The No. 1 Best New Attraction in America Is in Missouri

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COURTESY OF WONDERS OF WILDLIFE
  • COURTESY OF WONDERS OF WILDLIFE
If you're interested in visiting the site newly chosen as America's Best New Attraction, no need for plane tickets — you'd be better off just hopping on I-44.

Johnny Morris' Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium opened in Springfield, Missouri, last September to no small amount of fanfare. Under construction for nearly a decade, the site features a 300,000 gallon aquarium, along with such delights as a "piranha pop-up bubble" (yes really; see the photo below), and 350,000 square feet of exhibits — which, St. Louis Magazine noted, is more than the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C. That's a combination of living animals, their taxidermied counterparts and even some "scientifically accurate recreations," in the words of a spokeswoman.



Yesterday, USA Today crowned the site its No. 1 new attraction in a America. Finalists for the site's 10Best program are compiled by experts, with readers then making the final choice — much the same process that recently named Vicia the No. 2 new restaurant in the country.

And hey, that means Wonders of Wildlife beat out the much-ballyhooed Museum of the Bible! No easy feat, that — but unless the creationists also have a piranha pop-up bubble, we'll say this on behalf of all of Missouri: They never had a chance.



COURTESY OF WONDERS OF WILDLIFE
  • COURTESY OF WONDERS OF WILDLIFE
We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at sarah.fenske@riverfronttimes.com

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