If you're just so happening to go on a road trip, there are countless stops you should consider making during your drive if you want to see some of North America's quirkiest attractions. Across the U.S. and in Canada, you'll find some of the weirdest and kookiest places; people and things that will either make you scratch your head or spark your curiosity.
Driving along a 32-mile stretch of highway in the southwestern state of North Dakota you'll stumble across the Enchanted Highway and see a wonderful collection of the world's largest scrap metal sculptures. Along Route 66, east of the ghost town of Amboy, you might spot a pair of Chinese lion sculptures that have placed in the empty desert. If you and your friends find yourselves in Victoria's Beacon Hill Park in British Columbia, Canada, you'll stumble upon a wondrous and serene sculpture of a woman sleeping and covered in moss.
We've compiled a list of 15 Weird Roadside Attractions We'll Only See in the U.S. and 10 in Canada that you must stop and see while traveling to your destination. These roadside attractions are bizarre to say the least but definitely worth making a pit stop for. Don’t forget to take a bunch of photos of them, too!
25 Hole N" The Rock Motel, Moab, Utah
If you are traveling along U.S. Highway 191 in Southwestern Utah, you'll come across this large 5,000 square foot home carved out of a huge rock. This unique home is open all year for those who want to stop by and take a tour and see how Albert and Gladys Christensen created this magnificent rock home. The idea began when a small alcove was created for their kids and later it grew into what it is today. The home features a 65-inch chimney, 14 rooms arranged around huge pillars and a deep bathtub built into the rock, reports theholeintherock.com. This is certainly the most outrageous and most unusual home in the Utah desert.
24 Nuclear Waste Adventure Trail, St. Charles, Missouri
In St. Charles, Missouri, you can climb a man-made mini-mountain where the largest explosive factory in the U.S. once stood. This factory was located just south of Weldon Spring and ten years later, a plant that refined uranium for Cold War nuclear bombs used the same property. The site ended up being abandoned in the 60s and it was a mess of 1.48 million cubic yards of PCBs, mercury, asbestos, TNT, radioactive uranium, and radium, along with contaminated sludge and rubble, reported Roadside America. So instead of cleaning all that waste up, it was entombed right where it was and made into this small mountain. Today, you can visit this attraction and climb the single stairway that leads to its summit.
23 Prada Marfa Store, Valentine, Texas
This isn't an actual Prada store set in the middle of nowhere, this is actually an art installation created by artists Elmgreen and Dragset, located 1.4 miles northwest of Valentine, Texas, just off U.S Highway 90. When it was built, it was no surprise that vandals broke the windows and looted the Prada Marfa store. The artists took swift action and not only repaired the building, but added alarms, stronger windows and cleverly displayed the designer handbags with no bottoms and all of the shoes are right-footed. The site gets thousands of visitors each year and makes for a great Instagram photo.
22 Gnome Chomsky, Kerhonkson, New York
If you ever find yourself in upstate New York, specifically in Kerhonkson, stop by artist Maria Reidlebach's project, "Gnome on the Grange," which celebrates the local farming community. The 10-hole mini golf course is located on 100-acre Kelder's Farm with its most eye-catching feature being the towering Gnome Chomsky. The Gnome use to hold the Guinness World Record for tallest concrete Gnome but lost that title to a Gnome in Iowa that stands 15 feet tall. However, there is actually a Gnome is Poland that stands 18 feet, but unlike Gnome Chomsky, these two Garden gnome's are made out of fiberglass.
21 Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, California
The Winchester Mystery House is exactly what is it, a total mystery and an architectural wonder. When Sarah Winchester bought the eight-room farmhouse she began a renovation project on the home that lasted 36 years and stopped in 1922 when she passed away. What makes this home so mysterious is that Sarah ended up building her very own mansion. The San Jose home features over 160 rooms, 40 bedrooms, 10,000 windows, and two basements. There are also doors that lead to nowhere, staircases that lead to ceilings and Tiffany stained-glass windows were installed in places where no light comes through. There is even a cabinet that when opened, extends through 30 rooms of the house. It is quite a unique home to explore.
