Nothing says America more than our strange roadside attractions, oddities, and promotional statues that became the trend as soon as taking trips with an automobile became the style. I have listed the BEST American Roadside Oddities you need to see in each state before you die!
ALABAMA– Barber Pkwy, Elberta- Dinosaurs in the Woods– Artworks by Mark Cline include 4 different dinosaurs; a Brontosaurus, T. Rex, Stegosaurus, and Triceratops. They hang out in the trees along the marina entrance road, and are surprisingly difficult to spot, but well worth it!
Drive US Hwy 98 either eight miles east of Foley, AL, or 21 miles west of downtown Pensacola, FL. Turn south onto County Rd 95. Drive five miles. Turn right onto Fish Trap Rd. Drive a half-mile. Turn left at the Barber Marina sign. Drive one mile. You’ll see Bamahenge on the right, set back among the trees. The dinosaurs are spaced out along the road beginning a quarter-mile past Bamahenge.
ALASKA-101 Saint Nicholas Dr, North Pole, AK – Santa Claus House and Statue- North Pole, Alaska takes pride in their name from candy cane light poles to an actual red and white striped “north pole”. They also have a 42 foot tall Santa Claus that sits next to Santa’s house.
East of Fairbanks, at milepost 14 of the Richardson Hwy.
ARIZONA– Prescott, Az- Muffler Man- Big Johnson– Muffler Men, along with other giant statues can be seen throughout the US. Big Johnson is one of the originals. He was moved to this location in the early 1970’s and is a great photo op!
From downtown Prescott: Take Gurley St. west to Grove St. Turn right onto Grove and drive 1 mi. to Fair St. Turn left on Fair and it’s on left side (across from Fry’s supermarket).
ARKANSAS-Fouke, Ak- Boggy Creek Monster– If you LOVE to watch those old B horror movies from the 70’s, you need to make a stop to see the Boggy Creek Monster. The Boggy Creek Monster is a legend that locals claim have been terrorizing the area since the 1940’s and was later used as the subject of three horror films. Visit the Monster Mart to find out more info, get a photo as the Boggy Creek Monster and see a cast of Big Foots Footprint.
Fouke Monster Mart. US 71 north into town. Just north of Butler St., just south of the post office. East side.
CALIFORNIA- Los Angeles, Ca- Iconic Kindles Donuts Giant Donut– California has a ton of must see roadside attractions, but I couldn’t pass up the iconic Giant Donut that we see so often in movies. Los Angeles has a lot of these left, but Kindles is the very first one, built in 1950.
Kindle’s Donuts: 10003 S. Normandie Ave., Los Angeles, CA, W. Century Blvd. and S. Normandie Ave
COLORADO-Penrose, Co- World’s Oldest Giant Rocking Chair– America was enthralled by Giant anything in the 1950’s and different styles of chairs did not get passed up for advertising hugely. But in Pennrose you will find the Oldest of all the Giant Rocking Chairs.
Hwy 115, just north of Penrose, in front of the Apple Shed Cafe. Chair is behind fence.
CONNECTICUT-New Haven, Ct- Midnight Mary’s Grave- Mary had some sort of attack and fainted; her husband assumed she was dead and had her buried immediately. The night of the funeral, her sister woke up at midnight from a nightmare she had about her sister screaming from the grave. She begged to have her sister exhumed. When the casket was opened, Mary’s fingers were bloody, her fingernails were ripped off, and she had a petrified expression on her face. The gravestone reads: “At high noon/just from and about to renew her daily work, in her full strength of body and mind/Mary E. Hart/having fallen prostrate/ remained unconscious, until she died at midnight October 15,1872/born December 16,1824.” And above those words in big black letters: “The people shall be troubled at midnight and pass away.”
Address:Ella T. Grasso Blvd, New Haven, CT, Evergreen Cemetery. I-95 exit 45. Drive north about a mile. The cemetery will be on your right. Go in the main entrance and straight through to the back. She’s right near the fence near Winthrop Ave. Also, cemetery office provides map to her grave and other famous burials as well.
DELAWARE- Dover, De- Miles, the Monster– Miles appears to be crashing out of the top of the Dover International Speedway. With his angular cement looking body and red eyes, he is a must see, even for those that do not like racing or cars.
Dover International Speedway:1131 N. Dupont Hwy, Dover, DE, Behind the front stretch grandstand at Dover International Speedway. Hwy 1 exit 104. Head east on Scarborough Rd, then turn left at the light onto Dupont Hwy. After 1.5 miles the Speedway will be visible on the left. Turn left at the main entrance, then bear to the right and drive around the stadium to the back side.
