There is no shortage of weird tourist attractions in the United States — but while many are pretty average others are downright bizarre. Here we look at ten of the most unusual tourist attractions in the USA.
10 Salvation Mountain, Niland, CA
Out in the middle of nowhere, this colorful mountain is the result of one man’s dedication to spreading the gospel. It is also one of the weirdest tourist attractions in the US.
Over a 20-year period, he made this garish “monument” from adobe, trash, tons of paint, and straw bales. Scattered around the mountain are multiple junk vehicles emblazoned with messages of salvation.
Unfortunately, the man behind the design, Leonard Knight, passed away in February 2014, but today the oddity is still open to visitors and is run by volunteers. It is truly bizarre, yet for that very reason is well worth visiting.
9 The Mystery Spot, Santa Cruz, CA
Located within the redwoods just outside of Santa Cruz, the Mystery Spot is a circular area approximately 150ft in diameter — where it is claimed the laws of physics do not apply.
It was stumbled upon in 1939 and in 1941, a small cabin was built on the spot and opened to the public. Visitors report the feel of a magnetic force resulting in a complete loss of perception of balance and equilibrium. Spooky.
8 World’s Largest Catsup Bottle, Collinsville, IL
There are plenty of “world’s biggest” attractions located in the US — paint ball, pistachio nut, ball of stamps etc. But the giant Catsup bottle has set itself slightly apart — getting itself placed on the list of National Register of Historic Places in 2002.
Built in 1949 by the W.E. Brooks Company, a Catsup company, the 170ft Catsup bottle water tower has recently been restored to its 1949 appearance.
Its birthday is celebrated every year with the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle Festival, an event that has its own Facebook page and brings all the locals out for pageants, games, car shows, and a hot dog eating contest.
7 Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, TX
Cadillac Ranch was commissioned by billionaire Stanley Marsh, who wanted to create a piece of public art to puzzle visitors to the area. It was designed by a group of hippies from San Francisco who half-buried ten Cadillacs nose-down in the dirt in 1974.
Visitors would usually stop, look at them, and inevitably do something to deface them. Today, decades have passed and the cars are stripped down to their frames after visitors nicked all the accessories — and they have been splattered in an amazing array of colorful artwork.
Today the attraction is more popular than ever. There is a Home Depot nearby for anyone who stops by and doesn’t bring their own spray paint.
6 Wee’l Turtle, Dunseith, ND
Built as a tribute to nearby Turtle Mountain State Park, this 18ft tall turtle was designed by local resident George Gottbreht in 1982.
There are plenty of giant turtles around, but when you consider the fact that it is made from 2,000 used tire rims, it takes on a whole new element of bizarre.
Initially, the turtle was frequently mistaken for a lizard, so George opted to add a motor to allow the head to move in a turtle-like fashion.
5 The Paper House, Rockport, MA
Built by Elis Stenman in 1922, this is a house made completely of newspaper, which lies in the middle of your average, everyday neighborhood.
Stenman planned only to use the newspaper as insulation, but eventually opted to leave it as it is. In addition to the house, he designed all the furniture inside the home from — wait for it — newspaper!
Everything from the piano, bookcase, grandfather clock, and window treatments are made from newspaper. Today, the newspapers are still readable, even though it has exposed to the changeable New England weather for nearly 100 years.
4 House on the Rock, Springfield, WI
In the 1940s, Alex Jordan stumbled upon a 60ft chimney of rock and decided to build a home on top of it. The original 14-room house is a mass of spiraling architecture and quirky design features.
However, it is what is displayed inside the home that qualifies it as one the most unique tourist attractions in the US.
It contains a stunning array of exquisitely decorated rooms and is full of antiques, including 80ft sea monsters, miniature circuses, a 19th century miniature town you can walk through, bizarre automated music machines, and the world’s largest carousel.
It gives visitors a glimpse into the incredible, yet weird mind of a man who was a true creative genius.
3 Foamhenge, VA
What was designed as an April Fool’s joke in 2004 is now a free tourist attraction that draws plenty of visitors.
Built by Mark Cline and several helpers, it is an exact, full-sized replica of England’s Stonehenge — but made completely out of Styrofoam. What makes it most intriguing is the lengths he went to in order to get every detail right.
The pieces are placed in the astronomically correct positions. Each “stone” is shaped and fitted to scale. Measurements are identical.
It truly is Stonehenge, only it’s located in Virginia instead of the United Kingdom and it’s made of Styrofoam instead of stone.
2 Corn Palace, Mitchell, SD
The name of this one kind of gives it away. Yup, it’s a palace made of corn — as well as grain, corn cobs, and grass.
The wall murals feature intricate designs, and are redesigned yearly with an entirely new look so you can go back year after year without getting bored (as long as you like corn-based attractions).
With admission being free, it’s worth a trip inside to view hundreds of pictures guiding you through the building’s history. Of course, there is also a gift shop filled with kitschy trinkets to take back home.
The Corn Palace is also used to host school basketball games, high-school graduations, and concerts from all sorts of music genres including rap and hard rock. All very corn-y (see what we did there?).
1 Coral Castle Homestead, FL
Considered to be an amazing feat of engineering, this home, furniture, and elaborate stone garden, was constructed using an estimated 1,000 tons of coral rock.
What’s spectacular about it is that it was built by just one man, Edward Leedskalnin, over a 28-year period and using homemade tools.
Ed was diminutive at 5ft tall and weighing 100 lbs, yet he transported the coral and constructed the structure without any assistance. When asked how, he said: “I have discovered the secrets of the pyramids.”
Tragically, the castle was a monument to his lost love, who cancelled their wedding one day before the ceremony was due to take place.