20 Dinosaur Kingdom II, Natural Bridge, Virginia
If you loved dinosaur's growing up than you love this roadside attraction in Natural Bridge, Virginia. There are actually many dinosaur theme parks across the U.S., however, The Dinosaur Kingdom II may be the most different. Of course, there are plenty of dinosaurs but the park is also littered with Yankee soldiers from the Civil War, a mad scientist, a time machine, a lasso-flinging Abraham Lincoln, lumpy green "Mr. Slime" monsters, a lost buried treasure, and Confederate general Stonewall Jackson with a 15-foot robotic arm. Follow the path along the kingdom of dinosaurs and you'll be glad you made the pit stop.
19 Unclaimed Baggage Center, Scottsboro, Alabama
In Scottsboro, Alabama you'll find an extremely unique place that sells unclaimed airline luggage to those who visit. Travelers who make the stop here will find clothes, jewelry, bags and electronics that were found in bags from airports that were left unclaimed. This is the only store in the United States that buys and sells unclaimed baggage from airlines. The store has become a tourist attraction and sees nearly a million people each year. There are thousands of items added to the store every day, so there is always something new and unique. It is definitely worth a visit if you are traveling anywhere near Scottsboro. Plus, you never know what you might find here.
18 Georgia Guidestones, Elberton, Georgia
The Georgia Guidestones in Elberton, Georgia resembles something from ancient times. However, this monument was erected in 1980 and was meant to be a guide into "an Age of Reason." According to Atlas Obscura, engraved on the stones are ten guidelines meant to re-establish the planet and society, possibly after an apocalypse. The guide is written in eight different languages with commandments that preach to, "Rule passion, faith, tradition, and all things with tempered reason, balance personal rights with social duties and be not a cancer on the earth - leave room for nature." Experts are still unsure as to who built the monument, however, an engraving reads, "Sponsors: A Small Group of Americans Who Seek The Age Of Reason."
17 Carhenge, Alliance, Nebraska
Made out of 38 cars rescued from nearby farms and dumps, "Carhenge", in Alliance, Nebraska is America's Stonehenge. Not quite a mystery like the famous Stonehenge, this monument was built under the supervision of farmer and engineer Jim Reinders, who wanted to build it as a memorial to his father. According to Roadside America, "Reinders noticed that the monolithic dimensions of cars from the 1950s and '60s nearly equated the stones at Stonehenge, and he built his monument with a 96-foot diameter to match the proportions of the original. Carhenge was also spray painted grey to resemble that of Stonehenge.
16 Enchanted Highway Sculptures, Regent, North Dakota
The Enchanted Highway begins at Exit 72 on I-94 near Gladstone, North Dakota and ends 32 miles down the road in the small town of Regent. This cool roadside attraction showcases large metal sculptures that are placed along the county highway, beginning with "Geese in Flight." There are a bunch of cool sculptures to see while you drive, including "World’s Largest Tin Family," "Teddy Rides Again," "Pheasants on the Prairie," "Grasshoppers in the Field," and "Deer Crossing." After you've seen all of the metal sculptures, the town of Regent has a gift shop where you can actually buy small replicas of any of the sculptures you've seen.
15 Old Salem Coffee Pot, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Locals and coffee-lovers alike have admired this 7-foot coffee pot ever since it was built in 1858. There are numerous stories surrounding this kettle, with one, in particular, stating that a Yankee soldier hid in it during dangerous times during the Civil War. There have also been large debates about the coffee pot because people felt that it was a distraction to drivers passing by. However, locals always won with putting the large coffee pot back up and it continues to stand in Winston-Salem today. According to Atlas Obscura, the kettle can hold up t0 740 gallons, or about 11,840 cups of brew.
