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“Cool place for AZ souvenirs.”
Review of Thing

Thing
Ranked #3 of 4 Dessert in Benson
Description: It is 17 miles east of Benson and about 40 miles east of Tucson on Interstate 10 (Exit 322). Look around the spacious gift shop and purchase a few gifts, a couple of pieces of Indian Handmade or gold jewelry, some pottery, or one of the many other items available at this location. Do your shopping before you tour the museum and look for The Thing. Because afterwards you will probably want to compose yourself and just sit awhile sipping a cold soda or try to calm your nerves by scarfing up an Ultimate Burger or shoveling down a cold DQ Blizzard at the Dairy Queen located right next door. This location also offers self-serve Shell fuel with 24 hr. Pay at the pump service.
Restaurant details
Description: It is 17 miles east of Benson and about 40 miles east of Tucson on Interstate 10 (Exit 322). Look around the spacious gift shop and purchase a few gifts, a couple of pieces of Indian Handmade or gold jewelry, some pottery, or one of the many other items available at this location. Do your shopping before you tour the museum and look for The Thing. Because afterwards you will probably want to compose yourself and just sit awhile sipping a cold soda or try to calm your nerves by scarfing up an Ultimate Burger or shoveling down a cold DQ Blizzard at the Dairy Queen located right next door. This location also offers self-serve Shell fuel with 24 hr. Pay at the pump service.
Reviewed 26 March 2012

This place has a ton of neat souvenir type stuff to look at and the DQ is great.

Thank Rodney L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (26)
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24 - 26 of 26 reviews

Reviewed 14 January 2012

My first recollection of "the thing" was when travelling to Tucson, AZ as a boy in the early 60s; the yellow billboard signs with red letters advertising "The Thing" started just outside of Palm Springs, CA & continued every few miles along Highway 60 &70 (later Interstate 10) all the way across the desert. The signs included little teasers, such as "The Thing?: mystery of the desert... The Thing?: bring your camera... The Thing? what is it??" The problem was on these trips of my youth, my family was always driving to Tucson to visit my grandparents, & thing"The Thing" was further down the highway. The closest I ever got to 'The Thing" was the last billboard in Tuscon, announcing the place was a mere 30 minutes away.

SPOILER ALERT! :) I finally experienced The Thing when driving to San Antonio, TX from California when I was in the US Navy in the late 70s. At that time, all there was to see was a large Indian-themed gift shop typical of many found in Arizona, and door in the back of the building leading to "The Thing". The cost of admission to go through the door back then was $3, which I paid & had my life-long curiosity finally satisfied. Out in back of the building is something of a cross between a junkyard and what was known in the 60s as a "trailside museum"... lots of old cars, mining equipment, & junk found along the byways of Arizona. The "museum" culminated with "the thing", which is what appears to be some sort of mummified (apparently) Native American Indian, with what appears to be a similarly mummified baby in her arms. The exhibit is in a large glass case, and looks like it could just as well be a paper mache fake.

Now fast-forward to 2012. The Thing still has billboards, but they are similar in style & advertising worth to the other Bowlin's travel stops & curio shops found along Interstates 10 & 40 in Arizona and New Mexico. The establishment now has a Daily Queen, a 24 hour gas station, and a large gift shop with tons of ersatz "authentic southwestern stuff", and entry to "The Thing" is now $1. For a buck, it may be worth going though the door & seeing what is behind the store... but the real attraction is that this is a historical site for anyone interested in old US highway memorabilia. If you get excited at the thought of hotels that look like teepees, or like the weird and offbeat on Route 66, then "The Thing" should not be missed. However, if this sort of thing (no pun intended) does not trip your trigger, then the gas is Cheaper and the food better in Tuscon.

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9  Thank Qualnurse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2009

The Thing is just a fun place to stop when traveling down I-10 lots of gifts and a little tour of collectables cars,buggies alittle of everthing and then the Thing a mummy with a baby in her arms some may think it's cheep but it will brake up the time on the road with a little oddity , The DQ is always a good thing when traveling with the kids and the staff there are great .

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1  Thank trs4619
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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