Everyone dreams of hopping in the car at some point and just seeing all of America! Every state has its thrills and eccentricities, and it’s the fascinating roadside stops that really make a trip memorable! So, what are the weirdest roadside attractions in each state?
Well, there’s quite a bit to go through per state…so we took care of that for you! Because of travelers, attractions and even whole towns would crop up along the highway where people stop to rest. And that’s where you’ll find the best (and weirdest) things to see!
From oversized spuds to fantastical museums, there’s something unique and so personal to each state at these weird roadside attractions.
Hunchbacked Benedictine monk Brother Joseph constructed his beloved four-acre roadside attraction using trash and cement! There are over 125 individual grottos in this stunning site.
Alaskans want to make extra sure that every Christmas is merry to the max. And no Alaskans more so than those living in the town of North Pole, which is overlooked by a 42-foot-tall Santa statue!
That’s right, the original London Bridge isn’t even in London–it’s in Lake Havasu, Arizona, of all places. It was built over the London Thames in the 1830s, but then dismantled and brought to Arizona in 1967…and no, it’s not going to fall down!
Arkansas is officially home to the third-tallest Jesus in the world! Reminiscent of Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, this Arkansas statue stands 66 feet tall for any who wish to view it.
This oddity is great for all those fans of the paranormal! Built on the instruction of Sarah Winchester, heir to the family’s fortune (made from the manufacture and sale of guns), the house was built to help her escape the ghosts of every person killed by her family’s rifles.
And yeah, that’s a lot of ghosts to dodge, which is why the house is 160 rooms of nonsensical architecture!
Herkimer was erected as a tourist trap, specifically to draw people to the May Museum of the Tropics. Even if you don’t want to go there, you can still marvel at the sheer size of this West Indian Hercules Beetle!
This work of architecture from Philip Johnson was erected in the 1940s, and is now a National Historic Landmark! It offers tours May through November, and it’s a pretty popular tourist spot.
Yeah, you’d think the fabled fountain of youth would be somewhere remarkable, somewhere remote and wild like an island in the ocean or a hidden cave in the mountains.
Nope. It’s right there in Lewes, Delaware.
Weeki Wachee, Florida is where you go to see an actual mermaid!
These performers have been putting on mermaid shows since 1947, and officially trained “mermaids” do three 15-minute shows per day.
Apparently, deep in the heart of Georgia is a trail of nightmares! Constitution Lakes Park in Georgia has a two-and-a-half-mile hike on which carpenter Joel Slaton arranged the pieces of dolls and other junk he’d find in the woods, making a creepy curated path of dirty doll heads to follow.
Why pay for a steam facial when you can just hop out of the car and stick your face over one of these vents on Hawaii’s Crater Rim drive? The Kilauea volcano needs a place to let off its steam, and this is the spot!
This drive-in just goes to show the world that you don’t need all manner of bells and frills to make a place special. Sometimes, all you need is a big ol’ potato in front of the entrance! Idaho is known for its potatoes, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that this spud isn’t even the state’s biggest.
And no, this isn’t just a 170-foot catsup bottle looming over Collinsville, Illinois. It’s also a working water tower!
Now, the real question: why is it called a “catsup” bottle?!
Believe it or not, this used to be a simple baseball. Not anymore! Now, after over 24,000 coats of paint (weighing more than 4,200-pounds at that), it’s the world’s largest ball of paint instead!
If you keep an eye out on Iowa’s Highway 71, you’ll see Albert the Bull standing proud and tall–and has been for over 50 years! The bull is 33 feet long and sees over 20,000 visitors a year.
I don’t really know whose idea it was to just…make a really big ball of twine, but here it is! Kansas is home to the world’s largest ball of twine, weighing over 10 tons and made of at least 8 million feet of twine.
Cave City, Kentucky hosts a huge collection of life-sized dinosaurs, all situated on a large property waiting for visitors! Just look for the giant T-Rex on I-65 and follow it to over 150 other prehistoric replicas set up for your entertainment.
If you can’t make Louisiana’s actual Mardi Gras celebration, there’s always the next best thing. This strange New Orleans warehouse is filled with old Mardi Gras decor and floats, so you can get the feel of the holiday even if you aren’t part of it!
Attention to all cryptid fans: this is the roadside attraction for you! Big Foot believers and Loch Ness enthusiasts will find a museum filled with artifacts about the folklore that they grew up hearing about.
So this place isn’t quite a “roadside attraction,” but it’s got the spirit of one! With real slices of the human body and preserved brains for viewing, there’s definitely a morbid curiosity that is piqued by this museum!
This one is pretty self-explanatory; it’s a house entirely constructed with newspapers! Ellis Stenman ended up building this strange place in 1922, using over 10,000 newspapers in the process.
Anybody who frequents the Detroit airport will see this gargantuan rubber tire sitting along the highway! The 12 ton, 80-foot tire has gone so far as to survive an attempted puncture from the world’s largest nail in 1998.
Because of course this well-know vegetable mascot is standing guard over his town of origin! And he’ll remind you to eat your veggies.
This roadside dive serves classic southern fare, although it was involved in a spot of political controversy in the 1960s, it continues to give customers a true Mississippi dining experience.
No, this isn’t actually the biggest pecan in the world…although that would be amazing. This is really just concrete pained up to look like a pecan. Why? Who knows. How a 20th-century pecan differs from any other century? Also a mystery.
