America's 10 Weirdest Tourist Attractions
Included are living things such as the albino squirrels of Olney, Illinois, and such manmade delights as New Jersey's Lucy the Elephant (in photo). All the attractions are worth a gander if you're on a road trip. We're slightly embarrassed to admit we've been to several.
Corn palace, Mitchell South Dakota
The Corn Palace is indeed a castle complete with turrets, made of corn husks. It has "enough space to throw a rodeo," according to Shermans Travel. Local artists spends months creating the exterior murals using 13 shades of maize and other grains.
Desert of Maine, Freeport, Maine
Yes, Maine has its own desert, a 300-acre stretch not far from the headquarters of L.L. Bean. Why the mini Sahara emerged in the New England state is a mystery of nature. The magazine says it has to do with a glacier some 11,000 years ago leaving a massive sand deposit. Tram tours explore the sands.
Albino squirrels, Olney, Illinois
Rare, snow-white squirrels with their red eyes look like creatures in a sci-fi movie, according to Shermans Travel. In Olney there are some 111 of the creatures and they have the right of way on every street. The city provides squirrel houses and visitors can feed the creatures at Olney City Park.
Carhenge, Alliance, Nebraska It may look like England's mysterious ancient stones, but this life-size replica of Stonehenge is made out of stacks of gray spray-painted cars. The attraction has a visitor center and art car park.
Lucy the Elephant, Margate, New Jersey
Lucy is a 90-ton, 65-foot-tall wooden elephant created some 129 years ago as a publicity stunt for a local developer. She is the last surviving example of "zoomorphic architecture" in America, according to the magazine.
Twine Ball, Darwin, Minnesota The world's largest twine ball is a sight to behold. It's that big. Begun in 1950, the ball became one man's 39-year project and ballooned to 40 feet around and weighs some 17,400 pounds. It's on display in its own gazebo.
Petrified Wood Forest, Lemmon, South Dakota
Begun as a project during the Great Depression, today this weird site features 100 sculptures made of fossilized wood as well as dinosaur and mammoth bones, some rising as high as 20 feet. The park takes up an entire downtown block.
House on the Rock, Spring Green, Wisconsin
This wacky home was built as a weekend retreat. It's on a cliff, and Shermans Travel says the highlight is "The Infinity Room", a 218-foot-long glass hallway that teeters 156 feet above the Wyoming Valley. The magazine says the rest of the place is so chockfull of stuff it feels like the home of a "hopeless hoarder."
This attraction gained fame in paranormal circles when it appeared in an episode of "The X Files." it centers on a severely tilting mining shack that slid sideways from its foundation in 1904. Inside, everything seems to hang at a "perplexing angle," according to the magazine.
Marfa Lights, Marfa Texas
These lights have baffled scientists for more than a hundred years. The weird orbs only appear on clear nights. Theories vary. Are they UFOs? Ghosts? The lights are celebrated with an annual festival and there's a viewing center open year-round.
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