America’s Most Unique Roadside Attractions

Heidi Besen /

Dive into the heart of America’s most whimsical side as we take you on an unforgettable journey. Each stop promises a blend of laughter and wonder and the perfect snapshot to capture the essence of your adventure.

Alabama: Unclaimed Baggage

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In Scottsboro, Alabama, Unclaimed Baggage is a unique retail experience offering items from lost luggage that airlines couldn’t return to owners. Each find has a story, from clothing to electronics, making shopping here a treasure hunt unlike any other.

Alaska: Igloo City


As an eerie, abandoned structure meant to be a hotel, the Igloo City resembles a giant igloo. Its desolate location and unique architecture make it a fascinating yet spooky roadside oddity. Despite its unfinished state, it attracts photographers and adventurers.

Arizona: London Bridge

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London Bridge, now in Lake Havasu City, showcases architectural preservation by relocating a piece of British history to the American desert in 1971. It merges two cultures, creating a picturesque landmark, a historical marvel, and a modern attraction.

Arkansas: Christ of the Ozarks

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Erected in 1966 in Eureka Springs, the Christ of the Ozarks statue stands over 65 feet tall, symbolizing faith and peace. Its presence offers spiritual solace and stunning panoramic views of the surrounding Ozark Mountains.

California: Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch

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Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch offers a fantastical forest of metal trees adorned with colorful glass bottles. It creates a vibrant visual and auditory experience as the wind plays through the bottles and reflects the sun in a kaleidoscope of colors.

Colorado: Herkimer, the World’s Largest Beetle


Herkimer, the World’s Largest Beetle in Colorado Springs, introduces visitors to the May Natural History Museum’s extensive insect collection. This oversized sculpture captures the imagination and highlights the museum’s dedication to the fascinating world of entomology.

Connecticut: Cushing Brain Collection

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Yale University’s Cushing Brain Collection in Connecticut provides a deep dive into neuroscience with over 400 brain specimens. It reflects Dr. Harvey Cushing’s pioneering work in brain surgery, offering a unique educational experience on the complexities of the human brain.

Delaware: Miles the Monster

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Delaware’s Dover International Speedway is home to Miles the Monster, a massive, concrete sculpture that embodies the spirit of the racetrack. A full-scale stock car clutched in its hand adds to this towering figure’s allure.

Florida: World’s Smallest Police Station

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The World’s Smallest Police Station in Carrabelle operates from a phone booth, showcasing the town’s dedicated approach to public safety since the 1960s. Originally established to provide shelter for officers during lousy weather, it has become a significant tourist attraction.

Georgia: Jimmy Carter Peanut Statue


Erected during his 1976 presidential campaign, the Jimmy Carter Peanut Statue in Plains, Georgia, is a humorous homage to the 39th president. It symbolizes Carter’s roots and sense of humor and features a grinning nut to celebrate his groundnut farming background.

Hawaii: Plant Maze

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The Large Plant Maze, located at the Dole Plantation, is one of the world’s gigantic mazes, sprawling over three acres. Visitors can enjoy the challenge of finding secret stations amidst tropical plants and the panoramic view from the central tower.

Idaho: Don Aslett Museum of Clean

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Pocatello’s Don Aslett Museum of Clean is devoted to the art and history of cleaning. This museum transforms cleaning from a chore into an engaging, educational experience, highlighting the importance and evolution of cleanliness in human society.

Illinois: World’s Largest Catsup Bottle

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Since 1949, Collinsville’s World’s Largest Catsup Bottle has served as a towering advertisement for Brooks’ Catsup. Beyond its role as a marketing tool, this 170-foot tall structure marks the site of annual festivals and gatherings, celebrating the local culture and history.

Indiana: World’s Largest Bottle of Paint


Located in Alexandria outside the PPG plant, The World’s Largest Bottle of Paint is a vibrant testament to the community’s artistic spirit. This oversized paint stands 35 feet tall and can hold over 580,000 gallons.

Iowa: Future Birthplace of Captain Kirk

Riverside proudly claimed the title of Captain James T. Kirk’s future birthplace in 1985, setting a 2228 birthdate. It hosts a Star Trek museum, attracting fans globally with its memorabilia and a monument celebrating the legacy of the iconic sci-fi series.

Kansas: The World’s Largest Collection of the World’s Smallest Versions of the World’s Largest Things

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In Lucas, Kansas, visitors find an amusing array of miniatures at this quirky museum featuring tiny replicas of famous giant landmarks, showcasing creativity and craftsmanship. The collection is the brainchild of artist Erika Nelson, who gathers inspiration from roadside oddities.

