The South is filled with weird and wonderful sights, so it makes sense that the region below the Mason Dixon line would hold some of the nation’s most eccentric and offbeat museums. If you’re planning a road trip through the South, let this list be your guide to getting off the interstate and into the 10 most unique and quirky southern museums.
10. The Museum of Death
It may seem like a morbid vacation stop, but the Museum of Death in New Orleans is undeniably educational. The museum, located in the city’s French Quarter, has everything from embalming tools to letters from serial killers. Definitely not for the faint of heart, but worth a stop if you enjoy the macabre side of life (and death).
9. Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Museum
There are no shortage of Bonnie and Clyde museums and roadside attractions. This museum in Gibsland, La. focuses on how the criminal couple met their end at the hands of law enforcement in Bienville Parish. The museum, located in a former cafe where Bonnie and Clyde had their last meal, features Bonnie’s hat, Clyde’s rifle and much more.
8. Center for Puppetry Arts Museum
Where else can you visit Miss Piggy in person? The Center for Puppetry Arts Museum in Atlanta, Ga. offers interactional exhibits of the work of the world’s most famous puppet masters. There’s a Jim Henson exhibit that explains how Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy came to life and a Global Exhibit featuring puppetry from around the world.
7. Museum of Osteology
The Museum of Osteology in Oklahoma City, Okla. features hundreds of skulls and skeletons from around the world and aims to teach visitors how the skeletal system works.
6. Chasing Rainbows Museum
The Chasing Rainbows Museum is located inside the Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. The museum features the Tennessee queen’s handwritten lyrics and clothing from her movies and award show appearances.
5. The Pharmacy Museum
This quirky museum in New Orleans is a walk back in time to when pharmacists mixed their own cure-all concoctions. Housed in the site of the apothecary of the nation’s first licensed pharmacist, the Pharmacy Museum also includes surgical equipment, old apothecary bottles and Voodoo potions.
4. International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum
Getting your car towed is the worst, but the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum in Chattanooga, Tenn. is surprisingly enlightening. Started by a group of towing professionals known as the Friends of Towing, the museum features artifacts and memorabilia from the history of the towing industry.
3. The Kazoo Museum
The kazoo may be one of the world’s most underrepresented instruments, but Beaufort, S.C. is keeping it alive. Located in Beaufort’s kazoo factory, the museum includes a large collection of kazoos throughout history.
2. Fort Chaffee Barbershop Museum
Have you ever wanted to visit the spot where Elvis got his buzzcut before reporting for duty in 1958? Yes? Then look no further than the Fort Chaffee Barbershop Museum in Fort Chaffee, Ark. Every year, locals and Elvis superfans celebrate Elvis Haircut Day with a 1950’s style celebration of the King.
1. Vent Haven Museum of Ventriloquism
If you’re looking for a so-weird-it’s-cool vibe, the Vent Haven Museum of Ventriloquism in Fort Mitchell, Ky. is the museum for you. The world’s only museum dedicated to the art of ventriloquism, Vent Haven features more than 800 ventriloquist dummies and thousands of photographs and playbills from ventriloquist performances from days of yore.