In Recession, Sewage Tour, Offbeat Destinations Thrive

Offbeat local museums, tours see record demand
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2009 1:12 PM CDT
The Texas electric chair, is seen in this June 15, 1988, file photo, and was used 361 times from 1924 to 1964. The chair is now on display at the prison museum.   (AP Photo, File)
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(Newser) – With fancy island getaways now out of most people's price range, alternative attractions are gaining ground, Newsweek reports. Local families have begun flocking to Louisiana's oil rig museum, San Francisco's sewage-plant tour, and Ireland's Famine Museum, perhaps in a spirit of "things are bad, but at least they're not this bad."

A lot of the traffic in places like the Texas Prison Museum comes from families and senior citizens—often grandparents bring grandkids. But even the director of citizen involvement for San Francisco's utilities is mystified at the popularity of the sewage tour. "Don't they have anything better to do on a Saturday morning?" she says. "It smells."