Casa de Azucar, a.k.a. the House of Sugar, in El Paso, TX, is a true labor of love. Retired Levi Strauss worker Rufino Loya started decorating his home and yard in 1973, after promising his wife that he’d build her something beautiful. More than 40 years later, he’s still delivering. Three sides of the house and fencing have been ornately, painstakingly hand-painted. From a distance, it looks like something you’d see in a confectionary shop window—as if the home was draped in pastel fondant, piped with royal icing, and adorned with sugar paste flowers. Upon closer inspection, you see that the over-the-top display incorporates numerous religious shrines and altars, inspired by the churches Loya attended while growing up in Mexico. Loya doesn’t offer tours but you’re allowed to walk the perimeter and take pictures; small cash donations are welcome.
4301 Leavell Ave., El Paso, TX; no phone.