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Looking for Something Different This Summer? Try These Bizarre Nearby Road Trips


If you’ve had it up to here with fireworks and picnics this July 4th holiday, maybe a walk on the wild side is just what you need to shake things up this summer.

There are two bizarre places, both within 250 miles of Sioux Falls, that will help you break the blahs.

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If peace and quiet are what you’re after, there’s no place better than Orfield Laboratory, 250 miles from Sioux Falls, just southeast of downtown Minneapolis.

This is where you’ll find a room that has been verified by the Guinness World Records as the ‘quietest place on earth’.

The Anechoic Test Chamber at Orfield Labs has been designed to absorb 99.9% of all sounds. Companies use the chamber to test the sound levels of products, like appliances and vehicles. NASA has even conducted stress tests for astronauts there.

The effects of the room are so intense that Orfield has issued a challenge to members of the media to sit alone in the room for 45 minutes and write about the experiences.

So far no one has taken them up on that challenge.

Group tours are available, but be advised there is no truth to the rumor that there is a Guiness record for time spent in the chamber, and that 45-minute invitation is not available to the general public.

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If you like your adventures a little more on the spooky side, head to Iowa and tour the site of a mysterious incident from more than 100 years ago.

It was June 10, 1912 in the tiny town of Villisca, Iowa, 75 miles southeast of Omaha, where eight people, including six children were killed by an intruder with an ax.

One man was actually arrested and twice tried for the murders. The first trial ended in a hung jury, the second trial resulted in a not guilty verdict.

No one else has ever been arrested for the murders.

The house where the killings took place, which is now simply known as the ‘Villisca Ax Murder House‘, is now open for tours six days a week (closed Monday). But if you’re really feeling adventurous, you can actually book an overnight stay at the home for $428.

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