The more I travel the more I absolutely crave unique locations that can’t be found anywhere. Perhaps as I get older I don’t want to collect seashells, spoons, magnets, or other items that everyone else seems to have. In fact we road trip all over the country and I purposefully go out of my way to visit weird places to shop, and obscure attractions.
But oddly enough I have found it rather difficult to look for the bizarre, out of the norm shops. Below is a list of some popular, and slightly more obscure, locations you need to add to your bucket list.
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Clutter in Morris, Illinois:
Update – Clutter has now moved out of state. Clutter lives up to it’s name! The store is heavily cluttered but with fabulous finds! I stumbled upon this small town store when exploring nearby areas after moving to Illinois. Now it has moved out of state though. Clutter is truly unique not only because of it’s perfectly quirky items but because it also holds a vintage arcade room and room full of comic books! It’s truly a one stop shop.
Whether you’re looking for vintage comics, weird novelties, taxidermy animals & specimens, vintage posters, and anything else in between – Clutter is definitely worth a drive out to Morris!
Scott’s Vintage Antiques and Collectibles in Aurora, Illinois:
If you’re scouting around in the Chicagoland area Scott’s Vintage Antiques and Collectibles is another great spot to stop at. Another store filled with truly bizarre items they are also very popular on Facebook and frequently update times they are open. From medical pieces to vintage quirks, old games and just plain weird stuff – this place will keep you browsing for a while!
Memento Mori in Loveland, Ohio:
I quickly fell in love with Memento Mori for their exotic taxidermy pieces, hair wreaths, mortuary items, skulls and bones, and other eclectic items that make this shop a one of a kind! Definitely check out some of their goods on Facebook.
Big City Favorites:
Uncommon Objects is a unique boutique with an eye for amazing patina and color. Culture swirls through their store with well picked pieces. Whether you are searching for a hidden gem or items with a flair, this spacious store has seemingly endless hallways filled with wonder. Check out this 360* of the store!
Another fabulous museum-like boutique shop, Bazaar specializes in antique medical devices, unique gifts, and even local classes!
Woolly Mammoth Antiques and Oddities
Located in the Windy City, Woolly Mammoth Antiques and Oddities is THE place in Chicago to go for anything strange when it comes to animals, skeletons, and taxidermy. If you’re looking for a specimen or antique on the darker side – you’re pretty much guaranteed to find a show piece here.
Las Vegas, Nevada:
Las Vegas Oddities
If you are sensitive to death or anything on the darker side of life – then this shop is not for you. From rocks & fossils to a dramatic flair for macabre – Las Vegas Oddities is sure to send some chills your way!
New York City:
The Evolution Store
Perhaps #1 on my list due to it’s highly museum-like quality, The Evolution Store is located in Manhattan’s SoHo district. From skulls and skeletons to fossils and minerals – this shop is simply amazing! They even have edible items, jewelry, home decor and more! This places oozes of natural history decor!
Obscura Antiques & Oddities
Actually located in Manhattan, Obscura Antiques & Oddities was made popular on the reality-TV show Oddities. From quirky furniture to antique medical devices, taxidermy, and everything in between – you’re sure to find what you are looking for in this small boutique shop.
Curious Nature is your typical but lovely upscale shop with insects, taxidermy, rocks, and other antiques. They even offer various classes in their beautifully decorated shop.
The Weeping Glass
Ballyhoo Curiosity Shop
Another spectacular museum-like oddity shop on the list, Ballyhoo Curiosity is eye-pleasing and fantastical to journey through. This natural history shop has everything from bones to taxidermy as well as jewelry and wood carvings. You can find their most recent additions on Instagram.
The follow two shops are technically part of museums but still fascinating and totally odd nonetheless!
1.Whether conjoined twin cookie cutters intrigues you or you have a hankering for a plush colon, you can find these and more at the Mutter Museum Gift Shop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
2. A little gruesome, the Freakybuttrue Peculiarium inPortland, Oregon comes with some pretty spectacular (but overly fake) photo opps. Their little gift shop, however, is a pretty cool and quirky place to pick up a few things for the kids.
3. The Weird Museum in Austin, Texas is a true tribute to the old dime museums full of the truly bizarre and spectacular. By the end of my tour I was fascinated, intrigued, and grossed out by what I experienced. However, they do have a small but interesting gift shop that you can visit any time you’re near!