Scottsboro, Alabama, might seem like an unlikely destination for a day trip. But it's become renowned as the land of lost luggage, both within the US and abroad. The Unclaimed Baggage Center is one of the only stores in the world that sells lost suitcases and their contents from airports around the country—to anyone brave enough to take their chances!
While there’s no reimbursement for broken or stolen items, if you’re lucky enough, you could return home with some once-in-a-lifetime finds at Rock Bottom prices. So if you're ever feeling lucky, head to Scottsboro and explore what was once someone else' burdensome baggage!
Whittier is an interesting example of small-town life. The entire town is located within a single high-rise building, and everyone in town lives there too! With almost its own self-contained economy, this building has all the essentials: a post office, school, and even housing–it's no wonder why the 214 residents never feel the need to leave!
There's something quite unique about living in so close proximity to your entire community and having every essential service practically at your door. Whittier is truly an unusual—and charmingly strange—place to live!
Tombstone is an anomaly. Firstly, there's the fact that it looks exactly like it did during the wild west days of the Gold Rush Era–utterly frozen in time. Then there's the fact that it receives a huge number of visitors every year who are keen to "live out their cowboy fantasies."
It's hard to imagine that this is actually a real place and not just part of a movie set! What might have been an otherwise literal ghost town is instead kept alive by the legion of tourists that come through it annually. Truly, Tombstone has to be seen to be believed!
Alma, a small town located in the state of Arkansas, is proud to have been home to the Allen Canning Company once upon a time. This company made Alma famous all over the world by being responsible for a huge chunk of global spinach production.
As a tribute to this feat, the citizens of this town decided to erect a statue dedicated to none other than Popeye—the sailor man whose love for spinach was known across the land. After all, who better to represent their beloved vegetable than perhaps one of animation's greatest characters? Way to go, Alma!
Slab City, California
It's no wonder that folks are drawn to the free-wheeling culture of Slab City. With no running water, sewage, or electricity, it is the ultimate refuge from modern life and its endless demands. Residents come from all walks of life, from snowbirds who need a break from their northern winters to those with nowhere else to go.
But at Slab City, freedom comes at a price: no showers, toilets, or refrigeration will make for some interesting living arrangements. Despite this, there's something undeniably attractive about living off the grid in an area most people only know as an abandoned military barrack.
Crestone, Colorado is a hippie paradise, and it's easy to see why—it has more spiritual centers per capita than any other US city. So if you're looking for somewhere to kick back and find your inner peace through drum circles and patchouli oil, Crestone is definitely the place for you!
Of course, there are plenty of other attractions, too; the hiking trails offer great views of rocky peaks, while the star-gazing opportunities cannot be understated in this small mountain town. All in all, Crestone has something for everyone looking to explore the unique customs of Colorado culture and find a little nirvana.
Dudleytown, Connecticut, was once a bustling little town that prospered from the mid-1800s until one day the population suddenly dwindled, and no one was left. While visiting this abandoned settlement is illegal, Dudleytown is considered by many to be one of America's most haunted destinations.
Rumors abound about what happened to Dudleytown: some believe it was cursed, while others speculate that it fell victim to an advanced and undetectable disease—though no one really knows for sure. Regardless of the truth, Dudleytown is an enduring reminder of how mysterious life can be.
New Castle, Delaware
New Castle, Delaware, is the unsung hero of colonial American life. Visitors strolling down its cobblestone streets get a real feel for life from hundreds of years ago—including a glimpse of people decked out in powdered wigs and other old-timey outfits!
Even after all these years, this small town has maintained its traditional and historic charm. Well worth a visit if you're looking to delve into the United States' rich heritage; just don't expect to bump into many tourists when you arrive.
The Villages, Florida
It's easy to overlook the peculiarities of this retirement community, The Villages. With its picturesque golf courses, beautiful vintage Spanish-style homes, and generally serene atmosphere, it practically screams "endless relaxation in your golden years!" But look a bit deeper and you'll find that beneath the peace and tranquility, something much more unsettling is occurring.