14 Musical Highway, Tijeras, New Mexico
On a stretch of Route 66 near Tijeras, New Mexico there are grooved lines that don't alert you if you're too close to the edge of the road, they actually play a song. According to Atlas Obscura, there are rumble strips that have been created to sound like the song "America The Beautiful." However, to hear the tune, you must drive at exactly 45 mph, so don't even think about speeding because you'll miss it. The musical highway was created with the partnership between the New Mexico Department of Transportation and the National Geographic Channel. Its purpose was to make drivers slow down and adhere to the speed limit.
13 Guardian Lions Of Route 66, Amboy, California
Two large white marble lions guard a portion of the Mojave Desert in California and it is a mystery as to how they got there. These pair of solid marble Chinese guardian lions, spaced a quarter mile apart is surrounded by nothing but desert and hot sun. It is unknown how these statues got there and whoever placed them there has never stepped forward. According to Atlas Obscura, the male lion holds an embroidered ball, representing a building or other space under his protection. The female lion shelters a cub, which represents nurturance and protection of the souls within the space. It seems as if these guardian lions are protecting the Mojave Desert.
12 2 Celled Jail, Gardner, Illinois
Along Route 66, in Gardner, Illinois you'll spot this tiny 2-celled jail that has become a beloved tourist attraction in this town. This tiny historic jail was built in 1906 and is actually one room cut in half by the bars of the cells, which are only separated by a metal sheet. The single cells have nothing but a cot and a bucket and there is also a small guard section that features a small desk and a wood-burning stove to keep everyone warm, reports Atlas Obscura. This jail actually held prisoners until the 1950s, but when it was closed it wasn't torn down and has become a popular attraction along Route 66. Visitors traveling through can go inside the jail and even take a few photos of themselves locked up.
11 Forbidden Caverns, Sevierville, Tennessee
Tennessee is home to the most caves in the entire United States with over 8,350 caves. The Forbidden Caverns located in Sevierville are one of the most stunning with visitors walking through sparkling formations, towering natural chimneys, numerous grottos, and a crystal clear stream, reports ForbiddenCavern.com. Indians used these same cavers during hunting trips as shelter and a constant source of water. You might also see drawing engraved in some of the walls when you walk through them. Take a guided tour of this spectacular cavern and see special lighting effects and a stereophonic sound presentation. You'll see beautiful natural formations created by nature thousands of years ago.
10 Giant Squid, Glover's Harbour Road, Newfoundland, And Labrador
In 1878 a giant squid washed ashore Glover's Harbor in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada and turned out to be an astounding 55 feet long and weighed over two tons. The giant squid ended up being in the Guinness Book of Records as the biggest squid in the world. In 2001, a life-sized replica of the squid was created and put near the spot where it was found and since then, many people have taken photos with the enormous creature. According to Roadside America, a man from Saskatoon sculpted the statue, because he had built other giant Canadian animals like moose and even a wooly mammoth.
9 World's Largest Axe, Nackawic, New Brunswick
New Brunswick, Canada is home to the world's largest ax standing at a whopping 15 meters tall and weighing over 55 tons. The ax was built in 1991 and is a symbol of the "industrious lives and legacies of Canada's lumberjacks," reports Atlas Obscura. The same year the ax was installed, the town of Nackawic, New Brunswick was named the Forestry Capital of Canada. There is also a time capsule embedded into the ax for future generations to find if they ever think of looking into the ax. The huge concrete stump that the ax cuts into has also been used to host musical and theater performances.
8 Digital Orca, Vancouver, British Columbia
It's hard not to look away at this digital orca that seems to be coming up from the waters to take a huge splash back in. This pixel art killer whale was installed in 2009 and was created by Douglas Coupland who wanted to evoke the harbor area's history so he installed it right in this Vancouver square. The whale is now a permanent fixture in Vancouver and was built with a sturdy aluminum, coated with a protective powder coating making up the whale's markings, according to Atlas Obscura. This pixelated orca seems to represent both the history of the area and the future of the digital age.
