I have a goal to visit all 50 states some day. I love New York, but I also love experiencing new places. My sister’s husband once said, “if it isn’t happening in New York, it probably isn’t worth knowing about”. Granted, he said this as a joke, but it made me realize that I do want to know what is going on in the rest of the country (and the rest of the world, but that is for another blog post). You may not realize it, but each and every state in the USA has something weird, interesting, and worthwhile to visit. And the stranger it is, often the less expensive it is as well! Just like with your saving techniques and investments, a little thought and planning will save a ton of money and make for a better overall experience.
On my quest to visit every state, I plan on visiting as many of the following strange attractions as possible, state by state:
- Unclaimed Baggage Center – Bargain purchases on unclaimed baggage? This is hilarious. I definitely want to visit this one.
- The World’s Largest Office Chair – This is just a “if I happen to be passing by” attraction for me. Would be fun to take pictures with, though!
- The Santa Clause House – I may save this one for when I have kids, but it sounds pretty magical. Complete with live reindeer!
- Igloo City – Weird concept. Again, this would be one I would visit, only if I happened to be in the area. Great photo op though!
- Biosphere 2 – No, not the sequel to the classic Pauly Shore movie, Biodome. This would be an amazing place to visit!
- Oatman, AZ – Old west ghost town? Worth a shot!
- Tiny Town – As a fan of Arrested Development, this one makes me chuckle.
- Arkansas Alligator Farm – Plenty of alligators. And a half monkey, half fish weird skeleton mascot thing, naturally.
- Mystery Spot – Ok, this one is a little more well-known, but I have always wanted to step into an optical illusion!
- Museum of Pez Memorabilia – Do I want to see the world’s largest Pez dispenser? Does the Pope wear a funny hat?
- Cabazon Dinosaurs – Dino museum with the largest dino replicas around.
- Cano’s Castle – A castle made out of beer cans (and other aluminum trash). I can imagine feeling really awkward visiting this place. What an experience!
- Swetsville Zoo – This zoo has NO live animals. They are all built out of metal. Colorado, I am sensing a theme here…
- Wild Bill’s Nostalgia – Don’t miss the world’s largest Jack-In-The-Box here.
- Timexpo Museum – A museum on clocks and watches from Timex, plus, as an added bonus, an Easter Island head (huh?)
- World Championship Punkin Chunkin – Be sure to watch some of the videos on the site. They say more than I ever could. I will have to make sure to time this one correctly though as it seems to be in early November every year.
- Fountain of Youth – Another “if I’m passing nearby” attraction. Mainly for the photo op.
D.C. (Bonus Coverage of our Capital District!):
- Newseum – A museum dedicated to journalists and their stories.
- Skunk Ape Reasearch HQ – Dedicated to proving, once and for all, that Bigfoot really is real!
- Whimzeyland – Ok, a house decorate with bowling balls. I think I may have gone too far down the rabbit hole…
- Charlemagne’s Kingdom – Who needs to visit Germany when you can tower over it?
- World’s Largest Peanut – The South seems to have many of the world’s largest things. And we haven’t even touched Texas yet!
- Pu’uhonua – Sort of like “home base” in the game of tag, if you broke the ancient Hawaiian gods’ rules, you could be safe by reaching this place.
- (Hawaii only has one weird attraction because there are too many beaches and too much good food that would keep me entertained)
- Spud Drive-In – World’s largest potato, located at this drive-in movie theater.
- Oasis Bordello Museum – The only former brothel house-turned museum that I know of.
- Home of the White Squirrels – I admit, this one scares me a little.
- The Two-Story Outhouse – Do I hear perfect date? No. I don’t.
- Leaning Tower of Niles – For those that don’t want to go all the way to Italy.
- World’s Largest Ball of Paint – Really? This is a thing? I am convinced that there is a “world’s largest” everything!
- Giant Lady’s Leg Sundial – This one just makes me laugh. It should be a “if I am passing nearby”, but I might make a special trip for this one.
- John Ivers’ Roller Coaster – Some guy builds his own roller coaster. I am impressed.
- Albert the Bull – World’s largest Bull Replica. Maybe I should have done a separate post with all the “World’s Largest” destinations. Would make for a fun photo album!
- Villisca Ax Murder House – Ok, this one isn’t as cheap. And you might die. But I would still visit.
- Corbett’s Hole – The guy who killed John Wilkes Booth decided to go live in a hole and be totally crazy.
- Dorothy’s House/Land of Oz – This could be amazing, or it could be just weird and creepy. Either way, I am in!
- World’s Largest Ball of Twine – Of course this exists. It is pretty impressively large, though.
- Geographical Center of the USA – Who knew Kansas would have so many appealing oddball attractions?
- Truckhenge – A lot of trucks arranged in crazy ways. Plus there is a fish pond for fishing. Plenty to do here.
- Big Bat – World’s largest bat and glove. Because, you know, Louisville. Oh, and of course the actual museum that goes with it.
- Hillbilly Garden – Putting this down on the “facing my fears” to do list.
- Vent Haven Museum – That “fears” to do list just got a little longer.
- Voodoo Museum – Exactly where you SHOULD find a voodoo museum – in NOLA.
- Tabasco Tour – I bet they even have tastings! Yum!
- Eartha – World’s largest rotating globe. I wonder if I can see my apartment building…
- Chocolate Moose – Do not, I repeat, do NOT eat the world’s largest moose made out of chocolate. Thank you.
- Geppi’s Entertainment Museum – Impressive collection of comic books and other classic entertainment!
- The Mapparium – This is the only one on the list I have actually been to and it is very cool. Go INSIDE a globe.
