While traveling on the road, either alone or with friends and family, many things come and go. Whether it’s towns, rest areas or other roads, some places are more attention-grabbing than others. Among these are the roadside attractions, which tend to be small areas advertised by billboards to encourage the drivers to stop and check them out for a few minutes or so before heading back on the road. Some are pretty mundane, but others are outright bizarre. For instance, there are at least two attractions that claim to have the “World’s Biggest Ball of Twine” with one in Kansas while the other is in Minnesota.
But then there are the weird ones that aren’t even worth a glance. This is either due to the lameness of the attraction-in-question, or the story behind it which undoes the illusion. Then there are the roadside attractions that are just downright disgusting, and not even worth looking at. So that’s what we’re going to highlight: roadside attractions that are strange enough to qualify for a roadside attraction, but not the least bit interesting to indulge in. These include everything from the World’s Largest Brick (which is no longer true) to the appropriately-named Seattle Gum Wall.
25 Cadillac Ranch - Bizarre yet Intriguing
Near the town of Amarillo, Texas, this unusual attraction is home to several old Cadillac cars that have been partially buried in the dirt with their noses turned downward while their rears are slanted upward at a particular angle.
Originally, this was meant to be "A public art display" according to JetSet.
But nowadays, people show up to not only look at it but also spray paint on the cars themselves. While this may seem like an annoying act of constant vandalism, which is common in a lot of other places like national parks, it’s actually encouraged here, surprisingly enough.
24 Seattle Gum Wall - Gross!
One of the most notorious attractions in the United States, this biohazard is located in Seattle, Washington, where people come to take pictures in front of it or add another piece of gum to its never-ending layers.
According to TheBLT, this whole thing started in the 90s when city workers didn’t feel like cleaning the gum that was left on the wall by various people and simply left it alone.
Since then, people have been constantly adding more gum to it like offerings for a shrine that’s dedicated to practically nothing as it’s nothing more than an unsanitary mess.
23 World’s Largest Jack-in-the-Box - Creepy!
In Middletown, Connecticut, this nightmare fuel-inducing structure resides. A "600 lb. clown head atop a 50ft grain silo," based on Thrillist's description, one would think this was a forgotten attraction at some demented amusement park that no longer exists.
But actually, RoadsideAmerica claims it was made back in 2008 at Wild Bill’s Nostalgia Center (which closed permanently this year) after the owner took a clown head that apparently belonged to the actor who played as Captain Kangaroo from the 50s show of the same name and connected it to the silo on his property at the suggestion of an artist.
22 International Banana Museum - Give Me A Break
If an entire museum dedicated to Jell-O sounded far-fetched, then how about bananas? Sounds too weird to be true, right? Unfortunately, it’s real. Located in the community of Mecca, California (named because of the arid desert environment), this place has everything related to bananas on display.
It even serves desserts such as shakes and ice cream with “Banana flavor included” as TheBLT states.
So whose idea was this? Well, RoadsideAmerica claims it was originally called the Banana Club Museum before a new owner stepped in and transformed his family’s liquor store into the bizarre attraction it is today.
21 Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch - Why?
Among the various hobbies people do, one of the oldest is collecting bottles. While some recycle them, a few collect them for the sake of it, as was the case for the father of Elmer, who owns this strange attraction.
Then many years later, Elmer started making sculptures which were metal trees with various bottles hung on each branch (as the above picture shows).
According to TheBLT, there are “200 bottle trees” on Elmer’s property which is in the city of Oro Grande, California (not to be confused with the New Mexican town of the same name known as Orogrande).
20 World’s Only Corn Palace - A for Effort
If this doesn’t sound weird enough, then get a load of this! In the town of Mitchell, South Dakota, there is a building that’s made entirely out of corn from the exterior walls to the turrets themselves.
On top of that, it’s a fully functioning place as it houses many local events including concerts and exhibits.
So it not only attracts tourists due to the bizarre nature of the palace itself, but also locals as it can be used like any other building in town. The downside, though, is the upkeep which JetSet says has cost about 130,000 dollars.
19 Lucy the Elephant - Cute
Originally built in the 1800s, this six-foot pachyderm is not only fake but it’s also been "Designated as a National Historical Landmark" according to Thrillist, due to how old it is. Located in Margate City, New Jersey, it has served many purposes.
First, it was the office of the man who built it.
Then the elephant became a tavern which ended quickly due to a fire-related accident, and then "A summer home" based on a RoadsideAmericareview. Today, visitors can climb inside the quaint-looking elephant and apparently get a good view of the city from the top.
18 World’s Largest Brick - Not Anymore
Something as crazy as this sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it was actually built to advertise a local brick company in Montgomery, Alabama, so it’s nothing more than a promotional stunt at best. On top of that, two falsities make it less attractive to go to these days.
First, the brick itself is actually made of smaller bricks (as the picture clearly shows).
Second, it’s apparently no longer fitting of its title as Thrillist claims that another brick made by a different company in Denton, Texas, surpassed the Montgomery one in terms of size as of 2007.
17 Lenny the Chocolate Moose - Can’t Eat Him
In Scarborough, Maine, there’s a particular candy shop called Len Libby Candies which houses this unique creation. Now according to RoadsideAmerica, it was created in 1997 by a sculptor who decided to make a chocolate version of a stuffed moose at the nearby L.L.Bean store using 1,700 pounds of milk chocolate.
Since then, the statue has been dubbed “Lenny” and stands in a frozen area of Len Libby Candies to be admired by locals and passing tourists.
Surprisingly, no one has tried to eat this wasted product. Though given how old the chocolate is by now, who would?
