Are you a culture buff? Then you know how fun and exciting a visit to a great museum can be. We can all name some of the best museums in the world, from the Met to the Louvre. The problem, however, is that these museums tend to get crowded in a hurry. For those looking to enjoy a museum off the beaten path, check out our guide to America's most unusual museums below. The Quirkiest Museums across the USA include...
  • Spy Museum
  • Leila's Hair Museum
  • Mutter Museum
  • National Mustard Museum
  • Museum of Sex
  • Devil's Rope Museum
  • Spam Museum
  • Idaho Potato Museum
  • And more!

Spy Museum – Washington, DC

Among the most elusive museums in the city is the International Spy Museum in DC. It's chock full of never-before-seen artifacts from the espionage trade. Interactive exhibits, fascinating objects, and exciting narratives of spycraft await you at this newly re-opened museum. 
 
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Leila’s Hair Museum – Independence, MO

For anyone with some knowledge of Victorian memento culture, the fact that a hair museum exists may not come as a surprise. The fact that this museum owns over 2,000 pieces of jewelry made out of human hair, however, may be news. Did we mention they also display a selection of their 600 different hair wreaths? 

Mutter Museum – Philadelphia

Founded as an institution intended to educate future physicians, the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia is an eclectic mix of body parts preserved in glasses, outdated medical paraphernalia, and an impressive (and only somewhat unnerving) collection of over 125 human skulls. 

National Mustard Museum – Middleton, WI

This quirky Wisconsin mainstay exemplifies weird museums in its dedication to one of America’s most beloved condiments. It has 6,000 different mustard products on display from all 50 states and more than 70 different countries. Additionally, it has items relevant to the history of mustard preparation and distribution, so you can have quite the afternoon here.
 
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Museum of Sex – New York City

An homage to human sexuality in all its forms, and the amazing things that our bodies can do, the Museum of Sex features a variety of exhibitions. These fascinating and educational exhibits encompass thousands of artifacts. They tell the story of how human culture has understood sex across history.

Devil’s Rope Museum – McLean, TX

For those who live in a part of the country with enclosed land, barbed wire may be no big deal. But did you know that there are more than 2,000 varieties of the “devil’s rope,” in production and use today? Visit this museum to learn more.

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum – New Orleans

Showcasing the history of nineteenth-century medicine and pharmacology, the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum includes historic exhibits, information about the creole pharmacist Louis Dufilho, Jr., whose house the museum is based in, and a medicinal herb garden, among other unique treasures. 
 
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Museum of Bad Art – Somerville, MA

We’ve all seen the good stuff—even if we don’t quite “get” the art—but what about art that’s just kind of…terrible? The Museum of Bad Art in the Boston metro area is ripe for parody. However, it’s the ideal combination of cheekiness and critique. It makes for a delightful hour spent thinking about what constitutes “art.”

Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum – Gatlinburg, TN

We’ve all got a few sets of salt and pepper shakers sitting around. Some cute, some fancy, and some functional. With more than 20,000 different pairs at this museum, you can either gain inspiration for your next purchase. Or decide to use supermarket grinders henceforth.

Newseum – Washington, DC

Media junkies will adore the Newseum, which is filled with artifacts, photographs, documents, and exhibits that illuminate the most significant stories told by the news media across modern history. See daily front pages from newspapers across the nation, a fragment of 9/11 wreckage, and a section of the Berlin Wall, among others. 

International Cryptozoology Museum, Portland, ME

Bigfoot’s got nothing on this enchanting museum in the original Portland. The International Cryptozoology Museum is the nexus of all things weird and unexplained. It has more than 10,000 artifacts and archaeological objects in its expansive collection. 

SPAM Museum – Austin, MN

A bit south of Minneapolis-St. Paul is one of the country’s weirdest and most unique cultural institutions – the SPAM Museum. The history of America’s most questionable food product (the Twinkie being a possible exception) is engaging and loads of fun.

International UFO Museum – Roswell, NM

Anyone interested in the history of the paranormal in the United States has to visit the International UFO Museum. It explores the Roswell Incident, plus everything from crop circles to the possible existence of little green men.

Idaho Potato Museum – Blackfoot, ID 

It's home to a small but mighty collection of potato-related objects, artifacts, tools, and products. Therefore, the Idaho Potato Museum is bound to earn the affection of any spud-lover. It’s especially focused on the history of the crop in Idaho, but it also covers global potato history as well. 
 
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International Banana Museum – Mecca, CA

In the greater Palm Springs area, the International Banana Museum is a nice quick stop en route to your resort. Check out more than 20,000 banana-related objects that span the gamut from clothing to perfume to culinary accessories. Be sure to taste some of the delicious homemade banana ice cream!

Save on Admission

While some of these quirky museums offer free or inexpensive admission, many are in cities with several other enticing attractions. If you want to visit any of these, consider a Go City pass to save on admission to some of the quirkiest museums across the USA.

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