North America has all kinds of tourist-friendly places for folks to visit. No matter what you’re into, there’s something out there for you to appreciate. What about people who enjoy the obscurities of the world? Well, they’re in luck, too, because some places in America are so strange that they have inspired books and blogs. For instance, have you ever seen a luxury fashion store in the middle of the desert with nothing else around it, giving off serious dystopian vibes? Get prepared to uncover the most unusual places you can visit in North America.
Have You Been To Thor’s Well?
Located in Cape Perpetua, Oregon, is one of the most interesting spots for those who love water. Sometimes labeled the Drainpipe of the Pacific, Thor’s Well is a 20-foot sinkhole just off the coast.
From the distance, it looks like this well drains into the ocean, but that isn’t the case. It would, however, be dangerous if you got caught in it, so it’s best to take your selfies from a safe distance.
An Island Made Of Bottles
Okay, you’ve probably been to an island or seen one, but you’ve never experienced one like this. Isla Mujeres, Mexico, has a location called Joyxee Island which is made of 100,000 bottles right near the coast of Cancun.
If you’re feeling brave, you can rent the floating island on Airbnb for an extremely low daily rate. Something cool about it is that the Mexican government recognizes Joyxee Island as an Eco Boat. Quite the label for an 82-foot island.
Get Mesmerized At The Wave
Between Arizona and Utah rests a mesmerizing sandstone formation called The Wave. Why do they call it the wave? Well, the more you look at it, the more it starts to resemble wave patterns in the ocean.
Photographers and hikers from all over the world come here and fall in love with what they see. Due to the fragile nature of the site, those who go need to get a permit to gain access to this beautiful and unusual place.
A Fire Created A Ghost Town
If you weren’t aware of the power that fires possess, then wait until you read this. In 1962, a coal mine fire devastatingly cleared out the town of Centralia, Pennsylvania.
By 2013, the population was only at seven people! To have just seven people living somewhere is the very definition of a ghost town. If you go there today, you’ll find the graffiti-covered PA Route-61 that cuts through the heart of the city.
Prada’s Random Installation
Fashion is all about being yourself and expressing your creativity. For Prada, that extends to how they showcase their products too. In Marfa, Texas, you’ll run into a random art installation done by Prada.
They call this the “pop architectural land art project” that cost $120,000. The Italian designs are for those with more lavish tastes and bigger bank accounts, so we’re wondering how many actually seek out this Texas destination. This place is fashionably unusual.
A Haunting Experience In San Jose
San Jose, California, has a mansion to die for… seriously. While northern California already has a ton of expensive and interesting homes, none are as complex as the Winchester Mystery House. It was owned by William Winchester, who was the treasurer of the Winchester firearms company.
Legend says that those whose deaths were caused by his weapons now haunt the residence. Winchester’s widow, Sarah, was convinced that she was cursed and she built some crazy additions to the home. Once inside, you’ll encounter a number of architectural anomalies. For example, there are staircases that lead to nowhere and many other unusual things in the giant house.
Have You Seen Cadillacs This Wild?
As we mentioned earlier, fashion is about expressing your creativity and self, and that’s how art works too. Located in Amarillo, Texas, you can find ten half-buried Cadillacs waiting for the perfect photo.
This was someone’s art project, but we’re not sure what they artist wanted to express. That’s also how being creative works, so we’re going to say this one is up for interpretation. What we do know is that the cars are free for you to vandalize, and the site encourages folks to add a touch of paint.
The Smallest Park In The World
Who loves going to parks for the fresh air, open spaces, and walks with your pet? Well, if you plan on going to Mill Ends Park located in Portland, Oregon, you won’t be able to experience any of that.
Mill Ends Park is officially listed as the smallest park in the world, resting in a median that was intended for a light pole. After bureaucrats got rid of the pole, a journalist planted some greenery and declared it a park.
No Motor Vehicles, No Problem
A runner’s dream or a cyclist’s heaven? We’re going to call M-185 both of those after Michigan banned motor vehicles on this island highway that stretches for eight miles. That’s right, eight miles of freedom to bike or run as much as your heart desires without interference from cars.
It stretches around Mackinac Island in Lake Huron. Michigan enacted the law in 1898 once a doctor’s car scared a horse and some people in town complained about the incident.
