You knew about the beauty of Texas and of course, the BBQ and Swimming Holes, but we bet you didn’t realize that some of Texas’s attractions are out of this world…literally. From alien landings and meteor craters to monumental trash and deadly swimming holes, here’s a list of the strangest, quirkiest and most interesting spots in Texas.
Starship Pegasus – Italy, TX
Greetings, Texans! This abandoned spaceship was built in Italy, TX as a tribute to “The Starship Enterprise,” from Star Trek. It was originally built to live long and prosper as an arcade and restaurant, but that never stuck. Now it’s just a selfie stop. But you better hurry if you want to trek here, rumor has it that this ship will be demolished soon.
Odessa Meteor Crater Museum – Odessa, TX
In prehistoric times, a meteor shower struck the town, leaving behind various craters in the area, including the 500 ft. diameter Odessa Meteor Crater, which is the second largest meteor crater in the U.S. Though the crater is now mostly filled, there are trails and signs showing where the impact was, as well as a nearby museum where you can learn more about meteor sites in Texas. Other crater sites in Texas include the Sierra Madera near Fort Stockton, TX and Marquez Crater in Leon County.
Stonehenge II – Ingram, TX
Forget traveling to the UK to see the mysterious Stonehenge monument, you’ll find that Stonehenge II is alot closer and just as epic. Over 20 years ago, Al Sheppard and his neighbor, Doug Hill, built their own version of the famous stone figures in the Texas Hill Country, but theirs also includes two 13-foot Easter Island heads…take that UK! It’s located on the campus of the Hill Country Arts Foundation.
Jacob’s Well – Wimberley, TX
Jacob’s Well may be one of the most hauntingly beautiful sites in Texas. It bubbles up where the limestone of Cypress Creek dips down to the dark shaft of one of the largest underground caves in Texas creating an enchanting sight. Yet this wonder can turn deadly for those who attempt to explore the 120 ft-deep cave, and since 1970, multiple people have lost their lives in its rocky depths.
Huge Pair of Legs – Amarillo, TX
This leg statue is the most outstanding…in a field… (sorry, had to!) The same eclectic millionaire who commissioned Cadillac Ranch, Stanley Marsh 3, paid artist Lightnin’ McDuff to create this strange statue that was modeled after an Egyptian statue. And though it looks broken, the legs were actually built to look incomplete just like they are in the original statue. Check out our day trip through Amarillo here.
Prada Marfa – Marfa, TX
This is one designer store that won’t cost you a penny! The Prada Marfa art installation, which has no actual connection to the designer Prada, was created in 2005 by artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset. It is filled with real Prada bags and shoes picked out by Miuccia Prada and perfectly symbolizes the kind of creativity that makes up this West Texas desert town. Check out our time in Marfa here.
Cathedral of Junk – Austin, TX
It may be made of junk, but there’s nothing trashy about this cathedral. Vince Hannemann’s Cathedral of Junk contains everything you can think of from wheels to signs to surf boards all tangled together to form this towering structure that’s gained fans and fame since it began in 1988 with just Vince’s junk. Over the years, people from all over the world have brought their random items to add to Vince’s wacky castle in his backyard. Check out our time in South Austin here.
Alien Grave – Aurora, TX
Yes, you read that right…there is an alien buried in the Aurora Cemetery. On May 9, 1897, an alien aircraft was spotted flying over the town of Aurora where it hit a windmill and crashed. The original newspaper article about the incident in The Dallas Morning News described the ship as “traveling due north, and much nearer the earth than ever before.” Being kind as Texans are, the Aurora citizens held a funeral for the alien pilot and he was buried in the cemetery on Cemetery Road, where visitors still visit in search of the little guy’s grave.
The “Last Supper” Display – Fort Worth, TX
In the 1920s, sculptures Katherine Stubergh and her daughter created a life-size, wax version of Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting “The Last Supper,” complete with glass eyes and human hair that was hand-sewn onto each figurine. The odd part is that over the next few years, this beautiful art work was displayed in a shopping center in Fort Worth! The sculpture moved all around town and in 2009, it was finally moved to the Christian Arts Museum, where you can still view the iconic scene.
VW Slug Bug Ranch– Conway, TX
You probably knew about Cadillac Ranch, but did you know that there is also a VW Slug Bug Ranch along the Historic Route 66? This car-art installation features five Volkswagens that have been buried nose-down in the ground. They make for a pretty psychedelic selfie, and don’t forget the spray paint, so you can leave your mark on the cars! While you’re there, check out the rest of Historic Route 66…
Art Car Museum – Houston, TX
The Art Car Museum in Houston is dedicated to a new kind of self-expression. The gallery showcases dozens of cars that have been decked out in graffiti, beads, lights and even giant creepy rat-dinosaur heads and roach shells. This place is a must-see for sure!
Waco Mammoth National Monument – Waco, TX
In Waco, you can see the only recorded discovery of a nursery herd of Columbian mammoths in America! On a guided tour of the park, you’ll see the bones of 22 Mammoths that were uncovered at this site between 1978 and 1997, as well as the remains of a prehistoric camel. All the fossils are still sitting in the ground exactly where they were found. In 2015, President Obama issued a proclamation that made the Waco Mammoth Site a National Monument.