Oregon’s many ghost towns captivate the imaginations of road-trippers and photographers with the mysteries of who might’ve called these frontier communities home. -- NBMORE: Door County is a rightside-up treasure in Wisconsin, The World’s Largest Elk Horn ArchAftonAfton is a tiny town in middle-of-nowhere Wyoming -- otherwise known as “Wyoming" -- but the little hamlet south of Jackson has a hell of a unique centerpiece. -- NBMORE: Did you know Iowa has its own Great Lakes? I can unsubscribe any time using the unsubscribe link at the end of all emails. After 90 days, the airlines send your lost luggage here. It's located near the stunning Mammoth Cave, so that means that of course there are woolly mammoths kids can climb on. If you're the latter, you're rewarded with an endless assault of tourist crap (think gator heads, beach clothes, fudge, and shells). Roadside attractions are, by definition, kooky. But if you believe that "The Truth is Out There”, then this is your spot. -- AKMORE: California's just overflowing with haunted places, Bishop CastleRyeA 160-foot-tall structure of stone and steel, Bishop Castle includes four towers, two catwalks, a ballroom, and a whole lot of wrought- iron railings and flourishes. -- KMMORE:This New Jersey sculpture garden is continuing Lucy's public-art legacy, Basically everything in RoswellRoswellIs it fair to call an entire town a roadside attraction? Thus, they now live on their lil monkey Alcatraz. Europe Might Be Closed, but I Recently Went Scuba Diving in Portugal, Oregon State Hospital Museum of Mental Health, 20 Ultimate Things to Do in New York City, 10 Things to Do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks, The Best Hotels in Portland for a Business Trip, The Best Hotels for Getting Around Without a Car in Portland, The Best Hotels for a Luxury Experience in Portland. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! -- Allison Robicelli, The Paper HouseRockportIn 1922, Ellis Stenman wanted to see if he could insulate his summer house with newspaper. Da Yoopers is a novelty band formed by actual Yoopers who sing about fishing and cars in goofy accents that may or may not be fake. -- AK, Secret CavernsHowes CavePrivately owned caves are a vastly under-appreciated roadside mainstay, probably because getting strangers to go underground on your mysterious rural property is a hard sell. In the late-19th-century facility, volunteers operate the nonprofit Oregon State Hospital Museum of Mental Health, which explores the somber history of psychiatry through artifacts such as straitjackets sewn by patients and now-regrettable treatment devices. Offer available only in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico). Oasis Bordello MuseumWallaceLocated in a quaint little mining town, the Oasis bordello actually operated up until 1988, meaning the artifacts in this downtown building (and its infinitely creepy basement) include old-timey dresses, gas lamps (so romantic! Believers and kitsch-seekers must check out the International UFO Museum & Research Center, displaying documents supporting the cover-up as well as lots of far-out art and exhibitions. Enjoy. There weren’t alien tchotchkes everywhere, nor were we surrounded by roadside attractions. Here are our favorite offbeat spots. All rights reserved. For more information about your privacy and protection, please review our full. That humanoid is Jake the Alligator Man, a star of the Weekly World News who resides at Marsh's Free Museum, a sprawling peculiarium filled ceiling to floor with weirdness and kitsch. It’s completely open to the public and it’s definitely worth seeing for yourself. Well, this 38 foot dresser is here to remind you. UFO Landing Pad: St. Paul, Alberta, Canada. © 2020 Lonely Planet. Now you have an interactive art display full of muddy, creepy doll heads in the depths of a muggy patch of woods. A fake-ass alien autopsy site. Built in 1881, this six-story elephant resides in Margate City. Driving through Oregon, you may come across some pretty bizarre roadside attractions. Definitely stop and see it. There are makeshift spaceships you can tour. Within its walls, you'll find out the history of SPAM, including its massive cultural cache in island diasporas. Lionsgate bought a portion of Roadside in 2007. But if you can control yourself, you'll be treated to the Madame Tussaud's of Biblical tableaus, a wax museum dedicated to martyrs, Reformation, and other pious figures. The accepted practice today is to leave your own mark on the art by drawing on the cars. a 65ft-high wooden pachyderm constructed in 1881 as a developer’s truly weird scheme to attract land buyers to the area. One small step for cheese, one giant leap for cheese, kinda. Grab a bite in this tiny lake town. The park was originally used as the site of the South River Brick Company but in the early 1900s when the company stopped digging massive holes in the ground to extract clay for bricks, nature ran its course and the holes started to fill with rainwater. Naturally, your first question here is: Are there actual monkeys on Monkey Island? Scissors. In your opinion, what’s the strangest roadside attraction in Nevada? Straight-up UFO "museums." Need a place to stay? Since then, traveling sweethearts having been throwing their shoes into the tree. And Da Yoopers Tourist Trap is an ode to both UP life and tacky, slightly funny shit. As true fans know, Britney's story began in a dusty town off I-55 near the Mississippi/Louisiana border. Built as a gift from husband to wife, the whale became the centerpiece of a larger roadside attraction, The Animal Reptile Kingdom, which itself was built to resemble Noah's Ark. We generally stayed away from non-Precious Moments-related religious stuff, but BibleWalk is our exception. No purchase necessary. The original tree was chopped down by vandals in 2010, but a second tree was selected in 2017. The reason? -- KM, Lucy the ElephantMargate CityThere are infinite roadside attractions in America, but one of them was the first and it was Lucy (no relation to Lucy, the first human ancestor remains ever discovered). Neighbors have kept Bunyan in good shape over