The United States can be kind of a weird place. Since America is such a melting pot of different cultures, the end result is bound to be unique if not a little strange. As George Carlin used to say, “When you’re born into this world, you’re given a ticket to the freak show. If you’re born in America you get a front row seat.” Much to the delight of oddity-seekers, the US is full of strange landmarks that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else.
Sam Walton’s eater of worlds aside, here’s a list of unusual landmarks that you may just want to mark on your map on your next road trip.
Winchester Mystery House
While it may look like the less subtle cousin of the Overlook Hotel, the Winchester Mystery House was built by Sarah Winchester following the death of her husband, the son of the inventor of the Winchester Rifle.
Sarah, overcome with grief, and also believing that she was cursed by the legacy of the rifle, continued adding to the house until her death. She believed that by adding staircases and doors that led to nowhere, she could confuse the ghosts that were coming to get her.
Santa Claus, Indiana
Calling itself “America’s Christmas Hometown,” Santa Claus, Indiana is a real place in a state not exactly know for its subtlety.
In addition to being a Christmas themed town, there also happens to be a water park and amusement park, because nothing says “Christmas time” like sliding down a triple-loop water slide in the middle of July.
Not to offend all six of you that live in North Dakota, but the state does have a bit of a reputation for being desolate.
With this in mind, someone finally decided that something other than tires and broken dreams should decorate the landscape, so he started building enormous statues on a stretch of highway between Regent and Gladstone, which has turned into one of the more interesting American landmarks.
There’s even a sculpture of Theodore Roosevelt, thus confirming that North Dakota should probably change its state motto to “The Envious State.”
Built near the Salton Sea, which is an already terrifying carnival of abandoned beachfront property in the Colorado Desert in California, Salvation Mountain was the brain-child of Leonard Knight.
Knight, armed with a lot of adobe, straw, paint, and a love of biblical slogans, transformed a hill in the desert into what has been considered a major piece of American folk art.