15 Most Unique Museums in the US

The United States is home to over 35,000 museums – that’s more than the number of McDonald’s and Starbucks combined.  You may feel at a loss for your next museum excursion, but no fear! Here’s the scoop on 15 of some of the most bizarre museums in the country for your next outing.

Museum of Death

This disturbing museum is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before! Explore the process following death – this museum has everything from bodybags to mortician tools. Learn about obscure cases of death including cannibalism and unconventional car accidents. If you’re fascinated by the end of life, this museum is not something you want to pass up!

227 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112 // Website

International Cryptozoology Museum

This mysterious museum explores cryptozoology, the study of hidden life. Study cases of extraordinary discovery, ranging from secret unearthings of foreign species to countless Bigfoot sightings. You can even get the chance to hang out with a 9-foot Sasquatch! If you’re interested in the hidden life all around us, stop by this quirky museum to learn the techniques used by cryptozoologists and try your hand at this mysterious investigation!

4 Thompsons Point #106, Portland, ME 04101 // Website

Warren Anatomical Museum

Harvard has constructed one of the top collections in the world for those studying the history of science and medicine. Check out this impressive exhibition, one of the last of its kind in the country. Home to many specimens that have led to groundbreaking medical discoveries, this museum honors the thousands of scientists that have taken steps to save millions of lives. No matter what medical discipline intrigues you, this institution has everything you need to make the next radical medical revelation!

10 Shattuck St, Boston, MA 02115 // Website

Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum

For those of us looking for a more lighthearted excursion, retired plumber Barney Smith has put together the most extensive collection of toilet seat art in the world. This ordinary garage is chock-full of unique toilet seats that Barney has collected over the course of his career. Hunt for a seat embellished with faux gems or one covered by plastic toy trolls. You’re sure to spend all day examining these funky toilet seats, so stop by for an entertaining afternoon!

239 Abiso Ave, San Antonio, TX 78209 // Website

Museum of Bad Art

If you’re tired of feeling ashamed of your art skills when you gaze at masterpieces, this museum will provide some consolation! The Museum of Bad Art is dedicated to preserving the worst art they can get their hands on. Chuckle at awful portraits, terrible landscapes, and art that will make you wonder what you’re looking at. This amusing collection is always changing, so drop by for a museum experience like no other!

55 Davis Square, Somerville, MA 02144 // Website

Leila’s Hair Museum

Founded by Leila Cohoon, hair accessory enthusiast, this museum holds over 2,000 pieces of jewelry constructed out of human hair. In 1956, Cohoon cast her eyes upon a human hair wreath that inspired her to establish the world’s first hair museum in 1986. The museum’s prized piece is a brooch created in 1680, and it also houses sepia necklaces coated in pulverized hair. This unique museum gives visitors a glimpse into an ancient art form most of us have never heard of!

1333 S Noland Rd, Independence, MO 64055 // Website

Warther Museum

This incredible collection honors Ernest Warther, a talented 19th-century carver. The museum holds 64 of Warther’s masterpieces, carved from ivory, ebony, and walnut. Take a glimpse of an unbelievable collection of over 73,000 buttons, all assembled in intricate patterns by Freida, Warther’s wife. This remarkable museum lets visitors appreciate the timeless pastimes enjoyed by the Warther family.

331 Karl Ave, Dover, OH 44622 // Website

National Mustard Museum

This may not seem like the first place you’d want to visit, but this odd museum is unexpectedly captivating. Barry Levenson quit his job as Attorney General to the State of Wisconsin to found this museum in 1992, and the rest is history! The museum is home to almost 6,000 varieties of mustard from all 50 states and over 70 countries, so any fan of this classic condiment will be in heaven. The collection is always growing, so stop by to examine (and taste!) the largest assembly of mustard in the world!

7477 Hubbard Ave, Middleton, WI 53562 // Website

Oz Museum

Since the release of this classic film in 1939, The Wizard of Oz has been a paramount player in cinematic history. This museum functions to honor the film and delight the thousands of fans that visit every year. Come take a look at authentic props used in the film, including Dorothy’s ruby red slippers! If you’re a fan of this timeless musical, you won’t want to miss out on the Oz Museum!

511 Lincoln Ave, Wamego, KS 66547 // Website

Chasing Rainbows Museum

If you’re ever in Dollywood, make sure to stop by the Chasing Rainbows Museum! Founded by Dolly Parton herself, this interactive museum showcases significant memorabilia in the country star’s life. From her Grammy award to lavish concert costumes, this museum houses countless objects that help visitors trace her path from country girl to household name. For country music fans, this museum is a mandatory stop to cross off the bucket list!

2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863 // Website

Vent Haven Ventriloquism Museum

The Vent Haven Museum is dedicated to dummies! With over 900 antique puppets, this collection tells the story of this classic form of entertainment. From playbills to puppets, you will find no better place to learn about ventriloquism! Vent Haven has been recognized by multiple newspapers, including The New York Times, so make sure to take a trip to this intriguing museum!

33 W Maple Ave, Fort Mitchell, KY 41011 // Website

Hollywood Wax Museum

If you’re looking to hang out with celebrities in Hollywood, there’s no better place than the Hollywood Wax Museum! This iconic collection has been around for 45 years, constantly growing and improving their realistic collection. Take a picture with your favorite stars – you won’t even be able to tell the difference! This historic building, situated in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard, is a hilarious tribute to celebrities that you won’t want to pass up.

6767 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028 // Website

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Glore Psychiatric Museum

This fascinating museum tells the story of St. Joseph’s State Lunatic Asylum No. 2, once a leading institution in curing patients with extreme mental health problems. Learn about schizophrenia by observing the speech patterns of a mute schizophrenic or take a look into the minds of patients by examining a collection of their artwork. Recognized by PBS, The Discovery Channel, and The Science Channel, this museum is a compelling establishment dedicated to spreading awareness about mental health. Covering everything from the history of mental health treatment to investigations of abnormal behavior, Glore teaches about a topic that is pertinent, even today.

3406 Frederick Ave, St Joseph, MO 64506 // Website

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum

From Voodoo Potions to illegal surgical practices, the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum has it all! Discover the enthralling history of healing all over the world. Explore exhibits featuring ancient surgical instruments and apothecary bottles, or learn about homemade cures to rampant diseases. This museum is a captivating tribute to pharmacists throughout history who have changed the course of medicine.

514 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130 // Website

Museum of the Weird

If you’re looking for a museum that focuses on oddities in general, you’ll fall head over heels for the Museum of the Weird. This funky building is an eclectic collection of everything from mummy heads to frozen cave men. Check out a Bigfoot replica or a two headed calf! Admission comes with a sideshow. so be ready for peculiarity from the second you walk through the door!

412 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701 // Website


If you’re looking to learn about a funky new topic, stop by one of the thousands of museums in the country. You’re sure to learn something unexpected and see a whole new side of the world!

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Chelsea Hafer is a freshman at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. In her free time, she loves to hike, ski, write, and spend time with her friends. She hopes to one day work as a travel journalist and explore the world.
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  1. Reply

    I can’t believe I lived in San Antonio for over 6 years and never visited the toilet seat art museum. Seriously, what a great list of museums. It would make for a great bucket list.

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