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Places to Visit in Texas

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Being a born and raised Texan, I'm filled with admiration and pride in all things "Texas". I love sharing historical things about Texas that most people haven't been exposed to, such as my hub on the Crash at Crush or perhaps the story about the Texas wrestling family, the Von Erichs.

I've always been fascinated with the out-of-ordinary sights around Texas and take a lot of pride in pointing them out to people who travel with me. I have put together what I consider a pretty good collection of odd places to visit in Texas. They are in no particular order. I hope you enjoy them. Some of I've been to, and some are still on my "to do" list.

The Orange Show on Munger Street in Houston, TX

The Orange Show on Munger Street in Houston, TX

The Orange Show-Houston, Texas

The late Jefferson "Jeff" Davis McKissack single handedly created the Orange Show from 1956 to 1979. It is a 3000 square foot folk-art architectural maze-like masterpiece in Houston's east end. It is constructed of brick, steel and concrete, along with a variety of wagon wheels, tractor seats, statuettes and mannequins. The park includes a wishing well, a pond, an oasis, a stage, a museum, a gift shop, and several upper decks.

He created his Orange Show to demonstrate the virtues of his favorite fruit and to promote his theories relating health and longevity to good nutrition, hard work and eating oranges.

To learn more about the Orange Show click here.

Bats at Sunset under the Congress Ave. bridge in Austin, TX

Bats at Sunset under the Congress Ave. bridge in Austin, TX

Bats Under the Congress Ave. Bridge in Austin, TX

The Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas is home to the largest urban bat colony in North America. It is estimated that the colony consists of 1.5 million Mexican free-tail bats. The best time to visit Austin to catch the evening flight is from mid-March to November. At dusk each night they fill the sky as they come out in search of food. The absolute best time is during the hottest time in August. There are lots of places to get to see them for free, as well as guided riverboat tours.

For more information on the Congress Avenue Bridge bats click here.

Cadillac Ranch

Cadillac Ranch

Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, TX

The Cadillac Ranch , built in 1974 ( relocated in 1997) by Stanley Marsh 3, is located along Interstate 40 west of Amarillo, Texas. Marsh is the helium millionaire who owns the wheat field where Cadillac Ranch stands.

Marsh and The Ant Farm, a San Francisco art collective, assembled ten used 1949-1963 Cadillacs burying them nose-down and facing west. They are covered with graffiti and positioned "at the same angle as the Cheops' pyramids."

Visitors are encouraged 24/7 and encouraged to add to the graffiti. Just don't try to steal anything. Mr. Marsh brandishes his own form of law enforcement. He has been accused of " threatening an 18-year old with a hammer and penning him inside a chicken coop."

In 2005, the Cadillacs were painted pink as a tribute to breast cancer victims.

To learn more about Cadillac Ranch click here.

Eiffel Tower in Paris, Tx

Eiffel Tower in Paris, Tx

Eiffel Tower of Paris, Texas

The Eiffel Tower in Paris, Texas was erected by the Boiler Makers Union Local #902 in 1995 replicating the famed Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. It's 65 feet tall and was once the second largest Eiffel Tower. Unfortunately, it has now been surpassed in 1999 by a 460-foot replica built in Las Vegas. The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France is 1063 feet tall.

Not to be outdone, Texas' Eiffel Tower sports a 10 foot wide, 4 ½ foot tall red steel Stetson cowboy hat.

For information about Paris, Texas and their Eiffel Tower click here.

Stonehenge II in Hunt, TX

Stonehenge II in Hunt, TX

Stonehenge II in Hunt, Texas

Stonehenge II is a smaller sized replica of the original Stonehenge monument found in Salisbury, England. The idea was conceived by the late Al Shepperd and built with the help of his friend and neighbor, Doug Hill. It is located on FM 1340 west of Hunt, Texas about 60 miles west of San Antonio, Texas.

Most of the stones are man-made out of plaster applied to a wire frame. Some of the stones are real and quite heavy.

At the same location they have two imitation Moai, or Easter Island statues.

The site features now rarely seen large red harvester ants. These are fascinating ants that we have seen fewer of since the unfortunate proliferation of the fire ants. The red ants were the primary source of food for the Texas Horned Lizard (or horny toad). I'm writing a hub about the horny toad as well.

For more information about Stonehenge II click here.

