Kelsey is a freelance writer based in Southern Virginia. She enjoys traveling with her family to destinations from national parks to amusement parks and loves sharing tips and stories from along the way.
Ah, road trips. At their best, these vacations are an incredible way to spend time together, exploring America and seeing new sites. At their worst, they’re frustrating for all involved. If you’ve heard “Are we there yet?” one too many times and can’t abide the idea of one more game of “I Spy,” be sure to add these wacky and unusual roadside attractions to your road trip itinerary. They’re sure to add excitement to even the longest drive.
10. Carhenge, Alliance, Nebraska
Perhaps you’ve heard of Stonehenge, the famous UNESCO World Site? Yeah, this isn’t it! This is Carhenge, one of America’s wackiest attractions. Located just north of Alliance, Nebraska, it was created by Alliance native Jim Reinders in tribute to the original. What makes Carhenge special is that it’s made of cars – 38 of them, to be exact – arranged in the same pattern as Stonehenge. Visitors can explore the site, take photos, and learn about the history of the monument. It’s a must-see stop for anyone traveling through the area.
9. Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, Texas
While you’re checking out car-related attractions, be sure to head over to Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas. This offbeat roadside attraction features ten Cadillac cars buried nose-first in the ground, covered in graffiti and spray paint. It’s a unique and colorful sight that has become an iconic symbol of the American West. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own spray paint and add their own artistic touch to the cars, making it a fun and interactive stop. Bonus: it’s perfect for a photo op!
8. The World’s Largest Ball of Twine, Cawker City, Kansas
This massive ball of twine is an attraction that’s hard to miss and even harder to forget. Located in Cawker City, Kansas, this ball of twine weighs in at a whopping 20,000 pounds and measures over 40 feet in circumference. It was started by a local farmer in 1953 and has been growing ever since. Visitors can add their own piece of twine to the ball, making it a true community effort. It’s a quirky and fun stop that’s perfect for a photo opportunity and a chance to stretch your legs on a long drive.
7. The Corn Palace, Mitchell, South Dakota
We hope you REALLY love corn, but even if you don’t, this attraction is unique and fun! This iconic attraction features murals and designs made entirely out of corn, showcasing the agricultural heritage of the region. The Corn Palace has been a fixture in Mitchell since 1892 and is still a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Visitors can explore the murals, watch live performances, and even taste some of the local corn-based cuisine. It’s a fun and educational stop that’s perfect for all ages.
6. The Mystery Spot, Santa Cruz, California
Another attraction you don’t want to miss is the Santa Cruz Mystery Spot. Located in the redwood forests just outside of Santa Cruz, California, this gravitational anomaly has been baffling visitors since 1941. The circular area of effect is around 150 feet or 46 meters in diameter and is said to make gravity and the laws of physics go haywire. Visitors can experience mind-bending optical illusions and strange sensations like standing on walls, walking upstairs that lead nowhere, and feeling like they’re spinning even though they’re standing still. It’s a wild stop that adds some mystery and adventure to your road trip.
5. The Beer Can House, Houston, Texas
The Beer Can House in Houston, Texas isn’t just a monument to cracking open a cold one- it’s a folk art house covered in beer cans, bottles, and other beer paraphernalia. The house was transformed by Houstonian John Milkovisch in the late 1960s, and it’s now one of Houston’s most recognizable folk art landmarks. The house is made up of more than 50,000 beer cans, and the story goes that Milkovisch hated to throw anything away, so after years of drinking, both his attic and garage were bursting with empty beer cans. Visitors can tour the house and see the impressive collection of beer cans and other beer-related items on display.
4. The World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock, Sugarcreek, Ohio
Now, we should point out that multiple giant clocks claim the title of the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock, but this one, in Sugarcreek, Ohio, was featured on the cover of the Guinness Book of World Records for that feat in 1977. Located in the center of Swiss Village in Sugarcreek, the clock is over 23 feet tall and 24 feet wide, making it an impressive sight to see. Every half hour, a cuckoo bird pops out, and then you hear Swiss polka music playing as the band emerges and a couple dances. Visitors can explore the clock and watch the performance, making it a fun and unique stop for anyone traveling through the area.
3. International Banana Museum, Mecca, California
The International Banana Museum in Mecca, California, is a quirky and unique roadside attraction that’s a must-see for anyone passing through the area. The one-room museum contains more than 20,000 items related to bananas, including banana-themed art, souvenirs, and even a banana-shaped guitar.\Visitors can explore the museum and learn about the history and cultural significance of bananas, as well as purchase banana-themed merchandise and banana-flavored sodas.
2. The Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard, Waterbury, Vermont
If the ice cream alone isn’t enough to lure you in, then maybe you’ll want to visit the Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard. It’s a cemetery for discontinued Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors, complete with headstones and epitaphs for each flavor. Visitors can explore the graveyard and pay their respects to flavors like “Wavy Gravy” and “Peanuts! Popcorn!” as well as learn about the history and inspiration behind each flavor. The graveyard is a fun and lighthearted way to celebrate the legacy of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and the creativity that goes into every flavor. (And, hello, ice cream!)
1. Bubblegum Alley, San Luis Obispo, California
Bubblegum Alley is a unique, colorful (and maybe slightly gross) attraction located in San Luis Obispo, California. It’s a 70-foot-long alleyway off Higuera Street that’s covered in millions of pieces of chewed bubblegum. Visitors can add their own contribution to the alley by sticking their own piece of gum to the wall, making it a fun and interactive stop for all ages. The alley has become a popular spot for tourists and locals alike, and it’s a great way to experience the quirky and creative side of San Luis Obispo. Just be sure to bring your own gum if you want to leave your mark on the wall!
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