51 Weird Museums Across the U.S.: One For Every State (and D.C!)
We, as a country, love weird things. We celebrate it, wear T-shirts proclaiming our weirdness, and enshrine oddities that probably should have gone out with the trash a decade ago. And that’s okay.
At Yahoo Travel, we went in search of weird, wonderful, and wacky museums that are worth going out of your way to see. We acknowledge that behind each odd museum stands a hard working team of oddballs dedicated to bringing you their passion. We salute you!
Here’s our weird list of the weirdest museums, from coast to coast.
Step right into the world of “To Kill a Mockingbird” at the Monroe County Museum. (Photo by Tim Fleming via Monroe County Museum/Facebook)
The Monroe County Museum is only weird if your favorite book and movie in the world is not To Kill a Mockingbird. The rest of us simply want a moment to stand in the famous courtroom the movie set was modeled after.
The Hammer Museum pays homage to man’s first tool. The history is interesting, if you run out of things to do in Alaska.
If you love all things tiny, the Museum of Miniatures is the spot for smalls.
The barbershop where Elvis got his first Army buzz cut is memorialized at the Chaffee Barbershop Museum. Of all the Elvis tributes and museums around the country, this one may be the oddest.
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Go bananas at this quirky California tribute to the fruit itself. (Photo: International Banana Museum/Facebook)
We want to say up front that California needs a museum of weird museums to keep track of the oddities housed throughout the state. The International Banana Museum is a whimsical relief.
The May Natural History Museum houses tropical insect displays that would seem right at home in Florida — not exactly what you expect in Colorado.
The fact that the Trash Museum is located in tidy Connecticut is oddly comforting.
An homage to the state’s original European settlement, the Zwaanendael Museum is not a particularly strange museum — but the “Fiji Merman” on display here is pretty creepy.
The Coral Castle Museum is just plain fun. But then, what would you expect from the Funshine State?
You either love puppets or you don’t. There are tributes to puppets in more than one state. But the Center for Puppetry Arts has perhaps the best display of this strange fascination.
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Where else can you find over 800 animatronic teddy bears, including this fuzzy Elvis impersonator? (Photo: Teddy Bear World)
Nothing wacky about Teddy Bear World; just good, old-fashioned, huggable, lovable teddies.
Idaho We can only assume that plenty of people are curious about the history of brothels, since there’s more than one museum dedicated to it across the country. Most feature examples of pre-1900 working women. The Oasis Bordello Museum, however, is located in a brothel that was still in business in 1988. Now that’s weird.
We admit: the Busy Beaver Button Museum qualifies just because we like saying the name.
What would a list of odd museums be without an actual Museum of Oddities? On display are 2,000 artifacts from around the world.
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Matchstick Marvels in Iowa features incredible models built out — you guessed it! — matchsticks. (Photo: Matchstick Marvels/Facebook)
The astonishing art at Matchstick Marvels includes a Hogwarts replica built with over 600,000 matchsticks.
It doesn’t really matter what they have on display at the Museum of Odd. The name fits.
If you like ventriloquist dummies, then you’ll love the quirky displays at the Vent Haven Museum in Kentucky. (Photo: 5chw4r7z/Flickr)
Ventriloquists and their dummies are right up there with puppets on our list of strange fascinations. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you can get you fill at the Vent Haven Museum.
The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum is packed to the rafters with strange bottles filled with even stranger potions. Exhibits pay tribute to bloodletting and voodoo.
The Cryptozoology Museum is all about strange and unidentified animals. Prepare to be creeped out. (And in case you’re curious: Maine has a more light-hearted runner up at the Umbrella Cover Museum.)
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Passionate about oral hygiene? We’ve got a museum for you! (Photo: National Museum of Dentistry/Facebook)
The National Museum of Dentistry is actually a serious museum about a serious profession. However, if you hate going to the dentist, be sure to skip the display of extraction instruments.
The Museum of Bad Art places a premium on works gone wrong. Even the art ignorant among us will appreciate these galleries.
You know those little wipie things in packets you get at places like KFC? There are people who collect them. Seriously. And there’s a quirky display of them at the Moist Towelette Museum.
