Singing rocks, a creepy manor, and a museum dedicated to Big Macs – when it comes to all things strange and sensational, Pennsylvania’s got it all and more.
For those seeking the strange and sensational, this eclectic collection of oddball attractions will scratch your itch!
The Living Dead Museum (Monroeville)
The dead continue to rise at The Living Dead Museum in Monroeville! Located in the very same mall where George Romero’s classic horror movie Dawn of the Dead was filmed, this museum is a shrine to all things ghoulish. Prepare to shiver and fear as you check out the blood-stained handprints and autographs of horror icons in the Maul of Fame. Immerse yourself in zombie-filled memorabilia and interactive presentations that will have you screaming out in fright! And make sure to snag collectibles (like actual pieces of window glass from the cabin in Evil Dead 2) from the gift shop.
Trundle Manor (Swissvale)
Trundle Manor in Swissvale isn’t for the faint of heart. This privately owned museum (and current headquarters of the Secret Society of Odd Acquisition) is dedicated to unsettling art and creepy collectibles. Book an appointment for a tour of the manor’s macabre, scarlet-colored halls featuring curated taxidermy exhibits, bizarre weapons, medieval medical instruments, and preserved specimens in jars. Sinister-looking scythes, a rabbit-mermaid hybrid and even antique burlesque costumes await!
The Reading Pagoda (Reading)
You won’t believe this, but there’s actually a PAGODA in Pennsylvania. Since 1908, this Japanese-style pagoda has sat on a cliffside overlooking the town of Reading. Initially built as a luxury resort to cover a hole made from a stone quarry, today the pagoda is a popular tourist attraction. Enjoy views of reading from the balcony and, at night, see the structure light up in a twinkle of red LED lights. Fun fact: there is a massive bell on the top floor that was cast in 18th-century Japan and once hung in a Buddhist temple.
The Giant Cowboy (Kittanning)
In Kittanning, Sam the Giant Cowboy awaits your visit with a smug grin and a hamburger larger than the average human. The genial 30-foot fiberglass statue was erected outside the Cadet Restaurant in the early 60s and survived a run-in with an unfortunate Ford Bronco in 1990, becoming a local icon in the process. Snap a selfie with Sam and head into Cadet for its famous roast beef sandwich!
Laurel Caverns (Farmington)
If you love spelunking, head to Laurel Caverns near Farmington! Home to four miles of connected underground passages, these caverns form the largest cave site in the state. Approximately 1,200 feet of the cavern is illuminated with colorful neon lights, creating an unexpectedly fun and trippy atmosphere. For more daring travelers, the spelunking program will take you down more than 500 feet into the cave network’s most popular attractions (like the Bat Room and the Petite Falls) with little more than a headlamp. Hope you’re not afraid of the dark!
*FYI – The caverns are open from April to October each year.
Big Mac Museum (North Huntingdon)
If you love Big Macs, this museum is for you! Tucked within a Mickey D’s in North Huntingdon, the Big Mac Museum occupies a small section of the restaurant and recounts the history of the burger, which was first created in nearby Pittsburgh. Follow the Big Mac’s journey from its unveiling in 1967 to the 25th anniversary of the sandwich in 1992, and take a pic with the mammoth Big Mac statue in the PlayPlace!
The Pizza Brain (Philadelphia)
The Pizza Brain in Philadelphia serves up a Guinness World Record-holding collection of cheesy, pizza-related artifacts on top of their anything-but-regular pizza menu. See Pizza Chef Barbie, framed stills of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a pizza clock, pizza-centric music, including a vinyl pressing of Dick Biondi’s 1962 record, The Pizza Song, and more. Enjoy a slice of thin-crust pizza (featuring quirky, last-century names like Henrietta Blanche and Buffy Ernst) while you browse the mini-museum!
Ringing Rocks Park (Bucks County)
This may be the only attraction in Pennsylvania where you’re asked to bring your own hammer. Ringing Rocks Park in Bucks County is home to 10-foot-tall piles of igneous rock that produce ringing sounds when struck with a hard object. The bell-like chimes of the boulders vary, so spend time hammering different stones to make rock-based harmonies and melodies! When you’re done testing tones, hike the trails to the nearby waterfall for a picnic!