While the United States has long been known for featuring many well-known attractions such as the Statue of Liberty, the Golden Gate Bridge and Disneyworld, the country also hosts some of the wildest and downright weirdest attractions and tourist destinations in the world. Visiting a wacky attraction can be a fun and exciting time for your family as it offers something different and out of the ordinary. Read on to discover the 10 most wacky and downright crazy attractions in the United States, and how to best enjoy them.
#1 – Toilet Seat Museum, Alamo Heights, Texas
Photo Credit: juliegomoll
Toilets and toilet seats are something everybody uses during the day but nobody talks about. After all, who wants to sit around the kitchen table and discuss what happened when they were taking a number two in the bathroom. Barney Smith, at age 91, isn’t like the rest of us. He owns a museum that features 1002 different toilet seats. He even owns a fragment of a toilet seat that originally belonged to Saddam Hussein before his palace was raided in Baghdad.
Now while most people wouldn’t dare to enter a museum of toilets and toilet seats for fear of smell or worse – Barney assures visitors that all seats are clean and sanitized, and you won’t find any surprises inside either. Visitors from all over the country and the world come to the museum to check out Barney’s collection for themselves. Barney’s favorite toilet is a fairly basic one that incorporates a poem etched into the seat, which talks about the value of hard work. The museum is only open by appointment, so you must call before you can visit.
#2 – Carhenge, Alliance, Nebraska
Photo Credit: Kevin Saff
Carhenge, located in Alliance Nebraska is modeled after the world-famous Stonehenge, located in England. Carhenge makes use of older model (1950s and 60s) American cars to replicate the famous stone structure. Cars are arranged in such a way that the entire structure resembles the actual Stonehenge as well. The attraction was built in 1987 by Jim Reinders as a tribute to his late father who lived on the site his entire life. What’s very unique about the attraction is the cars are aligned and displayed very accurately to resemble the actual Stonehenge attraction located over 3000 miles away. The astronomical alignments of Carhenge resemble Stonehenge is virtually every way shape and form, making this a true sight to see for anybody interested in astrology or ancient traditions.
#3 – Eiffel Tower, Paris, Texas
Photo Credit: KB35
Everybody knows the actual Eiffel tower is located in Paris, France, but the town of Paris Texas has decided to put their own twist on this world-famous attraction by having a 70 foot tall Eiffel tower replica created in the center of the town, complete with a large red Cowboy hat affixed to the top of the tower. The tower is smaller and less massive than the actual tower in Paris, although the red cowboy hat on top makes it a very popular tourist destination for people all around the world.
#4 – Tinkertown Museum, Sandia Park, New Mexico
Photo Credit: Ethan Kan
The Tinkertown Museum in New Mexico is the ultimate tourist destination if you are interested in creative design and folk art. There are numerous displays and attractions to see here including antiques, uniquely crafted art and hand-crafted paintings and designs. The museum is littered with Americana of all shapes and sizes including a 35 foot sailboat that managed to make a 10 year voyage around the world.
The museum is affordable and fun for the entire family. Even if you’re not into art, the different pieces inside the museum are sure to capture your attention and your gaze. One of the biggest attractions is the glass wall comprised entirely of over 50,000 glass bottles of all different shapes and sizes. There is Western memorabilia, old fashioned store fronts and old wagon wheels that allow you live out your Western fantasies without having to purchase or build a time machine.
#5 – Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, Texas
Photo Credit: Doug Wighton
The Cadillac has long been a symbol of American power and pride, and owning a Cadillac has long been a signal of being wealthy and having power and influence. The Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo Texas is comprised of 10 Cadillac’s ranging from a 1949 model to a 1963 model. When originally built in 1974 the cars were old or junk cars that were missing parts, thus they could be obtained for a low price. All of the cars are buried in the ground up to the windshield, and they are arranged in an angle that corresponds to the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. One of the most notable attractions of the Cadillac ranch is that all visitors are encouraged to spray paint the cars and apply their own decorations, making it very popular with artists and tourists alike.
#6 – Minnesota Twine Ball – Darwin, Minnesota
Photo Credit: Dave Fischer
Not all museums and exhibits have to feature ancient history artifacts or pieces of art to be notable. Take the largest ball of twine which exists in Darwin, Minnesota. This single ball of twine features a diameter of 12 feet and a weight of 17,400 pounds. The ball was built and rolled entirely by one man, Francis A. Johnson. One can either assume Johnson was bored out of his mind one day and decided to make the largest ball of twine on record. Either way he devoted 29 years of his life to rolling the ball every day for at least four hours – quite a dedication when you put it into perspective.
#7 – Grotto of the Redemption, West Bend, Iowa
Photo Credit: Denise Krebs
A grotto is a natural cave that is used by man for a variety of reasons including shelter, art and safety. The Grotto of the Redemption is a collection of nine distinct grottos in West Bend, Iowa that depict the life and times of Jesus Christ. What makes this collection of grottos very unique is the large collection of minerals and other natural petrification’s that inhabit the area.
You don’t have to be a religious fanatic to appreciate everything the grotto has to offer. Many people visit simply to see the large collection of rocks and stones that occupy the area, while others come in the vain hope of “borrowing” one of the rocks or minerals in the attraction. All told the rocks and minerals have a value of $4,308,000 – but increased security at the attraction makes bringing home a “souvenir” fairly difficult.
#8 - Bishop’s Castle, Pueblo, Colorado
Photo Credit: Hustvedt
Everybody dreams of being able to build their very own medieval castle, and that’s exactly what Jim Bishop did in Pueblo, Colorado. Jim began construction on his medieval fantasy in 1969 at the age of 25. What originally was intended to be a simple one room cottage (see where I’m going here?) turned out to be something much more massive in both scale and size. The Bishop Castle is now almost 160 feet tall at its highest point and is made entirely from stone and mortar. The castle features a massive fire breathing dragon at the top, as well as large grand ball room. The castle can be used for wedding ceremonies and other celebrations, and it’s always open to the public.
#9 – National Museum of Funeral History, Houston, Texas
Photo Credit: Robert Kimberly
While many people visit museums to gaze at historical artifacts and important pieces of history, the National Museum of Funeral History is devoted entirely towards displaying and exhibiting the various artifacts related to and use in various funerals throughout the world. Death is a way of life, although many people prefer not to think about it.
The museum was built in 1992 and was the dream of Robert Waltrip, who spent over 25 years designing, planning and constructing the museum. The entire exhibit is over 35,000 square feet in size and has quickly become one of the largest and most well-known educational exhibits and centers in the world. One of the biggest and most popular attractions is the “Lives and Deaths of the Popes” which is dedicated to the various artifacts and tools used during the funeral services of the popes throughout history. This exhibit alone is over 10,000 square feet and was opened to the public in 2008.
#10 – Crazy Horse Memorial, South Dakota
Photo Credit: Navin Rajagopalan
Everybody knows of Mount Rushmore, also located in South Dakota, but few people have heard of or visited the Crazy Horse Memorial. This is a carving in granite located in South Dakota that features the face and likeliness of Crazy Horse, one of the most historically important Native Americans in our time. Work is currently being done to carve out a horse underneath the face of Crazy Horse, and eventually the entire body of Crazy Horse and his even crazier horse are going to be fully carved out of the granite wall.
The 10 wackiest and weirdest attractions listed here will definitely get your head spinning and asking the question “How did they do that?” Visiting these attractions with friends and family will offer some good laughs and some crazy sights to behold.