if you are interested in seeing more than 20,000 sets of salt and pepper shakers from all over the world. There is also a Pepper Mill collection.
Why wouldn’t there be one? This is Austin after all; its residents’ goal is to keep it weird. This odd attraction is located in the backyard of a small house. You can’t see it from the street; you have to know where to look for it. The owner started building it in 1988 because he thought it was “cool.” It’s made of anything and everything - lawnmower wheels, car bumpers, kitchen utensils, ladders, cables, bottles, bicycle parts, and all kinds of weird stuff.
The name gives it away. Hole N" The Rock is carved out of a huge rock in Utah's Canyonlands Country. The 5,000 square foot home is open year-round. There is also a gift shop and a trading post with locally made Native American pottery and jewelry.
Vanilla, strawberry and chocolate are basic ice cream flavors that will never die, but this is not the case with some more exotic flavors. Those who are discontinued for whatever reason have a final resting place in Waterbury. The graveyard is on a hill overlooking the factory.
This is an exact replica of the more famous monument - the prehistoric one in the English county of Wiltshire – but it’s made using Styrofoam. It’s on a remote island, but it makes for stunning photos. Fall is the best time to go.
This must be the quirkiest attraction, which has been there for about 30 years, in the entire state. It is what the name says it is – basically a wall of saliva. Some may find this huge wall – about 50 feet – with chewed gum a bit gross but that doesn’t stop them from looking. (You don’t have to touch.)
This is where “the laws of gravity are defied.” No one really knows for sure what exactly is happening there but the Mystery Hole seems to affect different people in different ways. Some get lost, walk in the wrong direction, and see strange things. It’s only 15 miles from the New River Gorge Bridge in Fayetteville and is open May through October.
This is the world’s largest “talking” cow – 16 feet tall and 20 feet long (seven times bigger than a normal cow). It’s fair to say she is the “only” talkative cow of such proportions in the world. Too bad her coin-operated voice box doesn’t work anymore, according to some reports.
It’s known as the world’s oldest building because it was constructed of fossilized dinosaur bones. About 5,780 dinosaur bones were used to build the cabin, which weighs 102,166 pounds. Another nickname for the cabin is “the building that used to walk.”