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SPAM Museum
Photograph: Courtesy SPAM Museum

The weirdest museums in the U.S.

Indulge your weirdness with the quirkiest collections we could find, showcasing the obscure and eclectic

Written by
Lauren Mack
Clara Hogan
Ed Cunningham
Sophie Dickinson

There are more than 35,000 museums in the United States, with exhibitions that range from art to history to science and everything in between. Some museums are traditional treasure troves with artifacts of times gone by, while others are downright weird and devoted to singular items, issues and topics—from potatoes and funeral history to, yes, mustard.

From bottles to underwater diving to SPAM, we visit and admire the absolute weirdest museums in the U.S. that are sure to leave you intrigued and entertained.

RECOMMENDED: The best weird and alternative museums around the world

Weirdest museums in the U.S.

Idaho Potato Museum | Blackfoot, ID
Photograph: Courtesy Idaho Potato Museum

1. Idaho Potato Museum | Blackfoot, ID

It is fitting that 'the potato capital of the world' would have a spud-tacular museum. The Idaho Potato Museum pays homage to all things po-ta-to. Located in the former Oregon Short Line Railroad Depot, the 5,500-square-foot museum features exhibits on the root veggie's history, the growing and harvesting process, the industry, and nutrition. Artifacts include one of the world's largest collections of potato mashers and the largest potato crisp ever made. Visitors can do experiments in the Potato Lab and enjoy a freshly baked potato in the museum's cafe.

Neon Museum | Las Vegas, NV
Photograph: Courtesy Neon Museum

2. Neon Museum | Las Vegas, NV

Get a taste of nostalgia with an illuminating tour of the Neon Museum, home to 250 historic Las Vegas signs. Founded in 1996, the 2.25-acre museum's visitors' center is housed inside the former La Concha Motel lobby and includes a light projection exhibit and retro neon signs that once adorned the Las Vegas Strip. Guides lead visitors on a walk back in time along Neon Boneyard to see the iconic signs. The museum has also restored nine vintage signs, including the Silver Slipper and Benny Binion’s Horseshoe, which have been installed throughout Vegas. 

International Spy Museum | Washington, D.C.
Photograph: Courtesy International Spy Museum

3. International Spy Museum | Washington, D.C.

Go undercover at the International Spy Museum, the only public museum in the country dedicated to espionage. The two-story museum features eight permanent interactive exhibits plus pop-up exhibits exploring the history and craft of life as a spy. Visitors arrive at a briefing center, are issued a cover identity, and are challenged to stay undercover and gather intel. Along the way, visitors crack codes and can crawl through an air duct to spy on others before participating in a debrief that evaluates their espionage abilities.

The National Museum of Funeral History | Houston, TX
Photograph: Courtesy the National Museum of Funeral History,

4. The National Museum of Funeral History | Houston, TX

Home to the country's largest collection of historical funeral service items like caskets, coffins, and hearses, the National Museum of Funeral History has 19 permanent exhibits, including embalming, the history of cremation and the history of mourning photography. The 30,500-square-foot museum showcases exhibits that explore funeral culture from around the world and from ancient Egypt to today. The 9/11 & Fallen Heroes exhibit has two urns containing ashes and debris remnants from Ground Zero, and the Presidential Funerals exhibit includes the hearse used during the funerals of President Ronald Reagan and President Gerald R. Ford.

National Mustard Museum | Middleton, WI
Photograph: Courtesy National Mustard Museum

5. National Mustard Museum | Middleton, WI

The National Mustard Museum exhibits the world's largest miscellany of mustards and mustard memorabilia. Founded in 1992 by Barry Levenson, the National Mustard Museum boasts a collection of 6,000 mustards from 70 countries. Visitors can learn about mustard history and view artifacts like antique tins, mustard pots, and vintage advertisements. The museum hosts the annual worldwide Mustard Competition and National Mustard Day street festival. Admission to the condiment museum is free.

International UFO Museum and Research Center | Roswell, NM
Photograph: Courtesy New Mexico Tourism Department

6. International UFO Museum and Research Center | Roswell, NM

Located in a converted movie theater, the International UFO Museum and Research Center is dedicated to all things UFOs, particularly the 1947 Roswell UFO incident (the crash of a flying saucer that the U.S. military claims was just a weather balloon). The pet-friendly museum includes written, audio, and visual materials and art related to the history of UFO events. Exhibits include a spinning UFO with aliens and an outdoor 'Roswell Believes' mural.

SPAM Museum | Austin, MN
Photograph: Courtesy SPAM Museum

7. SPAM Museum | Austin, MN

A fan of Hormel Foods Corporation's pink block of canned meat? A visit to the SPAM Museum provides entertaining exhibits, including a timeline and memorabilia, about the iconic luncheon meat made of pork, salt, water, sugar, sodium nitrate, and modified potato starch that is famously packed in a rectangular navy-blue can. Visitors can take a free guided or self-guided tour through the museum and stop to see how tall they are in SPAM cans.

Computer History Museum | Mountain View, CA
Photograph: Courtesy Computer History Museum

8. Computer History Museum | Mountain View, CA

The mission of the Computer History Museum is to 'decode technology—the computing past, digital present, and future impact on humanity.' Exhibits tell the story of software and delve into the history of the internet, networking, and mobile technologies. The Silicon Valley museum's collection includes oral histories and computing artifacts like source code, machines, lab notebooks, and business plans. The museum's Exponential Center explores the growth of iconic companies and the legacy and future of entrepreneurship and innovation.

