In Photos: The Oddest Museums in the USA
There are plenty of unconventional, unexpected and delightfully bonkers museums to explore around the States. From a museum that attracts hordes of visitors a year hoping to uncover the secrets of the town’s extra-terrestrial connections to another one dedicated to ancient remedies and potions on Chartres Street in the historic French Quarter, these pictures of museums will give you thrills.
Check them out for more information and start to see our world through photos!
International UFO Museum and Research Center, Roswell, New Mexico
A must-visit for fans of the paranormal and UFO believers, this remote museum attracts hordes of visitors a year hoping to uncover the secrets of the town’s extra-terrestrial connections. It was founded in 1992 by Lt. Walter Haut to examine the theories around the so-called Roswell Incident. A US Army Air Forces high-altitude balloon crashed near Roswell in 1947 sparking conspiracy theories of UFOs and government cover-ups. Haut worked for the military here at the time.
National Mustard Museum, Middleton, Wisconsin
Crazy about condiments? Then this tasty little museum in Wisconsin is a must(ard) see… From sweet and spicy to traditional and blow-your-head off fiery, if there’s a flavor they’ll have it here. Free to enter, the National Mustard Museum has more than 6,090 mustards on display sourced from every US state and more than 70 countries.
Idaho Potato Museum, Blackfoot, Idaho
Warning: do not enter this potato-centric museum if you’re feeling peckish. Dedicated to all things spud-related, the pint-sized collection covers the vegetable’s history, how it’s grown and harvested in Idaho, with heaps of fascinating potato facts to learn along the way. And it’s got a ginormous baked potato outside it.
International Spy Museum, Washington D.C.
Explore the world’s largest collection of spy artifacts at Washington’s covert museum. There are more than 200 spy gadgets, weapons, bugs, cameras, vehicles, and technologies related to all things spy craft. Exhibits range from stories of early spymasters including the masterminds behind the wooden horse and James Bond’s villains to coded letters and a KGB lipstick pistol.
The International Spy Museum
Museum of Miniature Houses and Other Collections Inc, Carmel, Indiana
Don’t come to this quirky museum expecting twee dollhouses. This museum is devoted to the serious art form of miniatures. As you’ll discover, its miniature houses are exact replicas of the real thing, rather than small-scale playthings.
International Banana Museum, Mecca, California
Inside you’ll find around 20,000 banana related items including perfumes, soap dishes and even staplers. But the highlight of a trip here is sampling the homemade banana ice cream.
International Banana Museum/Facebook
Museum Of Bad Art, Somerville, Massachusetts
Seen the marvels in MoMA, ogled at the artwork in the National Gallery of Art and gawped at the masterpieces in the Getty Center on your travels around the states? Don’t forget to pay homage to the not-so-greats of America’s art world too at the Museum Of Bad Art (MOBA). This quirky little gallery in the basement of a 1912 cinema in the Boston area is dedicated to the duds or “art too bad to be ignored”, as it puts it.
Mmuseumm 1 and 2, Manhattan, New York
Blink and you’ll miss New York’s tiny Mmuseumm 1 and Mmuseumm 2. These contemporary natural history museums exhibit seemingly random prosaic objects. The original is housed in a freight elevator in Cortlandt Alley, Tribeca, alongside sister Mmuseumm 2. Collections frequently change but they focus on the “overlooked, dismissed, or ignored,” including sunglasses, backpacks and aerosols.
The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans has many eclectic museums but this one dedicated to ancient remedies and potions on Chartres Street in the historic French Quarter is one of the most charming. Set within the apothecary of America’s first licensed pharmacist, Louis J. Dufilho Jr, it’s a treasure trove of curiosities. Count your blessings that medicine has moved on as you explore exhibits that include leech jars and other bloodletting devices, surgical instruments and various questionable medical practices.
Tess Dixon/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0