LONG BEACH, Wash. — Long Beach's 28 miles of uninterrupted beach isn't this city's only draw. Here, you'll also find what you might call a fun sense of whimsy - Marsh's Free Museum. The museum was voted best crazy collection in this year's Best Northwest Escapes.
On a sunny day the skies above Long Beach fill up with flashes of color as kites dance beneath clouds, but when it rains many visitors take their vacations indoors to Marsh's Free Museum where they can meet Jake.
"These days Jake gets out about twice a year," said Museum Owner David Marsh.
The legendary alligator man isn't for sale, but he's the inspiration behind bumper stickers, coffee mugs, shot glasses and even a little song.
Jake is so famous the city of Long Beach spends the first weekend in August celebrating his birthday.
Some may ask...what exactly is Jake? The answer is there are a lot of different theories.
But the truth is, Jake was a Seminole Indian who was eaten by a crocodile in the Florida swamps.
David Marsh's grandfather started the shop which is full of all kinds of curiosities.
"We have Morris, a freeze-dried cat. He was our first store cat."
Just when you think it can't get crazier...
"We also have a human tapeworm in a bottle."
Bothell's Marty Peterson remembers visiting Marsh's as a kid. Today he's making it a family tradition.
"It's really the freak that you're drawn to, the unusual and the stuff you don't see every day," said Peterson.
You should get out and see it all. Because inside the museum, there’s someone or something that has to stay put.
Marsh's Free Museum is the 2018 winner for Best Crazy Collection in the 2018 Best Northwest Escapes contest sponsored by Washington's Playground.
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