Kentucky: Noah’s Ark Replica

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Spanning 510 feet in length, the life-size Noah’s Ark Replica stands as a monumental testament to religious tales. It gives tourists a special chance to explore an ancient story in a modern context, complete with exhibits and animals.

Louisiana: Nicolas Cage’s Tomb

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Nicolas Cage’s future tomb stands out in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 in New Orleans. The pyramid-shaped mausoleum is a pre-purchased, striking final resting place for the actor, which reflects his eccentric personality and deep interest in mythology and history.

Maine: International Cryptozoology Museum

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Portland’s International Cryptozoology Museum is dedicated to studying hidden or unknown animals like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. The only one of its kind founded by cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, it offers a fascinating glimpse into cryptids.

Maryland: National Museum of Civil War Medicine

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This National Museum in Frederick highlights the origins of modern emergency medicine and the American Red Cross. Through exhibits on surgery, nursing, and camp life, it offers insights into the challenges and advancements in medical care during wartime.

Massachusetts: The Paper House

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The Paper House in Rockport, Massachusetts, is a marvel of unconventional design constructed almost entirely from newspapers. This unique dwelling showcases the ingenuity and whimsy of its creator, attracting curiosity seekers. Inside, even furniture and decor are crafted from paper.

Michigan: World’s Largest Tire

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Situated along I-94 in Allen Park, the World’s Largest Tire is an 80-foot-tall symbol of Detroit’s automotive heritage. Initially created for the 1964 New York World’s Fair, this iconic roadside giant weighs over 12 tons, symbolizing the city’s industrial prowess.

Minnesota: The SPAM Museum

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The SPAM Museum in Austin celebrates the iconic canned meat that has become a part of American and global food culture. The museum features a SPAMbassador-led tour, sharing quirky facts and recipes through interactive exhibits and vintage ads.

Mississippi: Devil’s Crossroads


The Devil’s Crossroads is where legend says musician Robert Johnson sold his soul for musical genius. As it pays homage to the deep love of blues music in the Delta, it’s a must-visit for music and mystery enthusiasts.

Missouri: Red Oak II

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Red Oak II, near Carthage, is the recreation of a ghost town by artist Lowell Davis, featuring restored buildings and artifacts that paint a picture of early 20th-century rural life. This living museum invites tourists into a bygone era.

Montana: Havre Beneath the Streets

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Montana’s underground passages, “Havre Beneath the Streets,” provide a historical glimpse into early 1900s city life. Created post-fire, these tunnels once housed businesses like a post office and saloon and have now been reconstructed to offer special historical tours.

Nebraska: Nebraska Rest Area

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Nebraska’s rest areas, especially the Platte River Archway Monument over I-80, elevate pit stops into educational experiences with exhibits on westward expansion and stunning Platte River views. These sites blend local culture, history, and architecture into memorable stops.

Nevada: Goldwell Open Air Museum


Established in 1984 by Belgian artist Albert Szukalski, the Goldwell Open Air Museum sits near Rhyolite, Nevada. It showcases large-scale sculptures, such as a ghostly “Last Supper,” set against the Mojave Desert backdrop, merging art with the haunting landscape.

New Hampshire: Redstone Rocket

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In Warren, New Hampshire, a real Redstone Rocket is a monument to the town’s pride in space exploration. Installed in 1971, this actual missile, once part of America’s early space endeavors, is now a historic landmark and educational piece.

New Jersey: Lucy the Elephant

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Margate boasts Lucy the Elephant, a six-story architectural novelty built in 1881. This iconic elephant-shaped building offers tours that highlight its distinct structure. Lucy earned the title of a National Historic Landmark in 1976, securing its place in architectural history.

New Mexico: Roswell

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Roswell is synonymous with UFOs and alien lore, attracting those fascinated by the possibility of extraterrestrial life with many themed attractions. The International UFO Museum and Research Center is a highlight for those seeking alien encounters.

New York: Cross Island Chapel

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Cross Island Chapel in Oneida is the world’s smallest church, with a mere 28.68 square feet of space. Seated on a wooden platform in the middle of a pond, this tiny house of worship can only be reached by boat.

North Carolina: World’s Largest Chest of Drawers

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This oversized furniture is a 32-foot tribute to the city’s status as the Home Furnishings Capital of the World. Built in 1926, it features two giant socks dangling from a drawer, representing the community’s hosiery industry.