Museum of Graffiti | Miami, FL
Photograph: Courtesy Museum of Graffiti

9. Museum of Graffiti | Miami, FL

Located in the downtown Miami art district of Wynwood, famous for its Wynwood Walls and Wynwood Doors, the Museum of Graffiti is the first museum dedicated to graffiti art. The indoor and outdoor exhibits include the work of graffiti artists from around the world. The collection includes 11 outdoor murals, a fine art gallery, and artist and thematic exhibits. The museum also offers graffiti classes, kids' graffiti drawing classes, and a gift shop.

10. Antique Vibrator Museum | San Francisco, CA

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Did you know that the electric vibrator dates back to the Victorian Era? At this quirky museum in San Francisco, you'll learn about how doctors once used medically induced orgasms in women to heal all sorts of ailments and "female hysteria" as well as see models of vibrators through the industrial revolution to the Great Depression into the mid-century up until today. The Antique Vibrator Museum, run by sex toy shop Good Vibrations, is free admission, and while it's only one room, it's packed with information. 

National Videogame Museum | Frisco, TX
Photograph: Courtesy National Videogame Museum

11. National Videogame Museum | Frisco, TX

Whether you're a gamer or not, the National Videogame Museum is fascinating and fun for all. Learn about the start of gaming and its evolution to what it's become today. Here, it's not all about reading history, you'll get to step inside a recreated 1980's bedroom, play giant Pong, and head to the video game wall where you get to have our hand at classic and modern video games, side-by-side.

American Visionary Art Museum | Baltimore, MD
Photograph: Bruce Alan Bennett /

12. American Visionary Art Museum | Baltimore, MD

Ever looked at something arty-farty in a gallery (no doubt with an accompanying spiel printed on the wall) and thought: What’s so special about that? I could do that. In fact, I could do better. Well, the American Visionary Art Museum is for you. Grounded in the idea that not all great artists go to art school, this museum is dedicated to self-taught artistry, and the result is some of the most inspirational art you’ll ever see.

Museum of Jurassic Technology | Los Angeles, CA
Photograph: Creative Commons / Cory Doctorow

13. Museum of Jurassic Technology | Los Angeles, CA

No one really knows why the Museum of Jurassic Technology has ‘Jurassic’ in the name, because no one really knows much about it at all. And that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be. Throughout its narrow, dimly lit halls, you’ll find cabinets of curiosities containing everything from mini models of Napoleon and Daffy Duck to oil portraits of the Soviet space program dogs. It’s rather baffling and chaotic—but all the more wonderful for it.

International Cryptozoology Museum | Portland, ME
Photograph: Courtesy International Cryptozoology Museum

14. International Cryptozoology Museum | Portland, ME

Cryptozoology does not have anything to do with blockchain – though we’re sure someone out there is working on a cryptocurrency museum. It actually concerns the study of ‘hidden or unknown animals’ (read: made-up beasts), and the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland is the only gallery in the world dedicated to it. Giving you the chance to learn all you need to know about bigfoot, mermaids and Santa Claus, it’s a marvelous (and ever-so-slightly ridiculous) collection.

Museum of Bad Art | Somerville, MA
Photograph: Courtesy Museum of Bad Art

15. Museum of Bad Art | Somerville, MA

What initially started as a small museum in the basement of a private home in Boston in 1993 has grown into a larger museum in the basement of the Somerville Theater, a retro movie theater in Davis Square. The collection inside the Museum of Bad Art includes over 700 art pieces from artists, amateurs, and anonymous creators includes donated pieces, artwork purchased in thrift stores, and art gifted to the museum by the artists themselves. The museum is free and displays about 25 works at a time.

National Bottle Museum | Ballston Spa, NY
Photograph: Courtesy National Bottle Museum

16. National Bottle Museum | Ballston Spa, NY

Ever wonder how bottles are made? The National Bottle Museum has entertaining exhibits that educate visitors about bottle making. Located in a historic three-story brick commercial building, the museum's first floor has more than 3,000 bottles on display. The museum has seven permanent exhibits featuring curiosities like pre-machine-made bottles from each state and uranium glass and temporary exhibits that range from Coca-Cola bottles to shot glasses to spa bottles.

Sindecuse Museum of Dentistry | Ann Arbor, MI
Photograph: Mary Lewandowski

17. Sindecuse Museum of Dentistry | Ann Arbor, MI

Located in an atrium within the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, the Sindecuse Museum of Dentistry is one of a few worldwide museums devoted to dentistry. There are more than 25,000 objects related to dentistry, like dental tools, equipment, and historical products from the 18th century to today. The museum also hosts temporary exhibits and programming. Admission is free.

18. History of Diving Museum | Islamorada, FL

The pet-friendly History of Diving Museum at Mile Marker 83 on US-1 in the Florida Keys is devoted to educating visitors about sea diving. Founded in 2005, the museum was born from the collection of divers and doctors Sally Bauer and her late husband Joseph Bauer, who acquired one of the world’s largest collections of diving memorabilia. The museum has exhibitions that include antiques, books, documents, helmets and dive suits, photographs and oral history with many items from South Florida and the Florida Keys.

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