For many Americans, the best part of the summer is packing up the car and setting out on a cross country road trip. Whether you have a detailed itinerary mapped out or plan on just winging it, road trips are great opportunities to check out some of the best roadside attractions the U.S. has to offer. Thankfully, there is no shortage of unusual, shocking, and downright weird museums in the country. Here are some of the strangest museums to check out this summer.
Museum of Death
The Museum of Death is the perfect road trip stop for anyone interested in all things macabre. With two locations (Hollywood and New Orleans), the Museum of Death continues to attract droves of people with morbid curiosity. The museum features various exhibits, including a sculpture of JFK’s head post-assassination, letters written by serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer while he was in jail, and even a quilt made by the Manson Family. While the Museum of Death is definitely not for the faint of heart, admission to the museum is relatively inexpensive, and serves as a truly memorable experience you’ll be talking about for years to come!
International UFO Museum
Roswell, New Mexico has long been the subject of alien folklore and extraterrestrial sightings. The reason for this can be traced back to July 8th, 1947, when an unidentified flying object crashed into the New Mexico desert, and rumors that an alien body was found in the wreckage quickly spread. Since then, the city of Roswell has taken its reputation for being an alien magnet and run with it, and the International UFO Museum speaks to that. The museum features life-size models of aliens, as well as photographs and displays of alleged extraterrestrial sightings. For those with a penchant for all things outer space, the International UFO Museum is a must-visit.
Cathedral of Junk
The phrase “Keep Austin Weird” isn’t just a slogan for the city of Austin- it’s a way of life. This can especially be seen in the Cathedral of Junk, an attraction located in Austin resident Vince Hannemann’s backyard. Hannemann began constructing the cathedral in 1988 by adding pieces of junk, such as wheels, kitchen utensils, and various tchotchkes to the structure. Hannemann estimates that the cathedral now holds over 60 tons of junk, and continues to add to it to this day. Strange attractions like the Cathedral of Junk are just part of the reason houses for sale in Austin, TX are so sought-after, and the city continues to attract an eclectic and diverse crowd.
Museum of Bad Art
You’ve probably heard of the MOMA, but what about the MOBA? The Museum of Bad Art, located in Somerville, Massachusetts, showcases all kinds of, well, bad art. Antique dealer Scott Wilson originally got the idea for the museum after discovering a particularly bad painting in a public trash can in Boston. The painting, titled Lucy in the Field with Flowers, would later become the museum’s signature piece and pave the way for other pieces of unsightly art.