The older you get, the more tourist attractions look and feel the same. However, a handful of unique tourist attractions separate themselves from the rest. They’re so bizarre; they’re probably unlike anything you’ve seen or experienced. If you’re tired of wasting your money at run-of-the-mill tourist attractions, we have some recommendations you might want to consider.
We found five of the most bizarre tourist attractions in the United States worth changing your travel plans to visit. Let’s dive in and see!
What’s Considered a Tourist Attraction?
There are many types of tourist attractions. However, the primary characteristic that they share is that they attract large numbers of visitors to a specific area for entertainment purposes. These locations could be places with historical significance, natural or artificial beauty, or opportunities for amusement and leisure.
Some local economies heavily rely on tourist attractions to generate revenue. Some of the most popular cities for tourist attractions include Orlando, Florida, Las Vegas, Nevada; and Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
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5 Weirdest and Most Bizarre Tourist Attractions in the US
You don’t want to waste time or money on every tourist attraction you encounter during your adventures. However, we’ve found five of the most bizarre tourist attractions you and your fellow travelers will be discussing for years. Let’s take a look!
1. Bowlin’s “The Thing”
Location/Address: 2631 N Johnson Rd, Benson, AZ 85602
About: You know an attraction has to be good when you start seeing signs for it when you’re 100+ miles away. The Thing’s brilliant marketing piques the interest of tourists driving along I-10 between El Paso and Tucson. Curious minds can’t help but stop to experience whatever “The Thing” offers.
Why It’s Bizarre: “The Thing” is part of a collection of alien conspiracy theories, including the idea that aliens once used dinosaurs as pets. A trip through this unique museum-like experience culminates in “The Thing.”
Many believe the thing to be a mother and child who someone mummified after they starved to death. However, others point to its similar appearance to one of Homer Tate’s creations. He created fake shrunken heads and mermaids for sideshows. We may never know the truth!
2. Bubblegum Alley
Location/Address: 733 Higuera St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
About: Bubblegum Alley is similar to other gum walls across the country. However, Bubblegum Alley is unique as it is approximately 65+ feet long and 15 feet high. Its exact dimensions are hard to know because it’s growing daily.
The wall has survived multiple cleanings, and the most recent attempt at removal in the 1990s failed to pass approval. The locals cherish the wall and the history that it reflects for the community. So, despite the objections from local businesses, it looks like Bubblegum Alley isn’t going away anytime soon.
Why It’s Bizarre: Bubblegum Alley reflects not only the community’s history but also pop culture. You’ll find political notes, stickers, and other messages stuck to the wall with gum. However, they slowly fade into the background as people add more and more gum to the walls of Bubblegum Alley.
Did you forget to bring gum during your visit? No worries! Likely one of the most profitable gumball machines on the planet is next to Bubblegum Alley. Drop a quarter in, turn the dial, and get ready to start chewing. Blow a bubble or two, then add your bubblegum to the wall.
3. Cano’s Castle
Location/Address: State St & E 10th Ave, 285 E 10th Ave, Antonito, CO 81120
About: While many college fraternities may think their beer towers or pyramids are impressive, they have nothing on Cano’s Castle. This four-story house has several structures, primarily beer cans and other random metal parts. Does it meet building codes? Who knows, but it’s one of the most bizarre castles you’ll ever see.
Why It’s Bizarre: If you think the structure is strange, wait until you hear its story. Dominic “Cano” Espinoza is the owner/creator of this bizarre home. However, despite being referred to as “Cano’s Castle,” Cano refers to it as “Jesus’ Castle.”
That’s because Cano states Jesus lives in it. There is no running water or electricity in the castle, and Cano’s goal is to convince Jesus to take a trip to Washington to straighten out the historic injustices between Cano’s ancestors and the government.
4. The House on the Rock
Location/Address: 5754 WI-23, Spring Green, WI 53588
About: The House on the Rock started in 1945 and opened to the public in 1959. It’s an architectural marvel and home to one of the most random collections you’ll ever see.
The collection is continuously evolving as pieces come and go in the exhibits. To see all that The House on the Rock offers takes 3+ hours. However, build plenty of time into your schedule, so you have time to soak in everything.
Why It’s Bizarre: The House on the Rock is bizarre because of the incredible variety of the exhibits. You’ll see everything from massive sea monster replicates to a giant carousel sitting in a room with more than 180 chandeliers.
Whether the randomness is accidental or intentional is irrelevant. However, the odd feelings guests experience captures their attention from the time they walk through the doors until they leave.
5. Magowan’s Infinite Mirror Maze
Location/Address: Pier 39, 0-11 Beach St, San Francisco, CA 94111
About: If you’ve ever wondered what a psychedelic experience is like, Magowan’s Infinite Mirror Maze can help you experience one with minimal risks. This is an unusual tourist attraction popular with kids of all ages. You’ll laugh through the bright colors and seemingly infinite mirrors until you find your way out.
Why It’s Bizarre: Magowan’s Infinite Mirror Maze messes with your mind and leaves you questioning everything you see. The lights, music, and mirrors make it nearly impossible to track where you’ve been or where you need to go. It may be bizarre, but you’re sure to love it.
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Are These Bizarre Attractions Worth Visiting?
You never know what to expect at these tourist attractions. However, bizarre attractions are always memorable, whether they’re worth the price of admission or not. In our experience, the more unusual the place, the longer you’ll talk about it. These are some of the best that we’ve experienced during our adventures.
What’s your favorite bizarre tourist attraction?
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