Top Destinations for a Bizarre American Adventure
Tuesday, 20 August 2019

It is pretty easy to note that the United States of America is a cornucopia of heritage sites, historical places, and cultural landmarks. However, the treats that the Land of the Free can offer are not limited to the Rockies, the New York City, or the nation’s capital Washington D.C.

From the Americanized Stonehenge of discarded luxury cars to venues taken straight out of Hollywood movies, here are some of the best United States destinations with a turn for the wacky.

1. Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, CA.

The wife of a gun magnate ordered the long-term construction of a mansion filled to the attic with winding corridors, secret passages, trap doors, dead-ended staircases, and webbed windows. Originally planned to appease, or trap (depending on whom you ask), the vengeful spirits of those who had fallen victim to the famous Winchester rifles, the Winchester Mystery House is now regarded both as an architectural wonder and a historical landmark.
As an attraction, tour companies offer day tour packages around the mansion, allowing visitors to admire the Victorian style and decor as well as the numerous oddities installed in almost every corner.

2. Salvation Mountain, Niland, CA

A California native named Leonard Knight once wanted to create a monument to showcase his devotion to his faith and make it available for everyone else to appreciate. The result: the Salvation Mountain sitting in the desert 80 miles southeast of Palm Springs. The Mountain, made of adobe clay covered in vivid, colorful paint, includes many paintings punctuated by verses taken from the Bible.

3. Carhenge, Alliance, NE
While the Stonehenge has been around for thousands of years with nobody exactly knowing how or why it's more modern descendant steadily attracts curious visitors a little off Highway 87 in the state of Nebraska. The Carhenge is a replica of the English landmark but built with vintage American cars painted gray to resemble the 25-ton rocks of the original. Although contemporary attraction is open all year round, the on-site gift is only open during the summer months.

4. Dinosaur Kingdom II, Natural Bridge, VA

After the success of the critically-acclaimed Jurassic Park back in the ’90s, people have thrown around the scenarios of Dinosaurs battling with almost anyone. This theme park will provide better imagery as it mixes history with sci-fi with displays of dinosaurs in an all-out war with mad scientists, soldiers, and also President Abraham Lincoln. It is definitely a wacky yet entertaining treat for people with curiosities on the bizarre side of historical what-ifs.

While mankind’s curiosity with dinosaurs and its potential foes appear timeless, the Dinosaur Kingdom II is, unfortunately, open only during summer months and on select weekends in May, September, and November.

5. Pineapple Garden Maze, Wahiawa, HI

The Dole Plantation is one of the must-see stops should you plan a visit to Hawaii. Inside the pineapple plantation is the world’s largest garden maze. Almost three acres of crisscrossing hedges hosts a game challenging visitors to find eight stations. It also includes a pineapple-shaped garden as the maze’s centerpiece. Guests with the shortest time to finish the maze get their name posted in the entrance, securing a place in the Dole Plantation history and perhaps perpetual bragging rights.

6. Dog Bark Park Inn, Cottonwood, ID

Tugging the heartstrings of dog lovers everywhere is the Dog Bark Park Inn near Highway 95 in Idaho. The Inn is built in the shape of a giant beagle, known endearingly to locals and visitors as Sweet Willy. The breakfast and bed destination opened in 2008 and contains a two-bedroom B&B, an on-site gift shop and visitors center. Also adding to the appeal, especially to the dog lovers, are the numerous carvings of different dog breeds displayed for the visitors to see and admire.
7. Toilet Seat Art Museum, San Antonio, TX

Retired master plumber Barney Smith started a hobby in his garage collecting and transforming discarded toilet seats into astonishing, if not initially baffling, artworks. Before he knew it, it has grown into a well- known destination in San Antonio, Texas. Aside from his works for all to see, Smith also accepts appointments and guests can even have their names engraved in toilet seat covers they provide.

Recently, the museum was temporarily closed to the public to move into a larger space in the Colony, Texas. As per the museum’s Facebook page, the Toilet Seat Art Museum is expected to open on July 2019.

8. The Farnham Colossi, Unger, WV.

Most people, at one point in their lives, try their hand in collecting stuff with respect to their budget and household space available. To some, like George and Pam Farnham of Unger, West Virginia, it grows into more than just a hobby and into something more.

The Farnham’s Land of the Giants features oversized fiberglass statues, which include giant Muffler Men and Santa Claus towering over their yard and easily visible from the road. Feeling small is given a fun, new spin in this quirky roadside attraction.

9. Hole N’ The Rock, Canyonlands, UT
The state of Utah earns a spot on the list with a unique, 5000 square foot home carved in the insides of a large rock. Its famous roadside attraction was started by Albert Christensen in the 1940s, digging deeper into the rock for two years, before his family moved in.

What might’ve started as a not-so-humble abode for the Christensen family is now a popular destination with an average of about 500 visitors daily. Today, the Hole N’ The Rock includes 14 decorated rooms, a fireplace breathing through a 65-foot tall chimney. It even has bathtubs engraved right through the rock.

From the breathtaking to the outright bizarre, the United States simply is the gift that keeps on giving. Breathe a fresh new perspective; pick unexpected treats from some of the weirdest destinations among the countless attractions in the USA.
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