Sure enough, the STD rates in The Villages are staggeringly high, suggesting that the residents here have found a very unconventional way to liven up their later lives! To say that The Villages is anything but a normal town would be an understatement—it truly is one of life's great mysteries.
Georgia may be synonymous with peaches, but the real money-maker in the state is peanuts. If you'd like to experience a real tourist trap while visiting Georgia, head on down to Ashburn and take in the splendor of the world's largest peanut statue.
You have to hand it to the creative minds behind this monument, which pays homage to the humble legume that puts plenty of cash into the pockets of state producers.
Finding a topiary maze shaped like a pineapple is truly a unique experience. The world-famous Dole Plantation in Wahiawa, Hawaii, offers just that - an intriguingly shaped hedge maze with 13 circles and pathways totaling over one mile that all intertwine in the shape of a giant pineapple.
It's a fun, interactive activity for visitors to enjoy, but the effect it has on people certainly seems strange — who would've thought of combining two completely different activities (tracing mazes and respecting pineapples) into one entertaining puzzle? You'd have to be pretty creative – or maybe somewhat feral – to come up with something like this.
Life in Preston, Idaho can be pretty boring these days, but there was a time when the movie Napoleon Dynamite had left its mark on the little town. During the early 2000s, fans of the movie were known to make a pilgrimage to Preston just to catch a glimpse of where some of their favorite scenes were filmed.
It's no surprise why it had such an impact — Napoleon Dynamite is one of those cult classic movies that will be remembered and quoted by generations to come.
If you ever find yourself in the small town of Collinsville, Illinois, you won't be able to miss the world's largest ketchup bottle! This 65-foot hot sauce-shaped building is just one of many tourist attractions that contribute to a small town's charm and quirkiness.
Every summer, visitors can also enjoy the annual Ketchup Festival, which features local food vendors and kids' activities sure to keep the entire family entertained. Next time your adventures take you into the heartland, don't forget to pay this ketchup paradise a visit for maximum enjoyment and laughs!
Santa Claus, Indiana
Santa Claus is not just the man who brings you presents — it’s a town in Indiana too! Founded in 1856, Santa Claus was initially called 'Santa Fe' like the city in New Mexico - except Indiana already had one of those. What better way to distinguish yourself than to name your town after an iconic figure of generosity?
Since then, Christmas-themed attractions have been popping up all over the small town to honor Old Saint Nick. If you’re looking for an extra dose of holiday spirit, this Midwestern paradise could be just the ticket. Just don't forget that no matter how dedicated a fan you are of all things Santa Claus, it doesn’t give you license to skip out on your yearly taxes!
Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa
Maharishi Vedic City in Iowa has drawn attention as a special place for spiritual vigor and tranquility. Created in the '90s to spread contentment, this city relies on ancient architectural styles and practices said to embody peace.
A progressive decision taken by the municipality was making Maharishi Vedic City the first all-organic city in 2005 by banning chemicals like artificial pesticides and fertilizers. It seems like at least Iowa isn't too boring after all!
Cawker City, Kansas
Visiting the world's largest ball of twine might not be the most glamorous tourist destination, but it certainly is one of the most unique. In Cawker, Kansas, this priceless piece of Americana is an awe-inspiring sight — quite literally a giant ball of string. The twine ball has grown for more than 60 years now and weighs nearly 10 tons (weighing way more than anything else in Cawker)!
It's unquestionably captivating and completely ridiculous, but ultimately worth stopping for if you ever find yourself passing through the area...because, let's face it, that's probably your only option for entertainment in Cawker!
The Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky has been a destination since 2016, presenting Noah’s Ark as if taken straight out of the Bible. Encompassing three decks featuring displays, animal statues, and more, this theme park openly promotes creationism and doesn’t offer much by way of factual accuracy.
Still, the Ark Encounter strikes all the right notes for those with a taste for myths and legends. So if you want an adventure that blends imagination with biblical tales from 1000+ BC—this is the place to be.
