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America The Beautiful, The USA Travel Guide, Travel Information, USA Photos, Special Events in America - Your destination source for Travel and Tourism in the United States of America
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The world’s most diverse culture, amazing landscapes and natural history is found in the United States of America.
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Curiosities in the United States of America

Bishop Castle, Pueblo, Colorado

This is the Largest Art Car Parade in the world!  Houston Art Car Weekend is the Orange Show's biggest outreach program, a vehicle for the message that art is an integral part of everyone's everyday life. The weekend's events are part folk art, part fine art, part wholly artistic expression of every kind, entirely monumental and thoroughly spectacular!  It still continues to amaze us how these artisans do what they do.  It is truly a visual and motorized extravaganza that you should make a point to watch.

Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas

Construction of the castle began in 1969, when Jim Bishop began construction on a family cottage, which he decided to surround with rocks. Several neighbors noted that the structure looked something like a castle. Bishop took this into consideration and soon began building his castle. He had bought the land when he was fifteen for a price of $450. He has faced numerous challenges with the local and state government over ownership and activities on the site.  The construction of this castle is an inspirational achievement and has been featured in a television show.  We invite you to visit and learn more about Jim Bishop’s creation.

Jim Bishop’s Castle - Colorado
Art Car Parade in Houston, Texas
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Wickham Stone Park, Palmyra, Tennessee

It took Ross Ward over 40 years to carve, collect, and lovingly construct what is now Tinkertown Museum. His miniature wood-carved figures were first part of a traveling exhibit, driven to county fairs and carnivals in the 1960s and ’70s. Today over 50,000 glass bottles form rambling walls that surround a 22-room museum. Wagon wheels, old fashioned store fronts, and wacky western memorabilia make Tinkertown’s exterior as much as a museum as the wonders within. Throughout, eccentric collections of Americana fill Tinkertown’s winding hallways. Otto the one-man-band and Esmerelda, the Fortune Teller, need only a quarter to play a tune or predict your future. Through a doorway and across a ramp waits a big-sized surprise: a 35′ antique wooden sailboat that braved a 10 year voyage around the world.

Tinkertown Museum, Sandia Park, New Mexico

One hot August day in the late 1960’s near Palmyra, Tennessee, E.T. Wickham put down his trowel from working on the statue of Civil War heroes Sam Davis and Bill Marsh. After resting in the shade for awhile, he walked to a nearby hickory tree and tacked a small wooden sign to it. The sign read:

WICKHAM STONE PARK  - So the story goes... Whether this actually happened or not, it cannot be denied there is a lot of stone in the park. From 1950 to his death in 1970, he molded some forty tons of concrete into statues of Indian chiefs, politicians, patriots, and religious figures. The record shows that during this period he built over 30 life-size concrete statues. He was an exceptional folk artist.

Wickham Stone Park - Tennessee
Tinkertown Museum - New Mexico
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Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia,  PA

The ABITA MYSTERY HOUSE , also known as the UCM Museum is a roadside attraction in Abita Springs near New Orleans. It is a folk art environment with 1000s of found objects, and home made inventions. Tourists see a miniature Southern town with push-buttons that activate animated “displays.” On exhibit are odd collections, memorabilia, pure junk, and old arcade machines that are fun to play. Abita Springs, Louisiana is a historic small town known for its brewery, spring water, and bicycle trails.  Overall, this is a Louisiana side trip that is just plain fun.  Check it out - they say it’s the most intriguing and provocative museum in the State.  Don’t miss it.

Abita Springs Mystery House, Louisiana

Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, but stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers.  Known for its grand architecture and strict discipline, this was the world’s first true “penitentiary,” a prison designed to inspire penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of convicts. Its vaulted, sky-lit cells once held many of America’s most notorious criminals, including bank robber “Slick Willie” Sutton and Al Capone.  Designed by John Haviland and opened on October 25, 1829, Eastern State is considered to be the world's first true penitentiary- today - Ghost Tours, Adventure and History Tours keep it alive.

Eastern State Penitentiary - Pennsylvania
UCM Museum, Louisiana
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Dickeyville Grotto & Shrines - Wisconsin

In the early 1950’s, 3 surveyors named Clarence, Fred and McCray came from California to explore the Upper Peninsula.  They stumbled across an area of land where their surveying equipment didn’t seem to work properly.  For instance, no matter how many times they tried to level their tripod, through the use of a plum-bob or level, the plum-bob would always be drawn far to the east, even as the level was reading level.  As they continued their research of this land, they noticed a constant feeling of being light-headed.  Later, realizing their queasiness and problems with the surveying equipment only occurred in an area about 300 feet in diameter, they felt they had discovered a “Mystery Spot”.

Saint Ignace Mystery Spot, Michigan

One of the most amazing pieces of religious folk art in the Midwest is found in the small town of Dickeyville in southwest Wisconsin. Located beside the Holy Ghost Roman Catholic Church, the Dickeyville Grotto and Shrines are dedicated to the love of God and the love of country. The landmark was created by Father Mathias Wernerus, who served the Holy Ghost parish from 1918 to his death in 1931. Using stone, mortar, glass, tiles, fossils, shells, petrified wood, and brightly colored objects of dizzying variety, he created a series of interconnected grottos and shrines that fill much of a city block. Wernerus was a German-born immigrant who came to the U.S. in 1904.

Dickeyville Grotto & Shrines - Wisconsin
Michigan’s Mystery Spot
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Chief Rolling Thunder Monument, Nevada

While touring the Winchester Mystery house's 160 rooms you should look for the bizarre phenomena that gave the mansion its name; a window built into the floor, staircases leading to nowhere, a chimney that rises four floors, doors that open onto blank walls, and upside down posts! No one has been able to explain the mysteries that exist within the Winchester Mansion, or why Sarah Winchester kept the carpenters' hammers pounding 24 hours a day for 38 years. It is believed that after the untimely deaths of her baby daughter and husband, son of the Winchester Rifle manufacturer, Mrs. Winchester was convinced by a medium that continuous building would appease the evil spirits of those killed by the famous "Gun that Won the West" .  

Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, California

Thunder Mountain Monument is owned by Frank Van Zant- who cares for this unique roadside ??attraction??--five acres jam-packed with exotic folk art and architectural oddities that his late father created over a period of three decades beside Interstate Highway 80 in Pershing County.  Frank Van Zant, also known as Chief Rolling Mountain Thunder, described his roadside art park variously as a museum, a monument to the American Indian, a retreat for pilgrims aspiring to the “pure and radiant heart.”  Many of his neighbors feared Van Zant;  others revered him as a spiritual guru.

Chief Rolling Thunder Mountain Monument - Nevada
Winchester Mansion - California
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America The Beautiful has prepared a list of interesting sights that may not be exactly what you are searching for but will prove to be an interesting
addition to your travels across America.  Each of the sights shown here shows the diversity and uniqueness of the extensive American Culture.  People
and places that are out of the ordinary while exhibiting a freedom to express their creativity, dreams, desires and heritage.  We hope you enjoy and
Make a point to visit our Curiousities of America list as outlined below.  Enjoy America - Unique it is!