Life is more about the journey than the destination, and that couldn’t be truer when it comes to the attractions that line the roadsides of remote highways around the United States. The best part about an old-fashioned road trip, aside from blasting music and gorging on snacks with the other people in the car, is getting to see the iconic attractions that exist on the side of the road.
From the stunning to the bizarre to the creepy, these 10 American roadside attractions aren’t to be missed. Read all about them and their origins below.
10 Carhenge, Nebraska
Forget Stonehenge. It’s all about Carhenge. Just off Highway 87 in Alliance, Nebraska, you’ll find this interpretation of the famous British World Heritage site adapted to car lovers. If you ask us, the tribute to automobiles couldn’t be better suited to its side-of-the-road setting.
The cars included in Carhenge are all vintage and all American, though they’ve been painted gray to more closely resemble the original Stonehenge located in England. It’s free to visit Carhenge and it’s open all year round, but its gift shop is only open during the summer months.
9 Enchanted Highway, North Dakota
As it turns out, the highways of North Dakota are ideal for setting up a series of art installations. Between Exit 72 on Highway 94 at Gladstone and 32 miles south of Regent, you’ll find the famous Enchanted Highway. The collection of art installations that now reside in this stretch was created to portray local animals, culture, and history.
Some of the most iconic metal sculptures that make up part of the Enchanted Highway include the World’s Largest Tin Family, which was constructed using oil drums, and Teddy Roosevelt Rides Again. The latter features its own horse-drawn carriage and is definitely worth a visit.
8 Winchester Mystery House, California
The Winchester Mystery House is the perfect pit stop for anybody interested in the dark or creepy side of California’s history. The attraction, located off Interstate 280 in San Jose, is filled with stairs and doors that lead to dead ends, which makes for a pretty confusing visit for most people.
One of the popular theories behind the odd layout of the house is that the original owner, Sarah Winchester, who was married to a rifle tycoon, believed the spirits of those executed by Winchester rifles wouldn’t be able to haunt her thanks to the disorienting design of the house.
7 Wall Drug Store, South Dakota
Ordinarily, a drug store wouldn’t be interesting enough to serve as a roadside attraction, but the Wall Drug Store dates back to 1931. Today, it’s a shopping complex where you can experience a lodge-style diner and purchase coffee for five cents, along with some authentic cowboy boots.
The Wall Drug Store was originally a place where passersby could get free ice water, and though it’s evolved since then, its humble beginnings are still evident in the no-fuss ambiance. You can find this attraction off Highway 90 in South Dakota, just north of Badlands National Park.
6 Pineapple Garden Maze, Hawaii
The next time you’re road-tripping on Oahu, do yourself a favor and stop at the Dole Plantation off the Kamehameha Highway. The plantation began as a fruit stand in the 1950s and is now known as Hawaii’s Pineapple Experience. Here, you’ll find one of the largest garden mazes in the world, called the Pineapple Garden Maze.
Featuring nearly two and a half miles of pathways, the maze stretches across three acres. Finish the maze in record time and you’ll get to be a permanent part of Dole Plantation history by signing your name at the entrance of the maze.
5 Dinosaur Kingdom II, Virginia
Virginia’s Dinosaur II Kingdom is the closest that most people will ever come to Jurassic Park. Not only are a range of dinosaur species displayed here, but there are also a number of prominent figures from history. Among the cast are Abraham Lincoln and a rabble of Yankee soldiers. The theme park intends to show the alternate history of the Union Army being defeated by prehistoric creatures.
Dinosaur Kingdom II is situated in Natural Bridge, Virginia, off of South Lee Highway from Interstate 81. There’s a small admission cost to enter the attraction, which is open between May and November.
4 Prada Marfa, Texas
In most cases, a Prada store wouldn’t be a reason to stop on a road trip. But Prada Marfa off Texas’s Highway 90 isn’t a store—it’s an art installation that intends to convey a strong message about consumerism in the modern world. Two artists based in New York came up with the idea after watching commercial boutiques take over their previously artsy community of SoHo.
Of course, Prada Marfa isn’t an official Prada outpost. And unlike the designer stores, it won’t cost you an arm and leg to check out.
3 Hole N” The Rock, Utah
It’s hard to avoid Hole N" The Rock if you’re traveling to Arches or Canyonlands national parks. Once a 14-room, 5,000-square-foot property, the rock is now one of the most iconic attractions in Utah. Visitors can take tours of the old family home, which now also features a small zoo and a general store. This is also the ideal place to load up on Southwestern souvenirs.
Albert and Gladys Christensen lived in the home until Albert passed away in 1957. The Rock is situated in Moab, just off of Highway 191.
2 Miles The Monster, Delaware
Built as the mascot for the concrete oval known as The Monster Mile at Dover International Speedway in Delaware, Miles the Monster can be seen from a half-mile away. Only the upper half of the angry creature is shown, but his glaring red eyes really stand out to visitors.
In his grip, Miles squeezes a real race car as if he’s about to destroy it. This symbolizes the way the racetrack which Miles represents can crush the hopes of NASCAR drivers. At 46 feet tall, Miles is the world’s largest monster.
1 Salvation Mountain, California
A few curious treasures can be found in the remote desert of Southern California, including Salvation Mountain—a truly original attraction. A local man named Leonard Knight created the mountain because he wanted to showcase his faith and fashion something that everybody could enjoy.
Located 80 miles from Palm Springs, just off of Highway 111, the mountain is made of adobe clay. Religious messages, murals, and images are painted on it using gallons of colorful paint. Though Salvation Mountain is open all day, you might want to avoid visiting in the summer months to save yourself from soaring desert temperatures.