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The Coolest Pop Culture-Themed Attractions In The World

The Great Wall of China. The Grand Canyon. The Eiffel Tower. The Cliffs of Moher. Whether made by human hands or crafted by nature's vivid imagination, the world is filled with wonders that transcend our wildest dreams. You simply must see them in person, basking in their majesty with both awe and humility, remembering your own small place in existence... Okay, cool, great, but we're not going to talk about those attractions — we're going to talk about pop culture-themed attractions! 

Sure, if you're an impossibly attractive vagabond with a huge bank account and an Instagram account that caters to travel porn addicts, there are plenty of must-see places to visit (and blog about). For pop culture addicts like us, we have found the places you have to visit to live a proper geek life. We largely avoided pricey Disney theme parks and Hollywood studio tours, as well as famous film locations, like the Cherry Street Inn from Groundhog Day or "The Outsiders House" from, well, The Outsiders. Instead, we tried to find "off-the-beaten-path" places far outside the coastal bubble. These places don't want your money (well, okay, they do), but most of all, they want to celebrate in our shared love of pop culture. Ready to start your own travel-themed social blog? We've made it easy for you (#yourewelcome). Here are the coolest pop culture-themed attractions in the world!

You'll have a great night in the Dark Knight room at this Taiwan hotel

This is the hotel room where Bruce Wayne stays when he's in Taiwan. Okay, not really (that would be way too obvious), but the next time you're in Taiwan, you can pretend to be Bruce Wayne, minus his $12 billion piggy bank and costumed vigilante nocturnal activities. Taiwan's Eden Motel isn't located in Gotham City but Kaohsiung City and offers "a momentary sensual escape" with themed rooms and suites. Ever wanted to sleep in Alcatraz? Of course not, but now you can! Hopefully it will be easier to escape than the real one. 

Anyway, the big draw is the Dark Knight-themed room, which, at $50 for three hours, is chump change to the chairman of Wayne Enterprises and surprisingly affordable for the rest of us, too. While a full 24-hour stay will run you $400, this ain't a Motel 6 we're talking about here. This is a luxury suite with everything being Batman-themed — the headboard, mirrors, nightstands, bench, TV stand, even the bathtub (or should we say "Bat" tub ... hehe, ugh). Thankfully, Alfred stocked the mini-bar, so feel free to spend all day taking a rose petal-strewn bubble bath while binging Batman movies and drinking the bubbly. Just be ready to fight crime night at night!

Swing into Say Cheese Pizza in upstate New York

Pizza and beer take prominent positions on the food pyramid of a proper pop culture geek's diet. Getting to enjoy all of the above while reading comic books? That's heaven. Actually, it's Say Cheese Pizza Co and Comic Book Cafe in Grand Island, New York. It's easy to find, as Spider-Man made the six-and-a-half-hour drive from Queens to permanently perch himself above the entrance. 

Say Cheese Pizza started as a small takeout and delivery pizza spot in upstate New York, but the lifelong comic book-loving owner decided to share his passion for pulp-based superhero stories with the public, changing the concept in 2004 by adding a bar, full-service dining room, and a comic book store right in the middle. Turns out guests were super into it, and the owner expanded in 2006, 2008, and 2010 to meet demand, extending the bar, adding more tables, and putting in a game room and private banquet room. This place isn't just a bar and restaurant — it's a giant gift shop! All the cool stuff displayed throughout the store (action figures, statues, collectibles, T-shirts, and, of course, comic books) is for sale! Apparently, even the wallpaper is for sale.

We want to live in the Hall of Heroes comic book museum

"It's history. Just way more super." Talk about an enticing tagline, but The Hall of Heroes Museum in Elkhart, Indiana, (about midway between Indianapolis and Chicago) deserves it. It boasts that it's "the world's only superhero and comic museum," and if that doesn't get you in the car on a spontaneous road trip to Indiana right now, this will: more than 60,000 comic books, 10,000-plus toys, figures, and props, and more than 100 pieces of original comic art pages and animation cells. 

Heck, the museum itself is a replica. It is designed like the Hall of Justice from the Super Friends cartoon, features a replica of the Bat Cave from the 1960s TV show, and even has Adam West's personal Batman costume on display. OMG, how are you not going there right now!? Sorry, we geeked out there for a second. Anyway, there's also Captain America's shield from Captain America: The First Avenger, the Hell Cycle from Ghost Rider, and Green Lantern's ring worn by Ryan Reynolds from the 2011 film ... okay, maybe skip that display, but don't skip these: copies of Captain America #1, Amazing Fantasy #15 (Spider-Man's debut), and even a 1939 wooden Superman doll, the world's first superhero action figure. We don't want to just visit the Hall of Heroes — we want to live in it!

Mumbai has an café with comic books!

There are many reasons to visit Versova in Mumbai, India. Thanks to a massive cleanup effort, the largest beach cleanup ever, Versova is once again home to a beautiful beach and a thriving upmarket community. What's also awesome? There's a place for comic book fans to chow down on a Cajun chicken burger while reading Batman. The Leaping Windows is a café known for its crunchy potato wedges and tasty assortment of teas and coffees, but its real treat is the basement reading room. 

