Here are some of the places I’d most like to see, but haven’t been to yet. I have the feeling I’ll be adding to it frequently. Feel free to chip in with your comments if you’ve visited any of these, or with any other suggestions of awesome places!
Random Giant Things: I recently read Bill Bryson’s Down Under, and he made frequent mention of random giant roadside attractions. This seems pleasantly American and Route 66ish to me, but maybe in a way that American highways really aren’t anymore, since most of them seem to have become quite dull. I think it’d be neat to see them, and also I could wolf down Snickers Pods, aka the greatest candy on earth, whilst I’m there.
Ailwee Cave, County Clare, Ireland: I like caves, but I mainly want to see these specific caves since they were the “Very Dark Caves” in Father Ted. I also want to see the Father Ted house, but both were too far out of the way to visit when I was actually in Ireland. Maybe someday.
Icelandic Phallological Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland: This is a huge collection of penises from all types of animals, including some mythological ones. Obviously, I’d like to see it.
Abba Museum, Stockholm, Sweden: It hasn’t even opened yet (as of March 2013), but it’s been on my radar since it was announced a few years back. I like Abba and all, but I’m not a massive fan or anything, it just seems like it would be really cheesy in a good way.
The Gopher Hole Museum, Torrington, Alberta: The entire museum consists of tableaux of costumed taxidermied gophers. I don’t think any explanation of why I would want to see this is required.
Green Gables House, Cavendish, Prince Edward Island: My Laura Ingalls obsession is already well documented, but I also have an affection for Anne of Green Gables (though why does that book have to be so sad? I sob nonstop through the last 30 pages or so.). They’ve not only got a house with green gables here, but also a few Anne related museums.
Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre, Grimsby: I picked up one of their brochures at a rest stop a while back, and it was simply stunning. It mentioned “changes in temperature,” “authentic smells,” and the opportunity to experience seasickness. If reeking of fish and making you nauseated are a museum’s main selling points, I don’t see how it could anything other than amazing.
Black Museum, London: I doubt I’ll ever get to go here unless I became a police officer, since this crime museum is not open to the general public, but it looks fascinating, if grim.
National Museum of Funeral History, Houston, Texas: They have presidential funeral artefacts, 19th century mourning clothes, and hair jewellery. Sign me up!
National Museum of Health and Medicine, Silver Spring, Maryland: Yes, a major medical museum I haven’t been to. I’m surprised too. But I haven’t been to D.C. since I was 11, and I spent most of my time there being dragged around the National Air and Space Museum by my parents, with only a brief stop in the other branches of the Smithsonian. As this museum is not even in D.C. proper, and sounds pretty gory, obviously no one was going to take me there. But I definitely want to make it a point to go there sometime in the near future. Presidential medicine, including the bullet that killed Lincoln, and Civil War medicine are two of the main exhibits on offer, which are both topics I adore.
The House on the Rock, Spring Green, Wisconsin: OK, so my grandparents went here at some point, either when I was very young, or before I was born, and brought back a massive guidebook with amazing full page photographs. They kept it in a large chest of drawers that converted into a desk, with some other random paperwork, and nearly every time I visited when I was a kid (which was at least 3 times a week), I used to pull it out and leaf through it. The guidebook seriously made it look fantastic, but more than that, I feel almost wistfully nostalgic about it, despite having never been, since it reminds me of my grandparents and the spicy smell of that chest.
Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum, Mansfield, Missouri: Rather than waste your time listing all the Little House homesites, I’ll just let this one stand in for all of them. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I’m a huge fan of the Little House books (though not the show), even though I don’t think I fit the mould of the typical Laura fan, since I’m neither conservative nor Libertarian. I just really like the 19th century, and I find the pioneer lifestyle extremely interesting, but I’ve never been to any of the homesites, so I really would like to do a road trip to all of them at some point.
Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, California: This not only takes the concept of rambling Victorian mansion to the extreme, it’s also meant to be super haunted. While I don’t know if I believe the veracity of those claims, it looks just like the type of place I’d love.