Dr. Seuss House – Willow, Alaska
Located on private property in the small town of Willow is a house that looks as if its rooms have been haphazardly stacked one atop of the other. It towers 12 stories high and is referred to as the “Dr. Suess House” by the locals.
The story goes that the owner built a normal looking house on the property with a stunning view of Denali/Mt. McKinley in the distance. The problem was that it was built right after a forest fire had ravaged the surrounding land, scorching all the trees and plant life to the ground. As the vegetation started growing back it blocked their priceless view. Determined not to lose the fantastic view, the owner decided to build upward as the vegetation grew taller and taller.
Magic Restroom Cafe – Industry, California
If you want a crappy dining experience, the Magic Restroom Cafe in Industry, California has just what you’re looking for. The toilet-themed eatery, the first in America (and hopefully the last), has toilet seats in place of chairs, and a menu filled with such appetizing meals as “black poop” (a chocolate sundae), “golden poop rice” and my favorite, “smells like poop” (braised pork over rice).
See, in China and Taiwan, commode-themed restaurants are all the rage, so the owner of the Magic Restroom Cafe (who is from China) decided it was time that America jump on the bandwagon, or toilet seat..
If you do happen to visit, bring your camera because the views are much better than the food.
Maunsell Sea Forts – England
During WWII the United Kingdom built these fortified army and navy towers in the Thames and Mersey estuaries to help defend the nation from its enemies. Named after their designer, Guy Maunsell, the forts were later decommissioned by the military in the 1950’s. They were used by a pirate radio station for time after the military gave them up, but are vacant and extremely hazardous today.
Each fort consists of a cluster of seven stilted pods surrounding a central command station. When they were in use by the military, there were catwalks connecting all the pods.
Today they can be viewed by boat or plane but cannot be entered.
Fuselage Home Hotel – Costa Verde, Costa Rica
This unique hotel is a 1965 Boeing 727 and was once used to carry passengers around the Orient. Today the airplane serves as a stylish and luxurious hotel with pristine views of the nearby Costa Rican shoreline.
Perched 50 ft. in the air over a jungle, the hotel has balconies constructed on each of its wings. On the inside, the interior is furnished with hand-carved Costa Rican teak paneling, giving it a warm cozy feeling. The suite contains two bedrooms and a night for two will run you between $250 – $750 a night depending on the season.
Jules Undersea Lodge – Key Largo, Florida
Jules Undersea Lodge is REALLY underwater! Just to enter this place one must scuba dive 21 ft. beneath the surface of the sea and pass through a mangrove habitat. This is the world’s only underwater hotel and is guaranteed to be an experience of a lifetime for anyone who visits.
Once inside, one can view the beauty of the Emerald Lagoon from below the surface. The cottage sized building isn’t short on creature comforts either, there are hot showers, a well stocked kitchen (complete with refrigerator and microwave), books, music, and video movies. The beds are cozy and provide the guest with stellar views of the underwater marine life offering the perfect balance of relaxation and adventure.
To get into Jules’ Undersea Lodge, you must be a certified SCUBA diver. If you are not a certified diver, you can take the Discover SCUBA Diving certification for $95.
There is a “JUL for TWO package” which will run $800 and includes their world famous pizza delivery dinner and a continental type breakfast. Dive gear is included in your package.
Dog Bark Park Inn – Cottonwood, Idaho
Some people really love animals, Dennis Sullivan and Frances Conklin loves them so much that they built a hotel in the shape of a beagle. The beagle is colloquially known as Sweet Willy by the locals and is located in north central Idaho. It is the world’s largest Beagle B&B.
The beagle is a two bedroom B&B which features dog-themed contents and runs $98 a night for two.
Ice Hotel – Jukkasjärvi, Sweden
The Ice Hotel is built each year with snow and ice in the sleepy village of Jakkasjarvi in northern Sweden. It has been built each year from December to April since its opening in 1990 and everything inside is made from ice and snow – even the beds!
The snow and ice is taken from the nearby Torne River and artists are invited to create different rooms and decorations from it. Included in the Ice Hotel is a bar with glasses made from ice, reception area, rooms and suites for 100 people and there is even an ice chapel nearby that is very popular for people wanting to get married. The structure remains below freezing at around 23 degrees Fahrenheit (-5 degrees Celsius).