Reading rooms are nothing new for coffee shops, but this one is special, as it is stacked with comics, manga, and graphic novels: DC, Marvel, and, of course, Tinkle, a popular bi-weekly Indian children's magazine. It may not be the Taj Mahal, but if you're a pop culture buff and visiting Mumbai, there's no reason not to stop in for a morning coffee or a light lunch (or a heavy lunch — that Cajun chicken burger is big enough for two people). With its mix of continental, European, and American flavors on its menu, and its even more expansive comic book selection, the Leaping Window is the world's coolest coffee shop and café for comic book fans.

The Toy & Action Figure Museum is a big attraction in small-town Oklahoma

Pauls Valley in south-central Oklahoma is one hour south of OKC and two hours north of Dallas, so it may not be most people's idea of a must-see tourist destination. But if you're a pop culture aficionado (which, if you're reading this article, there's a 99.6% chance you are), you should absolutely make time to visit the valley. Pauls Valley is home to the Toy & Action Figure Museum, featuring a mind-boggling collection of toys, with pieces that date back decades, basically to just after the time when kids were still playing with sticks and rocks. 

Seriously, just check out the gallery and imagine the monk-like self control it must take not to play with these things like a nine-year-old on Christmas morning. The museum was developed as part of an initiative called Vision 2010, in which city leaders and citizens decided they wanted unique attractions that would help make Pauls Valley a destination city. It worked. With the help of local artist and toy designer and collector Kevin Stark (no relation to Tony), the Toy & Action Figure Museum was born. In addition to being maybe the coolest civic initiative ever, the Toy & Action Figure Museum has attracted more than 50,000 visitors from all 50 states and more than 40 foreign countries. You should be one of them.

No LA trip is complete without a visit to Bronson Canyon

We said we were going to try to exclude movie and TV show filming locations, mostly so it wouldn't be 1,000 items long. That said, you should absolutely go visit Katz's Deli in Manhattan, but mostly to try to fit their mouthwatering, mile-high sandwiches through your mandible, not to recreate the famous scene from When Harry Met Sally. (That could get awkward.) And of course you should see Al-Khazneh ("The Treasury") in Petra, Jordan, but because the carved rose-rock sandstone is truly breathtaking, not just because that's where Indy found the Holy Grail in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. When it comes to filming locations, though, Bronson Canyon is different.

You might miss its significance if you're not aware of it. Located in the southwestern section of Griffith Park (literally in sight of the Hollywood sign), Bronson Canyon has been the site of sooooo many movies and TV shows. It was the filming location for more B-movie action, sci-fi, and western cliffhangers than we would ever want to count. It was the setting of the climactic scene of John Ford's The Searchers. And perhaps most fantastically, it was where the entrance for the Batmobile was in the 1960s Batman TV show. "Holy caverns, Batman!"

Superman's hometown is in Metropolis ... Illinois

You can't visit Superman's actual homeland, Krypton, because it's a planet in a faraway galaxy and because it's not real. Bummer. However, because Superman's Kryptonian parents were nice enough to send their solar-powered son across the vast reaches of space to middle America, there are places in the heartland to celebrate Supes. While there have been efforts to make Smallville, Kansas, a real town, it sadly remains just a fantasy. If you live in Kansas, we ask that you please write your congressman a sternly worded letter to address this injustice. 

In the meantime, Gardner, Kansas, is home to a pretty sweet "life-sized" (well, for a character that's not actually alive) Superman statue. Given that Kansas hasn't established Smallville, Illinois declared its own Metropolis the "Hometown of Superman." Located six and a half hours up, up, and away from Gardner, Kansas, (actually more like down, down and to the east), this small southern Illinois town has its own 12-foot, two-ton Superman statue, as well as the Super Museum. 

As super as all this is, it pales in comparison to what might have been: In 1972, after the Illinois House of Representatives declared Metropolis Superman's hometown, plans were underway for a 200-foot Superman statue whose legs you had to drive between to enter a 1,000-acre, $50 million Superman theme park. Sadly, the 1970s oil crisis shuttered these dreams, but as the "Hometown of Superman," Metropolis, Illinois, is still worth traveling galaxies to see.

Movieland in Italy is manifique!

Italy is a land of exquisite wine, exceptional food, brilliant art and architecture, breathtaking Mediterranean views, and a historical legacy that goes back millennia. Oh, it's also home to Movieland, The Hollywood Park! Sure, visiting Star Wars- and Avatar-themed attractions at Disney theme parks is great and all, but anybody can do that (and everybody does). 

What about a submarine ride based on U-571? A stage show based on Flashdance? Or a freakin' 35-minute stunt show based on Rambo? Yes, there's a show where Rambo rescues hostages from terrorists, complete with ziplines, boat chases, bike jumps, and full-body burns. "Do we get to win this time?" If you go see this show, the answer is a definitive "Yes!" 

