So you’ve done the dinosaurs, dusted off the Declaration of Independence, and posed with Big Ben (or maybe that’s just me?). This time, your road trip craves something different, something… a little offbeat. Well, buckle up, fellow adventurers, because the USA is bursting with museums that’ll tickle your funny bone, fire your imagination, and leave you wondering, “Who on earth came up with this?”
1. Mustard Mania in Mount Horeb: Ever dreamt of swimming in Dijon or frolicking in French’s? Okay, maybe not, but at the Wisconsin National Mustard Museum, you can at least explore the condiment cosmos from over 70 countries! With 5,000 jars lining the shelves, from fiery tequilas to delicate wasabi, it’s a sensory overload in the best way possible. And yes, tastings are included!
2. Roswell’s Rendezvous with the Unknown: Brace yourself for close encounters of the museum kind at the UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell, New Mexico. Dive into the lore of the infamous 1947 crash, explore exhibits on alien abductions and crop circles, and even meet a real-life astronaut. Just remember, keep your tinfoil hats at home – the exhibits here are based on evidence, not speculation.
3. Popping Perfection in Wyandot County: Get your kernel count on at the Wyandot Popcorn Museum in Ohio. Housed in a charming old Post Office, this museum celebrates all things popcorn, from antique poppers and wagons to vintage advertising and fascinating popcorn trivia (did you know those stubborn un-popped kernels are called “Old Maids”?). Prepare for a trip down memory lane (and maybe a craving for a movie night marathon).
4. A Pinch of History in Gatlinburg: Take a break from the Smoky Mountain rollercoasters and step into the Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. What started as a personal collection has become a quirky wonderland of over 20,000 shakers, from the everyday to the downright bizarre (lobster claw shakers, anyone?). It’s a reminder that even the most mundane objects can hold a sprinkle of history.
5. Death Becomes You in Houston: Houston may be known for its space cowboys and medical marvels, but it also embraces the inevitable with the National Museum of Funeral History. From Egyptian mummification tools to the opulent carriages used in presidential funerals, this museum explores the fascinating (and sometimes macabre) rituals and traditions surrounding death throughout history. It’s a thought-provoking reminder of our shared humanity.
6. So Bad It’s Good in Boston: Art lovers, prepare to have your sensibilities challenged at the Museum of Bad Art in Boston. This hilarious collection gathers the crème de la crème of terrible art, from questionable paintings and sculptures to bizarre crafts and found objects. You’ll laugh, you’ll cringe, you’ll wonder how on earth something so bad got displayed in a museum. But hey, that’s the beauty of it!
So ditch the guidebooks and embrace the weird side of America! With a little exploration, you might just stumble upon a museum that tickles your funny bone, sparks your curiosity, and leaves you with a story to tell (and maybe a few photos to prove it). Happy travels!