Beware there is no heating in the hotel of course, guests are given polar-tested sleeping bags to sleep in and the beds have reindeer furs on top.
The Ice Hotel is the largest in the world, spanning over 6,000 metres (64,600 sq. ft.) and is visited every year by 50,000 people. Visitors keep coming back for the tranquility and the activities, but one of the highlights is the show put on by the northern lights.
The Ice Hotel isn’t for the budget minded, one night will run a couple $1,600 – included with your purchase is a northern lights excursion on a snowmobile, an ice-sculpting class and a four-course ice menu.
Hill of Crosses – Lithuania
The Hill of Crosses is a site of pilgrimage for the Lithuanians, the practice first began after the uprising against the Russian Czar in 1831 on a nearby hill. When family members couldn’t locate the bodies of their family members, they started erecting symbolic crosses. Estimates today put the amount of crosses on the hill at about 200,000. Since the uprising the place has come to signify the peaceful endurance of Lithuanian Catholicism.
Akidessewa Fetish Market – Lome, Togo, Africa
The grisly remains of various animals are for sale here at the largest fetish market in the world. This is a place where Voodoo practitioners can find what they need to perform their rituals. There are many people that believe in the use of animal body parts in ceremonial rituals to evoke spirits, thus solving their aliments or problems.
Guanajuato Mummy Museum – Mexico
The mummies are thought to be the naturally mummified bodies of those interred during a cholera outbreak around Guanajuato, Mexico in 1833. They were disinterred between 1865 and 1958 because their family members couldn’t pay a tax to keep them interred, so the bodies were stored in a building.
Sometime during the 1990’s cemetery workers began charging a few pesos to those who wanted to see the bodies and today it has turned into a museum and one of the biggest attractions in Mexico, drawing close to 4,000 visitors every week.
Included with the cholera victims are the bodies of murder victims, criminals who were buried alive and even some children.
Living Tree Root Bridges – India
These bridges are a form of tree shaping in India, they are handmade from the aerial roots of living banyan fig trees and take up to 15 years to complete. They are naturally self-renewing and self-strengthening as the component roots grow thicker. There are a few bridges that span over 100 ft. long.
It is not known when the practice was first started, the earliest written record depicting the bridges is from 1844.
The Boot Bed’n’Breakfast – Tasman, New Zealand
For about $225, you and a guest can stay the night inside a gigantic boot. Inside you’ll find a fireplace, under floor heating, a double bed and a sofa. The boot was created in 2001 and is on 6 acres of property.
Island of Dolls (La Isla De LaMunecas) – Mexico
There is a small island just south of Mexico City that has hundreds of creepy dolls and doll parts dangling precariously from trees, posts, wires and walls. The place is known as Isla de las Munecas and you need to hire a boat to take you to the hidden island.
Legend has it that the place is dedicated to the lost soul of a poor girl who drowned nearby, and the dolls are possessed by her spirit.
Some visitors claim to hear the dolls whisper and to see them move their heads or limbs.
Here is the interesting story behind the mysterious island and its dolls:
Don Julian Santana Barrera was the caretaker of the island. The story goes that Julian found a little girl drowned in mysterious circumstances while he was not able to save her life.
Shortly thereafter, Julian saw a floating doll near the canals, which probably belonged to the girl.
He picked up the doll and hung it to a tree, as a way of showing respect and support the spirit of the girl.
Others question even the existence of the drowned girl. Reports conclude that Julian has made up the story about the girl in his solitude.
Julian was apparently haunted by the spirit of the girl and started hanging more dolls in an attempt to please her spirit.
He soon realized the dolls themselves were possessed by the spirits of dead girls, and continued to collect creepy dolls hanging them over the entire island.
According to those close to him, it was as if Julian was driven by some unseen force that completely changed him.
Apparently he was very marked by the fact that he was not able to save the little girl’s life.
After 50 years of collecting dolls and hanging them on the island, Julian was found dead, drowned in the same spot where the girl did.
Many people on the island believe that Julian has joined the other spirits of the island.
The locals are very faithful that the Isla de las Munecas is a charmed place. After Julian’s death in 2001, it has become a tourist attraction, where visitors bring more dolls.
Hi my name is JP Chartier and I write for Gutter Pup Adventures.com where you can expect to read well-written and entertaining articles about the people and places that often get overlooked at many popular vacation destinations around the world.