40 Of America's Weirdest Tourist Traps To Visit On Your Next Vacation

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40 Of America's Weirdest Tourist Traps To Visit On Your Next Vacation

Eccentric Roadside - Forgotten Places Photography

When I was growing up, my parents loved to save money by taking our family on "staycations."

While other kids went to Disney World or the Bahamas me and my brothers went to the local petting zoos and museums.

It sounds boring, but in fact there are some pretty nifty sights across this big country of ours.

That is, if you think giant cutlery, fruit museums, and haunted motels are "nifty" - which I do.

Have you visited any of this 40 far-out tourist traps:

1. Ben and Jerry's Flavor Graveyard - Burlington, Vermont

Ben & Jerry's flavor graveyard
RyanReporting - YouTube

Yes, it's real!

This is where the ice cream chain's failed flavors are buried by the pint, with their own headstones.

The cemetery's residents include Wavy Gravy, Oh Pear, and a disastrous grape flavor that killed a dog.

2. Skunk-Ape Research Headquarters - Ochopee, Florida

Skunk Ape

There's more to this "research center" than Florida's famous Sasquatch lookalike.

It also hosts the annual Everglades Skunk Ape Festival, including the Miss Skunk Ape beauty pageant.

3. World's Largest Horseshoe Crab - Blanchester, Ohio

Horseshoe Crab
Times Gazette

Who would build a 55-foot long sea bug, and why would they leave it in a biblical scripture garden?

It's meant to represent creationism, since the horseshoe crab has supposedly never evolved.

4. Center of America - Lebanon, Kansas

Center of America

The tiny town of 218 people is the geographic center of the lower 48, which is about the only reason for tourists to stop there.

5. Bubblegum Alley - San Luis Obispo, California

Bubblegum Alley
One Cool Thing Every Week - YouTube

This alley is 70-feet long, 15-feet high, and completely covered in chewed gum.

If that's your idea of a day trip, stop by and add another piece to the wall.

6. Hat 'n Boots - Seattle, Washington

Hat and boots
Joel Rogers Photography

Two attractions in one: this is the world's largest cowboy hat and the biggest pair of boots.

It was once a gas station, and there are a pair of bathrooms in the boots.

7. Salvation Mountain - Niland, California

Salvation Mountain
The Riveter Magazine

Born-again Christian Leonard Knight spent over three decades writing hopeful and religious messages on this hill with latex paint.

Sadly he passed away in 2014, but his landmark is still drawing in tourists.

8. Uniroyal Giant Tire - Allen Park, Michigan

Uniroyal Tire

This massive attraction began its life as a ferris wheel at the 1964 World's Fair in New York.

It was later moved in front of the Uniroyal Tire office, but today only the tire remains.

9. World's Largest Ball of Twine - Cawker, Kansas

Ball of Twine

Accept no imitators!

There are at least four massive twine balls competing for the record, but Cawkor's attraction is the biggest at nearly 20,000 pounds.

Started way back in 1953, the townspeople add to the twine twice a year, so it's still growing.

10. Mothman Statue - Point Pleasant, West Virginia

Happilee RVing

He looks scary, but the legendary mothman of West Virginia has a reputation for warning people of natural disasters.

The statue built in his honor is 12-feet tall and made of steel.

11. The Peachoid - Gaffney, North Carolina


This enormous monument to peaches is famous for two things:

It looks like a butt, and was featured in an episode of House of Cards (because it looks like a butt).

12. Dog's Bark Inn - Cottonwood, Indiana

Dog's Bark Inn
The sign reads "A noble and absurd undertaking."Alan Levine - Wikimedia

Yes, this hotel is shaped like a 27-foot tall beagle.

Yes, there's also a smaller puppy beside it.

And, yes, you can buy dog-themed chainsaw art inside. Of course.

13. International Banana Museum - Mecca, California

Banana Museum
Christie's California Adventure

Guests go... crazy for this world famous attraction.

It's in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest museum devoted to a single fruit.

Be sure to see the museum's mummified banana.

14. Fountain of Youth - Lewes, Delaware

Fountain of Youth
Cat Morley

This well built by the Dutch in 1631 is real, but sadly, it's dry. Surprisingly, that hasn't stopped tourists from visiting.

15. Clown Motel - Tonopah, Nevada

Clown Motel
Danny S. - Yelp

This horrifying clown-themed hotel features hundreds of pieces of clown memorabilia and a historic graveyard.

It's currently on sale - but who would be brave enough to buy it?

16. World's Largest Fork - Springfield, Missouri

Largest Fork
Traveling Mom

Weighing in at 11 tons and standing 35 feet tall from tip to tine, this huge statue once stood in front of a restaurant.

It was moved to an advertising agency when the restaurant went bust.

17. The Jimmy Carter Peanut - Plains, Georgia

Cater peanut

Whatever you think of America's 39th president, you can't deny this 13-foot peanut has his smile.

It traveled the country on Carter's 1976 campaign before planting roots in his birthplace.

18. Corn Palace - Mitchell, South Dakota

Corn Palace

Don't let the smiling corn statues and rock concerts fool you.

The real attractions at this chintzy hall are exhibits like "A Salute to Agriculture."

Admission is free year-round, because who would pay?

19. Leila's Hair Museum - Cabazon, California

Leila's Hair Museum
Lawrence Journal-World

No, not just Leila's hair on display.

The museum has thousands of pieces made from human hair, including sculptures, wreaths and jewelry.

Be sure to see the hair brooch from the 1680s.

20. Friar Junipero Sierra Statue - Hillsborough, California

Junipero Statue

This enormous monument to the famous Californian friar towers 26 feet above the interstate, pointing at traffic.

No, I don't really get it either.

