The Most Underrated Attraction in Every State

The Most Underrated Attraction in Every State

Whether you like roadside attractions, historical landmarks, or strange museums, the United States has amazing sights for every interest. This list includes some of the most underrated attractions in every state. Be sure to visit these unique pit stops when planning your next trip!

To compile a list of the most underrated attractions in every state 24/7 Tempo consulted multiple travel guide websites, including Atlas Obscura. Travel through the Ghost Town of Colorado or step back into history while visiting the home of Jesse James; take a look at attractions that more people should visit. (Here is our list of the most iconic world attractions that no longer exist.)

Old Courthouse Museum

Source: Myartsylens100, via Wikimedia Commons

  • State: Alabama
  • City: Monroeville

The Old Courthouse Museum inspired Harper Lee’s book “To Kill a Mockingbird.” As a child, Lee would sit in the courtroom and watch her father practice law. Before filming the book, a set was designed to look exactly like this courtroom.

After “To Kill a Mockingbird” came out in the ’60s, the courtroom was preserved as a museum, and visitors can enjoy exploring the entirety of the courtroom, along with two exhibits called “Truman Capote: A Childhood in Monroeville” and “Harper Lee: In Her Own Words.”

Serpentine Hot Springs

Source: National Park Service, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

  • State: Alaska
  • City: Nome

While visiting the Serpentine Hot Springs, one can see plenty of wildlife and enjoy the spring’s natural relaxing capabilities. This hot spring has been important for geological and cultural reasons for thousands of years. Additionally, the granite tors, created by volcanic magma and erosion, are striking natural wonders.

Valley of the Moon

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

  •  State: Arizona
  • City: Tuscon

Valley of the Moon was George Phar Legler’s vision during the 1920s. He aimed to develop a fairytale-like place that emphasized kindness and imagination. Caves, pools, gardens, and statues contribute to this magical place.

While alive, Mr. Legler would give tours woven together with magical stories. However, the park has remained open only for private access and on specific days of the month.

Chaffee Barbershop Museum

Elvis Presley | Elvis - The Comeback TV Special
Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

BURBANK, CA - JUNE 27: Rock and roll musician Elvis Presley performing on the Elvis comeback TV special on June 27, 1968. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

  • State: Arkansas
  • City: Fort Smith

When Elvis enlisted in the army and extended his music career, he swapped his trademark hair for the G.I. buzz cut. Many fans admired his actions, and today, tourists can visit where Elvis sat that day.

Mono Lake Tufa State National Reserve

Source: Plane777 (talk · contribs), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

  • State: California
  • City: Lee Vining

There are so many beautiful and interesting natural wonders in the world. Mono Lake Tufa State National Reserve aims to protect one of those many wonders. The Tufa towers are made of calcium-carbonate spires and knobs.

These spires and knobs began when the freshwater springs and alkaline lake water interacted with one another. While visiting the Mono Lake Tufa, tourists may witness the abundance of birds who choose the lake for a rest.

St. Elmo Ghost Town

Source: Rolf Blauert Dk4hb, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

  •  State: Colorado
  •  City: St. Elmo

“St. Elmo’s population rode the last train out of town and never returned.” At least, that’s what they say. Ghost towns are unique because they are filled with history, intrigue, and questions. Tourists can explore the Town Hall, Stark family residences, the Home Comfort Hotel, and more.

Over a hundred years ago, in 1922, the train stopped running. Only a couple of decades later, the last family found their way out of the town, yet the town’s history and pull remain for visitors.

Barker Character Comic and Cartoon Museum

Closeup view of an old comic book collection stacked in a pile creates a colorful background paper texture with abstract shapes
Source: Ryan DeBerardinis / Shutterstock.com

  •  State: Connecticut
  •  City: Cheshire

Gloria and Herbert Barker spent over forty years collecting childhood items to preserve memory and nostalgia. Today, the museum houses nearly 80,000 items that take adults back and pique young children’s curiosity.