16 World’s Most Scenic Urinal - Flush Away
The concept of a public restroom being the main attraction to a certain area sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. On top of that, it’s in Hawaii of all places. Specifically, on the island of Kona (aka Big Island) in the town of Kealakekua, where there is a hotel that is pink in color with a men’s restroom nearby.
What makes this restroom distinct from others, according to RoadsideAmerica, is its scenic view of the area around it.
Unfortunately, the hotel is no longer around as of this year with the building being occupied by private residents though the restroom’s still around.
15 Cano’s Castle - Scrap Metal Art
What looks to be a rusty old structure next to a shabby-looking building is the bizarre creation of a man named Dominic Espinosa who now calls himself “Cano”.
Made of beer cans and other scrap metal, this so-called castle was apparently built to house Jesus, whom Cano believes is his next-door neighbor.
So while the rest of the world calls this place Cano’s Castle, he calls it “Jesus’ Castle” according to RoadsideAmerica. Whether it’s the delusions of a poor man or the expression of his religious passion, this place has certainly made people come to Antonito, Colorado.
14 Hole N" The Rock - Not What It Seems
Just south from the town of Moab in Utah, there’s this eye-catching sign on a large rock formation next to the road which is difficult to miss. At a glance, this place seems like nothing more than a scam yet one does have to wonder what the big deal is.
It turns out there’s more underneath this rock than the sign lets on, as it’s "A 14-room cave-house, carved into the stone in the 1940s" according to Thrillist. On top of that, it has a zoo and art sculptures, which would be the last things to expect.
13 Confusion Hill - Confusing
Set up in Piercy, California, this place is like the Mystery Shack from Gravity Falls if there was a lot more to offer. The main attraction, though, is the Gravity House. According to TheBLT, people who’ve gone inside claim they’ve “Defied the laws of gravity” which sounds pretty dubious.
The other popular attractions include the Redwood Shoe House (as seen in the above picture), which is based on “The Woman Who Lived In a Shoe” fairytale, and a totem pole. So overall, it’s not a very consistent attraction which makes it confusing and sort of live up to its name.
12 Metaphor: The Tree of Utah - It’s Just a Sculpture
Also known as the Tree of Life, this strange art project stands in the Bonneville Salt Flats being admired and perplexed by all who see it. Originally created by Swedish sculptor Karl Momen, it was personally financed by him, according to TheBLT, as he built the sculpture during the 80s.
By the time he finished it, though, Momen ended up donating “Metaphor” to the state of Utah and went back to his home country.
While one may ponder over Momen’s actions and the sculpture’s meaning, but it is just a sculpture at the end of the day and nothing more.
11 Jell-O Gallery and Museum - Products Galore!
For fans of the aptly named gelatinous dessert, this place must seem like the equivalent to Graceland for fans of Elvis Presley. Located in Le Roy (also spelled LeRoy), New York, which was where the product was first created, it’s an old building that belongs to the Le Roy Historical Society containing all kinds of memorabilia related to Jell-O and its advertising over the years.
This includes “Oil paintings from the 1920s,” Thrillist reports, and commercials featuring Bill Cosby when he used to promote the product.
But due to recent events, there’s less emphasis on him according to RoadsideAmerica.
10 Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard - Seriously?
Over the years, the Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream company has created a wide variety of flavors with some being weirder than others. But while some flavors have continued to exist, others have sadly been discontinued.
So how does this company honor these unpopular and/or low-selling flavors? By creating a graveyard for them, of course!
Located at the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory in Waterbury, Vermont, as JetSet states, this area offers gravestones with the names of 40 flavors that were discontinued (though there are actually hundreds of them according to RoadsideAmerica) and the dates of their lifespans.
9 Fighting Seabee - Old Hat
While it may seem like a relic from World War II, given the cartoonish style of the statue and its gung-ho posture, it was actually made in the 1970s according to RoadsideAmerica.
Resting at North Kingstown on Rhode Island, the statue stands before the nearby Seabee Museum and Memorial Park which is a pun on the word “Construction Battalion” which described officers that were part of the Naval Construction Force in the United States’ Navy and were informally known as the Seabees during World War II. Hence, we have a literal “Seabee” as their mascot, which this statue represents.
8 Chandelier Drive Thru Tree - Really?
If Confusion Hill seemed a little too weird, then here’s something more mundane by comparison. On private land the town of Leggett, California, this particular tree had a six foot hole carved into it by the resident family in the 1930s.
Yet despite this, the Redwood tree is still apparently growing according to TheBLT.
So any cars that happen to be passing through the area will undoubtedly drive through this massive tree. Hence why it’s called a “Drive Thru,” which is a bit confusing and sort of misleading since most people tend to associate drive thru places with outdoor restaurants.
7 Carhenge - Dumb as it Sounds
While Britain has Stonehenge, which is a series of monoliths arranged in a circular pattern that was presumably used for Pagan rituals back in ancient times, America has this knockoff version.
As the picture clearly shows, this large sculpture was made using cars that were stacked on top of each other painted grey and arranged in a similar pattern to Stonehenge as stated by JetSet.
Though according to RoadsideAmerica, this was created by the owner of a nearby farm as a memorial to his father. So if anyone is curious to see this, they can find it near Alliance, Nebraska.
6 Unclaimed Baggage Center - Come On!
Of the various roadside attractions out there, this one is certainly an odd one. Located in Alabama, it serves as a thrift shop of sorts by selling various items that were unclaimed in baggage as JetSet reports.
It just goes to show how often luggage goes missing each year.
Though this has improved in recent years according to Travel + Leisure, it’s still an ongoing problem that mostly depends on the destination and the competency of security in public transportation areas. Still, having a store dedicated to selling lost items seems a little disrespectful to the people they originally belonged to.