Movieland has featured attractions based on all of these films at various points, which makes us wonder: What could they be dreaming up next? A Grumpy Old Men stunt show? Really, the sky's the limit. Also, while this isn't pop culture-related, just culture-related, there's also an "American Beer Fest," an old-school county fair straight outta Kansas that celebrates American traditions and flavors in all their star-spangled glory. We'll pledge allegiance to that!

The game's afoot at Sherlock Holmes' famous London pad

Sad to say, but you can't visit most pop culture characters' places of residence. You've probably looked at a New York City manhole and wondered if you could find the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' hideout. (Spoiler alert: You can't, but you can find diphtheria.) And if you travel to the Arctic in search of Superman's Fortress of Solitude, you're just liable to catch a cold ... or you know, freeze to death or be eaten by polar bears. While you can't visit most fictional characters' residences, you can see the home of "the world's greatest detective," Sherlock Holmes

Holmes' residence at 221B Baker Street in London is one of the world's most famous addresses. It's also a museum devoted to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous sleuth, housing the largest collection of Sherlock Holmes gifts and memorabilia in the world (as well as "curios"). But 221B Baker Street doesn't just have Holmes memorabilia – it is Holmes memorabilia. From the cheery "Bobby" greeting you at the front door, to the staff in period attire, to the authentic Victorian furniture, this four-story Georgian townhouse faithfully recreates the gas-lit world of Victorian London enough to pass even Holmes' legendary scrutiny. For Sherlock Holmes fans, or people who just like cool places, visiting 221B Baker Street is elementary.

Japan is basically one giant Godzilla theme park

Godzilla is Japan's greatest pop culture export (fight us, Pokemon and Hello Kitty fans!), so it's no surprise that the King of the Monsters is all over the Land of the Rising Sun. These Godzilla sights don't just make us want to visit Japan — we want to actually apply for citizenship. There are the obvious spots to visit: In Tokyo, there's the Godzilla Store, basically the Gap for Godzilla lovers; Toho Studios, birthplace of the beast, which is sadly closed to the public but features a bronzed statue and giant mural outside; and Hibiya Godzilla Square, featuring a nearly 10-foot-tall statue of Shin Godzilla, the largest Godzilla statue in Japan. 

That would be enough for this list, or even its own list, but we're just getting started. In the seaside town of Kanagawa is Adventure Land in Kurihama Flower Park, featuring a 145-foot-long, 28-foot-tall Godzilla slide (sorry, 12 years and younger only – sigh). In Tokyo, the Hotel Gracery Shinjuku features a "Godzilla Room" with various paraphernalia, as well as views of a full-scale Godzilla looking in on you, a steal at just ¥25,000 (about $235) a night. Hotel guests can also get a bird's-eye view of the beast from the "Godzilla Terrace." And in Osaka, there's Nijigen No Mori (Awaji Island Anime Park), featuring a 394-foot-long Godzilla statue that you can actually zip-line into the mouth of. Read that again – zipline into Godzilla's mouth! Take. Our. Money. Now!

You'd have to be punch-drunk to miss this iconic Rocky landmark

The Rocky Steps and Rocky Statue are the Niesen Railway and Sphinx of pop culture attractions ... only, y'know, one is a 72-step staircase, and the other looks like Sylvester Stallone and not an ancient Egyptian pharaoh crossed with a lion. But still. Are these a little obvious for inclusion on this list? Maybe. Yes, these are technically a movie location and prop, as the steps were featured in one of the most famous movie scenes ever in Rocky, while the statue was in Rocky III, Rocky V, Rocky Balboa, Creed, and Creed II

We don't care. These landmarks touting Philly's favorite fictional son and cinema's most famous pugilist belong on any pop culture fan's bucket list. The sculpture was commissioned by Stallone and created by Colorado artist Thomas Schomberg in 1980 for a key scene Rocky III. While it spent most of the next two decades outside the Spectrum Sports Complex, a prominent Philly attorney named James Binns had the eye of the tiger and spearheaded a movement to bring it to its proper home, on a grassy knoll just outside the museum, where it has been since 2006. Snap a selfie. Run up the steps. Just make sure this monument is on your list.

Part statue. Part machine. All awesome.

As a great American city, Detroit is home to numerous iconic landmarks, from The Fist Monument, a 24-foot arm built as a memorial to boxer Joe Louis, to the Spirit of Detroit, a 26-foot monument symbolizing God and humanity that has united the city's disparate citizens since it was dedicated in 1958. But the title of "Detroit's Most Iconic Landmark" might soon be overtaken by the RoboCop statue, an 11-foot-tall monument to Detective Alex Murphy, Detroit's most famous cybernetic son. 

The statue started with a tweet to Detroit's then-mayor Dave Bing suggesting a RoboCop statue, which inspired an offbeat Kickstarter campaign in 2011 by Imagination Station Detroit under the no-nonsense headline: "Detroit Needs A Statue of RoboCop!" We agree, and more than 2,700 donors did, too, as the project raised $17,000 more than its $50,000 goal. Nine years and $67,436 (and counting) later, the RoboCop statue is set to soon occupy its permanent home outside the Michigan Science Center. You should absolutely visit it. Just stay out of trouble, kid.