This museum has so much nostalgia to delight anyone, from comic strips to the original Mickey Mouse watch.

Nemours Estate

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

  • State: Delaware
  • City: Wilmington

Fans of architecture and history will love strolling through the Nemours Estate Mansion. The mansion sits at 47,000 square feet and contains 77 rooms. Tourists can explore art, furniture, gardens, and a vintage automobile collection throughout the mansion and grounds. All while listening to fascinating historical stories.

Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens

Source: Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

  •  State: Florida
  • City: Delray Beach

The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens were started in the early 1900s by Jo Sakai and a group of pioneering farmers. Their goal was to experiment with a farming colony. However, the experiment failed in the 1930s, and the families left the community. Yet, beautiful gardens and a unique museum full of incredible history remain.

The original building was Yamato-kan and includes an open-air courtyard, garden, and exhibition rooms. Along with over 7,000 Japanese artifacts, guests can really take in the Japanese culture and history of the place.

The Old Gaol

Source: Swall12345 via Wikimedia Commons

  • State: Georgia
  • City: Greensboro

What is more exciting for history fans than visiting an old jail over 200 years old? The Old Gaol was constructed in 1807, with stone walls and a castle roof resembling a fortress. However, it was far from a haven for those imprisoned here. You can still see the trap door above the threshold, where prisoners who were convicted to death were hung.

Kaumana Lava Tubes

Kaumana Caves / Lava Tubes, Big Island, Hawaii
Source: orxy / Shutterstock.com

  • State: Hawaii
  • City: Hilo

In November 1880, Mauna Loa Volcano erupted, and its lava flowed down the mountain near Hilo, Hawaii. The result of the lava flow was the underground Kaumana Lava Tubes. The tunnels have a skylight hole resulting from a collapse that allows visitors to explore the tube. Of course, if you plan on going, bring your flashlight!

Pulaski Tunnel Trail

Source: United States Forest Service, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

  •  State: Idaho
  • City: Wallace

In 1910, drought, lightning, and train sparks contributed to the devasting forest fire in Wallace, Idaho, which burned three million acres of forest. However, Ranger Ed Pulaski saved most of the men on his crew when he led them to an inactive mine tunnel.

To keep the men from leaving, he threatened to shoot them; his actions led to the survival of all but six of the 45 men with him that day.

Kaskaskia Dragon

Dragon clouds shape. The symbol of 2024.
Source: Elena Nechiporenko / Shutterstock.com

  •  State: Illinois
  • City: Vandalia

Visitors can pull off the highway in Vandalia, Illinois, and visit the 35-foot-long Kaskaskia Dragon. The dragon started as purely a fun project for Walt Barenfanger. If you insert a token, the Kaskaskia Dragon will shoot a flame and roar, and its eyes will glow red for ten seconds. Talk about fun (or scary, depending on who you ask) for the whole family!

Rotary Jail Museum

Source: Nyttend, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

  • State: Indiana
  • City: Crawfordsville

In 1882, the first rotary jail was built, with around 18 jails. The purpose of a rotary jail was to minimize the contact security had to have with the prisoners. The cells could move on a central axis using a crank, bringing each cell to the enclosure opening.

However, rotary jails were discontinued because the limbs of inmates would become crushed during operation. Tourists in Indiana can explore the only functioning rotary jail in Crawfordsville.

The Bridges of Madison County

Source: Lance larsen / Wikimedia Commons

Source: Lowe, Jet, creator, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

  • State: Iowa
  • City: Madison County

Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood made The Bridges of Madison County a tourist hotspot with the 1995 movie of the same name.  However, long before the movie and book came out, the bridges were incredible sites, surrounded by seclusion and peaceful nature.

While there were initially 19 covered bridges in Madison County, tourists can visit six of the remaining bridges today.

