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10 Secret Attractions Only Locals Know About

10. Fuel City

10. Fuel City

Dallas, Texas

If you're on a road trip, you'll need to stop for gas and to clean off your windshield at some point. Pull over at Fuel City in Dallas, and you'll have stumbled onto not just the best tacos in the city, but the whole state. Even at night, the line for the taco stand can stretch well into the parking lot. During the day, you can eat at tables near the on-site ranch where you'll see camels, zebras, and even a white buffalo. Take a drive through the car wash, and you're on your way again.

(image via yo_kedrick)

9. Emporium Arcade Bar

9. Emporium Arcade Bar

Chicago, Illinois

Sometimes combining two good things into one doesn't always work. Remember peanut butter AND jelly in a single jar? So much time saved. AOL Time Warner? What a dot-com dynasty. Emporium, on the other hand, successfully combines one part bar with one part arcade to create the best thing possible: a fun night out. With over 100 retro arcade games and pinball machines (that only cost a quarter per turn), plus 24 taps and over 100 cans of craft beer, what better place is there to hang out with some friends?

(image via livelovepasta)

8. Stiltsville

8. Stiltsville

Miami, Florida

Away from—everything, really—is one of the most unique neighborhoods in the U.S. The seven houses of Stiltsville are perched above Biscayne Channel on wooden stilts about ten feet above the shallow waters. These historic structures are available for rent, but if you don't have your own boat, you may have a little trouble getting to them. 

7. The Wave Organ

7. The Wave Organ

San Francisco, California

Skip touristy Pier 39 and head just 2 miles down the coast to see the Wave OrganNo, that's not a pile of rubble and bricks jutting out into San Francisco Bay. This acoustic sculpture by Peter Richards is actually an active musical instrument. As the tide rises and falls throughout the day, the waves that crash onto the shore "play" 25 organ pipes that are placed at varying levels across the site.

6. Casa Bonita

6. Casa Bonita

Denver, Colorado

Casa Bonita's 30-foot waterfall imitates the cliffs of Acapulco, home of the world famous La Quebrada Cliff Divers. With its own band of divers, the restaurant puts on diving shows nightly, every half hour, but don't worry. These professional divers are trained to have small splashes. With game rooms, enough seating for 1,000 guests, and over 52,000 square feet of space, you're in for more that just a simple dinner.

5. Downtown Container Park

5. Downtown Container Park

Las Vegas, Nevada

Most visitors to Vegas don't even leave the strip, which really is a shame as they miss out on historic downtown. What local Las Vegans don't want you to find is the cool hangout of Downtown Container Park. Constructed entirely of old shipping containers, this three-storey complex offers everything from restaurants, shopping, bars, concerts, and outdoor movie showings. It the perfect place to recharge after a few days of gambling.

4. The Former Loew's Valencia Theatre

4. The Former Loew's Valencia Theatre

New York City

Built in 1929, the Loew's Wonder Theatres were five flagship movie houses for the Loew's chain that were the pinnacle examples of the atmospheric theatres popular at the time. Instead of our modern multiplexes with dark box-like rooms with a simple silver screen, the style of these theatres imitated European courtyards with false-sky ceilings and opulent embellishments around a screen with an actual stage. Now it serves as home to the Tabernacle of Prayer for All People church.

3. The Former Friendship Baptist Church

3. The Former Friendship Baptist Church

Washington, D.C.

Built in 1886, the former home of the Friendship Baptist Church sat vacant for nearly 20 years after the congregation moved. After purchasing the space, yet before moving in, the non-profit art club Blind Whino commissioned public artist Alex Brewer, known as HENSE, to create a mural on the exterior of the church. The result is a whimsical kaleidoscope of colors that livens up an otherwise quiet neighborhood. 

2. Cambridge Center Roof Garden

2. Cambridge Center Roof Garden

Boston, Massachusetts

Walking around the bustling streets of Boston, visitors and residents alike often overlook this secluded escape, mostly because it's over their heads. The next time your friends wants to meet for lunch, surprise them by heading to the parking garage at 4 Cambridge Center for a picnic. Travel up the stairs to the top floor, and you'll discover a garden oasis from which you can look down at blissfully unaware passersby.

1. Mystery Coke Machine

1. Mystery Coke Machine

Seattle, Washington

Urban legends abound all across Seattle about who exactly is refilling this old Coca-Cola machine that has sat on the corner of John Street and 10th Avenue East. But that's not the only mystery. You'll notice that there aren't any labels on this Coke dispensary, simply buttons that say "mystery." Insert your 75¢ to get anything from a Grape Fanta to a Mountain Dew White Out, or something else in between.