Some of America’s strangest attractions are hiding all around us, in plain sight. It doesn’t take much to venture out from the normal tourist traps. You could find something truly weird. I mean, how many more bus tours and collectible T-shirts can you possibly acquire?
The United States is filled with strange attractions, from art installments to historical sites. Many people haven’t heard of them, and if you like oddities and the more interesting side of the place you are traveling to–this list is a perfect example of some of America’s weirdest attractions you can see yourself.
Salvation Mountain, Imperial County, California
Salvation Mountain is one of the more spectacular destinations in this list, simply based on what it is. Located in the California desert, near Slab city, which is a whole other attraction in itself, Salvation Mountain is a massive man-made structure dedicated to God.
A true example of how religion spreads to every corner of the globe, Salvation Mountain is adorned in paint confessing that “God is Love”. At 50 feet high, it isn’t a true mountain–but the fact that is was handmade over the course of 28 years by local resident Leonard Knight makes it one of the highest structures of its kind.
Truly one of America’s strangest attractions, Salvation Mountain stands out as a shrine to anyone interested in art.
The Wave Organ, San Francisco, California
As far as music goes, most of it involves people playing instruments, but this strange attraction changes that dynamic. The Wave Organ in San Francisco is a large man-made sculpture that plays music itself–using the waves from the San Francisco Bay.
Because of the constant tides and waves, the Wave Organ operates like a real organ. However, instead of a organist, the notes are playing through the splashing of the waves. While it looks like a strange sitting area from afar, the Wave Organ is constantly playing carefully designed music. It is a great place for someone to catch a view of the Bay, and to catch a few tunes.
St Louis Cemetery, New Orleans, LA
The St Louis Cemetery isn’t like your everyday cemetery, and is truly one of America’s strangest attractions. Because of the strange tombs and paranormal activity, the cemetery is right in the middle of a city known for it’s supernatural oddities.
If you can picture a regular grave site, the St Louis Cemetery is the opposite. Instead of traditional burials, the graves in the cemetery are above ground–in tombs. Walking through it, you may think it looks like a miniature neighborhood. Some of the tombs even have little fences around them, like houses.
Home to many of the city’s deceased historical figures, the cemetery is also known for its paranormal activity by those with a taste for the supernatural. It is a highly trafficked location, but the cemetery is unique and you should pay a visit if you are in the area.
Museum of Bad Art, Boston, MA
If you appreciate fine art, this may be the wrong place for you. However, if you want to see something truly bad hanging in a real museum this is the perfect place. This small museum in Boston dedicates its displays to art you probably find to be bad–for better or worse.
The Museum of Bad Art is always displaying art in their galleries, but none of it is any good. They showcase bad artists specifically, and you can see then in person. This is pretty unique, as you can’t really see a whole lot of bad art in museums–depending on your opinion. It’s almost like art in itself, as it is unique and odd. Because of this, the Museum of Bad Art makes the list of one of America’s strangest attractions.
Coral Castle, Florida
Coral Castle is a massive sculpture garden outside of Miami that is truly a strange attraction. Much like Salvation Mountain, Coral Castle is a structure built by one person over the course of decades. Artist Ed Leedskalnin built the garden with dead coral, forming it over the years. Therefore, the garden is so much more interesting than other art exhibits.
If you visit this strange attraction, you will see why they call it Coral Castle. It is a massive area to explore. There is a huge medieval wall surrounding it. It is filled with dozens of exhibits created by Leedskalnin and takes on all sorts of different meanings.
Almost as mysterious as Stonehenge, Coral Castle is surrounded in mystery as to why it was built in the first place. Much like Salvation Mountain, it is most likely the case of one person’s dedication to creating something truly remarkable for the world. Because of this, Coral Castle is definitely one of America’s strangest attractions.
Catacombs of Washington, DC
Knowing the covert history of Washington, you may come up with some conclusions. You may think this is some sort of secret tunnel the government uses for transport. You might even think it has roots in the Underground Railroad, or even the Watergate Scandal. What makes this one of America’s strangest attractions is that the Catacombs have nothing to do with anything like it.
Straying pretty far from the usual museum tour or walking trail you find all over DC, most people don’t even know they exist. Built underground a Franciscan monastery, they are a replica of the real catacombs under the streets of Rome. The monastery itself is full of gardens and shrines to anyone who wants to visit, but you can also take a tour of the catacombs and experience something fairly close to the real thing.
The graves are replicas, so it isn’t an exact copy of the original tombs. Therefore, that’s what makes this such an interesting place. It is truly off the beaten path, and it is not at all something you would expect int he nation’s capital.
Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada
Over the years, hundreds of neon signs and artwork have seen the light of the Vegas Strip. As time passes, the signs age. As new hotels and casinos pop up, the old ones will be demolished. Because of this, all the former bright lights of Las Vegas have to wind up somewhere.
The Neon Museum in Las Vegas is a very strange attraction in its own sense. Hundreds of iconic signs from the city’s most famous locations rest here in the sand. The museum is like a massive graveyard for the now defunct hotels and casinos that once led the city.
If you love history, or just want to take a break from the (working) lights of Las Vegas, the Neon Museum is a great strange attraction to visit.
Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, Texas
Part of America’s iconic route 66, Cadillac Ranch is yet another interesting art exhibit on this list. Essentially, it is ten antique Cadillacs sticking out of the ground on the side of the highway. Therefore, there isn’t much to explain it. It is incredibly random, and that’s what makes it one of America’s strangest attractions.
Route 66 is not the main highway anymore, and over the years it has become home to many roadside attractions, hence the cars stuck in the ground. For as long as they have been up, people have been painting their own messages on the cars, which makes this place even more strange.