Cathedral of Junk in Austin, TX

Cathedral of Junk in Austin, TX

Cathedral of Junk in Austin, TX

Part of Austin's weird charm can be found on a southside street in Austin that is home to the ‘Cathedral of Junk.' This whimsical fancy is a creation by Vince Hannemann who had no pariticular reason for building it. It is made of nearly 60 tons of metal and scrap, kitchen cutlery, lawnmower parts, circuit boards, car parts, etc. that has been wired together over the last 20 years. There is reportedly approximately 700 bicycles somewhere in the mix.

I could see my daddy creating something like this.

For more information about the Cathedral of Junk click here,

Toilet Seat Museum in Alamo Heights, Tx

Toilet Seat Museum in Alamo Heights, Tx

Toilet Seat Museum in Alamo Heights, Texas

The Toilet Seat Museum was created by retired master plumber Barney Smith in January 2002. His collection of toilet seats is in the 600-700 range.

His first toilet seat was created about 30 years ago when he mounted a set of small deer antlers on one.

He's unable to pick a favorite because they're all special to him and he doesn't want to sell any of them. He has managed to number, photograph and catalog each one. He also documents the materials used, where he got it and where the inspiration came from.

He only works with pressed wood toilet seats that a local company donates to him.

Barney is also quite proud of his VHS tapes of all the times he's been covered on the local news, The Today Show and Montel, just to name a few.


Bruco, the Monolithic Dome Caterpillar in Italy, Tx

Bruco, the Monolithic Dome Caterpillar in Italy, Tx

Bruco, Monolithic Dome Caterpillar in Italy, Tx

On Interstate 35E between Hillsboro and Dallas you can't help but spot Bruco. He's sporting cowboy boots and a grin right on the side of the highway next to the monolithic Starship Enterprise in Italy, Texas. These are fascinating structures that can be found all around the area. I think it would be cute for a child to have a small version and paint it like a pumpkin.

For more information on the Monolithic Dome structures click here.

Jackassic Park in Alpine, Texas

Jackassic Park in Alpine, Texas

Apache Trading Post's Jackassic Park in Alpine, Texas

The Apache Trading Post features books and collectibles on the Big Bend region of Texas, Mexico and Indian heritage. It houses the largest selection of topographic maps and three-dimensional relief maps highlighting the mountains of West Texas.

The also have an 8-minute video about the mysterious Marfa Lights. The movie room also houses posters of films shot in the area, including "Giant."

You can also meet Quicksilver Pete, a camera-loving burro and Sasha, the Wonder Dog. You can also have your picture taken with friends at the jackass cut-out mural where you can appear as "Candy-ass", "Dumb-ass", "Lazy-ass", "Smart-ass" and "1/2 ass".

For more information on the Apache Trading Post Jackassic Park click here.

Kettle House in Galveston,Texas

Kettle House in Galveston,Texas

Kettle House in Galveston, Texas

According to the "Weird Texas" by Wesley Treat, Heather Shade and Rob Roggs, the Kettle House in Galveston was "supposedly erected by a gentleman who used to build storage tanks for oil companies." Neighbors no little of the man, but the house house has been there over 50 years and has survived Hurricane Ike. No one lives there even though a man is sometimes seen there making improvements only to disappear for months again.

This house is one of the odd buildings featured in the video below.

Great Links and Resources

Comments

mts1098 on May 30, 2012:

As cool and strange as the pictures you present here...I still want to visit Texas one day...cheers...thank wrenfrost for this visit...

sunasia22 from Philippines on January 22, 2012:

Glad to see Texas in pictures and feels like been there the way you described it in this hub. Well written and clearly presented! Marked interesting and beautiful! Voted up!

loretta on December 18, 2011:

hey do you all know a nice sweet old lady kinda place in the middle of nowhere in Texas w/ fun activities er somthin? preferably a place I can take my kids less than a 2 hour drive from houston

Nolen Hart from Southwest on March 11, 2011:

Nice to meet a fellow Central Texas Hubber. I met the shy and self reliant "burro lady" mentioned in the video a few years ago. Keep up the great work.

KRC (author) from Central Texas on January 06, 2011:

Zoink...thanks for prompting me to re-examine the heights. I had gotten that information years ago from a reliable source, but they had evidently used meters as feet. Checking sources today caused me to make some adjustments to my text. Thank you.

zoink on January 06, 2011:

The Eiffel tower in Paris, France is 1,052 feet tall, so it's still taller than the vegas one.

Kerry43 on December 01, 2010:

Gosh, some interesting things to do here LOL. I must say your title caught my eye. I thought you might have run into one of my ex boyfriends, hence the weird.

Thanks for the smile to end my day.

Regards,

Kez:)

case de pariuri on December 01, 2010:

Considerably, the article is in reality the greatest on this noteworthy topic. I agree with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your next updates.

