America has a vast amount of amazing natural and man-made attractions that draw millions of visitors every year from all over the globe. Whilst you’ll find many articles written about the best, the most beautiful, the highest-rated etc, etc – let’s take a look at some of America’s more bizarre and less visited sites. They deserve a mention for being weird, wacky and wonderful so if you’re looking for an alternative road trip, you might want to include one of these:
#1 The Oregon Vortex
Ever since the 1930s, the mystery of the Oregon Vortex has encouraged much speculation over why this particular house slants the odd way it does and why items of furniture appear to move on their own. Is it an optical illusion or a strange magnetic occurrence? Could it have more to do with the tilted mine shaft that’s been under the house since 1904? It’s a fascinating visit where nothing is quite as it seems, bottles roll up hill and people appear to have shrunk or been stretched with each step they take!
#2 World’s Largest Twine Ball
Who wouldn’t want to see the biggest twine ball in the world? It can be found in Darwin, Minnesota and was created by just one man, Francis A. Johnson. Why? It’s anyone’s guess but he started winding up the twine in 1950 when he was at it for four hours every day for almost six months! Eventually he needed a crane to lift it but that didn’t deter him from carrying on. He continued adding to it until he died in 1989. It weighs an impressive 17,400 pounds and must be seen to be believed.
#3 Corn Palace
Ever wanted to see a castle made out of food? Well, here’s your chance. If you head to the Mitchell Corn Palace in South Dakota, you’ll see a real-life huge castle made from corn that even has Russian-inspired turrets! It all began in 1892 when settlers made their first corn palace to demonstrate how fertile the soil was. Be sure to visit during the summer when local artists fill the palace with murals made from grains and maize to celebrate the tradition. The annual Corn Palace Festival sees some top names in Country music perform and tours are free.
#4 Alligator Farm
The home of the Merman, whether you believe or not, you can see the him here! This popular attraction in Hot Springs, Arkansas is a privately-run zoo and petting farm. It’s been open to the public since 1902 and is in the business of raising alligators. There’s a small museum, plenty of creepy mounted alligators and the mummified remains of what is alleged to be evidence of a Merman. You’ll also see turtles, cougars, lemurs and turkeys – a strange combination but the kids will love the petting zoo.
#5 Headless Chicken Monument
It’s gets even weirder if you decide to take in Colorado on your travels. Back in 1948, Mike the chicken sadly lost his head but continued to live for a further 18 months – so the legend goes. Now, there is an annual festival held in his honor in Fruita, Colorado in June. The townspeople even built a statue in his memory. It’s a beautiful tale of one chicken’s determination to live, regardless of whether he had a head or not.
#6 The Grotto Of Redemption
In West Bend, Iowa you’ll discover an incredible monument to religious devotion and extreme hard labor. Back in 1898, when a young man fell ill with pneumonia, he promised the Virgin Mary that should he recover, he would build her a shrine. He got better, became a priest and left Germany for Iowa. His promise had included a shrine made from precious stones so that’s what he created – bad luck as West Bend has no such natural stones! He worked doggedly for 42 years to build the biggest stone-filled grotto on earth. It is simply stunning and the result of a man’s entire life’s work.
#7 Ventriloquist Museum
Don’t get left in here when the lights go out, it’s a creepy place to be on your own! Located in Vent Haven, Kentucky, it’s the only museum in the world dedicated to this unusual profession. It boasts over 900 dummies from more than 20 countries but if you want to visit, you’ll need to schedule a tour. They even have a few figures that can be handled by visitors so start practising talking without moving your lips before you go. You might get the strange feeling that 900 sets of eyes are watching you as you pass through the museum!