The Worst Tourist Attractions in America

  • Sights Not Worth Seeing

    There are many beautiful and inspiring places worth visiting between our two shores, but the places on this list don’t exactly fall into these categories. Not in our opinion, anyway. We searched for the dumbest, tackiest and sometimes disgusting sights that cities and towns across the country have tried to turn into tourist attractions. If we missed any of your favorites (or rather, least favorites), please tell us about them in the comments section. Photo Credit: Ack Ook
    Seattle's Gum Wall
  • Seattle's Gum Wall

    No one enjoys finding gum on their shoe or under their desk, but apparently in Seattle, gum is attractive when placed on a wall. In the early 90s, customers at the Market Theatre decided it would be artistic to place chewed gum on the venue’s brick wall and stick coins in the gum. According to the Seattle Times, the people who ran the theater tried several times in the mid-90s to get all the gum off but eventually, they recognized the gum wall for what it really was: an attraction. By some estimates, there are more than 100,000 pieces of gum of all different colors and shapes stuck up to 20 feet above the sidewalk. Photo Credit: knottyboy
    World's Largest Ball of Paint
  • World's Largest Ball of Paint

    One of the most popular ways to establish yourself as a go-to destination is to claim you have the world’s largest something. Perhaps that goes some way toward explaining why Alexandria, Ind., has tried to boost its reputation with two of the most bizarre attractions on our list. More than a decade ago, sewage workers unearthed a massive hairball, which the town quickly declared to be not just any hairball, but the largest in the world. Unfortunately, after a few years, this hairball dissolved (though the town did create a replica that they’ve been known to parade around on holidays). Fortunately for the town, there was another giant object to pin citizens’ hopes and dreams on. One resident of the town named Michael Carmichael (I wish my name was Seth Carseth), spent years laying down more than 21,000 coats of paint to create what is officially recognized by Guinness World Records, and advertised by the state of Indiana, as the world’s largest ball of paint. For those interested in visiting, you can contact Carmichael through his site. Photo Credit: ballofpaint.freehosting.net
    World's Largest Dresser... and Chair
  • World's Largest Dresser... and Chair

    As long as we’re on the subject of enormous objects, we might as well mention two of the other strangest attractions out there. In North Carolina, which some have deemed the furniture capital of the world, there are not one but two of the world’s largest dressers, including a 38-foot-tall model with a giant pair of socks hanging out and an 80-foot model sans socks. This would go great with the world’s largest chair in Anniston, Ala. … if only it weren’t so far away. Photo Credit: Wikimedia.org
    The 40 Acre Rock
  • The 40 Acre Rock

    One of South Carolina’s more notable outdoor attractions is the Heritage Preserve, which boasts a granite rock spanning 40 acres. Tourists are encouraged to “walk across and admire the scenery,” observe the plant life and go hiking. But let’s be honest here, it’s just a rock, a very large bit of rock yes, but if you’ve ever been to a mountain, this probably won’t be that impressive. Plus, according to Atlas Obscura, the 40-acre rock is actually just 14 acres. For shame, South Carolina! Photo Credit: 29seven20
    Barbed Wire Museum
  • Barbed Wire Museum

    No, this is not a museum dedicated to the one semi-legitimate movie starring Pamela Anderson. This Texas museum, which is actually called the Devil’s Rope Museum, promises to “tell the world all about the history of barbed wire, its artifacts, the significance of the invention, and the impact on the development of the Old West.” This is one museum where you really won’t want to touch anything. Photo Credit: Wikimedia.org
    National Museum of Funeral History
  • National Museum of Funeral History

    It turns out that Texas should really be known as the state of ridiculous museums. The National Museum of Funeral History located in Houston offers exhibits on everything from the technique of Civil War embalming to the invention of the motorized hearse. Also, they host a golf tournament once a year in May. We’re not saying that this museum wouldn’t be absolutely fascinating, but really, is this how you want to spend your time on vacation? Photo Credit: favouritethings
    Carhenge
  • Carhenge

    If you can’t make it to Stonehenge this summer, the good folks of Alliance, Neb., have another option they’d like you to consider. It’s called Carhenge and it is exactly what it sounds like: a replica of Stonehenge made out of cars. I love celebrating our country’s auto industry as much as the next person, but really? Really? Photo Credit: Kevin Saff
    The Tree That Owns Itself
  • The Tree That Owns Itself

    We’ve written about this one before, but it’s strange enough to warrant repeating. Years ago, a university professor in Athens, Ga., decided to will a few feet of land to his favorite tree, meaning that the tree essentially had sovereignty over itself. Unfortunately, the original tree that owned itself blew down in the 1940s and was later replaced by another, which still stands today. Yes, it’s a lovely story, but here’s the thing: once you know the story, there’s nothing else to see except, well, a tree, and man, I’ve seen a lot of those already. Photo Credit: MonkeyMishkin
    Corn Palace
  • Corn Palace

    South Dakota may be best known for housing Mount Rushmore, but the state’s other big attraction is the Corn Palace. No, it's not made out of corn, but this large palace is intended to be an homage to the crop. Originally, this site was designed to highlight the “fertility” of South Dakota’s harvest, but nowadays, the corn palace, which looks more like a corn-colored mosque with minarets, mainly hosts entertainment events and festivals. South Dakota proudly declares that this is the only corn palace in the world, which, quite honestly, isn’t exactly surprising. But do we really even need one? Photo Credit: veritasnoctis
    The Charging Bull
  • The Charging Bull

    Finally, I feel obliged to mention the famous statue of a charging bull near Wall Street in Manhattan. As someone who has lived in New York City for several years and worked around Wall Street, I have been approached many times by tourists desperately trying to find the bull so they can… I don’t know, climb onto it and then have a picture taken of themselves pretending to ride it? I’ll admit, it’s a nice sculpture, and it has some nice symbolism being so close to the stock exchange, but ultimately, it’s just a statue of a bull. Go find the real thing elsewhere. Like Pamplona. It’s not worth fighting the crowds to get to this one. Photo Credit: Wagner T. Cassimiro "Aranha"
    Travel Tips Before You Hit the Road
  • Travel Tips Before You Hit the Road

    Before you visit these or any other attractions in the United States, you should consult our roundup of the best summer road trips. These getaways are cool enough that they'll make up for the time you spent visiting the barbed wire museum. And if you're planning to hit the road this summer, also be sure to check out our list of U.S. cities with the best hotel deals. Here's some more travel stories you should read before leaving town: How to Skip Airline Bag Fees The Secret to Cheaper Hotel Bills How to Sneak into First Class Save on Home Energy During Vacation
    Photo Credit: .Bala
  • Join us on Facebook

    Join the MainStreet team and other readers on our lively Facebook page! Discuss our newest stories and get links to breaking content, automatically. Click here to add us. Photo Credit: lawtonchiles
Show Comments