7 The Enchanted Forest, Revelstoke, British Columbia
The Enchanted Forest in Revelstoke, British Columbia will make you feel like you've stepped into a fairytale. Doris and Ernest Needham as a lifelong dream and retirement project started this wonderful attraction in the 1950s. The forest was open to the public in the 60s and has become a magical place for visitors where you can step into the homes of fairytale heroes, villains, and creatures. According to the Enchanted Forests website, the main trail of this large forest features over 350 folk art figurines, British Columbia's tallest and grandest tree house, a giant cedar stump house, a castle, and dungeons and dragons.
6 Casa Loma, Toronto, Canada
Casa Loma is an extravagant mansion located in Toronto, Canada that was once owned by financer Sir Henry Mill Pellatt. After putting in immense work inside and outside the home, Pellatt ended up going bankrupt and sold as much as he could to pay back his debt to the Home Bank of Canada. Today, the mansion is a museum and tourist attraction and although Pellatt sold most of his belongings, including bear skin rugs, a bronze buffalo head and the grand marble fountain featuring statues of children holding up a dolphin, visitors can still see many other original attributes in the home. There is a 10,000-book library, a plant-filled conservatory complete with a marble floor and three indoor bowling alleys.
5 Big Fiddle Of The Ceilidh, Sydney Nova Scotia
The world's largest fiddle is located on the waterfront of Sydney, Nova Scotia and greets ships as they sail by. Weighing ten tons, the fiddle was unveiled in 2005 and is a tribute to the folk music and traditions of the province's Celtic community, reports Atlas Obscura. The gigantic fiddle was created and constructed by Cyril Hearn, with the fiddle and the bow reaching a height at 60 feet and can be seen by the incoming ships in the harbor. The fiddle is made of solid steel and was named "Fidheal Mhor A' Ceilidh," or the "Big Fiddle of the Ceilidh." The word "ceilidh" is a Gaelic word, which translates into "visit."
4 Redpath Museum, Montreal, Quebec
If you're taking a trip to Montreal, Quebec, make a pit stop to the Redpath Museum, which features a number of amazing exhibits. The museum has a bunch of cool exhibits featuring dinosaur bones, prehistoric beasts, creatures from the deep, Quebec's biodiversity, a letter from Charles Darwin, Egyptian mummies and fascinating minerals from Quebec. The Redpath Museum is a great stop for travelers with children who want to teach them and show them a few things of earth's past and want to learn a thing or two about Quebec's natural history.
3 Gopher Hole Museum, Torrington, Alberta
You'll find one of the quirkiest museums here in Torrington, Alberta that displays stuffed gophers doing everyday things. The museum is the size of an RV and features stuffed gophers dressed as everyday townspeople like priests, a bank robber, a duck hunter, a firefighter, a beautician and more. The gophers are dressed in elaborate costumes and backdrops display where they are and what their professions may be. If you ever find your way towards Alberta, take a quick stop at one of the weirdest museums in Canada.
2 Red Sands Of Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward Island
One of the most unique and jaw-dropping features of Prince Edward Island, Canada is easily the red sand beaches. The sands have a distinctive hue of red because of the abundance of iron and are extremely captivating. The red sand has given Prince Edward Island a reputation as a province of outstanding natural beauty. The island's landscape is pastoral with rolling hills, pristine forest, white sand beaches, and ocean coves and of course, the famous red sand beaches. The island's stunning landscape even inspired author Lucy Maud Montgomery to write her classic novel "Anne of Green Gables."
1 Moss Lady, Victoria, British Columbia
In Victoria's Beacon Hill Park you'll stumble upon artist's Dale Doebert's colossal creation called the Moss Lady. The construction of the Moss Lady was done by the work of Doebert and park staff using a concoction of boulders, pipes, cement, and wire to build the roughly 35-foot long woman. According to Atlas Obscura, after she was completed, Doebert covered the sculpture with a specifically designed clay-based acidic soil so moss you cloak her. The woman's face looks serene, relaxed and peaceful, which also is a representation of the forest she is in.
References: theholeintherock.com, roadsideamerica.com, unclaimedbaggae.com, atlastobscura.com, ndtourism.com, forbiddencavern.com, mcgill.ca