Road trips are fun for all kinds of travelers, whether one likes to travel solo or with a big group. Plus, road trips offer an advantage that plane travel cannot provide: a chance to explore the off-beaten path at one’s leisure. An off-the-beaten-path leads to discoveries. That’s why road tripping in the US rewards travelers with an array of attractions considered quirky, strange, and simply unique—looking for attractions other than the most Instagrammed tourist spots in the US? So get the engine’s started: these are the ten strangest tourist attractions to check out in the US!
9 The Paper House (Rockport, Massachusetts)
- Address: 52 Pigeon Hill St, Rockport, MA 01966
This house has paper-thin walls…literally. Built in 1922 by mechanical engineer Elis F. Stenman, Elis crafted a summer home made entirely from the newspaper (stuck with some apple peels, flour, and water). Approximately 215 layers of paper make the walls of this house! Ever seen a chair made from paper? If not, now’s the chance to see it when visiting The Paper House. In addition, this house has a fantastic collection of paper furniture, including a paper clock.
8 Monkey Island (Homosassa, Florida)
- Address: 10985 W. Xanadu Path, Homosassa, FL
Snowbirds looking to escape the snow love heading to Florida, where it’s sunny (almost) year-round. Besides soaking in the sun and hitting the famed beaches, Florida—specifically in Homosassa—is known for Monkey Island. Inhabited by a family of monkey spiders, visitors can see these monkeys while taking a boat tour (or even during a romantic dinner cruise). All day, these rambunctious monkeys swing around the palm trees while taking refuge in their lighthouse-themed home.
7 Enchanted Highway (North Dakota)
- Address: Lefor, ND 58641
The incredible thing about road trips is that travelers can encounter incredible sights at their leisure. For example, North Dakota’s Enchanted Highway is like a road-trippers dream. Stretching for 32 miles, this highway is known to house an array of metal sculptures. Get up close and personal with sculptures resembling animals and humans alike. Make sure to take plenty of photos too!
6 Dog Bark Park Inn (Cottonwood, Idaho)
- Address: 2421 Business Loop 95, Cottonwood, ID 83522
Come to Cottonwood to see the World’s Biggest Beagle…and stay a couple of nights or two in its belly! Dog Bark Park Inn is a unique hotel just off Idaho’s Highway 95. This unusual yet cozy hotel is perfect for dog lovers. Outside, the hotel is shaped like a colossal dog, while its interior is 100% dog-themed. Partake in some dog-shaped cookies and sleep in a cozy bed amongst an array of dog-themed decor and art.
5 Natural Rock Face (Petersburg, Alaska)
- Address: Wrangell-Petersburg Census Area, Petersburgh, Alaska
People always say that ‘beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. Concerning Petersburg’s Natural Rock Face, many beholders can agree: it looks like a side profile of a human face (hence its name). Admittedly, the details of this landmark are less intricate than those seen on Mount Rushmore, but they still look incredibly human-like for a natural phenomenon. Moreover, visitors can appreciate the surrounding mountain views when checking out Natural Rock Face.
4 UFO Watchtower (Colorado)
- Address: CO-17, Center, CO 81125
Extraterrestrial life is out there (and reportedly frequent the world’s top UFO hotspots), and Judy Messoline—the creator of the UFO Watchtower—knows this fact well. At this unique tourist attraction, Judy set up an observation tower and campgrounds (open year-round) dedicated to extraterrestrial life. There is also a gift shop and “energy vortexes” where visitors can leave gifts behind. Plus, those who believe in the supernatural may be interested in knowing this: the area has a history of paranormal activity!
3 Carhenge (Alliance, Nebraska)
- Address: 2151 Co Rd 59, Alliance, NE 69301
When the unique Stonehenge is just not cutting it (even after travelers visited other equally impressive stone circles), Carhenge may do for some travelers (especially those who love vintage cars). Off-Highway 87 in Alliance lies Carhenge, a stunning exhibit of vintage cars painted grey, organized to resemble the world-famous Stonehenge. There is also a gift shop in the area for car-related souvenirs (though it’s open seasonally only). Travelers may wonder why creator Jim Reinders created this car-themed structure. His response: Why not?’
2 The Museum Of Everyday Life (Glover, Vermont)
- Address: 3482 Dry Pond Rd, Glover, VT 05839
Everyday life is not always dazzling, but routine and the mundane help people get through the day. Glover’s Museum of every day captures these underappreciated, everyday items and routines, from teeth brushing to combing one’s hair. Normalcy is celebrated at the Museum Of Everyday Life, with its exhibits housed within an unassuming barn. This museum may be stuffed with the ‘every day,’ but it’s worth visiting when road tripping in Vermont!
1 The International Banana Museum (Mecca, California)
- Address: 98775 CA-111, Mecca, CA 92254
Bananas are eaten so much that people overlook their existence. However, The International Banana Museum in California feels otherwise. This museum features over 25,000 items dedicated to well-known tropical fruit, the world's most extensive banana collection. Be dazzled with the array of banana-themed items with hues of yellow and green. Also, don’t forget to stop by the gift shop to bring home some banana-related souvenirs!