Dalton Gang Hideout

Source: via Wikimedia Commons

  • State: Kansas
  •  City: Meade

Between 1890 and 1892, an infamous gang of brothers, the Dalton Gang, stirred up trouble in Kansas. The brothers had a sister named Eva, and while the truth will never be known, many people believed she was hiding her brothers from the law. The story goes that when she left the house she had resided at for five years, the new owners discovered an underground tunnel that led from the house to the barn.

Could this have been where she hid her brothers while they were getting away with actual murder? No one will ever know. However, it makes for a fun story and an amusing pit stop while traveling.

Tourists can walk through the underground tunnel, once dirt now made of stone, and learn more about the Wild, Wild, West.

Morehead State University Star Theater


  • State: Kentucky
  • City: Morehead

The Star Theater at Morehead State University is a state-of-the-art digital planetarium that seats around 100. The dome is 40 feet and offers an incredible immersive experience. From traveling through space to deep down in the ocean, the Star Theater is an astonishing place to have a 3D adventure.

Biedenharn Museum & Gardens

Source: Billy Hathorn / Wikimedia Commons
Source: Carol M. Highsmith, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

  • State: Louisiana
  • City: Monroe

What do the drink coke, the Bible, gardens, and music all have in common? There’s a place for each one at the Biedenharn Museum and Gardens. The Biedenharn Museum and Gardens is not just one thing; it combines all the things that Jospeph A Biedenharn loved.

The museum was the residence of Biederharn, the first person to bottle the Coca-Cola drink. Later, his daughter owned the residence. She began allowing tourists to explore, and it is still going strong today.

Deer Isle

Source: Kirkbride, Joseph John, 1842-1899, photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

  •  State: Maine
  •  City: Deer Isle

If you long for an authentic visit to Maine that isn’t chock full of tourists, Deer Isle is the place to be. This quaint Maine town offers slow seaside living. Visitors enjoy many activities in the quaint town, including hiking, eating lobster, and taking guided boat tours.


Source: via Wikimedia Commons

  • State: Maryland
  • City: Oldtown

Oldtown’s history is rich and fascinating. If you love learning about the past, This town in Maryland is a great place to visit. It played a notable role during the Civil War and is steeped in history beyond that.

The Paper House

Source: Daderot, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

  • State: Massachusetts
  • City: Rockport

It’s common knowledge that houses are built of stone, concrete, brick, and wood, but what about paper? Now, that is pretty ludicrous to think about. However, in Massachusetts, Elis P. Stenman built a paper house.

Around 100,000 varnished newspapers make up this house and furniture. For over 80 years, this paper house has stood the test of time. Now, isn’t that something?

Heidelberg Project

Source: via Wikimedia Commons

  • State: Michigan
  • City: Detroit

When his neighborhood began declining in Detroit, Tyree Guyton chose to take action. During the ’80s, Guyton began helping his grandfather clean up the vacant lots and areas. In response to the city’s decline, they created artwork from deserted materials, including houses, sidewalks, trees, and more.

The Heidelberg Project was met with resistance, destruction, and fire throughout the following decades. Two projects are still viewable: the Dotty-Wotty House and the Numbers House. However, in 2017, a new project called Heidelberg 3.0 was started.

Though it has faced backlash, Guyton’s vision has persisted through the years.

Franconia Sculpture Park

Source: via Wikimedia Commons

The Franconia Sculpture Park along U.S. Route 8 at St. Croix Trail (Highway 95) in Shafer (Franconia), Minnesota.

  • State: Minnesota
  • City: Shafer

Franconia Sculpture Park was created in 1996 to offer an outdoor land art space for the community and artists. It hosts a 50-acre outdoor museum that the community enjoys and supports several types of artists.

Additionally, Franconia Sculpture Park has an artist residency program. Visitors can take in the ingenious and enterprising work of many artists.

