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What if this year you revolutionized your definition of vacation, and instead of chilling in the screened-in porch at your parent's cabin, you road tripped to see the world's largest penny or the Mustard Museum?
It's a wacky world out there, folks, and lucky for us, Wisconsin is a hotbed of almost-surreal destinations. So try on your Jack Kerouac, and get the hey out of here.
The annual Beef-A-Rama is held every September in Minocqua, and includes a parade of chefs in bloody aprons proudly displaying their meat, a beef roast cook-off and 3,000 beef sandwiches -- all of which sell within one hour.
Dr. Evermore’s Scrap Metal Park
Hwy. 12, between Baraboo and Sauk City
Dr. Evermore's Scrap Metal Park features hundreds of creatures made from scrap metal, including the massive Foreverton Machine, made with 320 tons of scrap metal. At six stories high, it is the largest scrap metal sculpture in the world.
Houdini Historical Center
330 E. College Ave., Appleton
Located inside the Outagamie Museum, the center honors the brilliant --and arguably insane -- escape artist, Harry Houdini. See his entire bag of tricks including picks, handcuffs, locks and straightjackets.
The House on the Rock
5754 Hwy 23
Perched on the pinnacle of a rock, the 14-room House on the Rock is surrounded by 200 acres of outlandish streets, buildings and gardens. Inside the House, you'll find the Infinity Room, a 200-foot structure with 3,000 windows, as well as dozens of creepy, crazy exhibits including dolls and doll houses, suits of armor, mechanical banks, paperweights, a one million-piece miniature circus, a pyramid of life size elephants, model ships, giant organs, weaponry and oriental artifacts. A life-sized, $4.5-million carousel is also inside the house and it features 240 animals, not one of them a horse. The Blue Room contains the world's sole operated symphony orchestra. The list of peculiarities goes on and on, all of which are the bizarre brain children of eccentric architect, Alex Jordan.
Mary Nohl's House
North Beach Drive
Commonly referred to as "The Witch's House," this property is located on the shores of Lake Michigan. The yard is overrun with sculpture, including human figures, dinosaurs, mythical beasts, fish, mammoth heads and other pieces. Odd art pieces hang from ominous trees, and the house is trimmed with wooden fish relics. Rumor has it that the neighbors do not appreciate the yard's aesthetic, nor the rumor that Mary killed her family and buried them in the sculptures. Despite the chain-link fence and barbed wire around the property, the Violent Femmes somehow got inside the yard to photograph the cover art for their album, "Hallowed Ground."
Mt. Horeb Mustard Museum
109 E. Main St., Mt. Horeb
Ex-lawyer Barry Levenson loves mustard. He loves it so much that he opened a museum in honor of this zesty condiment. The museum, run by Levenson and his wife, features 3,400 different kinds of mustard, a collection of mustard-related art, mustard bottles from all over the world, a "Mustardpiece Theater" showing a film on the history of mustard and, of course, a framed picture of Colonel Mustard from the game Clue. Best of all, there's an abundance of pretzels, and sampling is highly encouraged.
Rock in the House
440 N. Shore Dr., Fountain City
Not to be confused with the House on the Rock, the Rock in the House is the unlucky abode where not one -- but two -- giant boulders crashed during the same century. The first boulder, weighing five tons, flattened the place in 1901, killing a sleeping woman. In 1995, a 55-ton rock crashed into the house at exactly the same spot, but this time, no one was injured. And you think you have bad luck?
533 Milwaukee Ave., Burlington
Showcasing 2,000 tops, yo-yos and gyroscopes, this place is sure to make you dizzy with joy. Also features a 75-minute video presentation. Call ahead; hours are limited.
Paul Bunyon Statue
1110 Carson Park Dr., Eau Claire
In the Paul Bunyon Logging Camp, is a beanstalk-tall statue of everybody's favorite lumberjack. The camp also boasts a replica of Paul's boots, a bunkhouse, a cook shanty and a blacksmith shop.
World's Largest Badger
Route 45, Birnamwood
The World's Largest Badger once stood atop a mound-shaped gas station where the gas pumps were located inside a mammoth hallow log. The station, unfortunately, closed years ago, but the new owners had the good humor to plant the badger neck-deep next to Route 45.
World's Largest Penny
3rd Avenue and Hemlock Street, Woodruff
The 10-foot, 17,452-pound penny was erected in honor of Dr. Kate Newcomb. Newcomb spearheaded a fund-raising effort for the Lakeland Memorial Hospital called the "Million Penny Parade." This effort encouraged people around the nation to send 1 cent to Newcomb so she could provide health care to local people. The hospital received (or so the story goes) $105,000 -- that's 10,500,000 pennies -- from Newcomb's "copper campaign."
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.