This Isn’t What You Think…
Have you ever wanted to go see the Eiffel Tower but can’t afford it or don’t have the time to get a passport? You’re in luck, because in Paris, Texas, there’s a knockoff version just for you.
We’re kidding, as this isn’t anything close to what’s overseas, but it is unusual enough to make you want to go see it if you’re passing through the city. A two-hour drive outside of Dallas and you’re able to witness the Eiffel Tower with a cowboy hat on it.
A Desert In Maine…
Anomalies exist everywhere, but that doesn’t make them any less unusual. Take, for example, the Desert of Maine, which you can find in Freeport, Maine. After you’ve finished stuffing your face with lobster in this northeastern state, you can take a trip to flat sands.
It isn’t a real desert, but its close to it. The 40 acres of glacial silt provide locals with an experience that people in the high desert know all too well.
A Mythological Structure
There are so many urban legends and myths floating around, you start to wonder if some of them could be true. In Crook County, Wyoming, there is a strange structure called the Devils Tower.
In 1906, Theodore Roosevelt declared this place a national monument. That’s great, but what the Kiowa and Lakota tribes have to say about it isn’t something to think about when you’re alone. They claim the structure magically formed to save two girls from a bear attack.
The World’s Tallest Thermometer
Those living in Baker, California don’t even have to ask Siri what the weather is. They can just look out their window and find the 134-foot thermometer erecting into the sky.
It’s fully functioning, and something you’ve probably seen when you pass by on your way to Las Vegas via car. They built it in honor of the record-breaking 134-degree day in Death Valley during 1913. Now, that’s an insanely hot day.
THIS Is A Skyscraper?
After an oil boom near Wichita Falls, J.D. McMahon took complete advantage of those with money. He gathered investments from folks so that he could build a skyscraper capable of hosting the influx of new people.
That sounds like a thoughtful and noble gesture, but that wasn’t what took place. McMahon ended up constructing the Newby-McMahon Building, but he bamboozled everyone involved. The final height was only 40 feet tall! McMahon kept the rest of the money.
The City Of One
Imagine having an entire town for yourself and you didn’t have to become rich to get it. Found in Monowi, Nebraska, is a town with a population of one. That’s it, there’s no one else there.
The elderly lady who lives in this .21-square-mile city is 76 and doesn’t need anyone else there with her. Shockingly, in 1930, the population was at 150! To go from 150 to one is a bit unusual, but that’s the way it is.
A Lone Island Near New York
An Instagram user posted the photo you see with the caption: “U Thant Island in the middle of the East River, just south of Roosevelt Island and almost directly across from the United Nations. Named after the Burmese Secretary-General 1961-1971.”
U Thant Island already has an unusual name, but when you also see how small it is, that increases the oddness of the place. This is almost like the island made of bottles in Mexico we showcased earlier.
The Skinny In Boston
While Boston has a considerable number of attractions for visitors and locals to experience, there’s one that’s a bit stranger than the others. Standing ten-feet wide is Boston’s Skinny House, which came about out of spite.
This all sounds like something from a TV show! Some reports say that this narrow home was only put there to cut off the natural light a “hostile neighbor” would receive. Ouch. Now that’s mean.
The Random Pink House
“Wilhelm Meyer bought a 6.5-acre plot on Vera Cruz in 1889,” SoCal Urbex reported in 2018. “The San Marcos Historical Society estimates he built the home sometime between then and 1903. So it’s at least 111 years old.”
If you’re ever in San Diego county, you can see this random home yourself. It sits in the town of San Marcos, in the middle of nothing but dirt and weeds. What will come of it is anyone’s guess.
These Roads Play MUSIC?!
Okay, this one is as cool as it is unusual. Have you ever heard of streets that play music as you drive over them, thanks to audible vibrations? That’s the case in places like Tijeras, New Mexico, and Japan.
Rolling down your window when you’re on the special roads in Tijeras will be music to your ears. That’s where you can hear “America the Beautiful” played. If you don’t believe us, you’re going to have to go see for yourself.
The Steepest Railroad On The Planet
In Dubuque, Iowa, you can find the steepest and shortest railroad on the planet. That doesn’t sound too dangerous for you, we hope. We wouldn’t want to deter potential tourists eager to ride this 189-foot incline railway.