the years, with periodic renovations and fresh paint—that likely explains his perennially pearly concrete smile. There's nothing quite like it. These are the true gems, the paragons of off-highway kitsch and wonder. I want emails from Fodor's Travel with travel information and promotions. And for more on searching for alien life, check out our Atlas Obscura Guide to First Contact. -- AKMORE: Follow your fart jokes with one of the best hiked in Da UP, The SPAM MuseumAustinMinnesota is home to the world's biggest Paul Bunyan statue, a massive Jolly Green Giant, and a ball of twine so massive that Weird Al penned an entire song about it. Whether it’s an incident to mark a dark day in history, a haunted spot, abandoned theme park, or just something a little spooky, these are the creepiest attractions in 49 states! Atlas Obscura and our trusted partners use technology such as cookies on our website to personalise ads, support social media features, and analyse our traffic. -- KMMORE: Since you're in Vermont, might as well indulge in some of America's best beer, Dinosaur LandWhite PostSeventy-five miles outside of Washington, DC lies a prehistoric oasis worth the detour -- Dinosaur Land. You'll receive your first newsletter soon! You can walk the bridges between the towers, albeit at your own risk. It’s completely open to the public and it’s definitely worth seeing for yourself. But just because you can’t buy anything inside doesn’t mean the place is any less mesmerizing to look at, and this is just one of those things you want to see before you die, or before it’s gone, whichever comes first. If you're the former, you very likely clicked into the wrong article. And that makes me sad, because just think of the things Roswell could learn from somewhere like Wall Drug! Nearly a mile across and 600ft deep, there are lookout points around the crater’s edge but no hiking to the bottom. This New Jersey sculpture garden is continuing Lucy's public-art legacy, This isn't even the most beautiful place in Upstate, Hop off the highway for a taste North Dakota's emergent beer scene, Dive deep into the psychedelic playground that is Enchanted Forest, While in SoDak, don't skip the Corn Palace, Utah sure does have some giant, pretty rocks, Since you're in Vermont, might as well indulge in some of America's best beer, How Jake the Alligator Man became a cult icon in the Northwest, Door County is a rightside-up treasure in Wisconsin. According to its website, it is the “world’s largest Titanic museum attraction.” The interior and exterior of the museum look just like the actual ship so you’ll get all the bang for your $27. Sign up for our newsletter and enter to win the second edition of our book. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. Open every month except January and February, with admission starting at $6. But not everything here is static -- there are intermittent puppet shows and other live performances, and sometimes guided tours. -- Vanita Salisbury, Havre Beneath the StreetsMontanaOK, this is a little outside the box for a state littered with cool roadside fossil museums and whatnot, but there are only so many dinosaurs and ghost towns we can write about, and seldom is a roadside attraction actually under the road. D, “Outsider art,” meaning works created outside the bounds of traditional culture, has blossomed in tiny. There’s much ado about which ball of twine actually holds the record these days. So without further ado, here is my list (click the image to read about the spot). She has survived lightning strikes, Hurricane Sandy, being converted into various restaurants and taverns and summer homes, and one (1) vanity presidential run. And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now: Enter your e-mail address for things to do, restaurants to try and much more! Alien-themed BBQ restaurant in North Dakota (illustration by Chandler O’Leary), UFO-shaped park shelter in Everett, Washington (illustration by Chandler O’Leary), International UFO Museum & Research Center in Roswell (photograph by Stephen Hanafin), ÄNGELHOLM UFO MEMORIAL, Sweden A memorial to a Swedish hockey player’s encounter with aliens, EMILCIN UFO MEMORIAL, Poland Commemorating the most famous abduction case in Polish history, WORLD’S FIRST UFO LANDING PAD, Saint Paul, Canada A Canadian centennial project designed to gather information about UFOs, UFO WATCHTOWER, Crestone, Colorado A UFO themed campground with self-built “energy vortexes, UFO themed weddings, & magic bushes”, EXETER UFO FESTIVAL, Exeter, New Hampshire Annual celebration commemorating the 1965 sighting of strange lights in the town, UFO WELCOME CENTER, Bowman, South Carolina This set of rickety spaceships is prepared to give alien travelers a place to relax. A store in Benson, Ariz., supposedly has the answer. Enter through a door that looks like a bat's mouth, then descend into the Earth to discover a 100-foot underground waterfall, dome roofs, and more natural wonders. See. WELL YOU'RE IN LUCK! The Alien Research Center sounds like it’d be a top-secret, closed-off destination, but don’t worry. And since this is a West, the saloon still stands too. What originally began as a small gift shop has transformed into a massive park scattered with over 50 towering, handmade dinosaur statues. In fact, one of the strangest roadside attractions can be found way out near Hiko on the side of the Extraterrestrial Highway. From neon museums to bizarre roadside monuments, there’s simply no shortage of unique attractions waiting to be discovered by you. -- Nicole RupersbergMORE: Need a place to stay? Headed east? Browse vintage electroshock therapy kits, embalming pumps, and jewelry tenderly handmade from bat skulls. -- Cheryl RodewigMORE: Colorado's oddball aura hits you the minute you get to the airport, PEZ Visitors CenterOrangeYes, this one feels like kind of a cheat, since it's the Pez Factory and all. The second most impressive hole in Arizona was formed by a fiery meteor that screamed into the atmosphere about 50,000 years ago, when giant sloths lived in these parts. And thus, the lakes were born.
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