Last updated on July 25th, 2017
If you’re thinking about going to a museum, what is the first thought that comes to mind? Is it a classic art museum that is filled with incomparable works by the Italian Masters?
Maybe a historical museum that tracks civilizations in a particular region to the Neolithic Age? With these unusual museums, you won’t find any of that! Instead you’ll find some remarkable tributes that are truly unique. Here are the best of the best that the US has to offer!
8 Best Unusual Museums in United States:
#1. The Toilet Seat Museum
Located in Alamo Heights, TX there are over 1,000 uniquely decorated toilet seats hanging on the wall like a bunch of trophy heads. Each one has something different. Some have license plates, others have duck heads, and the one that covers cosmetic dentistry is priceless. For owner/operator Barney Smith, toilet seat art is his medium and he loves to share it with the world. If you ever lose your marbles, there’s a good chance that Barney has put them onto a toilet seat. This museum might be a bit of a stinker, but there’s something to be said for using crappy puns…
#2. The National Mustard Museum
Located in Mt. Horeb, WI and open 7 days a week, everything you ever wanted to know about mustard can be found within this museum’s walls. There are old newspaper ads for mustard products and other memorabilia, but the highlight of a visit here is to see the mustard. With a collection of over 5,600 different varieties from over 70 countries and all 50 states, you can even purchase many of the mustard varieties that are on display. Don’t want to go to Wisconsin to buy mustard? There’s an online store that will accommodate your cravings too. Do you have any Grey Poupon?
#3. Tinkertown Museum
Located in Sandia Park, NM, this museum features more than 20 rooms that are filled with wood carvings. That doesn’t seem so unusual… until you realize that all of the carvings are from one artist. It took Ross Ward over four decades to create the figures that are in the museum and you can’t go wrong with 50k glass bottles that are used to surround the museum. Or the fence of bicycle wheels. The fact that some of the displays are animated just adds to the unusual nature of the museum.
#4. The National Museum of Funeral History
Located in Houston, TX this museum will let you see the country’s largest collection of funeral related items. For added fun, there are rotating temporary exhibits that will let you see specific niche funeral events, such as a rural family farm funeral home. If you’ve ever wanted to trace the history of embalming or get to know all about fantasy coffins, this is the place for you! There is an admission fee for adults, seniors, and kids over 12, so trying to sneak in for free would be “dead” wrong.
#5. Leila’s Hair Museum
Hair is definitely a form of personal art, but what if you used hair to create portraits, landscapes, and jewelry? At this museum in Independence, MO you’ll find out the answer to your question. There’s even famous hair there too, from Marilyn Monroe to Queen Victoria. With more than 600 wreaths and over 2,000 items of jewelry, you’re in for a “hairy” good time!
#6. Stabler Leadbeater Apothecary Museum
Closed in 1933 because it was sold to a Quaker family, this museum in Alexandria, VA is like taking a step back into time. Remember when you could drink a magic elixir and suddenly feel better? Or snort some toad’s wort and wing of newt that you ground up with a mortar and pestle because you had a runny nose? You’ll get to explore the science behind Harry Potter or see how the Americans tried to win the War of 1812 as you stand in the footsteps of Martha Washington and Robert E. Lee. Just make sure you take two pills before visiting and then call your doctor in the morning.
#7. The Museum of Bad Art
It could be said that all museums have a section of bad art within them, but only this offering in Somerville, MA puts the best of the best bad art on display in one central location. How can you not love a museum that started in someone’s basement? There’s even a second location in MA because there is so much quality bad art out there that deserves to be seen. If you see something that you really love that’s really bad, there’s even a chance that it’s been put onto a t-shirt for you.
#8. Oasis Bordello Museum
Going to a brothel is fun, but going to a former brothel that was raided by the FBI in 1988 and left just as it was when the Feds tossed it is even more fun. Of course we want to know what the most played video game happened to be. Of course we want to see all of the personal possessions that were left on the second floor! Of course we want to see the wine press in the basement… ok, maybe not that. You’ll find this priceless museum in Wallace, ID.
What unusual museum is your favorite? Did it make our list? Share your favorite unusual museum journeys with us below!