Louisiana is home to a vast array of cultures, cuisines, and landscapes, and apparently an excitable supernatural population too. If the hit HBO show True Blood has it right, then Louisiana must be teeming with vampires. But if you're looking for them, don't bother checking Transylvania. Forget the notorious hometown of Dracula—there's a real Transylvania in Louisiana, just waiting to be explored. Because this is one blink-and-you'll-miss-it small town that most locals keep tucked away from outside view (not to mention those seeking vampire activity).
And the best part of all? You’ll definitely never forget your garlic cloves on this spooky adventure through the swamps of Louisiana. So adventurers beware: it’s vampires vs. humans in a game like no other!
Visitors to Maine may be astounded to find a seemingly out-of-place desert just outside Freeport! The “Desert of Maine” has been left behind by an Ice Age glacier, leaving a patch of sand surrounded by the traditionally colder and more coastal areas.
Although calling it a "desert" is a bit misleading, it is definitely an interesting geological quirk caused by the icy history of the region. If you're looking for something different than what Maine usually offers, head over to Freeport to take in the spectacular views of the Desert of Maine!
Baltimore is the jewel of Maryland, and although it has a rich history all its own, horror fans know that it's a must-see destination: Edgar Allan Poe resided in the city for much of his life. Now, you can go to visit his final home as it stands in all its spooky glory: each room is encoded with a particular Poe tale, complete with wax figures that are eerily similar to their real-life counterparts.
For those looking to delve even deeper into one of America's most famous horror writers, the Edgar Allan Poe Museum provides books, memorabilia, and information about the author from times past. So if you want to get Goosebumps - but not from fear — this is exactly where you should be.
Fall River, Massachusetts
For those looking to scratch their true crime itch, Fall River — a small Massachusetts town — should rate highly on the bucket list. In 1892, the notorious murderer Lizzie Borden hacked her parents to death in this very town. These days, the site of these gruesome deaths is now a bed and breakfast.
Unsurprisingly, given its history, it also allegedly offers a wide range of paranormal activity to explore in addition to its macabre allure. So if you want a break from your regular activities while getting your fix of supernatural and spooky true-crime experiences, Fall River is definitely worth checking out!
While Hell, Michigan may seem like just your average small town at first glance, dig a little deeper, and find some truly unique features. Residents have really embraced their enviable namesake, with Hell Hole Diner serving up devilishly delicious cuisine and the Hell Chapel of Love offering an unconventional wedding ceremony for couples who—quite literally—want to tie the knot in Hell.
While it may not have much else going for it compared to other towns in the state, you can’t deny the creative spirit of the locals – they certainly make a visit to Hell, one that won’t soon be forgotten.
Situated in the middle of nowhere, Kensington has been a sleepy little town for many years — that is, until the great 1898 stone tablet discovery. Discovered by local digger J.H. Brown, this mysterious find was certainly one of a kind! Bearing an alleged inscription from 14th-century Scandanavian explorers, its authenticity has been met with much debate.
While some say it's an original, others think it's a complete hoax. Either way, thanks to this unexpected archaeological find, Kensington, once an obscure and overlooked corner of the world, suddenly made its name known far and wide!
It's often just a plot device for horror movies, but the story of people selling their souls to the devil is centuries old. Even if you don't believe it's true, it makes for a good legend — and that's just what happened at a particular crossroads in Mississippi. Robert Johnson was born there in 1911, allegedly having disappeared for a while to make a deal with the devil himself.
Whether it actually happened or not, there's now an iconic guitar statue at the classic blues crossroads as a tribute to the legend of Johnson and his bargain with fate. It may be idle speculation to guess at what sort of deal was struck over 100 years ago - but one thing is certain: this story has certainly been worth its weight in (blues) gold over the years!
Hannibal, Missouri, is definitely a spot of quintessential Americana. This small town was the childhood home of beloved author Mark Twain, and it’s a popular destination for fans of his literature to pay homage to. His old home has been transformed into a museum so visitors can catch a glimpse at the man’s formative years and learn more about one of our country’s most cherished authors.
So if you ever get the chance, take some time to check out this little slice of American history in Hannibal – but watch out for Tom Sawyer if you’re wandering around!
