Sure, there’s all the typical and famous landmarks you could visit in each of these regions featured on this list. But if you’re looking to venture off to a less-beaten path, check out some of these tourist destinations that may leave you puzzled, amazed, creeped out, or even insane.
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6. A Most Subjective Park
It may seem unreal, but the colorful clay canyons of Calhan, Colorado are a work of mother nature and someone who decided to paint the whole canyon rainbow colors. Long ago, the Paint Mines Interpretive Park served as a source for clay for Native American pottery. The geological formation remains protected by the state for its fragile shape and thriving ecosystem. Motorized vehicles do not get to drive close to the land and even domesticated animals have been prohibited from the area as well. Though it looks like a huge piece of artwork, no one can actually take or add anything to the landscape.
5. The 3 Story Tall World
Inside the Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston, Massachusetts, you can enter the Mapparium: a 3 story globe made of stained glass. From a 30 foot long bridge, you can observe the glass marvel in all its colorful splendor. As a way to represent the Christian Science Monitor’s global reach, architect Chester Lindsay Churchill drew inspiration from one of those Rand McNally political maps you’ve all seen before. In 1935, construction was underway, using 608 stained glass panels to complete the project. The purpose of the Mapparium wasn’t just to look pretty–it also gives viewers an idea what countries actually look like relative to each other.
4. The Abandoned Comes
Out on the deserts of Arizona, people visit the simply named Domes of Casa Grande. At one point in time (the late 70s and early 80s) the domes were built as manufacturing units for computers. The project was never completed, leaving these UFO-shaped buildings in its wake. And any time you leave a building abandoned in the desert, it’s bound to get riddled with graffiti. There’s also been talk of the Domes being the site of satanic rituals, so lots of people steer clear of actually entering them. Yet the squatters may still seek shelter here for the night and it’s a favorite spot for younger people to just drink beer or hang out.
3. Where Gravity Defies Logic
One of the most popular roadside attractions in the United States can be found out on the road near Santa Cruz, California. The Mystery Spot claims to be a place where gravity and other laws of physics do not apply. At this roadside attraction, you’ll see people leaning over for no reason and objects being rolled uphill, like witchcraft. The area became known for its strange properties in 1939 after electrician and inventor George Prather discovered what would later be named the Mystery Spot. This place would be categorized as a “gravity hill” where the tilt in its geography produces optical illusions for those who visit it. So while gravity does apply to the area, it all comes down to a trick of the eye that can disorient a lot of people.
2. The Eclectic Collection
The placek known simply as The House on the Rock opened in 1959, though its owner Alex Jordan, started the concept of what the house would become nearly 15 years prior. The house served as a meeting place between him and Frank Lloyd Wright. Located on the top of Deer Shelter Rock in Wisconsin, the house has become known for its strange collections that get housed in the different buildings of this house turned huge estate. It takes a long time to see all of the sights offered at the House on the Rock, with some parts of the collections consisting of 269 carousel animals and mannequins hangings from the ceilings.
The Madness of Silence
If you’re looking for peace and quiet, The Quietest Place On Earth in Minneapolis, Minnesota might not be the place to go–despite the name. The facility proved popular amongst visitors, who wouldn’t want to visit a place that the Guinness World Records have dubbed the most silent place humans can visit? But be warned, the immense silence has been said to drive people mad. The lab within the building is an anechoic chamber, where sound gets absorbed by 99.99%. The thing that really gets to people is that it’s so quiet, the only thing you can hear is your own body. Most people don’t make it past a few minutes, though one reporter lasted at least 45 minutes in the chamber.