Top 5 odd museums

Lili Ladaga
WanderlustSeptember 29, 2011

The Louvre. The Guggenheim. MoMA. The Smithsonian -- these famous museums all feature world-class art, sculptures, etc. etc. But do they have barbed wire dioramas? Interactive SPAM exhibits? Or BAD art? (It's harder than it looks.)

If you're tired of looking at the Mona Lisa, Botticellis and the Venus de Milo, try one of these odd museums on your next vacation:

Kansas City Barbed Wire Museum: Yes, you read right: A museum dedicated to the long and storied history of the barbed wire. Also known as the "Devils Rope," the humble barbed wire was actually a key part of the taming of the American West. Bet you didn't know that there are hundreds of different varieties of barbed wire.

Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum: This Farmington, Michigan museum features hundreds of vintage coin-operated games and machines. Owner Marvin Yagoda has been collecting his marvelous mechanical machines since 1960 and made the World Almanac's list of 100 most unusual museums in the U.S. Don't forget to bring change.

National Yo-Yo Museum: You may think you're pro just because you can do The Sleeper and Walk the Cat, but you don't know anything about yo-yos, yo. This free museum in Chico, California, is the headquarters for the National Yo-Yo League and hosts the annual National Yo-Yo Contest. It's also home to "Big-Yo," the world's biggest working wood yo-yo, which weighs in at a gargantuan 265 pounds.

SPAM Museum: Who doesn't love SPAM and eggs in the morning? Or hearty French fry SPAM casserole for dinner? If you're a fan of the world's most (in)famous mystery meat, you're in luck: The SPAM Museum in Austin, Minnesota boasts more than 16,000 square feet of exhibits, movies, collectibles and of course, new recipes.

Toilet Seat Art Museum: When you get to San Antonio, Texas, do yourself a favor and forget the Alamo. What you need to remember is to visit the Toilet Seat Art Museum, where each of the more than 1,000 seats is carefully numbered, photographed and cataloged by owner and museum curator, Barney Smith. The only seat he doesn't have? One that functions.