Rowan Oak

Source: via Wikimedia Commons

  • State: Mississippi
  • City: Oxford

In 1930, William Faulkner purchased “The Baily Place” and renamed it “Rowan Oak.” In 1949, the famed author won a Nobel Prize for Literature, and his book “A Fable” won the National Book Award in 1959.

Now, you can take a glimpse into his private world while exploring Rowan Oak.

Jesse James Home Museum

Source: National Register of Historic Places / Wikimedia Commons

  • State: Missouri
  • City: St. Joseph

Jesse James was a notorious killer and brazen outlaw. It is said that he committed crimes because of the terrible treatment he and other Southern supporters received from Union Soldiers. By 1881, after 16 years, his crimes had him wanted dead or alive.

For $10,000, a man who was part of his gang, Robert Ford, shot and killed Jessie James in his home. It is said that James was standing on a chair fixing a picture when Ford shot him in the back of the head.

Tourists can still explore the home of Jesse James today, where he hid out with an alias and was eventually killed.

The Ringing Rocks

Source: Bureau of Land Management, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

  • State: Montana
  • City: Whitehall

Near Butte, Montana, there is a cluster of boulders nestled together. Although they look nothing special, they have a unique quality. If you hit them with a hammer, they sound like a bell.

However, not every rock sounds like a bell when it is; many do. The boulders also give off different tones depending on where they are hit.

Harvard Jail House

Source: Ammodramus, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

  • State: Nebraska
  • City: Harvard

In the unassuming city of Harvard, Nebraska, sits a two-cell jailhouse with quite an unusual history. In 1943, a 16-year-old boy named Robert Pinckney was looking for a piece of land. When he noticed the jailhouse was listed, he immediately brought it to the city council’s attention. However, the city was not willing to own their mistake. So, what did Pinckney do? He bought it, of course, for $1.50.

A legal battle ensued between the boy and the city, which refused to stop using the jailhouse. The nation got wind of the legal battle, piquing many people’s interest. When Pickney tried to sell the jailhouse back to the city of Harvard, he couldn’t because he was only 16. So, he put the jailhouse up for sale during a war bonds auction.

The ventriloquist Edgar Bergen’s dummy, Charlie McCarthy, bought the jailhouse and, after some time, gave it back to the city of Harvard. Tourists can still visit this little jailhouse, which caused quite a commotion.

The Republic of Molossia

Source: via Wikimedia Commons

  • State: Nevada
  • City: Dayton

Did you know you can visit an International nation in the United States? The Republic of Molassia, Nevada, is over six acres and is the smallest territory of Molossia. This province is home to a population of 30 humans and four dogs. When visiting, tourists must go through customs, and they can bring their passports to get stamped.

Ice Castles

Ice castle in New Hampshire
Source: Ally7083 / Shutterstock.com

  • State: New Hampshire
  • City: Woodstock

Ice Castles in New Hampshire was Brent Christensen’s vision. He would build beautiful ice castles for his children and the neighborhood children to engage them on a cold, wintry day.

Today, Ice Castles have grown in size, yet they still maintain their wonder. Visitors can encounter the ice caverns and tunnels and even glide down an ice slide.

Fluorescent Rocks of Sterling Hill Mine


  • State: New Jersey
  • City: Ogdensburg

Have you ever encountered fluorescent minerals? If not, the Fluorescent Rocks of Sterling Hill Mine are a sight. The rather plain rocks illuminate orange, green, and pink in the dark with black lights on.

This museum began in 1990 and was the brainchild of Richard and Robert Hauck.

Origami in the Garden

Source: Kim Siever from Lethbridge, AB, Canada, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

  • State: New Mexico
  • City: Los Cerrillos

If you are familiar with origami, you know how delicate the paper art is. Kevin and Jennifer Box aimed to capture the beauty of Japanese origami art with Origami in the Garden.

Here, visitors can admire the beauty of origami shapes like airplanes and animals in the form of metal sculptures.