- World’s Largest Tire – Surprisingly, not in the world’s largest run-down front yard.
- The Heidelberg Project – Another hunk-turned-art place. Looks pretty neat.
- World’s Largest “Booming” Prairie Chicken – Not the world’s largest chicken. Or the world’s largest prairie chicken. But the largest one that is “booming”. Still, a pretty fun photo op.
- Paul Bunyan Statue – This one is actually somewhat famous. Minnesota sure does like its large statues!
- Mammy’s Cupboard – Restaurant and Gift Shop built into a giant woman’s skirt. Yippee!
- Graceland Too – Elvis fan’s shrine to “The King”
- Leila’s Hair Museum – A tribute to human hair and human hair as art. If they serve soup here, I would avoid it.
- Steer Montana – Largest steer (won a lot of “awards” in the early 1900s) taxidermied for your enjoyment.
- World’s Largest Time Capsule – Oh the memories! Set to be opened on 4th of July, 2025!
- Carhenge – Hilarious – high on my list (what’s wrong with me?)!
- Goldwell Open Air Museum – An outdoor art museum. Some creepy and interesting pieces here.
- American Classic Arcade Museum – Have you seen that movie, The King of Kong? I would love to run into some of those guys here!
- Clark’s Trading Post – This is an amusement park, but an odd, small one that I think should make this list.
- Hitler’s Toilet – Yes, yes, yes! This is the kind of weird crap I am talking about (pun intended). And it’s amazing how un-caring the owner is in the video.
- World’s Largest Lightbulb – Yet another “world’s largest” – way to go Edison.
- Area 51 Museum – The aliens look absurd! So good.
- World’s Smallest Church – New York is the only state to understand that there is an oversaturation of “world’s largest” things.
- Sing Sing Prison Museum – Near the actual prison, a museum that celebrates one of the country’s most infamous prison’s.
- Shell-shaped Gas Station – Good piece of Americana – lesser known than the original McDonald’s as well!
- World’s Largest Chest of Drawers – I wonder if they considered using all these “World’s Largest” locations in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
- Tommy the Turtle – World’s Largest Turtle drives the World’s Largest Snowmobile. Double Whammy!
- Jungle Jim’s International Market – More than just a place to buy milk, this grocery store provides zany entertainment!
- Human Fingers in a Jar – Gross. I dare you to poke em!
- Cow Chip Throwing Capital of the World – Visit in April to see some poopy being thrown! How exciting!
- World’s Largest Pig Hairball – This is a different kind of “World’s Largest” – this is not a replica, but the genuine article.
- Jetliner Home in the Woods – Dude converted a jet into his house and placed it in the woods. Neat.
- Mercer Museum – A castle museum. Cool already, but it also has stuff like a vampire killing kit.
- Insectarium – Bugs, bugs, everywhere!
- World’s Largest Bug – Picking up where we left off in Pennsylvania, I have actually been to this one!
- The Tree Root That Ate Roger Williams – Nature: 1, Man: 0
- Mini Golf Capital of the World – Ok, this one isn’t really strange, but I could spend a lot of time here!
- South of the Border – Anyone who has driven on I-95 within 100 miles of this place has seen billboards for it.
- Peachoid Water Tower – People from SC will tell you that THEY are the real peach state.
- Petrified Wood Park – Crazy sculptures, all made from petrified wood.
- Cosmos Mystery Area – Another crazy optical illusion attraction.
- Chief Crazy Horse Memorial – A mountain carving BIGGER than Rushmore!
- International Towing and Recovery Museum – 5-year-old Mr. NYBudget would have LOVED this.
- The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum – For movers and shakers.
- The Cotton Museum – The fabric of our lives gets its own museum!
- Cadillac Ranch – Here’s the cars-stuck-in-the-ground attraction you’ve all been waiting for!
- Big Texan Steak Ranch – Watch as folks try to down a 72 oz steak (if you do, it’s free!)
- Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum – Aaaaand we’ve gotten back to the just plain weird.
- Beer Can House – Title says it all. I can’t imagine it is very livable.
- Biggest Pit in the World – Sure, it’s just a big hole, but this actually looks VERY impressive.
- Hole ‘N The Rock – Guy blasts a hole in a cliff face and calls it home.
- Maple Syrup Museum – Ever had those maple candies? Nuff said!
- Bread and Puppet Museum – Ready to meet the creepiest puppets you’ve ever seen?
- Natural Bridge Wax Museum – Not just for viewing wax people, but for seeing HOW wax people are made.
- Foamhenge – Nobody is mystified by how they moved the not-so-heavy foam into place. This one will save you the cost of a trans-atlantic flight though!
- DEA Museum – History of drug enforcement!
- Ye Olde Curiosity Shop – Weird stuff abounds.
- The Giant Shoe Museum – Largest collection of the largest shoes. Large.
- The Congressional Bunker – This is where the elite would have survived a nuclear war.
- West Virginia State Farm Museum – Lots of farm stuff and dead animals (including a two-headed cow!)
- Mystery Hole – Can you tell I have a soft spot for these cute little illusion attractions?
- West Virginia State Penitentiary Tour – Experience life as an inmate. Hopefully they let you out when the hour is up.
- World’s Largest 6-Pack – Wisconsin wins the “world’s largest” game. They have their priorities straight!
- Museum of Historic Torture Devices – Morbid? Yes, but you have to admit that it’s interesting.
- The Ames Pyramid – If you can’t make it to Egypt…
- Giant Head of Abraham Lincoln – But what is with that body?!
Wow! That took a lot longer than I expected! Let me know what crazy destinations I missed!
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