TRIPADVISOR MARVELS AT AMERICA’S WACKIEST ATTRACTIONS
From Toilet Seats to an Eiffel Tower, Texas is Tops for the Weird and Wacky
NEWTON, Mass. — October 14, 2009 /PRNewswire/ — TripAdvisor®, the world’s most popular and largest travel community, today announced the top ten wackiest attractions in America based on TripAdvisor travelers and editors.
1. Potty Time: Toilet Seat Museum, Alamo Heights, Texas
More than 700 decorated toilet seat lids (and counting) adorn curator Barney Smith’s oversized garage, now a site that draws around 1,000 visitors a year. The lid themes range from license plates to military memorabilia to commemorations of major historical events, and everything in between. An additional ironic oddity is this former master plumber’s toilet seat museum does not have a bathroom. One TripAdvisor traveler said, “This place is a MUST SEE for all ages when in San Antonio.”
2. Un-henged: Carhenge, Alliance, Nebraska
No time to see the real thing in England? The next best thing may be Nebraska’s wacky answer to Stonehenge: a replica of the English landmark made from automotive jalopies painted grey to look like stone. Other unusual clunker sculptures are also scattered around this memorable and bizarre landmark. One TripAdvisor traveler said, “If you enjoy the unusual, this is a must see.”
3. Pit Stop: Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, Texas
Ten graffiti-covered Cadillacs sticking out of the ground with trunks in the air make for a truly wacky roadside attraction off Interstate 40 in Amarillo, Texas. Also an interactive attraction, visitors are welcome to spray paint the colorful vehicles themselves. One TripAdvisor traveler suggested, “Take a can of spray paint and spend some time adding your own piece of art or just sign your name on one of the ten cars.”
4. In-dispensable: Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia
Two tiny rooms are transformed into a one-of-a-kind museum at this homage to the classic toy and candy dispenser first introduced in the 1950s. Packed with Pez dispensers new and old, the museum even houses the world’s largest Pez dispenser (a snowman that stands seven feet, 10 inches tall). One TripAdvisor traveler suggested, “When you are done with the city life and need a true cultural anomaly, stop by the Pez Museum.”
5. Alligator Attraction: Gatorland, Orlando, Florida
Get up close and personal with more than 1,000 alligators at Florida’s Gatorland, where travelers can feed the reptiles raw hot dogs, enjoy a photo op on a gator’s back, or take a night tour of the park. One TripAdvisor traveler said, “It feels a little bit more Floridian than the other area attractions. Besides, you don't get to sit on Gators at Disney.”
6. We’ll Always Have Paris Texas: The Paris Texas Eiffel Tower, Paris, Texas
It is only fitting that Paris, Texas, would have an iconic tower of its own. While this version only measures around 65 feet tall, compared to France’s 1,063-foot tower, it certainly has that je ne sais quoi—a cowboy hat on top. But it’s not for everyone; as one TripAdvisor traveler said “I've honestly seen oil rigs that are more impressive.”
7. A Rockin’ Time: House on the Rock, Spring Green, Wisconsin
Sitting atop a 60-foot-tall rock, House on the Rock is made up of rooms filled with curious and captivating collections, from intricate doll houses to automated musical instruments. The house’s 300-foot-long “Infinity Room” begins at a width of 30 feet and grows progressively smaller until it is one inch wide, and juts out 218 feet from the house itself. One TripAdvisor traveler said, “Some say it's creepy, some say it has no rhyme or reason, but that's what makes it so neat!”
8. Two for the Price of One: Stonehenge II, Kerrville, Texas
An homage to mysterious and beautiful stone sculptures abroad, Stonehenge II replicates not only England’s Stonehenge, but the statues of Easter Island, as well. Thanks to this wacky roadside attraction in the fields of Texas, travelers can see two major world attractions at once. One TripAdvisor traveler said, “I've never seen the real Stonehenge or Easter Island, so it was very interesting to see them in Texas.”
9. We Come in Peace: Extraterrestrial Highway, Rachel, Nevada
After years of reports of bizarre extraterrestrial behavior near top-secret government base Area 51, a stretch of Nevada State Route 375 was deemed the Extraterrestrial Highway. If driving through, be prepared to take the possibility of other-worldly life very seriously, as one sign warns of alien encounters for the next 51 miles. One TripAdvisor traveler said, “The ET Highway itself is literally in the middle of nowhere, but is a very scenic and pretty drive.”
10. Having a Ball: Minnesota Twine Ball, Darwin, Minnesota
Darwin is the proud home to the world’s largest ball of twine, weighing 17,400 pounds and measuring 12 feet in diameter. Creator Francis A. Johnson worked on the creation for decades before he died and left behind a now-beloved landmark, housed safely in a gazebo for travelers to see. One TripAdvisor traveler said, “The very nice man opened the gazebo and let us take in the whole experience — the smell and touch of the ball.”
“This list proves the U.S. boasts some truly bizarre attractions, and in a state where they do everything big, Texas even does weird big,” said Christine Petersen, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor.
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*Source: comScore Media Metrix, July 2009