Travelers are brought to observations decks that allow them to see the stunning views that downtown Dubuque provides. It isn’t a very traditional attraction, but it is different if that’s what you’re looking to get yourself into. As long as you aren’t afraid of heights, you’ll be fine.
One Tiny Bridge
Standing at only 11 feet and located in Durham, North Carolina, is the Gregson Street Overpass. It’s a bridge that no truck, SUV, or NBA player wearing a hat dares to go underneath, unless they to get clipped.
The nickname of this bridge is “The Can Opener.” We can’t think of any name that fits better! If you look at the image here, you’ll see this Penske truck experienced the full-fledged can opener action. You have to be smarter than that.
A Stranded American City
Did you know that there was an American city located in Canada? How is it considered the U.S. when it’s in another country? Well, it came about when the U.K. and U.S. decided the 49th parallel would become the border of the countries.
“The only land route out of Point Roberts is through Canada,” slate.com reported. “This town of over 1,000 people has a clinic, a police station, a fire department, a marina, and a primary school.”
Canada Has The Shallowest Commercial Building
Nestled in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, you can find a building that holds one of the strangest records. That is the Sam Kee Building, which is the shallowest commercial building in the world. It’s only five feet deep on the bottom floor.
The reason that this building exists is because Sam Kee was a stubborn man. He didn’t want to sell his lot after city officials took away 24 feet of his property. Out of spite, (or sheer determination), he built this masterpiece.
This Isn’t Weird At All, Just A Random Grave
For whatever reason, AMC doesn’t mind a grave being located just outside the entrance of one of their movie theaters in New Brunswick, New Jersey. When a local spinster passed away in 1828, she was put to rest in an empty site.
AMC turned the woman’s final resting place into a parking lot. Her name was Mary Ellis, and unless she was an aspiring film director, we think she deserves better than this arrangement.
Before Streetlights Came Around…
Before streetlights became common in the 20th century, cities had a different way to illuminate the streets. They put up arc-lamps that were extremely high in the sky and capable of lighting up multiple blocks at once!
It didn’t take very long to figure out a more efficient way, modern streetlights. Now, arc-lamps are almost all gone in North America, but one city still has one. In Austin, Texas, you can see Moonlight Towers, which stands 165-feet high.
Germophobes Might Have A Heart Attack Here…
There are some things in this world that we just don’t understand. No matter how you try and explain it, it will never make sense. For example, look at Bubblegum Alley in San Luis Obispo, California.
Thousands of chewed up pieces of gum take up 2,000-square-feet of alleyway walls. That’s not disgusting at all. People will line up to take pictures with the gum-filled walls and have a smile on their faces the whole time like it isn’t completely gross.
The Highest Peak In Rhode Island
For those who like reaching the top and plan on visiting Rhode Island, we’ve got the place for you. Jerimoth Hill in Foster, Rhode Island, is 812 feet high.
The rock slab is the tallest peak in Rhode Island. It’s a .3 mile walk with a 10-foot elevation increase as you trek to the top, and people usually stack up rocks so they can make it even higher. Who’s got the measuring tape ready?
Science Wins In Canada
Unless you’re Bill Nye The Science Guy, what we’re about to tell you might not make much sense until we clarify it for you. Due to the falling and rising terrain and an obstructed zone, a road in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, plays a great trick on your eyes.
It creates an optical illusion that makes you think cars driving downhill are really going uphill. This might sound insane, so you’re going to have to see it for yourself!
An Ambiguous Boundary Between Countries
From 1832 to 1835, the Indian Stream Republic (also called Republic of Indian Stream) was an unrecognized constitutional republic along the border between New Hampshire and Quebec. With about 300 citizens, it even had an organized elected government and constitution.
The republic was named for Indian Stream, a tributary of the Connecticut River. Today, this sign stands to commemorate the republic, which was later named a part of the United States.
A Very Haunted Road
The Blair Witch Project could be one of the creepiest movies ever. The setting of the horror film made it even more chilling, and Clinton Road in West Milford, New Jersey resembles it.
Not only that, but there are also rumors that come along with the notorious road. Reports of alleged sightings of ghosts, witches, and other creatures have come from many people after they trek down this path. After taking one look at this picture, we’re going to have to pass on visiting.