Odd U.S. Roadside Attractions
What are the strangest roadside attractions in the United States? Where are they? What makes them unique?
Tired of vacations to those well-known theme parks or to those popular, but crowded beaches, or to any of the famous tourist traps? Well, here are some attractions you won't find in the run-of-the-mill travel guides.
The Sit-in Gas Chamber (Rawlins, Wyoming)
At the Rawlins Territorial Prison, you can actually sit inside the gas chamber in which five lawbreakers were executed. If you're brave enough, they'll even strap you in and close the door. And just across the street at the Carbon County Museum are a pair of shoes made from the skin of Big Nose George, who was lynched.
Babyland General Hospital (Cleveland, Georgia)
This is where the Cabbage Patch Kids are stuffed and certified. Though the craze has died down, the parking lots are still crowded with visitors in the summer.
Cow Chip Throwing Capital of the World (Beaver, Oklahoma)
Not only can you see the cow chip-throwing contest here, but you can also have a gift box of chips sent to anyone anywhere in the world. Other attractions include a ten-foot tall fiberglass beaver holding a four-foot wide fiberglass cow chip; and King Cow Chip, an anthropomorphized dried bovine fecal wad wearing a rakishly-tilted crown. It's the town's registered trademark.
Prehistoric Forest (Marblehead, Ohio)
A dinosaur park that, in addition to statues of prehistoric creatures, offers a tram ride in which visitors are given toy M16 rifles and told to "Kill the monsters."
Mummies of the Insane (Philippi, West Virginia)
On display in the bathroom of the Barbour County Historical Museum, two actual mummies are displayed in glass-topped wooden coffins. An enterprising farmer back in the 1880s experimented with embalming fluids to uncover the secrets of the pharaohs using cadavers from the local asylum.
Precious Moments Chapel (Carthage, Missouri)
Precious Moments figurines are America's number one selling porcelain bisque representations of teardrop-eyed kids who wear angel wings. Inside the chapel, these child figurines are painted Sistine Chapel-style on the walls and ceiling in poses drawn from the Bible.
South of the Border (Dillon, South Carolina)
This is a 135-acre Mexican-themed mega attraction with a 200-foot high sombrero as its centerpiece. There is a lookout tower on its brim. The gift stores sell gift-boxed "Pyromaniac" assortments of fireworks and 22 different styles of SOB coffee mugs. Pose for pictures with sombrero-wearing dinosaurs.
The Titan II Missile Museum (Green Valley, Arizona)
This is an actual silo with a decommissioned missile inside with a hole cut into the nose cone so Russian satellites can tell that it's been deactivated. A tour takes you deep into the silo and includes a simulated end of the world scramble.
The Oxen Statues that Pee (Three Forks, Montana)
The Prairie Schooner restaurant is shaped like a covered wagon with two large oxen statues that appear to be pulling it. The cashier controls a valve that she turns on when people are watching.
Behn's Game Farm (Aniwa, Wisconsin)
A 75-year-old self-taught lion tamer named Wilbert Behn gets in a homemade cage with big cats daily. He makes them jump through hoops to the "Theme from S.W.A.T."
If you're looking for weird, you won't find it in any better places.