Dyckman Farmhouse Museum

Source: Jim.henderson, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

  • State: New York
  •  City: New York City

Among the concrete jungle of New York City sits the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum. It is the oldest surviving Dutch Colonial-style house in the city. It was built in 1784 and became a city landmark in 1967.

Asheville Pinball Museum

Source: 玄史生, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

  •  State: North Carolina
  • City: Asheville

Those who love old-school games will enjoy a visit to the Asheville Pinball Museum. Visitors can walk around the museum and play the vintage games for free, or they can pay a fee and play the games without any quarters, a pretty sweet deal for either option.

World’s Largest Buffalo

world's largest buffalo Jamestown, North Dakota
Source: Mercedes G Mata / Shutterstock.com

  • State: North Dakota
  • City: Jamestown

In the 1700s and earlier, bison were free-range animals enjoying the earth’s bounty. However, they started dying off due to extensive hunting, bringing them close to extinction. There are around 20,000 free-ranging American bison in North America today, but this is nowhere near how this strong animal used to live.

In Jamestown, North Dakota, the largest concrete buffalo was erected in 1959 to honor these mighty mammals. It stands at 26 feet tall and weighs 60 tons.

Additionally, visitors to Jamestown can see three legendary albino bison.

Glacial Grooves

Glacial Grooves at Kelleys Island
Source: fisheradam13 / Shutterstock.com

  • State: Ohio
  • City: Kelleys Island

One can explore the largest glacial grooves on earth north of Kellys Island. These grooves, which developed during the ice age, are now 35 feet wide, 10 feet deep, and 400 feet long.

Oklahoma City Underground

Source: DenisTangneyJr / E+ via Getty Images

  • State: Oklahoma
  • City: Oklahoma City

Several skywalks and tunnels connect buildings and parking garages in downtown Oklahoma City. Underground, visitors can explore galleries, learn a little history at various stops, or enjoy artwork.

These underground tunnels are also an alternative way to get to where you need to go in downtown Oklahoma City.

The Wreck of the Mary D. Hume

Remains of the abandoned shipwreck of the Mary D. Hume, in Gold Beach Oregon, along the Rouge River
Source: melissamn / Shutterstock.com

  • State: Oregon
  • City: Gold Beach

The Mary D. Hume vessel operated for 97 years of active service. Now, it sits at Gold Beach, very close to where she was built in 1881.

Visitors can take in the now-decaying boat, which holds an abundance of history.

Cave of Kelpius

Source: via Wikimedia Commons

  • State: Pennsylvania
  • City: Philadelphia

On the side of a hill, with a stone entrance, there’s a cave that is thought to be the home of America’s first cult of mystics. Known as “Hermits of Wissahickon,” tradition holds that this group lived here awaiting the looming end of the world.

The White Horse Tavern

Source: via Wikimedia Commons

The White Horse Tavern Newport Rhode Island est. 1673

  • State: Rhode Island
  • City: Newport

The White Horse Tavern is the oldest restaurant in America and was built in 1673. This tavern was a meeting place for those on the colony’s general assembly and city council.

There are even rumors of the tavern being haunted; perhaps you will see a ghost in colonial clothing during your visit.

The Boneyard Beach

meditative seascape at Boneyard Beach on Bull Island in South Carolina at sunrise
Source: makasana photo / Shutterstock.com

  • State: South Carolina
  • City: Edisto

Hunting Island is perfect for visitors who are looking for a relaxing and non-crowded place to enjoy fishing, camping, and more.

Among the attractions on this island is Boneyard Beach. No, it is not a graveyard full of skeletons; however, the driftwood may give off an eerily similar vibe.

Hotel Alex Johnson

Source: ono-sendai / Wikimedia Commons

  • State: South Dakota
  • City: Rapid City

If you like spooky and old, visiting the Hotel Alex Johnson may be right up your alley. This 1927 hotel has a rich history. Presidents such as Calvin Coolidge, Ronald Reagan, and Alfred Hitchcock stayed at this hotel. The hotel even offers a Ghost Adventure Package for its guests.