If you're in search of a spiritual respite during a trip to Montana, head over to the Arlee Buddhist monastery. Here, visitors will be met with 1,000 statues of the Buddha as they meander through a peaceful garden — an experience that is surprisingly easy to find in this mountain state often associated with cowboys and cattle drives.
For those looking to step away from the hustle and bustle of modern life, this monastery is definitely worth spending some time at...just don't forget to tell everyone back home you were hanging out with Buddhism in the middle of Montana!
Talk about a one-of-a-kind destination! Monowi, Nebraska, has the truly remarkable distinction of being the only incorporated town in the United States to have an official population of one. Elsie Eiler is a shining example of grit and determination and a prime example of how one person can still make a difference in their community, because she essentially runs all aspects of this small town on her own!
She is responsible for everything from taxes to operating the local library and even serving as mayor. Talk about an inspiring display of dedication; we should all learn from Elsie Eiler's example and do our part to keep our own communities strong!
If you're looking to get your hands dirty, Tonopah could be the perfect place for you! The town is home to a unique turquoise mine where ambitious miners can dig around and find these sought-after gems. With an opportunity like that, you could very easily end up rewarded handsomely for a day's hard work.
A word of warning, though — it won't be easy! So, if you think you've got the dedication and resilience required to strike it rich, Tonopah could be just what you're looking for.
Gorham, New Hampshire
Ah, Gorham, New Hampshire. You might be a small town of seemingly few attractions, but you are the true wild kingdom of moose. Though it may not actually be true that these gentle beasts are in charge around these parts, there's no denying their importance here. All year round, moose watchers can traverse this area to get amazing views—it really is nature's best show!
The locals will undoubtedly have many tales to tell about their wonderful moosey inhabitants as well; but for those not lucky enough to live in this truly unique region of New Hampshire, Gorham is sure to bring some magic back into your life with its awe-inspiring herds.
Hopewell, New Jersey
The small town of Hopewell has seen more than its fair share of dark days, with the infamous Lindbergh baby kidnapping and murder taking place in the 1930s. Other than a juvenile treatment center inhabiting the exact residence of the crime itself, very little remains to remind locals of this tragedy. Even though some may argue that it was a well-deserved holiday from the spotlight, one cannot ignore such an event that has taken residence in pop culture – across books, films, television series, and even fashion.
From Greta Garbo's 1932 classic film, The Sin of Madelon Claudet, to references made on popular music tracks such as Nicki Minaj's 2015 song "All Things Go," it's evident that regardless of how far we've come since then, references to the case remain timely.
Roswell, New Mexico
Roswell, New Mexico has a reputation for being the center of alien activity and many believe that their mysterious landing in 1947 is proof. It may seem like any small town USA from the outside, but on closer inspection, it contains numerous 'alien' references such as an extraterrestrial highway and a museum dedicated to UFOs.
For those looking for something otherworldly, Roswell is the place to go. Even if you're skeptical of aliens and UFO sightings you will be sure to find some interesting tourist attractions in this quirky town.
Lily Dale, New York
Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of Lily Dale, New York - home to a gated community full of psychics. This spiritual hotspot has grown over the years, due to its reputation for attracting seers, fortune-tellers, and various "visionaries." From intimate séance circles to messages from beyond the grave, it's fair to say this is definitely not your typical gated community.
Whether you believe in their extraordinary powers or not, there's no denying that Lily Dale provides an interesting experience for seekers of the paranormal.
Rose Hill, North Carolina
Who would believe that the "largest frying pan in the world", as it's touted, is actually useful? Well, visitors of Rose Hill, North Carolina get to put this claim to the test every year at the North Carolina Poultry Jubilee - an event where hundreds of chickens are cooked up on this metal monstrosity.
Drawing folks from far and wide, it even has its own Guinness Book of Worlds Records listing! That's right — come for the world-famous buffet, and stay for your 15 minutes of fame, taking a picture with one of the oldest and most popular tourist attractions in Eastern North Carolina.
Center, North Dakota
Center, North Dakota, is the undisputed center of the North American continent, despite what a monument in Rugby, North Dakota, might have you think. With latitude and longitude markings at 47°N and 97°W, many have confirmed that Center is in fact the center, but unfortunately, this monument was built wrong. Even more strangely still is the fact that it has never been corrected since its construction in 1931!