21. Lucy the Elephant - Margate City, New Jersey

Lucy the Elephant
Margate Business Association

Lucy isn't the most exciting roadside tourist trap, but she is the first.

She was built in 1881 to attract real estate business. Visitors can actually climb up into her carriage.

22. Bedrock City - Routes 180 and 64, Arizona

Bedrock City
American Expeditioners

This Flintstones-themed park is a little run down, but you can still tour Fred's house and park your RV in the campground.

It's just a short drive from the Grand Canyon.

23. Southern Forest World - Waycross, Georgia

Southern Forest World
Stuckie the dog.Cover Images

Tour the historic forestry museum (how exciting) and learn about the turpentine industry and logging mills.

Okay, the real attraction here is Stuckie, a petrified dog who was discovered inside a log in the 1980s.

24. Dinosaur Statues - Cabazon, California

Cabazon Dinosaurs

Dinny and Mr. Rex used to shill for a nearby restaurant.

These days, they've been repurposed as mascots for a creationism museum.

25. Cadillac Ranch - Amarillo, Texas

Cadillac Ranch
Richie Diesterheft - Wikimedia

A quirky art collective buried this row of Cadillacs in the dirt, supposedly at the same angle as the pyramids of Giza.

The attraction changes regularly because visitors are encouraged to paint it.

26. Blue Whale - Catoosa, Oklahoma

Blue Whale
Turover - Wikimedia

Note: This attraction is NOT to scale.

The beached whale of route 66 is the only remaining display from a lizard park.

27. Hole N" The Rock - Moab, Utah

Hole N The Rock
Tandava Krishna Kandru - YouTube

A family carved their 50,000 square foot home into this sandstone formation, complete with 14 rooms, a fireplace, and a 65-foot chimney.

Today, the rock also includes a restaurant and zoo.

28. Killer Bee Statue - Hidalgo, Texas

Killer bee statue
jennifer126 - Flickr

The mayor of Hidalgo capitalized on the town's fame as the place where deadly killer bees first crossed into America.

A massive $20,000 statue marks the historic event - even though killer bees don't really exist.

29. Big Duck - Flanders, New York

Big Duck
Big Duck

Believe it or not, ducks and duck eggs were really sold inside the big duck once.

Today it's just a roadside attraction. Famously, Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley spent a night there.

30. Prada Marfa - Marfa, Texas

Prada Marfa
Ballroom Marfa

An artist created the faux designer store outside of this small town, complete with real Prada handbags and shoes.

The shoes are non-matching pairs and the bags have no bottoms, but thieves still take them from time to time.

31. Beer Can House - Houston, Texas

Beer Can House
Andrew Wiseman - Wikimedia

Yes, it's true. This home from the late '60s was built using nothing but beer cans, beer bottles, and botte caps.

It features at least 50,000 cans.

32. Carhenge - Alliance, Nebraska

Brian Schaller - Wikimedia

Jim Reinders built this Stonehenge replica in 1987 as a tribute to his father.

It's made of 38 cars arranged in a 96-foot circle.

More than 4,000 people gathered around the monument during the 2017 solar eclipse.

33. World's Largest Buffalo - Jamestown, North Dakota

World's Largest Buffalo
Tourjamestown - Wikimedia

It's 26-feet tall and yes, it's fully accurate, so watch which angle you take your souvenir pictures from.

34. UFO Watchtower - Hooper, Colorado

UFO Watchtower
Plazak - Wikimedia

The San Luis valley is famous for extraterrestrial sightings, and this observation tower draws thousands of visitors a year.

There's a campground nearby, and the venue also hosts alien-themed weddings that are out of this world.

35. World's Largest Chest of Drawers - High Point, North Carolina

Chest of Drawers
Amusing Planet

High Point calls itself the "home furnishings capital of the world," which explains this massive armoire.

The chest itself is 32-feet high, and the socks dangling out of it are six feet long.

It's also for sale, but you would need a pretty big bedroom to fit it.

36. Barney Smith's Toilet Seat Art Museum - San Antonio, Texas

Toilet Seat Art Museum
Toilet Seat Art Museum - Facebook

The former plumber who runs this attraction has designed more than 1,300 porcelain toppers, each with a kitschy theme.

You can bring Smith a toilet seat and he'll paint your name on it if it's used in a design.

37. Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum - Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum
Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum

Of course, the Jack Daniel's Distillery is the main attraction in Gatlinburg, but don't pass up this cute little museum,

It's stuffed to the gills with 20,000 salt and pepper sets, including shakers that date back to the 1500s.

38. The Thing - Dragoon, Arizona

The Thing
Terror From Beyond the Daves

The Thing has been drawing in crowds since the 1950s.

Follow the signs advertising it and you'll reach a mysterious museum. It's $1 to tour the collection of bizarre artifacts (or just 75 cents for children), with The Thing as the main attraction.

But what is it exactly? I won't spoil the surprise for you.

39. World's Most Scenic Urinal - Kealakekua, Hawaii

Scenic Urinal

Leave the continental U.S. and fly down to Hotel Kona on Hawaii's big island.

There, you can check out the men's room, which boasts stunning vistas of the island just above the urinals.

Sorry ladies, this photo will have to do.

40. Nic Cage's Tomb - New Orleans, Louisiana

Nic Cage tomb
Amusing Planet

We end at the end, the final resting place of National Treasure star Nic Cage.

Yes, Cage is still among the living, but the movie star has already chosen his burial plot: a striking 10-foot white pyramid.

The inscription of Cage's future tomb reads Omnia Ab Uno - "everything from one."

Have you visited any of these strange attractions?

I write about all sorts of things for Shared, especially weird facts, celebrity news, and viral stories.