When I’m in a new city, I want to see the good stuff. Monuments and museums can be interesting, but what really fascinates me are the sights that not everybody has seen. Or even knows about. Which is why this amazing website is my new tourist guidebook. Even if I go nowhere at all.

the sea serpent of nantucket on atlas obscura | cool mom picks

Founded by a science journalist and a travel filmmaker, Atlas Obscura is packed with curious discoveries from around the world. From the world’s largest sundial in Jaipur, India, to a Victorian…uh, hair art museum in Missouri, to a secret subway exit in Brooklyn (shhh!), Atlas Obscura has the scoop on all sorts of places off the beaten path.

Not everything on Atlas Obscura is on the creepy side of cool. I found the gorgeous Hanging Lake waterfall we hiked to last summer, and the timepiece by which we all set our watches (or ought to): The NIST-F1 Cesium Fountain Atomic Clock in Boulder.

the defender of time on atlas obscura | cool mom picks

This site is a cool resource for making travel plans too. I’ve seen the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building; next time I visit New York, I’m going to check out the awesomely geeky MoMath Museum of Mathematics and the mysterious Rose Hill Historic House.

They’re pretty good about keeping up to date on their finds too; just last week they posted an article on Admiral’s Row at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which still haven’t been bulldozed as planned.

Sign up for a profile (it’s free) and you can save places you’ve been and the places you want to go. And if you think they’re missing something? Send them a tip.

I do wish Atlas Obscura would add a way to search for sights close to major interstates and other well-traveled routes. I’d much rather stop at the World’s Largest Ball of Twine than a fast food joint. –Julie

Search Atlas Obscura for local discoveries or read their daily blog at Slate.com

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