Museums are usually associated with works of art, extinct animals, and historical plights of different cultures, but the National Museum of Funeral History focuses attention on death. This quirky museum is both educational and a little creepy, featuring caskets, hearses, coffins, and other things associated with one of life’s inevitable facts. Guests can view some of the more unusual burial receptacles, learn how death is celebrated by different cultures, and discover how funeral homes and practices have evolved over the years. The National Museum of Funeral History is unlike any other and easily ranks as the Houston area’s most intriguing hidden attraction.
Part of the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, the Orange Show Monument is one man’s tribute to his favorite fruit. Constructed over a period of more than two decades, this folk art masterpiece is a hodgepodge of assorted items assembled together to form a maze- like example of contemporary art. The site includes its own museum, a pond, and other necessary distractions to a monument that intends to encourage better appreciation for this subtropical fruit. The Orange Show Monument is unlike anything you’ve ever seen and once you visit, you will never view oranges the same way again.
Beer lovers will rejoice at the Beer House, a hidden destination in Houston that has few replicas anywhere in the world. There is no siding on this home because beer cans take its place. The mailbox and much of the interior is also built with, yes, beer cans. Over 50,000 beer cans adorn this home and John Milkovisch, the man responsible for this modern art masterpiece, is said to have consumed most of the beer himself. It’s the perfect tribute to recycling and a must- see among Houston’s hidden destinations.
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Many people have a phobia when it comes to these flying mammals known as bats but if you can overcome your fear, then a destination worth visiting is the Waugh Drive Bat Colony. Located just a little west of downtown, the Waugh Bridge stretches over the Buffalo Bayou and its underside is home to thousands of furry, winged creatures that only come out at night. Just before sunset each day, the bats emerge, swarming the area by the thousands. It’s quite a sight to see and since it is close to walking trails, visitors shouldn’t have any problem getting an up close view. Just be sure to protect your neck- the comic books you read as a child may not be entirely incorrect.
Nicknamed the Garage Mahal, the Art Car Museum is an interesting place that pays respect to vehicles and contemporary art. Visitors will discover cars decorated with sea shells, animal figurines, and other assorted items, along with displays of contemporary artwork from local artists. They rotate the cars every few months so there is always something new to see. Admission to the Art car Museum is free, making it a welcome hidden destination that is both fun and economical for everyone.
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