There’s nothing more “American” than a good old fashion road trip, and what better way to have fun while driving down the wide open road than to stop at some quirky attractions? Here’s 31 weird pit stop attractions you can find spread throughout the U.S.
The Thing; Dragoon, Arizona
The endless stretch of desert highway between El Paso, Texas and Tucson, Arizona is littered with nearly 250 billboards advertising a mysterious attraction called “The Thing.” We won’t give away the big surprise, but the strange object was recently given a facelift. The quick backstory is that it involves dinosaurs, aliens, and Stonehenge.
Giant Artichoke; Castroville, California
In the Artichoke Capital of the World, you’ll find a giant artichoke in the parking lot of the Giant Artichoke Restaurant. Castroville holds an annual Artichoke Festival in which Marilyn Monroe was the first artichoke beauty queen, crowned in 1948.
Salvation Mountain; Nilan, California
This man-made mountain is covered in half a million gallons of paint with colorful, biblical messages like “God is Love.” This area has created a budding artist community full of sculptures, car parts, telephone poles, car windows, and the like.
Giant Campbell’s Soup Can; Fort Collins, Colorado
Located in Colorado State University’s University Center of the Arts sculpture garden, you can find a giant Campbell’s tomato soup can, signed by Andy Warhol himself.
The World’s Largest Beetle; Colorado Springs, Colorado
A monster-sized West Indian Hercules Beetle, named “Herkimer,” tries to attract passersby into the May Museum of the Tropics.
Swetsville Zoo; Fort Collins, Colorado
This zoo is unusual because there are no living creatures. Instead, these creatures are all constructed from car parts, farm machinery, and scrap metal. You can find everything from giant spiders made out of a VW car to futuristic aliens and spaceships to dinosaurs.
Lifesize Sperm Whale; West Hartford, Connecticut
The sperm whale is Connecticut’s state animal, so in 1976 “Conny” was built. You can walk through her 60-foot-long body and watch as water spurts up from the whale’s blowhole.
World’s Biggest Beagle; Dog Bark Park Inn, Cottonwood, Indiana
Not only can you visit the world’s biggest beagle, but you can also sleep in it too! The Dog Bark Park Inn offers a unique bed and breakfast experience inside the beagle statue. Inside the dog head is a loft room and a cozy alcove in the muzzle.
The World’s Largest Catsup Bottle; Collinsville, Illinois
This 170-foot-tall catsup bottle is actually a working water tower and was built in 1949 for the G.S. Suppiger catsup bottling plant.
World’s Largest Ball of Paint; Alexandria, Indiana
What started as a regular-size baseball now weighs more than 4,000 pounds, has over 23,000 layers of paint, and is 14 feet wide. Visitors can even make an appointment to add your own layer of paint.
World’s Largest Ball of Twine; Cawker City, Kansas
What started as a simple way to store leftover twine quickly turned into a race for the record books. As of 2018, the world’s largest ball of twine consists of 8 million feet of twine and the entire thing weighs over ten tons. Visitors can participate by adding their own twine to the ball.
World’s Largest Baseball Bat; Louisville, Kentucky
In front of the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, you’ll find a 120-foot-tall, 68,000-pound steel replica of Babe Ruth’s bat.
Paul Bunyan Statue; Bangor, Maine
Bangor was once the lumber capital of the world and is home a 31-foot-tall statue of one of the most famous lumberjacks, Paul Bunyan. The statue was made famous when it came to life in Stephen King’s novel, IT.
Jolly Green Giant Statue; Blue Earth, Minnesota
Standing more than 55 feet tall, this giant statue of the Jolly Green Giant was erected in the birthplace of the vegetable company and built by a local radio show host who wanted to lure people into town to interview them for his “Welcome Travelers” series.
Garden of One Thousand Buddhas; Arlee, Montana
Established as an International Center for Peace, this monument houses one thousand buddhas and is built on an Indian reservation.
Carhenge; Alliance, Nebraska
Think Stonehenge, but made of cars! Nearly 100,000 people come to see this roadside attraction every single year.
Seven Magic Mountains; Las Vegas, Nevada
Located 26 miles outside of Las Vegas, bright and colorful rocks stand out against an otherwise dull landscape. This quirky roadside art installation by Ugo Rondinone makes for a great Instagram photo.
The Largest Chili Pepper in the World; Las Cruces, New Mexico
This 47-foot-long red pepper is made out of 2.5 tons of concrete and is setup to lure travelers to the hotel it’s in front of, rather than the ones without giant chiles.
World’s Largest Pistachio; Alamogordo, New Mexico
This 30-foot pistachio is designed to lure passersby into the McGinn’s Pistachio Tree Ranch and Arena Blanca Winery.
Four Corners Monument; Shiprock, New Mexico
Here you’ll find a small plaque that sits on the intersecting corners of New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah. It’s a great photo op if you put your hands and feet in different states—four at once!
Enchanted Highway Sculptures; Regent, North Dakota
When driving the otherwise open, flat prairie land from Regent, North Dakota to Dickinson, North Dakota, the Enchanted Highway sculptures are sure to make the drive more interesting. Said to be the largest scrap metal sculptures in the world, you’ll find giant metal deer, flying geese, a large grasshopper, and more.
World’s Largest Basket; Newark, Ohio
The seven-story corporate headquarters for the Longaberger Basket Company is actually a giant basket. It’s 160 times larger than their “medium market basket” and is 192 feet long and 126 feet wide at the bottom and grows to 208 feet long and 142 feet wide at the roofline.
Mr. Potato Head Man; Pawtucket, Rhode Island
In front of the Hasbro Headquarters, you’ll find a giant Mr. Potato Head sculpture who is also the “official family-travel ambassador” of Rhode Island.
Parthenon; Nashville, Tennessee
Built in 1897 for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, this full-scale replica of the legendary Parthenon in Athens, Greece, is worth the stop especially if you can’t go see the real one.
Cadillac Ranch; Amarillo, Texas
The repetitive scenery of Route 66 across the panhandle of Texas is broken up by the colorful spray painted cars buried in the ground at Cadillac Ranch. This attraction has become a ritual site for travelers and it’s encouraged to bring spray paint to sign your name as you pass by.
Demon of Corpus Christi; Corpus Christi, Texas
What was once a large devil statue that decorated an amusement park ride, the Demon of Corpus Christi now carries a pitchfork made of aluminum beer cans that guards a recycling company.
World’s Largest Cowboy Boots; San Antonio, Texas
Located in front of the North Star Mall, you’ll find a pair of the world’s largest cowboy boots.
Prada Store; Marfa, Texas
A fully-stocked Prada store in the West Texas desert that is never open for business. Marfa has become a center for artists and this “fake” store draws people from all over the country.
Fremont Troll; Seattle, Washington
Underneath the Aurora Bridge is the home to a giant cement troll, which was debuted to the community on Halloween 1990.
Mothman Statue; Point Pleasant, West Virginia
As the story goes, the mutant monster Mothman terrorized the citizens of Point Pleasant. The story rose to even bigger fame in 2001 when the Richard Gere film, “The Mothman Prophecies” came out. Here you’ll find a giant chrome mothman statue with glaring red eyes.
World’s Largest Six-Pack; La Crosse, Wisconsin
Wisconsin is home to the beer giant MillerCoors. The world’s largest six-pack are actually clever storage tanks built in the ’60s for the beer company. Today, they advertise La Crosse Lager.
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