Abita Springs, Louisiana (which isn’t too far from New Orleans), is famous for being the hometown of the Abita Brewery Company, which brews some decidedly delicious beers. If you are lucky enough to spend a little more time in Abita Springs, and explore beyond the brewery, you might stumble upon a delightful oddity called the Mystery House and UCM (You-See-Em) Museum. It’s a meandering house and grounds, where every nook and cranny is filled to the brim with every kind of weirdness you can imagine.
You really have to see it to believe it. I was lucky enough to visit last year, and I’m excited to go again next week when I’m visiting family in Louisiana. One of my favorite creatures there —rightly deemed a “marvel of science” by the Mystery House folks—is Darrel the Dogigator. He’s half dog and half alligator and fully adorable. If you ever have the chance to go to Abita Springs, you should visit the Mystery House and say hello to Darrell and all of his friends.