Ever been to a Hall of Fame? A centerpiece of many vacation destination ideas, these halls honoring the most famous in their respective fields are exemplified by those like the one in Cooperstown, NY for baseball players and the one in Cleveland, OH for rock stars. Some Halls of Fame in America are among the most crowded tourist attractions in the country. On the other hand, some Halls of Fame in America are must-see destination ideas for those who prefer less crowded attractions honoring the greatest achievements in more unexpected accomplishments.
Robot Hall of Fame: Carnegie-Mellon University
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Contrary to what you might expect, the Robot Hall of Fame actually belongs on a list of pretty serious destination ideas as well as unexpected ones. Sure, the very name "Robot Hall of Fame" sounds like a pop culture souffle sure to delight the sensibilities of tourists who delight in kitsch and camp, but the real destination here is nothing less than Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh. If induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is so sketchily devised that it can include both Rush and Run-DMC, then the opposite of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame would the Robot Hall of Fame. Here's the criteria: "The Robot Hall of Fame recognizes excellence in robotics technology worldwide and honors the fictional and real robots that have inspired and made breakthrough accomplishments in robotics. The Robot Hall of Fame was created by Carnegie Mellon University in April 2003 to call attention to the increasing contributions of robots to society." Roboworld is perhaps t he only viable destination idea for the average tourist to be found on campus at Carnegie Science Center. When you arrive at this destination, you can check out exactly which robots made the grade. Among those who have included Hal 9000, Robby, Data and Wall-E.
National Toy Hall of Fame: Rochester, New York
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What could possibly be more deserving of a place near the top of a list of unexpected vacation destination ideas than a Hall of Fame dedicated to all the wonderful toys and games that made childhood bearable? As if just getting reacquainted with all those toys that you may have forgotten about altogether or games that immediately send you back to a very specific time and place would not be enough to make a visit to the National Toy Hall of Fame worthwhile, consider that this wonderful place is also a hands-on interactive kind of Hall of Fame. Slinky races give way to that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see what you would look like if you were a Mr. Potato Head. Build stuff with Lincoln Logs, Tinkertoys and LEGO bricks. Among the inductees into the National Toy Hall are the Easy Bake Oven, Play-Doh and the Atari 2600 game system.
Burlesque Hall of Fame: Las Vegas
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The Burlesque Hall of Fame. Now you finally have a reason to put Las Vegas on your bucket list of destination ideas. Do you really need a reason to go to the Hall of Fame of strippers? The names of inductees alone is really, let's face it, all anyone needs to know to put this offbeat Hall of Fame idea on their vacation destination triptik: Chesty Morgan, Tempest Storm and Blaze Starr. Those you might expect, but did you know that fellow members of the Burlesque Hall of Fame include the actress who played Lily Munster?
New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame: The Superdome
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What makes the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame deserving of being on a list of unexpected destination ideas? Well, for one thing, as of the start of the 2013 NFL season, the New Orleans Saints had a lifetime record of losing almost 100 more NFL games than they had won. So, while maybe the Hall part isn't so unexpected, the part about the Fame might be a little premature. Until their surge into prominence in the 21st century, the New Orleans Saints were the standard by which failure in the NFL was judged. With that in mind, you can see how it just seems kind of funny that the team would have produced enough players of stature to require a Hall of Fame. Entry is free for Saints season ticket holders three hours before every home game. If that doesn't describe you, but if you are still fascinated by the very idea of this unexpected New Orleans vacation destination, then call ahead to arrange weekday tours.