The weirdest museum in the country, the Spam Museum is closed while its new home is being built. You will have to be satisfied with the confounding House of Balls in the meantime (we don’t really get what it’s all about, but it sure is bizarre).
There are automotive museums in almost every state. We like the Busted Wrench Garage Museum just for its name — plus, there are boats hanging from the ceiling.
The Glore Psychiatric Museum is a creepy look at the extremes of psychiatric medicine throughout history.
Only the location of the American Computer Museum is odd. It’s a fascinating display of parts and pieces from computer history.
This museum offers up plenty of history on one of America’s favorite pastimes. And, yes, that is a roller-skating horse. (Photo: National Museum of Roller Skating/Facebook)
The National Museum of Roller Skating is a quirky way to spend an afternoon in Nebraska.
In raucous Las Vegas, the Erotic Heritage Museum blends in perfectly.
Clark’s Trading Post is filled with quirks of history that you might not find in a traditional museum.
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Pinball lovers rejoice! This museum features about 200 playable games, some dating back to the 1950s. (Photo: Joseph Murphy/Silverball Museum)
The Silver Ball Museum is a tribute to pinball and arcade games of yesteryear. Take the kids and show off your skills.
The list of weird museums would not be complete without the famous International UFO Museum in Roswell. Don’t forget to bring home some alien toilet paper from the gift shop, billed as providing an “out of this world wipe.”
In New York City, a place filled with weird and strange displays, the Morbid Anatomy Museum is by far the strangest. The gift shop is even more outlandish.
If you find mountain bikes artistic then you probably will not find the Museum of Mountain Bike Art and Technology odd at all. Just assume that the rest of us are clueless.
You have to look pretty hard in this state to find a less-than-serious museum. The Paul Broste Rock Museum fits that bill nicely.
So many fun things in Ohio, many of them on display in museums. We found the Wyandot Popcorn Museum to be the wackiest.
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If you like bones, then you’ll really love the fascinating specimens on display at The Museum of Osteology. (Photo: Museum of Osteology/Facebook)
Skeletons are creepy. A museum dedicated entirely to them is creepier. The Museum of Osteology has managed to turn creepy into fascinating.
Oregon There is real science behind getting floors clean. The Vacuum Cleaner Museum explains it all.
The Mütter Museum asks, “Are You Ready to Be Disturbingly Informed?” Think blood, bones, and antique medical equipment.
The New England Wireless and Steam Museum explains the original meaning of “wireless.”
The Kazoo Museum proves the point that we have a desire to collect and display almost anything.
The Campbell Straw Bale Museum is the place to learn how to build your own straw bale house. That’s only weird for about half of us.
One of many very cool vintage vehicles on display at the International Towing Museum. (Photo: International Towing Museum/Facebook)
The International Towing Museum is a look at the history of tow-truck achievements across the country. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.
Speaking of tough jobs, the National Museum of Funeral History details the who, what, where, when, and how we have buried our loved ones through history.
This side of the country gets its puppet fix at the World Puppetry Museum.
The American Precision Museum is precisely where you would expect it (sorry, couldn’t resist).
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The Poe Museum in Virginia is the perfect mix of spooky and fun. (Photo: Eli Christman/Flickr)
Learn everything you never needed to know about the master of weirdness at the Museum of Edgar Allen Poe.
If you or a loved one need dialysis, the Dialysis Museum is no laughing matter. It is, however, proof that you can find a museum dedicated to almost anything.
The Museum of Unnatural History is a pleasant way to end your day of museum overload in our nation’s capital.
We’re pretty sure no Mothman museum would be complete without a giant Mothman statue. (Photo: TripAdvisor)
It doesn’t get any weirder than the Mothman Museum, with the relics from the movie, The Mothman Prophecies.
The National Mustard Museum proves that you can do an Internet search for almost any word in the English language with the word “museum” attached to it and find a gallery or shrine.
In a state filled with frontier history, it’s not weird to find the Wyoming Frontier Prison. We’re betting that their Halloween tours are a bit strange, though.
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