While tourists visiting Center probably can’t expect any level of fanfare on a visit to this spot, they can marvel at how one small mistake has stood for 88 years now — and rest assured they are right where they're supposed to be geographically speaking.
If you're looking for a monument to visit, Stonehenge is overrated. For a much more meaningful and touching experience, why not pay a visit to Cornhenge instead? Located in Dublin, Ohio, this strange monument was created by the Frantz Family in homage to Sam Frantz — the family's patriarch and legendary hybrid corn developer.
It's a unique mixture of art and agriculture made of six towering ears of corn standing 20 feet tall next to an American flag. Although it may not be as grandiose or well-known as Stonehenge, Cornhenge is sure to provide a memorable experience!
Television in the 1960s had some really strange ideas, and Mister Ed was definitely one of them. This show followed the unlikely friendship between a talking horse and its owner, Wilbur, and it became an American television classic. But did you know that this four-legged star might just be buried in Tahlequah, Oklahoma?
It's true! Whether it is Bamboo, the original Mr. Ed himself, or his movie set replacement Pumpkin, who was buried at this location, is still a matter of considerable debate. All we can be sure of is that this unusual duo continues to delight many fans today.
The infamous attack on Pearl Harbor may be remembered as the formal introduction of the United States into World War II, but it wasn't the only attack experienced by Americans during the conflict. In 1945, six Lakeview, Oregon citizens met their untimely end when they stumbled upon an official Japanese military balloon, much like those often seen in kodomo manga.
Little did they know that among the traditional double-helix cords was a deadly payload — an active bomb. It serves as a solemn reminder that wars don't just take place far away on unfamiliar coastlines; violence and destruction can affect us even closer to home.
It's hard to believe that Centralia, Pennsylvania, once had a booming population of 1,000 people! Since 1962 though, it’s been declining rapidly as the coal fire burning underneath the entire town continues to spread.
It has become so bad that any new residents are no longer allowed, and the remaining 10 brave souls who still call Centralia home are continuously looking for ways to protect their properties from the out-of-control fire. Who knows how long these remaining citizens have until the coal fire has consumed everything and everyone must abandon this former Pennsylvania hotspot for good?
Providence, Rhode Island
When it comes to classic architecture, Providence offers plenty to choose from. However, the Fleur-de-Lys studios rise above them all with their quirky and unique exterior. Look deeper, and you will find that craft enthusiasts and artists also flock to this location, making it a distinct hotspot right in the middle of the city.
Prepare yourself for plenty of artful surprises and unusual experiences because there's always something new being created within the walls of the Fleur-de-Lys studios.
Gaffney, South Carolina
Gaffney, South Carolina, is an unassuming town located along I-85, which most people would likely be unaware of if it weren't for the iconic "peachoid" water tower that looms large over the skyline. For years people have stopped to marvel at this 135-foot-tall homage to the peach industry. Who could miss it? It stands on a 40-foot-tall concrete pillar and can hold a whopping 1 million gallons of water!
Even those not typically in tune with local roadside attractions have heard about this giant fruit because it was featured in an episode of the popular Netflix series House of Cards. All in all, the peachoid is an unexpected diversion worth visiting if you happen to find yourself driving through Gaffney, South Carolina.
Clark, South Dakota
Every year, the townspeople of Clark, South Dakota, gather in anticipation of a rather unusual event: mashed potato wrestling. It's held to commemorate Potato Day, and though it sounds a bit strange, it's become an incredibly popular tradition among locals. No longer is mud wrestling the biggest craze around—mashed potato wrestling really takes the cake!
With no rules about how to make a great concoction for tossing and tussling, plenty of wacky ingredients are usually added—although it's more than likely companies like Idahoan won't be attending anytime soon. So if you're ever longing for potatoes-shaped hijinks, go no further than Clark—they have it all figured out!
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is lovingly referred to as the Atomic City. What people may not know is that Oak Ridge served as the secret production site for the development of an atomic bomb during the Manhattan Project — a feat that drove scientists and engineers around the world to revolutionize physics, leading to one of history's most impressive technical feats in record time.
