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Extraordinary Travel Destinations in the United States

April 30, 2015

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Looking to head somewhere a little out of the ordinary for your next family vacation, but don't want to travel too far afield? Lucky for you, the United States is chock-full of unique, exciting, and sometimes just plain weird destinations and tourist attractions, some of which you may even be able to take a road trip to. You're sure to find something to pique your interest in the following list! 

New Orleans, LA - The St. Louis Cemetery

An interesting feature of this incredibly dynamic city is that, based on tradition and possibly due to regular flooding, the cemeteries are made up of mausoleums (above-ground graves) rather than the more traditional buried graves. New Orleans is well worth a visit just on its own (especially if you're into vampire lore), but if you go, make sure to check out the oldest cemetery in the city, the St. Louis Cemetery. You might even get a chance to check out some Voodoo shrines; Voodoo Priestess Marie Laveau is rumored to be buried in this "City of the Dead."

Soak up the atmosphere in this City of the Dead!Soak up the atmosphere in this City of the Dead!Courtesy of New Orleans Online

The Florida Keys, FL - Diving for Wrecks

With their lush landscape, tropical water, and white-sand beaches, the Florida Keys are undoubtedly beautiful. This group of islands at the southernmost tip of the United States has a lot of beach and water activities to offer visitors. One of the most intriguing, though, is scuba diving for shipwrecks. That's right, the coastline offers a number of centuries-old wrecks that can be explored through diving. Just remember - diving takes training and guidance. Make sure you check on the safety of the site before exploring. 

Shipwreck off the coast of FloridaShipwreck off the coast of FloridaCourtesy of Silent World

Philadelphia, PA - The Mütter Museum

Philadelphia, the fifth largest city in the United States, offers visitors beautiful parks, outdoor art installations, and many heritage sites (such as the home of Edgar Allen Poe). Something you might not expect, though, is the Mütter Museum. Here you can find an unbelievable collection of medical specimens, equipment, and oddities. Some notable items are the Hytl skull collection, a conjoined liver from a set of conjoined twins, and actual slides of Albert Einstein's brain. You'll need a strong stomach for this one!

Check out the many skulls at the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia!Check out the many skulls at the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia!Courtesy of The Mutter Museum

San Jose, CA - The Winchester House

Maybe you're considering visiting San Jose because of its status as the heart of Silicon Valley, or perhaps for its lovely downtown historic district. Truly, though, one of the most captivating attractions of this city is the Winchester House, built by Sarah Winchester, widow of rifle manufacturer William Wirt Winchester. Mrs. Winchester spent 38 years building onto and restructuring her home, reportedly with the intention of housing the spirits of those killed by the Winchester rifle during the American Civil War. The house features twisting hallways, secret passageways, and stairs leading nowhere. Interested in amateur ghost-hunting? Check this place out! 

Get the creeps at this San Jose haunted house!Get the creeps at this San Jose haunted house!Courtesy of Spiel

Whether you want to relax on a beach, check out a haunted house, or explore the world of medical specimen collection, there's something on this list for the slightly off-center traveler in all of us. Have fun! 

Have Your Say! 

Have you ever been to a particularly unusual travel destination? Share your experiences with us! 

 

 

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