North Dakota: Tommy the Turtle

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Tommy the Turtle proudly rides atop a snowmobile, a huge figurine celebrating Bottineau’s fascination for outdoor sports. Standing 30 feet tall, this friendly Turtle is a peculiar landmark that represents the joy of winter sports in the region.

Ohio: World’s Largest Basket


Newark is home to the World’s Largest Basket, the previous headquarters of the Longaberger Basket Company. Interestingly, this peculiar building, shaped like a giant picnic basket with handles, spans 160 times the size of their Medium Market Basket.

Oklahoma: The Blue Whale


A cherished roadside attraction, the Blue Whale presents a playful pit stop with its massive structure. Constructed in the 1970s as a wedding anniversary gift, it symbolizes love and creativity and is a favorite spot for photographers.

Oregon: Enchanted Forest

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The Enchanted Forest in Salem is a family-built theme park that brings fairy tales and fantasy to life through handmade storybook scenes, rides, and attractions. Since its opening in 1971, it has enchanted visitors with its creative landscapes and nostalgic charm.

Pennsylvania: Haines Shoe House

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The Haines Shoe House is a shoe-shaped dwelling that captivates sightseers with its fanciful design. Erected in 1948, it serves as a quirky testament to imaginative architecture. Initially a marketing gimmick, it now offers tours and even ice cream.

Rhode Island: World’s Largest Bug


The World’s Largest Bug in Providence is a massive termite model towering over the headquarters of New England Pest Control. The “Big Blue Bug” is 58 feet long and serves as an unconventional landmark.

South Carolina: World’s Largest Fire Hydrant


Bollie, the World’s Largest Fire Hydrant in Columbia, stands 39 feet tall and weighs approximately 675,000 pounds. Created by artist Blue Sky in 2001, this towering sculpture can unleash a deluge of water, symbolizing the city’s quirky sense of humor.

South Dakota: Petrified Wood Park

Located in Lemmon, South Dakota, the Petrified Wood Park features towering structures made from petrified wood and fossils. It’s an outdoor exhibition that includes a castle, waterfall, and wishing well, all artistically celebrating natural history.

Tennessee: Titanic Museum


The Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, provides an immersive experience of the historic voyage of the Titanic. With artifacts and interactive exhibits, it brings the story of the ill-fated ship to life. Guests can even touch an iceberg.

Texas: The Orange Show

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This labyrinthine complex in Houston, built between 1956 and 1980, features mosaics, ironworks, and recycled objects, illustrating McKissack’s devotion to promoting the fruit’s health benefits. It is a folk art environment celebrating the orange, created by postman Jeff McKissack.

Utah: Hole N” The Rock

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Near Moab, hole N” The Rock is a 5,000-square-foot home carved into a massive rock. It includes a gift shop, zoo, and the original 14-room home, showcasing the ingenuity and determination of its creators, Albert and Gladys Christensen.

Vermont: Bread and Puppet Museum

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Situated in Glover, this museum houses one of the largest collections of the world’s oldest and largest puppets. As part of a politically radical puppet theater, it also displays masks and posters from decades of performances advocating social justice.

Virginia: The Great Stalacpipe Organ

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The Great Stalacpipe Organ, the world’s largest musical instrument, is located in Luray Caverns, Virginia. It uses rubber-tipped mallets to strike stalactites gently, producing tones heard throughout the caverns and creating a hauntingly beautiful sound in a natural amphitheater.

Washington: Wild Horses Monument


Overlooking the Columbia River in Vantage, Washington, the Wild Horses Monument, also known as “Grandfather Cuts Loose the Ponies,” features 15 life-sized steel sculptures of wild horses captured in mid-gallop, symbolizing unbridled freedom and the pioneering spirit of the West.

West Virginia: Mystery Hole


The Mystery Hole in Ansted, West Virginia, promises an experience that defies the laws of physics. Established in the 1970s, this roadside attraction offers guests a mind-bending adventure with optical illusions and gravity-defying phenomena that challenge perceptions.

Wisconsin: Upside-Down White House


In Wisconsin Dells, the Upside-Down White House, known as “Top Secret,” presents an intriguing attraction where visitors explore a replica of the President’s residence flipped upside down. This bizarre architectural marvel offers a remarkable, topsy-turvy take on American history and politics.

Wyoming: Ames Brothers Pyramid


Standing in relative isolation in southeastern Wyoming, this monument commemorates the Ames brothers’ contributions to the Transcontinental Railroad. This 60-foot-tall Pyramid, built in 1882, is a testament to the industrialists’ impact on American expansion and the Union Pacific Railroad.


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