Thomas Robinson

21 American Tourist Attractions You Might Want to Skip

Across America, there are a ton of iconic spots that are like the siren songs of tourism. Then there are the others – the places that might have once been great but now just get a shrug from most Americans. Whether it’s because of their underwhelming features or disappointing experiences, these 21 destinations are the ones you’re likely not penciling in on your must-visit list. 

The Mysterious Booming Sand Dunes

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Have you ever heard a sand dune roar? Us neither, and most people aren’t racing to experience it. You can find these natural oddities in a few lonely corners of the country, and they make a peculiar booming sound when the conditions are just right. It’s nature’s version of a bass drop, but without the accompanying dance party, it’s more of a curiosity than a crowd-pleaser.

The World’s Largest Ball of Twine

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This is a monument to, you guessed it, twine. While it’s impressive for its size, the journey to see a big ball of twine doesn’t quite make the bucket list for most people. Size isn’t everything! It’s essentially a giant cat toy that no cat can play with, and you’ll quickly realize that once you’ve seen it, you’ve pretty much seen it all.

The Hole N’ The Rock

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A home carved into a rock sounds cool until you realize it’s essentially a stationary house tour. The Hole N’ the Rock is just off a lonely highway and gives you a taste of an unusual lifestyle but lacks the thrill to make it genuinely interesting. It’s a literal hole in the rock, and that’s about it. The novelty wears off – fast.

Carhenge

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This place is Stonehenge but with cars painted gray. It’s a tribute to the ancient structure, yet despite the creativity, it doesn’t quite rev the engines of excitement for most visitors. It’s a clever concept, but perhaps more of a pit stop than a destination. Unless you’re a huge car far, this will probably feel more like a junkyard pilgrimage than an awe-inspiring visit.

The Paper House

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A house made of paper sounds like an origami enthusiast’s dream until you realize it’s not quite the interactive or visually stunning experience you think it is. Over time, the novelty of a house constructed from newspapers has faded, just like the paper itself. Sure, it’s pretty cool to look at, but after a while, it’s plain boring.

Bubblegum Alley

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A narrow alleyway coated in used bubblegum is as sticky as it sounds. For some people, it’s got a certain gross-out charm. But for most people, adding to a wall of chewed gum doesn’t stick as a top tourist activity. It’s a colorful, although slightly disgusting, example of how alike we all are, with each tourist leaving a piece of themselves, quite literally.

The Spam Museum

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Dedicated to canned meat, this museum takes niche interest to a new level. Sure, you can learn all about the history of Spam, but it seems that not everyone is canned meat’s biggest fan. It’s a shrine to processed meat that manages to both fascinate and repel people in equal measure, serving up a slice of American food culture that not everyone wants to digest. It’s a wonder that, according to the American Alliance of Museums, 28% of Americans visit a museum each year!

The Museum of Bad Art

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Art is subjective, but this museum has made it its mission to celebrate the less-than-great. Points for creativity, but we think its appeal might be too niche. If you’re looking for traditional beauty or skill, this place is a hard sell. It’s an underdog story of the art world, where every piece gets its fifteen minutes of fame, regardless of whether it deserves the fame or not.

The Giant Basket Building

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This massive basket-shaped building used to be the headquarters for a basket company. It’s hard to miss but easy to bypass. It’s a nice piece of architecture, but it’s little more than a quick photo op. This basketcase of a building might have been woven with good intentions but ends up feeling more like a basketful of meh.

Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park

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Who wouldn’t want eternal youth? Well, you might want to skip this place – it’s got more history than magical waters. If you’re looking for more than just a sip of legend, then the appeal of this place has probably dried up. It’s a sip of history that leaves you constantly feeling parched. This place is false advertising at its finest!

The Thing?

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This place is an attraction shrouded in mystery. However, once you find out what the Thing is, you’ll probably wonder why you stopped. This roadside curiosity thrives on suspense but will leave you with more questions than answers – and not in a good way. It’s proof that, sometimes, the journey is indeed better than the destination.

Presidential Wax Museum

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Wax figures of U.S. Presidents might sound intriguing, but the reality can be unnervingly stiff. Without the charisma of their living counterparts, these figures often don’t do justice to the people they’re meant to be. It’s a silent party of historical figures that manages to be both educational and eerily quiet. Perhaps they should turn it into a haunted house?

World’s Largest Chest of Drawers

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A giant piece of furniture might catch your eye, but holding that attention is another story. Sure, this place shows the fine art of furniture-making. However, it’s hardly something that most people would draw-er up plans to visit (get it?). This place stores away its appeal just as quickly as it attracts attention.

The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum

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This museum shakes up your expectations by showing off the variety of ways to season your food. However, it’s not enough to pepper your itinerary with a visit. It’s a flavor-filled journey through time that manages to both season and slightly over-salt the experience of visiting. You’ll leave wondering if you’ve had your fill.

The Banana Museum

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According to Statista, the average American eats around 26.62 pounds of bananas each year. For any enthusiasts, this fruity museum is heaven on earth. But for the average person, it’s a bit too specific a theme to split from the group for. It’s a bunch of banana-related things that’ll confuse and amaze you at the same time. However, many people think that it’s a little too over-ripe.

Leila’s Hair Museum

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A museum dedicated to art made from human hair is as unique as it gets. However, the concept might not be everyone’s style, making it a niche attraction. It’s a tangle of art and history that’s creative, sure, but for some, Leila’s Hair Museum might just curl their toes rather than their interest.

The UFO Watchtower

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According to Scientific American, people’s attitudes towards UFOs are changing. If you’re looking for extraterrestrial life, this watchtower claims it’ll give you an out-of-this-world experience. However, without any guaranteed sightings, it’s more of a waiting game than an attraction. It’s an invitation to look up and wonder about what’s out there, but really – you can just do that at home.

Dinosaur Kingdom II

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A theme park that mixes dinosaurs and the Civil War is as crazy as it sounds! It’s certainly a unique take on history and prehistory, but perhaps a little too out there for the average history buff or dinosaur enthusiast. It’s a walk on the wild side of history, but it might make you feel like you’ve strayed a bit too far from the path of normal attractions.

The Vent Haven Ventriloquist Museum

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There are definitely people out there who would appreciate a collection of dummies. However, for most Americans, it’s a hard pass. The uniqueness of ventriloquism doesn’t quite speak to everyone, making this museum a quiet spot on the tourist trail. This place might be just a bit too quiet for comfort.

The Mutter Museum

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The Mutter Museum sounds like a must-see for the medically curious…until you’re standing in front of a wall of skulls or a collection of antique medical instruments that look more like medieval torture devices. This place crosses the fine line between fascinating and just plain gross. It’s educational, sure, but maybe too much for anyone who wants their insides to stay inside.

The Museum of Vintage Refrigerators

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At the Museum of Vintage Refrigerators, you can take a chilly walk down appliance memory lane. However, unless you have a burning passion for Freon or a fetish for retro cooling units, this might not be the coolest way to spend your afternoon. Some parts of history are perhaps best left in the background, just like that leftover casserole hiding in the back of your fridge.

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