The 5 Best Hidden City Gems In America

1. The Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago.

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You'll find the Garfield Park Conservatory on 300 North Central Park Avenue where they display landscape art under glass. They have six multifaceted greenhouses as well as two exhibition halls where a tour guild will share their information about plants, historical facts, and will provide “insight into [their] unique collection of plants and trees.” The Conservatory hosts great events like Fleurotica 2013, Conservatory Fire Jam, and Goats at work for the kids. It's the perfect trip for a family, since kids of all ages can enjoy the beautiful landscaping and the plethora of activities offered.

2. Pizza A Casa, NYC

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If you love New York, you probably love eating pizza. If this is the case, then Pizza A Casa (at 371 Grand Street on the Lower East Side) is something you HAVE to try. The restaurant doubles as a school for anyone who wants to learn how to make a legitimate pie. Anyone can enroll in the class: it doesn't matter if you're an actual chef, or if you're someone who uses the stove exclusively for extra shoe storage. Every participant will make their own dough and follow step by step instructions to make the perfect pizza from scratch in a 4 hour class.

3. The Newseum, Washington D.C.

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If you're tired of the National Air and Space Museum, take a trip to the Newseum, “an interactive museum of news and journalism” located at 555 Pennsylvania Avenue. Within its 15 theaters and 14 galleries, the museum displays exhibits like The Story of News, an NBC News Interactive Newsroom, a Pulitzer Prize Photo Gallery, and many more. The displays vary from the beginning of journalism to a new exhibit called ‘Anchorman: The Exhibit’ which will feature “props, costumes and footage” opening Nov. 14.

4. Cathedral of Junk, Austin, TX

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RoadsideAmerica.com says that from the street, the Cathedral of Junk "is invisible." Up close though, you'll find a uniquely beautiful structure. In 1988, Located on the South Side, Vince Hannemann literally created a Cathedral of Junk on the south side of the city simply because it “was kinda cool.” He considers it his clubhouse, and when kids come to visit, he says "they know what it is." The Cathedral is made up of a variety of objects including lawn mower wheels, car bumpers, kitchen utensils, cables, and bottles. Even more interesting is how it has joined with the environment. Years of subtropical Texas vegetation wrap its form. Hannemann said the structure currently contains about 60 tons of junk.

5. Beach Blanket Babylon, San Fancisco

Beach Blanket Babylon

Located at 678 Green Street, Beach Blanket Babylon is the longest running musical revue in theatre history. It is “packed with hilarious spoofs of pop culture & political character…”. Tickets are cheap to watch Snow White search for love, a global journey on which she runs into a myriad of famous celebrities. The actors portray famous personalities ranging anywhere from Adel and Psy to Governor Christie, and President Obama. The line of famous characters changes constantly but no matter when you visit, you'll have a blast watching a hilarious satire featuring your favorite pop-culture icons. Click here to learn more!

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