At first glance, the Bay State is a delightful landscape of rolling hills, sparkling seashores and bustling towns. Look a little closer, however…and you’ll see that Massachusetts is actually pretty weird.
These 12 spots across the state will definitely make you stop and stare. They range from unusually beautiful to downright bizarre, and each one is worth a visit.
1. The skinniest house in the state.
This is what happens when a family squabble gets out of control. The story goes that a soldier returning from the Civil War found that his brother had built a home on the property both sons had inherited from their father. To spite his brother, the soldier built a ridiculously skinny house on what was left of the lot in order to block the sunlight from reaching his brother's home. Today, it's one of the weirdest sites on the streets of Boston. (44 Hull Street, North End, Boston)
2. A restaurant run by prison inmates.
Fife & Drum is a little-known eatery that is fully-staffed by prison inmates. You read that right: prisoners at the Northeastern Correctional Center do all the cooking, baking, dishwashing and even serving at this utterly unique establishment.
3. A beach that literally sings to you.
Singing Beach in Manchester-by-the-Sea will have you looking twice because of its sheer beauty...and then you might be captivated by the unique "song" that emanates from the sand when the wind blows just right. The beach can also be coaxed into producing its strange song if you rub your bare feet through the sand.
Find out more here.
4. A large rock covered in a mysterious language.
Dighton Rock is covered in bizarre symbols and carvings. No one knows what they mean, despite the rock having been studied for more than 350 years. Today, you can check it out (and try your hand at deciphering the strange markings) at Dighton Rock State Park. (Bayview Ave, Berkley, MA)
5. A perplexing circle of ponies.
Located in the town of Lincoln, this so-called Ponyhenge is composed of plastic ponies, horse toys and broken rocking horses. The horses appeared as if by magic in 2010, and their numbers have been swelling ever since. Sometimes the ponies are arranged in a circle, while other times they're arrayed in different patterns. No one has ever been seen moving the ponies on Old Sudbury Road, but more and more turn up every year.
6. A park filled with climbable vintage machinery.
The Becket Land Trust Historic Quarry and Forest is a public park that contains the scattered remains of vintage automobiles, old buildings and even antique furniture. You can explore all these old ruins, which were left here after the local quarry shut down in the 1960s. Some of the ruins and old machines date back to the 1870s. (456 Quarry Road, Becket)
7. A secret miniature train village hidden in the forest.
Martini Junction in Needham isn't something you just stumble upon unless you like exploring the woods, but it's a pretty cool spot to hunt down. Over 120 feet miniature train tracks make up this secret model train village in the forest. Its builder and owner, Jim Metcalf, will show you around if you happen to catch him at work in the tiny town.
8. The world's smallest museum.
The world's tiniest museum is right here in Massachusetts. The Museum in Somerville may be small, but it'll definitely catch your eye. Filled with miniature works of fine art by local artists and located next to a Subway sandwich shop, this minuscule attraction is the quickest and quirkiest dose of culture you'll find anywhere.
9. A house made entirely of newspaper.
You might walk right by the Rockport Paper House without ever knowing it's built almost completely of old newspaper, but once you discover its secret, you'll want to venture inside for a closer look. Built in 1922 as a summer home by a local engineer, the house and furniture are composed of over 100,000 varnished papers. You can explore the interior and even read some of the old headlines that still show through the varnish. (52 Pigeon Hill Street, Rockport, MA)
10. A bridge overflowing with blooms and trees.
The Shelburne Falls Bridge of Flowers is a pedestrian bridge that's covered with beautiful flowers of all shapes and sizes. It's the perfect place for a spring stroll, and definitely eye-catching from any angle. (22 Water Street, Shelburne Falls)
11. An ancient and mysterious stone circle.
Located outside the tiny town of Heath in Franklin County on Burnt Hill, this unusual circle of stones has been puzzling locals and archaeologists for decades. The 21 stones weigh as much as 500 pounds each, and no one knows where they came from. Some theories hold that Native Americans deposited the odd rocks, but some scholars think they belong to an even more ancient time.
12. Ancient glacial potholes in the middle of town.
These bizarre rock formations in Shelburne Falls look like something from an alien planet, but they were actually formed during the last Glacial Age. When the water levels here get high enough, whirlpools form in the "potholes" and can be mesmerizing to watch. Swimming hasn't been allowed here since 2002, but it's still a cool place to visit.