Polson, Montana: Miracle of America Museum"The Smithsonian of the West" has 112,000 items, including a Viking ship, a two-headed calf, a motorcycle made of wood, a KKK hood, and a winged monkey from The Wizard of Oz. 35 buildings full of stuff.
Visitor Tips and News About Miracle of America Museum
I have traveled the globe and this is still one of my favorite places! It now has 340,000 items, and the collection of original metal art continues to grow. There is something for everyone and it is fantastic for kids! Where else can you get in a real Huey helicopter, train and fighter jet, listen to player pianos, see memorabilia covering toys to weaponry, and a great collection of original metal art! That is just scratching the surface.
We visit several times every summer and it never gets old. Seriously, if you can't find something that puts a smile on your face here, then you really need some help.[Patricia, 07/30/2013]
What a fantastic place -- so much stuff that it takes all day to view, and the cost is only $5 to get in. War items, old cars, and more old motorcycles than I have ever seen in one place before.
Additionally, as you arrive, you will see a Tommy's Hot Dog spot. Small menu, but what great food he has. Tommy is extremely friendly, helpful and runs the joint.[Randy Campbell, 08/13/2010]
No serious devotee of roadside attractions should miss this place! It is a true treasure-trove of everything idiosyncratic, unusual, and American.
You start with the main museum building- several thousand square feet of displays (all behind glass or cleverly repurposed cattle panels) of anything imaginable (and some things not imaginable!) related to the U.S. Oh, let's see- a sheep-powered spinning wheel, a two-headed calf, a battalion's worth of military memorabilia, the largest bison in Montana, a motorcycle made of wood, etc. etc. etc. But that is just the beginning!
Step out the back door, and there are a couple of acres of small buildings -- log cabins, tin shacks, barns -- each one filled with a particular kind of memorabilia. The Fiddler's Hall of Fame, the school, the dentist's office, the trapper's shack, the general store, the livestock barn, the alien compound, etc. etc. Plus helicopters, cars, trains, boats, tractors, gew-gaws, gimcracks...
Oh, and there's a gift shop. You can buy railroad nails, Montana license plates, and an autographed booklet all about the museum to remember your unusual escapade.[Cris, 05/31/2009]
They call themselves "The Smithsonian of the West," and have a fine, sprawling collection of artifacts and tchotchkes. My personal favorite: a Viking ship with hubcaps on the side! Also lots of World War II-abilia, including Hitler and Mussolini gag items and other pop culture materials. And all delivered with a certain...agenda (e.g., a photo of holocaust victims reminds us that the Commies likewise did such things).
Be sure to get your picture taken sitting at the controls of a Vietnam-era helicopter -- and just TRY not to hum "The Ride of the Valkyries!"[Joyce Remy, 09/22/2003]
This place also has a winged monkey from The Wizard of Oz.