PR_am from Oregon on October 30, 2010:

Thanks for sharing very informative tourist guide.

And Drewson from United States on October 26, 2010:

But you didn't mention your creepy attic! It's pretty weird!

KRC (author) from Central Texas on August 12, 2010:

You'll enjoy the bats, RoseGardenAdvice! Thanks for stopping by.

RoseGardenAdvice from San Francisco on August 12, 2010:

The bats I've got to see! Thanks for sharing - awesome info on all things Texan :)

KRC (author) from Central Texas on June 11, 2010:

Yes, I've been to the West End in Dallas. Glad you enjoyed your visit and the pictures I've shown here. Thanks for stopping by. Come on back to Texas some time.

electricsky from North Georgia on June 10, 2010:

I have been to Texas once. We drove through to Dallas. I think I recall the West End Market? And the freeways and the rail system and the airport.

Your pictures are interesting.

KRC (author) from Central Texas on June 02, 2010:

Thanks for stopping by vballkel! We were in Austin two weekends ago and had thought about staying until sundown to see the bats, but we were tired and ready to head home so we missed them. We plan to go back later this month, maybe we'll see them then again.

vballkel from Michigan on June 02, 2010:

Just saw the bats in Austin. I saw them when I lived there too. They were weird this time and came out well after the sunset. The boat tour guy said that they are pregnant and they are believed to be due within the next couple of days.

KRC (author) from Central Texas on May 20, 2010:

Thanks ceholmes! We have a lot to offer that I didn't even cover. So much to see and do here.

ceholmes from Chicago on May 20, 2010:

I knew TX had a buncha monuments but I never woulda guessed their own Eiffel Tower or replica Stonehenge. VERY interesting, awesome hub!

KRC (author) from Central Texas on April 06, 2010:

Yes, I've read about them, Native Texan. I have actually thought about doing a bit of research about them and doing a hub on them. I might just have to do that.

Native Texan on April 06, 2010:

Also known in Texas are the Marfa lights, just outside of Marfa, go check it out. They are strange and defy explanation.

KRC (author) from Central Texas on January 17, 2010:

LOL...thanks for stopping by, Austinstar! You're right, Texas holds so many great sites and sounds that you don't want to miss.

Lela from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on January 17, 2010:

Being born in Houston, I saw the beer can house before it was finished even! Since then, I've moved to Bat City by way of Maui (married a Yankee while I was there). Now I try to single handedly keep Austin Weird.

The bats are great! Stonehengetx is super cool, but don't go there! The Marfa lights are real and I've seen them twice. The East Texas lights are less well known, but even weirder. Oh so many places to writie about! Let's keep it up!

KRC (author) from Central Texas on January 14, 2010:

Thank you Lake Ozark Rentals. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Lake Ozark Rentals on January 14, 2010:

Wow that is some really interesting reading. Having been born in Texas I have not heard of many of these places. Neat videos and great pictures!

KRC (author) from Central Texas on December 17, 2009:

Hi Kathy! You're off to a great start then already! You've probably already figured out that you can live in Texas another 10 years and still not see a fraction of what there is to see and do in Texas.

Kathy Rimel on December 17, 2009:

We just recently moved to Austin from the east coast. We have already seen the Cadallic Ranch in Amarillo and the bats under Congress Bridge (which is a fantastic sight). We will look forward to seeing the other sights as soon as we can.

Thanks for the greata post

KRC (author) from Central Texas on November 27, 2009:

I know, right? That's just a top 10 list. LOL Thanks for stopping by Mistywild.

mistywild from Houston, TX (Proud Texan) on November 27, 2009:

amazing what you can find in Texas. thanks for sharing fellow texan.

Sandra Mireles from Texas on August 06, 2009:

I am a Native Texas and you introduced me to some new places! I love this hub. The fifty strange buildings are wild! Thanks.

KRC (author) from Central Texas on July 07, 2009:

LOL...that's too cool, meetbrandon! Is it still there? You should write a hub about it! I could put a link here to it!

meetbrandon from Houston, Texas on July 07, 2009:

My family beachhouse in Galveston, Texas is about five miles away from the Kettle House. I remember as a kid always being so intrigued by its shape and have multiple pictures of it from my days driving down 13 Mile Rd. Awesome to see it on your list! :) --Brandon in Houston

KRC (author) from Central Texas on June 15, 2009:

I know, I love that video, Earnestshub! I've already started another hub featuring strange houses and I had thought about using that video, but I found some other ones that contain some in that video and others. I find them fascinating! Thanks for stopping by!

earnestshub from Melbourne Australia on June 15, 2009:

Fantastic idea for a hub, the video of more than fifty strangest world buildings is a jaw-dropper!