Lost Sea

Source: via Wikimedia Commons

  • State: Tennessee
  • City: Sweetwater

The Lost Sea is at the bottom of a cave system in Sweetwater, Tennessee. Guests can take a boat ride or even stay the night inside the cave. As America’s largest underground lake, the Lost Sea is a sight to behold.

Jacob’s Well

Hiker at Jacob’s Well in Wimberley, TX
Source: Christian Perry / Shutterstock.com

  • State: Texas
  • City: Wimberley

While Jacob’s Well is dangerous, it has enticed swimmers and daredevils for years. With a 30-foot-deep pond, the jump is tempting to those who dare swim here.

Additionally, the hole consists of several dangerous caves. Due to its peril, Jacob’s Well is now closed to swimming.

However intriguing it may be, looking around or just snapping a simple picture may be the safest bet.

The “Up” House

Source: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

  • State: Utah
  • City: Herriman

Did you know that there is a real-life “Up” house? It’s true! Built by Bangerter Homes, with permission from Disney, this “Up” house is an identical replica of the cartoon house.

From the furniture to the mailbox, fans of the Disney movie can get a real taste of what it would be like to step inside the flying house.

Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard

Source: EnchantedFairy / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

  • State: Vermont
  • City: Waterbury

Where do Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors go when they pass on? To the Flavor Graveyard, of course. In 1997, The Graveyard was created online to say goodbye to beloved flavors that no longer exist.

Now, the graveyard sits behind the factory and has 34 flavors currently placed in it. Visitors can visit these retired flavors and even take a factory tour.

Byrd Theater

Source: Calstanhope, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

  • State: Virginia
  • City: Richmond

If you’re a fan of Victorian-era design and history, visiting the Byrd Theater may make you feel like you stepped right into the past. It opened in 1928 and has remained virtually unchanged in design. There have been modern updates, however, including an air conditioner.

Thornewood Castle


  • State: Washington
  • City: Tacoma

Thornewood Castle was built in 1911 at the request of Mr. Chester Thorne and featured in the Stephen King movie “Rose Red.” After the movie came out, rumors began spreading that this mansion was indeed haunted, thrilling paranormal hunters. However, the new owners refute those rumors and insist Thorne built the house out of love.

Regardless of whether or not the house is haunted, it is still considered a fun and beautiful place to stay.

Pearl S. Buck Birthplace

Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973), photograph 1960
Source: Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com

  • State: West Virginia
  • City: Hillsboro

The first American woman to win the Nobel Prize in literature was Pearl S. Buck. Visitors can explore her birthplace and the museum that houses the first editions of her books.

The World’s Largest Penny

Source: pamela_d_mcadams / iStock via Getty Images

  • State: Wisconsin
  • City: Woodruff

Whoever thinks the value of a penny doesn’t amount to much is very wrong. In 1953, a group of children in Wisconsin gathered over a million pennies and, with those pennies, built a hospital.

The world’s largest penny is in memory of Dr. Kate Pelham Newcomb and the students who paved the way for the hospital to be built.

This penny, over 15 feet tall and 12 inches thick, reminds us that when we work together, change can come in the simplest of ways.

Intermittent Spring

Source: SeanXu / Getty Images

  • State: Wyoming
  • City: Woodruff

Have you ever seen a spring “breathe?” The Intermittent Spring is a phenomenal rhythmic wonder that flows for 18 minutes and then stops for 18 minutes, which may vary from time to time.

While the cause of this wonder is not precisely known, the siphoning effect may play a part. Although it’s not exactly a one-of-a-kind, the Intermittent Spring is still rare and is one of three known springs with the same rhythmic patterns. (Now, take a look at 30 experiences that should be on every American’s bucket list. )

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