TAG | texas
Our quest to seek out America’s most bizarre attractions continues as we venture East from California to Texas. Shovel in hand; we’ve dug deep to unearth these five fabulously bizarre Lone Star State attractions:
1. Beer Can House: Houston, Texas
To build a home made of 39,000 beer cans is impressive. To drink a 6 pack every day for 18 years to get those 39,000 beer cans is superhuman. But that’s exactly what late owner John Milkovisch did, drinking down some 14,000 litres of beer to build this; his aluminium dream home.
With all that alcohol in his system, you’d think the construction would be shoddy, but look closely and you’ll see that each can is placed with perfect artisan-like precision. Not one can or metal tab out of place.
Spike TV was so impressed with Jon’s work in fact; they named him “Man Of The Week” back in 2004. We doubt they could say the same about his liver.
2. Missile Base Bachelor Pad: Oplin, Texas
The Berlin wall may have long fallen, but you can still experience Cold War chic living at its best. Descend 180 feet down the winding staircases of the former Atlas missile silo and you’ll land in the subterranean home of former home renovator, Bruce Townsley (remember, you can’t knock on a missile silo; so let him know you’re coming in advance).
Townsley’s pad is complete with all the latest mod cons and boasts a full kitchen, living room, bathroom and nuclear escape tube (no joke). Just follow Bill as he takes you through his home and ventures deep into the heart of the surrounding silos in this, his very own nuclear missile base (he bought it off the feds years ago).
While Townsley won’t hand you the nuclear launch codes, he will hand you a truly unique Texas tourist experience.
3. Cathedral of Junk: Austin, Texas
The old adage, one’s man junk is another man’s treasure could not be truer here. Over 20+ years, Vince Hanneman, has brought together over 60 tons of junk to create an architectural masterpiece worthy of even Frank Lloyd Wright.
Vince’s eclectic collection of lawn mowers, car bumpers, circuit boards, bottles and more spans over multiple levels and connect via spiraling staircases. There’s even a “throne” room, where junk king Vince sits nobly and answers your deepest junk related questions.
If you’re at all concerned about the Cathedral’s structural integrity, don’t be. Engineers have deemed Hanneman’s structure strong enough to survive even the strongest of the fierce Texas storms.
4. World’s Largest Urban Bat Colony: Austin, Texas
Hold on to your utility belts and brace yourself for the biggest bat signal outside of Gotham City. At dusk, from mid March to November, you can witness over 1.5 million Mexican long tailed bats take flight over Austin’s Congress Avenue Bridge.
These mysterious creatures of the night are some of the city’s best pest controllers, swallowing up an estimated 10 to 30 thousand pounds of insects every night. Just be sure to wear a hat, eventually those insects are going to come out the other end.
5. Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum: San Antonio, Texas
As a former master plumber, Barney Smith’s transition to toilet seat artist was a natural one. His career it seems was always destined to go down the toilet. To date, the down to earth octogenarian has fashioned some 612 decorative toilet seats, a number truly worthy of a standing ovation.
Inspired by his life and travels, Smith vows never to sell any of his porcelain thrones (they’re actually made of pressed wood), declaring them each to have deep personal meaning. Forget the toilet humor, this is a man who takes his work very seriously.
Now that you’ve heard from us, come share your weird and wonderful Lone Star State encounters in the comments below.