A road trip is a great way to connect with fellow travelers, whether they be friends or family while discovering the wonders of the world around you. So, for your next trip, we’ve made this list of fascinating roadside attractions in the United States.
1. Shoshone Ice Caves–Shoshone, Idaho
Even when the temperatures in Idaho reach their peak, one area remains below freezing. The Shoshone ice caves are an incredible sight that takes visitors 100 feet below lava to arrive in a cold cavity below the desert.
The tours range from 45-60 minutes long according to the official website, where you can find a bevy of useful information about visitation. By the way, if you’re afraid of the dark, there’s nothing to worry about. The caverns are lit with LED lights to enhance your vision below the surface. If you’d like to visit this year, you’ll have to visit before September 30th, which marks the end of the 2019 tour season.
2. Museum of Dumb Guy Stuff–Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Don’t be fooled by the name, visitors of all genders can fall in love with the charming displays found in the Museum of Dumb Guy Stuff. Within the walls of this museum, visitors can discover classic action figures from GI Joe, Marvel Legends, and The Legion of Superheroes. But, they’re not just sitting on a shelf in a box.
Thanks to the vision of curators Clayton Emery & Rod Hildebrand, the figures have been altered to fit into original displays created for the museum. I could list more of the characters featured but words truly do this museum a disservice. You’ll need to see the displays themselves to experience the creativity and ingenuity used to bring these art displays to life.
Business hours for this museum tend to be somewhere between 11am and 2pm. You don’t have to schedule an appointment ahead of time, thanks in no small part to the lack of website or social media for the museum. It’s less “organized”, for lack of a better term, than the other places on this list but it is well worth a visit if you’re lucky enough to swing by at the right time.
Additionally, you can read more about the fascinating museum in a detailed interview Emery & Hildebrand took part in with Sea Coast Online in 2018.
3. Dine With Jesus–Brighton, Michigan
Near the Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Church’s cemetery is an intriguing sculpture. A granite table with 13 seats surrounding it. 12 of those seats are for visitors to occupy while one seat has a constant occupant–Jesus. That’s right, you can have lunch with a bronze Jesus statue at the Church’s cemetery.
There is no price for admission or tour guides you’ll need to walk with. It’s simply a fascinating structure that is there for people to visit for comfort, connection, or a cool story for their arrival back home. You don’t have to make an appointment but you can call ahead if you’d like (810-231-9199).
4. Monroe Moosnick Medical and Science Museum–Lexington, Kentucky
Transylvania University’s ode to 19th-century medical oddities is a fascinating visit for even those completely uninterested in the medical field. The bizarre findings in this collection include a giant hairball, a two-headed baby, a collection of intriguing medical supplies, and something referred to as a “Medical Venus.” The Medical Venus is a wax dummy used for dissection, with all of the organs and tissue having been cast from actual corpses. Not only are these displays interesting to look at, but they also hold incredible historical significance.
To see and learn about these historical findings, you can make an appointment by emailing physics professor & museum curator Jamie Day ([email protected]).
5. Vent Haven Museum–Fort Mitchell, Kentucky
If you’d like to visit a ventriloquist museum large enough to make Mary Shaw proud, then you’re in luck. Vent Haven is a museum dedicated to the artistry of ventriloquism. In fact, it’s the only ventriloquism museum in the world.
The museum began as the private collection of W.S. Berger. Over the course of several decades, Berger built a sizable collection of ventriloquist dummies. His collection grew so large that he had to build a second home to house all of his incredible findings.
Now, the collection found in the Vent Haven Museum has grown more than twice the size of Berger’s original collection. If you’d like to visit and see the amazing collection, you’ll have to make an appointment ahead of time. Much like the Shoshone Ice Caves, visitation season for this location is between May 1st and September 30th this year. Luckily, on September 14th (11am-2pm) visitors can attend an open house at the museum, which means all three buildings will be open to the public. However, visitors during this time won’t be able to take part in a guided tour.
Visit the Vent Haven Museum website to schedule your appointment today.
Now, you’re ready to visit many of the incredible roadside attractions found throughout the United States. There are many more than 5 roadside attractions worth visiting in the U.S., though. So, if you liked this list, be on the lookout for another guide to fascinating roadside attractions in the future! If you know of any roadside attractions worth discussing, leave a comment or share this post on your preferred social media platform and tell us which tourist locations you think should’ve made the list.
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