Wacky Texas: 8 Strange Attractions!

By Linsey Thut | January 26, 2018

Everything may be bigger in Texas, but it’s no stretch to say that many things are also weirder here! Last year, we published this blog about quirky attractions including a spaceship, alien landings and Biblical structures made from human hair… yet since then, the Lone Star State’s gotten even more bizarre. So read on for more wacky, strange and unique destinations that will blow your mind!

The Old Jail Art Center 

Old Jail Art Center

The jail cells of the historic 1878 jail in Albany, TX, that once housed dozens of criminals, now hold hundreds of priceless artworks. At first glance, the Old Jail Art Center looks exactly like a gallery, with exhibits including a rotating “Cell Series” featuring living artists and a permanent collection of over 2,000 sculptures, modern drawings and paintings by artists from across the globe. Yet upon closer study, you’ll see bars still covering the upstairs windows, the giant iron door in the solitary confinement cell and graffiti on the walls left by 1923 inmate John Hayden.

Pecan Pie Vending Machine

Berdoll Pecan Company

Ever have a late-night pecan pie craving? Well don’t worry, Berdoll Pecan Company has got you covered. In 2008, the company installed a 24 hour vending machine outside of their store in Cedar Creek, TX, to keep up with the insane demand of customers. Now, no matter the time of day, you can go NUTS at the machine and buy everything from honey glazed and chocolate-covered pecans to entire pies! Wave to Ms. Pearl, the world’s largest squirrel statue, while you’re there.

First State Bank Art Collection

Vennessa McLerran, First State Bank of Uvalde

Perhaps the most valuable things in this Uvalde bank aren’t the vaults full of cash. Speckling the walls of First State Bank is the entire collection of priceless artworks collected by Governor Dolph Briscoe and his wife on their many trips abroad. Artworks include two Rembrandt original etchings from the 1600s and a gold-laced mirror that belonged to the 4th Earl of Sandwich. Browse on your own or take a 40-minute tour of the art gallery that’s spread across the bank. 

Avenue B Grocery & Market

Karl Sullivan (CC BY 2.0)

Stop by this 109-year-old corner store for a slice of the good ol’ days. It may look like the set of a classic film and it definitely sticks out among the rows of houses on this residential street in Hyde Park, but locals know it as a prime lunch spot and Austin’s oldest continuously operated grocery store. The little shop was the built in 1909 and not much about it has changed — the historic one-room cafe and store sells all your convenience needs up front and dishes out hearty soups and sandwiches from a cafe in the back.

Running N Ranch Volkswagen Lady Bugs

Saint Jo Chamber of Commerce

Not much excites Texans more than car art in wide open fields, with hoards of spray paint-wielding Texans crowding Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo and a smaller crowd of art junkies paying homage to the lesser-known Slug Bug Ranch in Conway. Yet, few know about the Running N Ranch, where a small line of Ladybug Volkswagen cars march across a private ranch scattered with towering sunflower sculptures and a giant clock made out of power lines.

National Museum of Funeral History

National Museum of Funeral History

This is one grave museum. No, really. Surprisingly, the nation’s largest collection of funeral service items is at this museum in Houston. You’ll find information about every aspect of the funeral industry, from a showroom full of historic hearses to exhibits on celebrity funerals and hearses through the ages.

Lala’s Little Nugget

Monica Payne

Happy Hour has never been merrier. Strung with dazzling lights and decked out in Holiday cheer year-round, Lala’s Little Nugget is most likely where Santa Claus relaxes the other 364 days a year and the best place to “sleigh” those post-Holiday blues. Check out the bar’s epic snow globe collection (and add your own) or take a few selfies by the Ornament Wall as you enjoy a frosty beer or Yuletide-themed cocktail.

Mayfield Park Peacocks

For over 80 years, peacocks have roamed freely in this West Austin park. Visit Mayfield Park in late winter and spring be greeted by over two-dozen peafowl with breathtaking emerald tail feathers.

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