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Exploring the Wacky Side of Pennsylvania: Weird Attractions and Oddities

submitted on 15 May 2023 by
It's no secret that Pennsylvania, one of the original 13 colonies, is loaded with history and scenic beauty. However, if you dig a little deeper (and venture off the beaten path), you'll find that the Keystone State is also home to some pretty unusual and downright wacky attractions. So, if you're tired of the same old tourist spots and want to explore some of the quirkier sites in Pennsylvania, then this article is for you! Here are some of the oddest places to visit in Pennsylvania, along with some tips, advice, and insights into the significance of these peculiar destinations.

1. The Mütter Museum: A Macabre Collection of Medical Oddities

Located in Philadelphia, the Mütter Museum is a one-of-a-kind museum dedicated to the history of medicine and medical anomalies. This fascinating (and somewhat unsettling) museum features a vast collection of unusual medical specimens and artifacts, including the largest collection of human skulls in the world, the conjoined liver of the famous Siamese twins Chang and Eng, and a 40-pound colon (you read that right) removed from a man who had chronic constipation. Visiting the Mütter Museum is not for the faint of heart, but it offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of medicine and the human body's endless variations. This is certainly not your average museum, but it's a must-see for anyone interested in the stranger side of Pennsylvania!

2. Centralia: The Town That's Still Burning

Centralia was once a thriving coal-mining town, but a fire that started in an underground mine in 1962 has been burning ever since. The fire has caused the ground to become unstable, and dangerous levels of carbon monoxide have seeped into the air. As a result, nearly all of the town's residents have been forced to relocate, leaving Centralia a ghost town with only a handful of residents remaining. Visiting Centralia is a unique and eerie experience, with abandoned homes and streets, and smoke still rising from the ground in some areas. Although the town is not officially open for tourism, curious visitors can still explore the area and witness the incredible power of an underground fire that has been burning for over five decades. Just remember to stay safe and respect the property of those few residents who still call Centralia home.

3. Roadside America: A Miniature Village Frozen in Time

Roadside America, located in Shartlesville, is an indoor miniature village and railway that has been entertaining visitors since 1935. This expansive display, covering 8,000 square feet, showcases a detailed and intricate representation of American life in the early 20th century, complete with working trains, trolleys, and cars. While many miniature villages have come and gone over the years, Roadside America has stood the test of time and remains a beloved attraction for visitors of all ages. It's a charming and nostalgic trip back in time, and a fantastic way to spend an afternoon exploring the tiny towns and landscapes of a bygone era.

4. The Haines Shoe House: A Whimsical Home Shaped Like a Giant Shoe

Located in Hellam, the Haines Shoe House is a quirky architectural wonder that has been drawing curious visitors since its construction in 1948. The shoe-shaped structure was built by Mahlon Haines, a local shoe salesman who wanted to create a unique advertising gimmick for his business. The Shoe House is a 25-foot tall, 48-foot long structure, complete with a living room, kitchen, bedrooms, and even a shoe-shaped doghouse!
  • Visitors can take guided tours of the Shoe House, which has been preserved and restored with period-appropriate furnishings and decor.
  • The Shoe House offers ice cream and other treats for visitors to enjoy outside on their whimsically designed patio.
  • Be sure to snap a photo of yourself in front of this wacky piece of Pennsylvania history!
These are just a few examples of the weird and wonderful attractions that can be found in Pennsylvania. So, if you're looking for something a little different on your next trip to the Keystone State, why not venture off the beaten path and explore the wackier side of Pennsylvania's history and culture? Who knows what other oddities await you in this fascinating and diverse state!
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