America is a big place, and if you know where to look, you’ll find that it’s full of delightful oddities, strange locations, and memorable sights. The East Coast in particular is a veritable treasure trove of quirky travel destinations; next time you’re thinking about a road trip, you may want to set aside some time to visit some of these strange locations.
Located in Columbia County in eastern Pennsylvania, Centralia is a veritable ghost town. As of 2010, the population had dwindled to just ten individuals. So what exactly happened?
Centralia had been a successful mining town since the mid 1800s. In 1962, however, the town was the site of a catastrophic mine fire beneath the town, which led to the almost total evacuation of the population. The fire is still burning in the mines to this day; steam can still be seen leaving the ground in select locations. These spooky surroundings went on to inspire the setting of Silent Hill.
If you’ve got a fascination with the supernatural, it might be worth your time to check out Salem, home of the infamous witch trials of 1692. If you’re feeling brave, you can visit the very fields and forests where those accused of witchcraft hit to await their fates.
If you should happen to visit in October, you can also take part in one of the largest outdoor Halloween festivals, complete with haunted houses and ghost tours.
Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum
If you’re looking for something just a little more macabre than your usual tourist fare, you may want to check out this remarkable museum. Located near Logan Square in Philadelphia, the Mütter Museum has been providing an unprecedented look at the human body and its inner workings for more than 150 years.
Considered one of America’s finest collections of medical history, the Mütter Museum is home to a beautifully preserved collection of medical specimens, instruments, and models. From humble beginnings in 1858, the museum has grown into a point of pride for Philadelphia residents: it has been featured in best-selling books and even a Discovery Channel documentary.
The name of this attraction might have you thinking of Jurassic Park. For better or worse, there aren’t any live dinosaurs here, but it’s easily the next best thing: Dinosaur World, located in Plant City, Florida, is billed as the world’s largest dinosaur attraction.
This outdoor museum is great fun for the whole family: it features startlingly realistic life-sized dinosaur replicas, caves to explore, hands-on activities, and much more.
If you find yourself traveling through the southern states of the East Coast, the famous Georgia Guidestones of Elbert Country is a can’t-miss destination. Sometimes referred to as the “American Stonehenge,”this 19-foot-tall granite monument is, to this day, a mystery.
Designed and built under a shroud of anonymity and secrecy, the Guidestones are comprised of six huge granite panels, astronomically aligned with great precision. The strangest feature of the installation, however, are the inscriptions: the stones are inscribed with ten principles, in eight languages, which provide guidance on how best to govern the world. These cryptic strictures include: “Be not a cancer on the earth”and “Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.”