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Holiday Gift Guide: Atlas Obscura Books and Calendars
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Places visited in Tulum, Mexico
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia City Hall

This elaborate towering structure was once famed for its revolutionary height.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site

Tour the dark and beloved poet's former cobwebbed basement, which may have inspired "The Black Cat."
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Eastern State Penitentiary

World's first "penitentiary," meant to be humane, drove men insane.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Mütter Museum

America's most famous museum of medical oddities, and home to the remains of Einstein's brain.
New York, New York

Number One, Broadway

Currently housing a corporate bank branch this building at the southern tip of Manhattan was once the gateway to luxury vacationing.
New York, New York

Hall of North American Mammals

Outstanding taxidermy dioramas showcase the grandeur of the continent's wildlife with spooky realism.
New York, New York

The Hangman's Elm

The oldest living tree in Manhattan comes shrouded in sinister legend.
Brooklyn, New York

Studebaker Building

This neo-Gothic former auto showroom is one of the few remaining reminders of Brooklyn's "Automobile Row."
Brooklyn, New York

770 Eastern Parkway

Headquarters of the world's fourth largest Hasidic sect and the first of many "770s" around the world.
New York, New York

Museum at Eldridge Street Synagogue

America's oldest Eastern European synagogue provided the immigrants of crowded Lower East Side tenements a space of sanctuary.
New York, New York

Relics of the IRT 14th Street-Union Square Subway Local Platform

Red frames showcase remnants of one of New York's original subway stations.
New York, New York

Union Square Metronome

The most confusing clock in New York.
New York, New York

The Little Church Around the Corner

This Fifth Avenue church has long been the favored worshiping place of Broadway actors and vaudeville performers.
New York, New York

Audubon Mural Project

Walking around West Harlem reveals a scavenger hunt of beautiful bird murals.
Boston, Massachusetts

St. Stephen's Church

A centuries-old church stands as a testament to Boston's "father of architecture."
Washington, D.C.

Darth Vader Grotesque at the Washington National Cathedral

The sci-fi villain is a little known inhabitant of the Washington National Cathedral.
New York, New York

Church of the Intercession

A Manhattan Episcopal church with an eerie underground crypt.
New York, New York

Angel Orensanz Foundation

The oldest surviving synagogue in New York City is now a soaring art space.
London, England

Love Locks of East London

Lovers proclaim their unbreakable bond by leaving their names on locks fastened onto the Shoreditch fence in East London.
London, England

Sir John Soane's Museum

A cluttered and astounding collection of antiquities and curiosities.
London, England

Goodwin's Court

An easily overlooked stretch of ornate window fronts and gaslight lamps that could be right from the pages of Dickens.
London, England

Whispering Gallery at St. Paul’s Cathedral

Hear the quietest sound from across the dome.
London, England

Traitors' Gate

The watery entrance for condemned prisoners heading to the Tower of London is still visible along the Thames.
London, England

Two Princes Staircase

Richard III supposedly disposed of his nephews' bodies here in an effort to seal his claim to the throne.