The Best In U.S Travel

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From Kansas, our search for America’s weird and wonderful attractions takes us from the Great Plains to the Midwestern state of Missouri. With a little scratching beneath the surface, we discover that there’s much more to Missouri than the Gateway arch and the Blues. In fact, lush landscapes of spectacular oddities await the traveller around every corner; oddities much like these:

1. Glore Psychiatric Museum: St Joseph, Missouri

Located within the former State Lunatic Asylum, this ode to psychosis is an attraction you’d be crazy to miss. While you won’t have the pleasure of meeting nurse Ratchet, you will be exposed to a complete history of medical devices as loony as the people they were used on.

Begin your session with a run aboard the giant human hamster wheel then take a spin in O’Halloran’s Swing; you’ll be spun around at over 100RPM for the sake of your mental health. It’s a place so fascinating; you’ll be talking to yourself about it for days.

2. Predator World (Benson Interactive Zoo): Branson West, Missouri

The ominous concrete entrance to Predator World is but a sign to the terror that lies within. There are no playful otters, docile giraffes, or cuddly koalas here. No, every animal housed inside is a ferocious cold blooded killer.

Lions, lizards, snakes, scorpions, and sharks, are but a few of the more than 500 animal inmates calling this place home. Watch your step (and your limbs), or you just might end up on the wrong end of the food chain.

3. Mount Rushmore Celebrity Heads: Branson, Missouri

If the faces of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt have not yet satisfied your desire for stoned faced nostalgia, Branson Missouri’s take on humanoid rock carving just might.

Any disappointment stemming from your Mt. Rushmore encounter will quickly dissipate as you are greeted by the chiseled faces of John Wayne, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and Oliver Hardy, who all give new meaning to the term “getting stoned”.

4. Lambert’s Café: Sikeston, Missouri

From the outside, Lambert’s Café resembles your typical American roadside diner. Step inside however and normalcy quickly tumbles by the wayside.

The moment you take your seat, an aerial assault begins in your direction. No it’s not the military; it’s the café staff throwing fresh baked bread rolls at you from as far as 60 feet. Don’t worry though, any wounds you take in battle, will quickly be healed by the deliciousness of the bread.

Thankfully the aerial assault halts after the first course. As you can imagine, having hog jowl or chicken gizzards (both popular menu items) launched in your direction would do considerably more damage.

5. Crapduster Airplane: Carthage, MO

Some planes are born to fly, others engineered to save lives, and still others, like this Carthage Missouri aircraft, are built to seed the land in manure.

While flying a Crapduster may not carry the same prestige as piloting an F-15, its service to the country is invaluable, helping to grow the precious crops that feed us.

Though its engines might not roar with the ferocity of a passing B-52, the payload it drops is certainly just as potent.

-Sam

Visited any strange odd attractions in Missouri yourself? Tell us about your strange encounters in the comments below.

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Ever since Dorothy famously uttered, “Were Not in Kansas Anymore” the world has come to think of Kansas as the ultimate model of normalcy and banality. Frankly, we believed it to, that is until we actually paid the place a visit.

After a thorough investigation, we’ve reached a conclusion: Kansas is just as nutty as anywhere else.

1. Agricultural Hall Of Fame: Bonner Springs, Kansas

Forget Baseball’s Cooperstown, this is America’s real must see Hall of Fame. Your eyes will widen as you take in the sights of agriculture’s all time greats including Luther Burbank, Hoke Smith, and yes, even John Deere. Sure Babe Ruth hit hundreds of home runs, but the man couldn’t harvest wheat for the life of him.

Strap on your boots and marvel at the impressive farming innovations around you, including irrigation systems, tractors and a collection of over 300 anvils. You’ll even see the legendary plough Harry Truman used to till the fields on the way to becoming President. Not bad for a farm boy from Kansas.


2. Paul Boyer Museum Of Animated Carvings: Bellville, Kansas

Take the mind of Tim Burton, the artistic vision of De Vinci, and the mechanical mastery of Henry Ford, mix them together, and you’ll have something approaching the creative genius of Paul Boyer’s museum.

Some sixty five of Boyer’s hand carved exhibits are on display here, each moving in mysterious ways with a simple touch of a button. For fans of Rube Goldberg machines, or for fans of any kind of machine for that matter, this is absolute heaven.

3.World’s Largest Ball Of Twine: Cawker, Kansas

How long is a piece of string? In the case of Cawker City’s Giant Twine ball, 7,049,191 feet. Since its humble beginnings in 1953, the mass has since reached near planetary proportions. A generation from now, it may well have its own gravitational force.

To ensure no other locale dare threaten Cawker’s reign as world twine ball king, the community holds an annual “Twine-a-Thon” to help feed the ball’s continued growth. No doubt a truly impressive showing of civic pride.

4. Kansas Underground Salt Museum: Hutchinson, Kansas

It’s the only museum in America able to season your soup, clear the roads and kill a slug at the same time. If you’re a salt lover, this beats even potato chips, though we don’t recommend you lick the walls.

Hop into the Salt Museum’s rickety elevator and descend more than 400 feet to the 67 mile long sodium filled haven waiting below. Here you’ll board a tram and be shown some of the greatest salt related exhibits known to man leaving you thirsty for more. Pepper has never felt so neglected.

5. Museum Of The Odd: Lawrence, Kansas

What better place to discover the odd, than at the Museum Of The Odd itself. You’ll bear witness to a collection of over 350 sock monkeys, binders overflowing with circus freak trading cards and lamps fashioned out of animal limbs. Trust us, there’s nothing quite like seeing Sparky light up a room.

Though you won’t find a pair of Elvis’s Blue Suede Shoes on display, you will find a lock of his hair, a finger nail clipping and a small piece of a bed sheet he once slept on. Thirty years after his death, Elvis (and his fingernails) have yet to leave the building.

-Sam

Dug up anything bizarre in the state of Kansas yourself? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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