Just appreciate the pecan, and that’s about it.
Here we have one of America’s biggest coin collections, all set up inside of a bar. The setup also contains a casino, a motel, a gift shop, and RV parking, so you don’t have to worry that there’s nothing else to do besides look at old coins!
There’s a Stonehenge made of cars in Nebraska, with absolutely none of the age and mystique of the original Stonehenge…but it still draws in plenty of visitors every year!
Founder Jim Reinders set it up in 1987 and painted all the cars grey–so it’s identical to the old Stonehenge. Right?!
Just outside the ghost town Rhyolite is an odd little open-air museum, famous for its setup of statues emulating The Last Supper. There are other sculptures in the area too, but the haunting Last Supper arrangement is easily the most photographed!
For New Hampshire, apparently the best place to store an active, important submarine is…right in a ditch on the side of the road! According to its curators, keeping it on the side of US 1 and I-95 is cheaper to insure than keeping it in the water.
While yes, there have been plenty of big roadside animals on this list, Lucy the elephant came before all of them. She’s a six-story elephant built in 1881, and she can withstand pretty much anything at this point!
If you can make it over to this plaque, technichally you won’t just be at a roadside attraction in New Mexico–you’ll be standing in New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah all at the same time!
(Well, mostly. The actual intersection is about 1,800 feet away from the plaque, but shhh. Just let yourself have it.)
This kaleidoscope (located inside an old grain silo) puts a colorful spin on stargazing; 56 feet tall and 38 feet across, the kaleidoscope comes with surround sound and changes seasonally, so there’s always a new experience to be found!
Of all the things to have a “world’s largest” version of, why this? I have no idea. Nonetheless, North Carolina’s High Point is home to a 38-foot dresser, and it’s even adorned with two gigantic socks!
North Dakota’s attraction isn’t one roadside thing; it’s a 32-mile stretch of highway dotted with huge sculptures crafted from scrap metal! This attraction certainly makes a monotonous car ride more interesting.
It’s the world’s largest basket, and it’s also a place of work! People actually go there every day, 9 to 5, because this basket doubles as an office building.
This must be one of the strangest romantic gifts, but it attracts plenty of viewers! The Blue Whale was a present from a husband to his wife, and then it became the main event for an attraction built up around it, The Animal Reptile Kingdom.
Grants Pass, Oregon, truly loves its caveman mascot; we may not know where it came from, but we know it’s there to stay. When some teens burnt it down in 2004, the town had it back up in under a year!
That sounds like some artistic name, but it’s really not: in Pymatuning State Park, the water is so tightly packed with carp that the ducks and seagulls there walk right on top of them to get from one place to another!
You might say, “but I’m not in the market for an umbrella!” and that’s okay. The Fantastic Umbrella Company is actually a regionally-renowned bazaar made up of five stores, and it sells just about every kind of artisinal ware you could think of! There’s also a cafe and a petting zoo if the shopping experience isn’t enough.
The gigantic metal fire hydrant was commissioned for the city of Columbia, South Carolina in 1975. It even used to work as a fountain, but now? Now, it’s just a giant artistic fire hydrant replica.
On a block of Lemmon, South Dakota’s Main Street, you can find the Petrified Wood Park: sculpted trees all made from pieces of petrified wood. It’s quite the picturesque walk!
Unfortunately, not all of us have the time or funds to take a vacation to Athens, Greece, to explore the actual Parthenon. So, Tennessee has a roadside full-scale replica of the legendary building for people to explore instead!
In the ’60s in Houston, Texas, a house was constructed made completely out of beer cans! And, after stacking and packing over 50,000 cans together, creator John Milkovisch says it isn’t art: it’s just a way for him to pass the time.
Utah’s US Highway 191 doesn’t have traditional ‘rest stops.’ It has the Hole N” The Rock, a 5,000-square-foot home carved into the red rock by the road and containing a trading post, general store, art collection, and more! Sounds way more refreshing than a regular rest stop too, huh?
On Vermont’s Route 7, you’ll be treated to a strange sight: a massive gorilla statue holding a beetle car! It makes for a pretty cool photo opportunity since you can go and sit in the gorilla’s other hand.
Again with the American fascination for re-creating Stonehenge, although this time, the artist was actually trying to make the “rocks” look like rocks! It’s not clear why foam was the material of choice to build this lookalike, but it works well enough.
Do you know the old fairy tales of a troll living under a bridge? Well, one really does live under the Aurora Bridge in Seattle, Washington! Although luckily, this guy doesn’t climb up and demand a toll from everyone who walks over it.
It’s imperative to make a stop in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, home of the infamous Mothman legend! A shadowy Mothman was once said to have terrorized the town in the ’60s, although now, he’s more or less the Point Pleasant mascot–and this statue of him proves it.
This upside-down monument has its own tour guides, just like the original (and right side up) White House! As to why the building is upside-down, well, maybe it’s a statement on politics in this country…or maybe it’s just a fun way to rope in tourists. Either way, it’s certainly striking!
Highway I-80 in Laramie, Wyoming has a huge 13-foot head of President Abraham Lincoln looking out over the drivers that go there. Not that Wyoming has any kind of special connection to the 16th president–they just seem really proud of that sculpted head!
Which of these roadside attractions would you most like to visit? Share the story with your friends and get planning a road trip of your own!