KRC (author) from Central Texas on May 31, 2009:

C'mon KW! Texas is a great place with tons of variety!

Mardi, I looked up Oma's Burgers per your suggestion, and found out they are on the same street as the place I love going to. I know exactly where the fire station is and it advertises being a whole in the wall next door. I'm going to try them soon!

keep walking from ChangChun on May 31, 2009:

sounds interesting,i wanna go there and take a look around

KRC (author) from Central Texas on May 31, 2009:

Actually, it's Catfish Plantation, Mardi...but I'll certainly have to hunt down Oma's Burgers! Thanks for the recommendation!

Mardi Winder-Adams from Western Canada and Texas on May 31, 2009:

Is that favorite place to eat Oma's Burgers?????? They are worth driving for!

KRC (author) from Central Texas on May 31, 2009:

The ones you see from the highway are only a portion of them, Mardi. We often take the backroads through there on the way to Waxahachie to my favorite place to eat (that's in another hub) and they are all over the place. You really should stop and look around! Thanks Mardi for stopping by here and I have now added you to my hub: https://hubpages.com/hub/Texas-Based-Writers-on-Hu...

Mardi Winder-Adams from Western Canada and Texas on May 31, 2009:

I love that dome at Italy, every time I drive by I want to stop, just like your daughter!

KRC (author) from Central Texas on May 29, 2009:

You're welcome Johnb! Every little bit helps! We Texans have to stick together...yeeeehawwww...LOL I hope they realize we really don't go around saying 'yee haw'. LOL

johnb0127 from TX on May 29, 2009:

Thanks KCC! You rock! Im putting this link to Top Ten Places to Visit in Texas right now :)

KRC (author) from Central Texas on May 29, 2009:

Hope you weren't disappointed, hypnosis4u2! Thanks for taking the time to check them out!

hypnosis4u2 from Massachusetts on May 29, 2009:

Gotta admit I read through it all just to see if they got more weird!

KRC (author) from Central Texas on May 28, 2009:

Glad you enjoyed the break AIDY.....Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a comment!

Am I dead, yet? on May 28, 2009:

Entertaining Hub I must say. I was 'in the dark' working on some poems and this hub gave me a little vacation from myself. Thank you!

KRC (author) from Central Texas on May 28, 2009:

LOL...I have to admit...the toilet seat thing is a bit odder than the rest! Yeah, I'm not sure which seat you buy if you're FAN either.

As always, thanks, LM!

Laughing Mom on May 28, 2009:

Cadillac Ranch and the Eiffel Tower are the only two of these places I have ever seen. I haven't even heard about the others till now! The toilet seat thing is just weird. At our state fair this last year, a vendor was offering Crimson OU toilets, decorated up inside and out, as well as the orange and black OSU version. My question is, if you're an OU fan, which one do you buy?

Great job, KCC!!!

KRC (author) from Central Texas on May 28, 2009:

Thank you so much, johnb! Did you happen to notice the first link? LOL

johnb0127 from TX on May 28, 2009:

This hub is awesome! The Cadillac Ranch is a must see. Texas really is a great state with many weird places. Great job KCC!!

KRC (author) from Central Texas on May 28, 2009:

It's one of my favorites too, even though I haven't personally seen it. I've only seen pictures. A few years ago, for a Texas history class, my daughter had to create something that represents Texas. Most kids made replicas of the flag, or bluebonnets, or the Alamo. She made a replica of that tower. We included battery operated lights and little people looking at it, etc. She aced that grade.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting Makin Bacon!

MakinBacon from Louisville Area on May 28, 2009:

It was fun seeing a photo of the 'Eiffel Tower of Paris, Texas,' as I used to live close by and occasionally went to see it. Texas does have an enormous number of unique things to see.

KRC (author) from Central Texas on May 28, 2009:

Cadillac Ranch is on my "to do" list! I've lived here all my life and haven't made it out there. I need to do that! Thanks for stopping by and commenting Erick!

Erick Smart on May 28, 2009:

I have actually visited several of these sites when I was in Texas to see my step son over the years. Of course Cadillac Ranch will always be my fav, I like taking photos there a lot.

KRC (author) from Central Texas on May 27, 2009:

They're cool, aren't they, Christoph?! I have a long list of places I want to see too. Thanks for stopping by.

