Sometimes the best travel destinations are off the beaten path. Sometimes they are not famous, unnoticed, and unusual. Sometimes the best travel destination involves Spam.
The Spam museum, http://www.spam.com/spam-101/the-spam-museum located halfway across Minneapolis on Interstate 90 is an unrecognized treasure. The perfect travel break, it is informative, entertaining, and perhaps best of all, costs nothing to tour. Hormel, producer of the Spam products, provides this museum as a way to increase knowledge and respect for an oft belittled food. But more than an advertisement, it provides a pleasant day trip, or resting place on a long drive.
The museum is informative. Follow along the timeline displays and you will become an expert in Spam’s origins, importance in history, and manufacturing process. Spam played a part in World War Two, the post-war American economic boom, and even in labor-owner dispute resolution. Knowledgeable guides answer questions and keep visitors informed and heading in the right direction. Learn also about the many uses of Spam. Recipes and Spam ideas abound throughout the museum. The last stop of the museum is an interactive trivia contest to see how much information was retained.
The museum is also entertaining. While Spam might seem a boring topic, the museum is a surprisingly fun place. Multi-media presentations lets you see Spam’s advertising campaigns throughout the year, including some hilarious cartoons. “Surprisingly single? Try new Spam Singles!” will have you rolling in the aisles. The museum includes a radio station (KSPAM, of course.) A number of Spam theaters display documentaries and informational short films. And not only can you learn about the manufacturing process, but a hands-on section in the museum lets you try a bit of processed food canning yourself. Here, you will find laughter, amazement, and even some introspection.
And the museum is free! It is clean, well kept up, and a delight to see. The whole tour can take as long as you want. A quick half hour hits the high point, or you can read every word and stay the afternoon. A gift shop lets you purchase a souvenir or two, and of course you might even consider purchasing some actual Spam. T-shirts, caps, recipe books, and a myriad of clever Spam memorabilia will make sure you will never forget your experience. If you find yourself tired of the road near Austin, Minnesota, stop at this fantastic museum.