The project shook up the technology space — but it also shook up Oak Ridge itself, turning this small city into a historic powerhouse with enough clout to pull off miracles of science.
Don't waste your time idling away in Roswell or loitering around Area 51; it's time to head over to the mysterious Marfa! You won’t be disappointed by what you find—the stars aren’t the only magical thing this town has to offer. At night, you may see a phenomenon known as the “Marfa lights” – a perplexing phenomenon that scientists have been unable to explain (so far!).
Whether natural or out of this world, one thing is certain: these sightings give quite an exciting flair and aura of mystery to the already intriguing town of Marfa. So why not go check it out and form your own conclusions? Who knows — maybe you’ll witness something totally extraterrestrial!
Hildale, Utah might raise an eyebrow when outsiders visit. Home to a significantly large number of members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, it may be a strange place for those unaware of the locals' beliefs. These Mormons practice polygamy, giving it an even more curious feel.
Plus, they’re not too keen on visitors – so this is probably one isolated town you should add to your "avoid" list.
If you’re in Waterbury, Vermont, don’t miss the unique opportunity to tour Ben and Jerry’s headquarters! Founded right here in Waterbury more than 40 years ago, the company is an industry leader. The factory tours are an especially exciting way to get a behind-the-scenes look into their production process. If that isn’t enough to entice you to visit the facilities, you won't want to miss the infamous Flavor Graveyard either.
Located on-site, it features tombstones for discontinued ice cream flavors and commemorates some of Ben and Jerry's failures we all still remember (and love). It's definitely worth seeing--it's one part history lesson and one part spooky novelty.
If you're a fan of linguistics, then you won't want to miss a visit to Tangier Island. Nestled in the center of the Chesapeake Bay, this small island town is a linguistic treasure-trove for anyone interested in dialects and accents.
Especially unique is their use of English; many describe it as a combination of an American and British accent – some even say that a similar speech pattern was used by some of the Founding Fathers! While still retaining its charm, this Virginia town provides a distinctive way to explore the history of the American language.
Seattle is the place to be. From the rolling hills of the Pacific Northwest to cultural mainstays like the Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle has a little something for everyone. Music lovers know Seattle as the birthplace of grunge — the late '80s and '90s phenomenon that changed rock music forever.
But it doesn’t stop there – if you feel you don’t get enough pop culture in your everyday life, Seattle is definitely a destination for you!
Philippi, West Virginia
When most people think of mummies, Egypt often leaps to mind. However, it turns out that the Barbour County Historical Museum in Philippi, West Virginia, also has an intriguing collection of relics—mausoleum-quality mummies! Where did they come from?
Well, according to the museum's archives, some were gifted by visitors from other countries who heard about their special exhibit, while others were unearthed and preserved by local farmers and curators. Experience a little piece of history at this one-of-a-kind establishment – stuff your head with both facts and trinkets just like a real mummy!
New Glarus, Wisconsin
If you’re looking for a way to save some money on an international trip, why not check out New Glarus instead? Located in southern Wisconsin, this quirky little village was established by Swiss settlers back in 1845 and features plenty of Swiss-style architecture. Despite its humble origins, many residents still speak the original Swiss dialect, giving it an authentic feel you won't find anywhere else.
Plus, you can experience all that Switzerland has to offer without the hefty plane ticket! So get your cheese fondue ready — and don’t forget your passports! — because a day trip to New Glarus is just the ticket for your next budget-friendly adventure!
Only in America could someone buy and sell a town, complete with its citizens. That's just what happened to Buford, Wyoming, which was almost completely devoid of life until its sole remaining family sold the entire town to a Vietnamese coffee company for $900,000 and renamed it PhinDeli. It sounds like a classic case of the American Dream being taken advantage of when local citizens find themselves in dire straits, unable to make ends meet and desperate enough to part with their community for the promise of economic stability.
Though the new town may thrive under the power of one single company, something is undeniably lacking from a place that was once self-sustaining and home to a vibrant community.