Christoph Reilly from St. Louis on May 27, 2009:

I love things like this. I have seen most of these on the show "Weird Travels,) and I would really like to go see them in person some day!

KRC (author) from Central Texas on May 27, 2009:

Glad you enjoyed it Manlypoetryman! I've got a couple of them on my 'to do' list too! Texas is full of so many neat places to see! Thanks for stopping by!

ManlyPoetryMan from (Texas !) Boldly Writing Poems Where No Man Has Gone Before... on May 27, 2009:

This is good stuff...just saw Cadillac Ranch...will have to take a top 10 weird off beat places to visit tour by your suggestions!

KRC (author) from Central Texas on May 26, 2009:

Thanks DarleneMarie! You're right, that many bats consume tons of insects nightly. Thanks for stopping by!

DarleneMarie from USA on May 26, 2009:

Great Hub KCC!  I remember some years back when there was talk about exterminating those poor bats until a scientist spoke up and said they eat literally *tons* of mosquitoes.  And that it would be a detriment to the environment....Truly amazing that it is now a tourist attraction! Props to the bats!

KRC (author) from Central Texas on May 26, 2009:

I think both of you should write a hub about the weird places to visit in Australia and Illinois! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Hopefully, I've inspired a couple of new hubs from you ladies!

Anna Marie Bowman from Florida on May 26, 2009:

This makes me want to do one for IL!!!! All of these strange landmarks remind me of the Roadside America books.

Elisabeth Sowerbutts from New Zealand on May 25, 2009:

You have some genuinely weird stuff here - I might have to do the same for Australia!

KRC (author) from Central Texas on May 25, 2009:

Thanks Lucey! We do have a lot of unique places, don't we? I love being a Texan too! By the way, I have added you to my Texas-Based Writers on HubPages hub! Go check it out!

Lucey Knight from North Richland Hills, Texas on May 25, 2009:

Great Hub!!! Texas sure is full of unique places. I love being a Texan!

KRC (author) from Central Texas on May 25, 2009:

I've always heard about the Marfa Lights, but have yet to venture out there. I do need to get out more! From what I read, the Apache Trading Post has free admission. That's a plus in today's budget! Thanks Ron!

rongould on May 25, 2009:

The bats are really cool to watch. Went to the Apache Trading Post in Alpine last year. It is a great place to visit. We didn't get our picture taken though. Also went out to the Marfa Lights Visitor Center and watched the Marfa lights. That iseally odd if you have never been there. There are LOTS of Weird places in Texas. The more you travel around, the more you discover.

KRC (author) from Central Texas on May 25, 2009:

I love watching the bats. I've been a couple of times. The last time we went we didn't see much. They aren't very active after the first of September. When we took the kids when they were little it was crazy. We stood on the bridge and they came out from underneath us and swarmed all around. If your daughter hasn't been, she should definitely go.

Nancy Hinchliff from Essex Junction, Vermont on May 25, 2009:

I really like this hub. Fun to read. My daughter lives in Austin, but she's never mentioned the bats under the Congress Avenue Bridge.

KRC (author) from Central Texas on May 25, 2009:

Thanks for coming back to let me know, Brad! I know they have them other places. I thought it would be cool to find some on the coast in Texas.

brad4l from USA on May 25, 2009:

The house isn't in Texas, but is on the East Coast and you are right about it being a big balloon :)

 

KRC (author) from Central Texas on May 25, 2009:

LOL...that would be one big balloon, Brad! My daughter loves the Monolithic community in Italy. She wants so badly to stop and ask someone to let us look around inside.

Thanks for sharing that Brad. Was it in Texas or somewhere else?

brad4l from USA on May 25, 2009:

I stayed at a beach house once that looked sort of like the Monolithic Dome. Apparently they made it by inflating a big balloon, sprayed on some sort of covering, and then once the covering dried, popped the balloon. Sort of like if you were making paper mache.

Candie V from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure! on May 25, 2009:

So dang loveable!

KRC (author) from Central Texas on May 25, 2009:

We are weirder than weird....but still so loveable....LOL I'm glad you enjoyed them Candie and Teresa!

Sheila from The Other Bangor on May 25, 2009:

And we're supposed to be worrying that Texas may seccede? Ahem, these are beyond strange! Loved the upsidedown house.

Candie V from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure! on May 25, 2009:

This is great! Imagine having a fruit that means so very much to you that you erect an entire building in it's honor. I have no such fruit. One thing is for sure, you can't have too many tractor seats, wagon wheels or toilet seats! No siree! Clap, clap, clap!!

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