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The Great Old Ones: In Celebration of Our Tree Elders

Photograph from the 1917 "The National Parks Portfolio" (via Internet Archive Book Images)Trees are fascinating — if left undisturbed by humans and our axes, they can grow to incredible sizes, and live...

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Traveling as Collecting: The Allure of Geographic Bucket Lists

The highest point in Delaware (photograph by Tony Garcia)He ascended Mount Washington in New Hampshire, on foot not by car (elevation: 6,288 feet). He also climbed Ebright Ezmouth in Delaware, but with...

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The Long Lost Archives of New York's Most Glamorous Hotel

From the archives of the Waldorf Astoria (all photographs by the author)As one of the world's greatest and most renowned luxury hotels, New York's Waldorf Astoria has been a byword in glamor, opulence,...

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On the Shores of New York's Mysterious Island of Animal Disease

The shore of Plum Island (all photographs by the author unless noted)Located just off the tip of Long Island's North Fork, New York's Plum Island measures three miles in length, and is only accessible...

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The 10 Most Accessible Ruins in Paris

Paris is famous for its Haussmannian boulevards and buildings, and picturesque cafés and bistros. What it certainly isn't famous for is ruins. However, there is quite a collection of old...

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More Than Lincoln: Illinois' Best Overlooked and Obscure Museums

Illinois Week on Atlas Obscura was created in partnership with Enjoy Illinois as part of the launch of the new Illinois Obscura Society. Sign up to find out more about the back room tours, unusual...

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The United Islands of America: Never Whistle on Deck, and Other Sailor...

Sailors have left safe harbors for the open water for millennia, facing rogue waves, waterspouts, faulty equipment, sharks and pirates, among other treacheries of aquatic life. Ships are at the mercy...

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Secret Libraries of Chicago

Illinois Week on Atlas Obscura was created in partnership with Enjoy Illinois as part of the launch of the new Illinois Obscura Society. Sign up to find out more about the back room tours, unusual...

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Art Deco Illinois: A Short Tour of the Architectural Wonders Found All Across...

Illinois Week on Atlas Obscura was created in partnership with Enjoy Illinois as part of the launch of the new Illinois Obscura Society. Sign up to find out more about the back room tours, unusual...

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Touring the Tombs: The Mysterious Mausoleums of Chicago's Abandoned Cemeteries

Illinois Week on Atlas Obscura was created in partnership with Enjoy Illinois as part of the launch of the new Illinois Obscura Society. Sign up to find out more about the back room tours, unusual...

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The World's Oldest Companies

The oldest still-operating business in the United States, the Shirley Plantation, celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2013. But when Shirley Plantation opened in 1613, the Nishiyama Onsen, Hayakawa,...

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The Most Accessible Relics of Chicago

Illinois Week on Atlas Obscura was created in partnership with Enjoy Illinois as part of the launch of the new Illinois Obscura Society. Sign up to find out more about the back room tours, unusual...

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Hidden 25 Years Behind an Apartment Wall, A Spectacular Synagogue Mural Is...

Tucked away in an apartment building in the city of Burlington, Vermont is an extraordinary wall painting known as the Lost Shul Mural. The mural, which adorns the apse of a former synagogue--“shul”...

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Nine Amazing Takes On Treehouses

Free Spirit Spheres (Photo by Kyle Greenberg on Flickr)Over the years, a lot of children - and those young at heart - have tried their hand at making a treehouse, usually by dragging some scrap wood to...

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Rent-a-Wright: High Architecture That Anyone Can Enjoy (for a Price)

Inside the Park Inn Hotel (photograph by Dan Hatton on Flickr)Frank Lloyd Wright's buildings are prized, celebrated, and priceless works of architecture. While some Wright houses and buildings can be...

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Obscura Society Illinois: Spirits of the Midway - The Science Behind the...

The Illinois Obscura Society of Atlas Obscura was created in partnership with Enjoy Illinois. Sign up to find out more about the back room tours, unusual adventures, and incredible parties that Atlas...

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Unconventional Foraging

Acorn (Photo by Manuel QC on Flickr)“Outside the DMV I see these Mediterranean oaks or holly oaks just dumping acorns,” Joel Robinson tells me. “Dried perfectly. So, I’m in the parking lot stuffing my...

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The Old in the Forest: Wolf Trees of New England & Farther Afield

A New England wolf tree: White oak (photograph by Ray Asselin via his "Timberturner + Bowlwood Woodturning" blog, used with permission)Old trees resonate with us because they seem to bridge our own...

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Driving the Barn Quilt Trail of Washington County, Iowa

The barn quilt called “Pinwheel Square” on the Amish Loop, just outside the town of Washington. (Photograph by Christopher Busch)As physical objects, barn quilts are very simple. A barn owner or...

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Standing Stones: The Great Stones of Great Britain and Ireland

When you think about the famous stones of Great Britain and Ireland, you probably envision Stonehenge, or maybe, if you're less literal-minded, the Rolling Stones. But there are plenty of other famous...

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