I have a penchant for odd, tiny museums, cabinets of curiosity that reflect a curator’s outré passion. In that vein, Fodor’s Travel selected “15 Bizarre Museums to Add to Your Next U.S. Road Trip.” I was delighted to see that my old friend Loren Coleman’s International Cryptozoology Museum was right at the top! Here are just a few of the museum descriptions from Fodor’s:
International Cryptozoology Museum
WHERE: Portland, Maine
If you’ve always harbored the fantasy that Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster are real, then the International Cryptozoology Museum is a must-stop on your next trip. Cryptozoology is the study of undiscovered or hidden animals, and the museum claims to have rare evidence and zoological specimens from some of the most mythic creatures, like hair from a Yowie (Australia’s version of Bigfoot) and fecal matter—you read that right—from a Yeti.
Jell-O Gallery Museum
WHERE: Le Roy, New York
When you’re invited to follow the “Jell-O brick road,” how can you not make a stop at the Jell-O Gallery Museum? America’s favorite wiggly dessert was invented in 1897 in the small town of Le Roy, just outside of Rochester, New York. The museum celebrating that culinary achievement has original advertisements, collectible spoons and toys, and a way to vote for your favorite flavor.
Vent Haven Ventriloquist Museum
WHERE: Fort Mitchell, Kentucky
Spend all the time you want in the Vent Haven Ventriloquist Museum—just don’t call anyone (or anything) inside a dummy. Okay, actually, on second thought, this tribute to the art of ventriloquism might just be the only place in which it is acceptable to do just that. Vent Haven has over 900 different ventriloquist’s puppets from more than 20 countries and three centuries. Even stranger: the museum started as one man’s private collection, which grew so large throughout his life that he had to build new structures on his property to house all of his memorabilia, and the collection has doubled since it became open to the public.