There are tourist destinations all across the country, and for some, getting there is half the fun. A road trip can mean snacks, a great playlist and, of course, stops at roadside attractions. From the weird ones to awe-inspiring ones, every state has at least one quirky spot that makes for a fun pitstop and an awesome post for social media.
Down below, there are 10 different ones in 10 different states that everyone should try and see in a lifetime. They may not be the Empire State Building, Disney World or the Hollywood sign, but they offer their own intriguing elements.
George and Pam Farnham live in West Virginia, and according to roadsideamerica.com, they like big things; George envisioned a huge dinosaur at the pond near their house, while Pam searched for a fiberglass man online. This dream and interest grew and evolved until their home became a roadside destination - a Land of Giants! They have several statues that are 20 or 25 feet tall and that are anchored into the ground with cement, allowing people - now and for years to come - to drive buy, snap a pic and even get out to talk to the owners of these giants.
When going by or through High Point, North Carolina, travelers can see the World's Largest Chest of Drawers. According to an official state website, this sight was known as the Bureau of Information in the year 1926. It is 36 feet tall, and it tells everyone that this area is the Furniture Capital of the World. This area also has a notable hosiery industry, so this big piece of furniture has two big socks that can be seen hanging out of one of its drawers. Again, this is not interactive or life-changing necessarily - but it is a neat thing to see on a drive!
The Abita Mystery House, in Abita Springs, Louisiana, is next on this list. It is one of those roadside attractions that people could explore for awhile, always discovering something new, as it is filled with art, memorabilia, trinkets, kitschy knick-knacks and just pure junk. The director of the New Orleans Museum of Art, John Bullard, called it the "most intriguing and provocative museum in Louisiana”, and it was featured on an episode of American Pickers. Those who stop here may even see some unique creatures within this house full of mystery, like a swamp ghost and a bassigator.
Jacques-Andre Istel saw this stretch of land in California and decided to dub it the Center of the World. Now, out in the desert is a 21-foot-tall pink granite pyramid, a sundial that looks like God's arm, a 25-foot-tall spiral staircase from the Eiffel Tower and a tiny church with a blue door on top of a hill.
Apparently, this is just the first step as well, since Istel told roadsideamerica.com he wants to see a hundred monuments covering over a third of a mile of land. Official tours can be taken, but just driving by this one-of-a-kind attraction is definitely intriguing.
Also in the South - specifically, in Cullman, Alabama - is the Ave Maria Grotto. It covers four acres near the St. Bernard Abbey, and it is filled with 125 miniature versions of famous buildings. A monk at the abbey, Joseph Zoettl, used 50 years and materials like bricks, jars, sea shells, marbles and jewelry in order to create tiny reproductions of landmarks like St. Peter's Basilica, The Alamo, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and even Hansel and Gretel's Temple of the Fairies and the Tower of Babel. This destination is on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and the National Register of Historic Places.
In Sandia Park, New Mexico, people can find the Tinkertown Museum, thanks to Ross Ward. Years’ worth of memorabilia, exhibits, art, bottles, signs and (for lack of a better term) junk create a sort of maze at this roadside attraction. It started as a hobby in 1962, but interest grew, helping to turn this eccentric stop into an actual museum. Tinkertown is another one of those places where there is so much to take in and where new sights are always discovered - especially since Ward’s family still adds to it all, after he passed away in 2002.
In 1989, an artist named Gary Greff started The Enchanted Highway, which features the largest scrap metal sculptures in the world. Pieces like The Tin Family, Pheasants on the Prairie and Fisherman's Dream can be seen within these 32 miles in North Dakota. Greff is planning more sculptures and owns The Enchanted Castle, too, which allows guests to stay in a funky hotel that used to be an elementary school! So while driving through the plains and prairies of this state, roadtrippers can shake up their trips with some photos of this art and even a stay at this castle.
The Heidelberg Project was started by artist Tyree Guyton as a sort of political protest and art project; it began with colorful dots and salvaged items put onto houses, and it grew so much that Guyton has given talks about this project all across the nation and has won awards. A couple of years ago, Heidelberg 3.0 - an arts-infused community - was announced, so this roadside attraction is still around and is now evolving.
With a mission stated on its website of improving lives through art, this iconic sight is a very neat one to see in Detroit.
Alex Jordan wanted to make a spot that would be as cool to see as the view from this rock would be, so the House on the Rock was born. It is a house like no other, with attractions such as one of the biggest collections of dollhouses out there, a pyramid of elephants, an infinity room with 3,000+ pieces of glass, the world's largest indoor carousel and a 200-foot-long sea creature. There is even an inn and a resort here now, so people can visit this quirky place then spend the night in Wisconsin, as well.
And, of course, there is Lucy the Elephant, who was brought about in the year 1881. She can be found in Margate City, New Jersey, she was first around to promote real estate/tourism, and she is six stories high. According to her Wikipedia page, she has been in movies, was struck by lightning and even announced her candidacy for POTUS! And every year, thousands visit her and take a tour to learn more about her. While there are so many great roadside attractions to see, Lucy is a classic, earning her the number-one spot on this list right here.