12 Weirdest Roadside Attractions in the U.S.
Here's the lowdown on some of the most interesting, strange and unusual parts of the American landscape.
On the hunt to see some of America's weirdest roadside attractions to visit? All over this country there are a ton of weird, wacky, fun, and just plain odd spectacles to either gaze at from your car window or get out and visit for a spell.
Every state has its own interesting and amusing little out-of-the-way attractions; bits of scenery that are tailor-made for the traveling selfie. Here are a number of strange, zany and downright hilarious roadside attractions to make your next drive across the U.S. a bit more memorable.
1. Cadillac Ranch – Amarillo, Texas
Why pass up a chance to see a line of cars half-submerged in the dirt and all painted up to look like some kind of Andy Warhol scene? Cadillac Ranch is the creation of a group of artists who wanted to present their own homage to the Cadillac in the mid-70s. It's something you shouldn't miss when making your way through the Lone Star State.
2. World's Largest Brick – Alabama
This one speaks for itself. Standing over a dozen feet tall, this mammoth piece of masonry is actually an advertisement for a local business. Even though it’s not technically the record holder anymore, it's still a fun sight to see if you're in the Montgomery area. Somewhere, there’s an even bigger brick sitting around.
3. Jimmy Carter Peanut Statue – Plains, Georgia
Want to remember one of our greatest modern presidents? How about with a peanut statue standing as big as a house with a big eerie grin and no eyes. This is a neat way to spend time if you're ever in Plains, Georgia. This 13-foot tall statue was actually built by Indiana's Democratic Party. It was then transplanted to Carter's southern hometown.
4. Route 66 “Musical Road” – New Mexico
Out in New Mexico, you can drive a stretch of historic Route 66 and actually hear the rumble strip play “America the Beautiful.” However, travelers have had mixed experiences, and to hear it well, you're really supposed to travel the posted speed limit of 45 mph. Try this one and you don't even have to get out of your car. This is one of America’s weird roadside attractions that appeals to more than just your sense of sight (and absurdity).
5. Foamhenge – Natural Bridge, Virginia
If you're ever in this Virginia town, you can get a twofer. After seeing the town's namesake natural bridge, check out Mark Cline’s foam replica of ancient Stonehenge in the U.K.
6. Crayola Factory – Easton, Pennsylvania
Want to see how crayons are made and get an up-close look at some really big crayon boxes? This western Pennsylvania spot is a convenient attraction if you're moving from the Eastern Seaboard to the Midwest. It’s also likely to wow the little tykes, who might actually be inspired to put down their game devices and tablets for a minute.
7. Salvation Mountain – Calipatria, California
This is a very interesting visual roadside exhibit in a rather out-of-the-way part of Southern California on Highway 111. Artist Leonard Knight put a lot of the work into this one-of-a-kind art installation as a sort of religious effort. We think it's fair to say you've never seen anything like it.
8. Jolly Green Giant – Minnesota
Come out and see the same jolly face on those little cans of peas, corn and green beans towering over you in Blue Earth, Minnesota. This statue stands 55-and–a-half feet tall and was installed in the late 1970s to prop up a local radio show and promote local economic development.
9. Super-Museum – Metropolis, Illinois
This tribute to the Man of Steel has more than 20,000 pieces of Superman memorabilia and artifacts. If your kid is into superheroes, you don't want to miss this one on your next road trip. Find a variety of blue suits, red boots, multi-colored tights and so much more - both in the museum and an adjoining gift shop.
10. Carhenge – Alliance, Nebraska
This one is another Stonehenge parody but this time it's made out of vehicles. If Foamhenge wasn't enough, this car fan’s construction offers another enduring tribute to the American car in all of its beauty.
11. Roadside America
Located in the historic town of Shartlesville, PA, Roadside America (not to be confused with the app of the same name) is a one-of-a-kind stop, a 6,000-square-foot model display of trains, people and terrain. Gaze at more than 300 miniature buildings, 10,000 handmade trees, and actual flowing streams and rivers, as well as dozens of animated scenes. Operate trains and trolleys with push buttons and keep the little ones entertained for hours.
12. Shoe Trees
This is a bizarrely crowdsourced attraction that's climbed onto the short list of top weird roadside attractions for travelers. It's actually as simple as it sounds: people throw shoes into trees. Like Carhenge and other designs, it’s a type of performance-art piece using castoff items, in this case, footwear. Unlike any of the other things on this list, it’s more of a casually organic happening than something somebody built in a particular place. Look for shoe trees in various locations as you make your way around the country.
Whether you leave with a piece of memorabilia from the gift shop or just a wacky picture to post to Facebook, these weird roadside attractions will help you make your next trip just a bit more memorable.