FLORIDA- Spring Hill, Fl- Pepto Bismol Pink Dinosaur– Built in 1962 to promote a museum, this Pink Dino is 22 ft high and 58 ft long. The business has been long closed, but the Pink Dinosaur still stands!
3273 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, FL, On the west side of US 19/Commercial Way. Around 3.5 miles south of the intersection of Hwy 50/Cortez Blvd in Weeki Wachee, or around 1.5 miles north of Spring Hill Drive in Spring Hill.
GEORGIA- Gainesville, Ga- World’s Largest Tiger Statue– This tiger officially named Lucille, sits at Brenau University and is 8 ft tall and over 14 ft long. It is one of the newer Giant statues being built in 2013, but is well worth the stop!
World’s Largest Tiger Statue: Green St., Gainesville, GA, North side of downtown. In a small park on the east side of Hwy 60/Green St. at its intersection with Academy St. NW.
HAWAII- Honolulu, Oahu- Elvis Aloha Statue– Hawaii has a bunch of statues memorializing visitors, presidents, kings, etc, but the Elvis statue is one that almost everyone will want to get their picture taken with. This Elvis was part of a PR project to populate America with TV Land heros and characters. Although Elvis is a real person and not a character, he is in full Elvis costume with his guitar strapped on. The important TV milestone used as an excuse was the “World’s First Satellite TV Concert” performed here in January 14, 1973.
Elvis Aloha Statue: Neal Blaisdell Center, 777 Ward Ave., Honolulu, Oahu, HI,I-1 exit 22, then south on Ward Ave. for five blocks. On the east side, next to the box office in front of the Neal Blaisdell Center.
IDAHO-Blackfoot, Id- Uniroyal Gal– At one time this Uniroyal Gal was in a bikini, but she has been updated in a waitress uniform with a huge diamond on her finger. She stands out front of Martha’s Cafe, so take a break from the road for some pie and coffee or even a meal and then take a picture with this great looking Gal!
Martha’s Cafe, 851 S. Broadway St., Blackfoot, ID, Downtown. A few blocks south of the Idaho Potato Museum.
ILLINOIS– Carbondale, Il, Dungeons and Dragons Park– This park is a must see for D&D players, Fantasy lovers and kids at heart! The Dungeons and Dragons Park was created as a memorial to a 19 year old son who had passed away in a car crash. His father bought the land across the street from their home and hired sculptors to reproduce the game that his son loved to play!Its centerpiece is a wood and stone castle that is actually an elaborate jungle gym of tunnels, stairs, and bridges. Hidden doors and passageways invite the small and flexible; most adults are content to walk the battlements. Pennants flutter, gargoyles and knights guard the ramparts. An ogre with a spiked club stands atop the portcullis, while Jeremy’s extensive sword collection is bolted to the lofty inner ceiling of one of the towers. Three wizards are frozen in a spell battle. A burial mound bears the slab effigy of a fallen knight. Pegasus and a unicorn stand amid native plantings; goblins leer from the trees while human archers take aim; a three-headed dragon is perched on a picnic gazebo, while a single-headed beast sits atop a fountain of wizard heads spitting water.
Dungeons and Dragons Park, Jeremy Rochman Memorial Park: 31 Homewood Drive, Carbondale, IL, From Carbondale drive east two miles on Hwy 13, then turn south at the Wal-Mart onto Hwy 12/Giant City Rd. Drive 3.5 miles. Turn left, onto Homewood Drive to the parking lot. If you cross No Name Rd you’ve gone too far.
INDIANA- Alexandria, In- World’s Largest Ball of Paint– Michael Carmichael, an artist, began painting the ball of paint thinking that he would stop at 1000 coats and cut the ball in half to see the layers, but once he got to 1000 coats, he decided to keep going. The ball is way over 25,000 coats at this time and visitors can call to make an appointment to add their own layer to the ball.Mike and his wife, Glenda take a picture of everyone who paints the Ball, have them sign a big guest book (currently on its seventh volume), then present the painters with a certificate that has their name, date, and the coat number that they painted. Souvenirs include “I Painted the World’s Largest Ball of Paint” t-shirts and multicolor chips carved from the Ball, resembling dazzling slices of agate.
World’s Largest Ball of Paint:10696 N. 200 W., Alexandria, IN, From Alexandria, drive west two miles on Hwy 28. Turn left (south) onto N. 200 W. Drive across the train tracks, then go straight through the stop sign. You’ll soon see the World’s Largest Ball of Paint sign on the left.
- Hours:Please call ahead for appt. Don’t just show up. (Call to verify)
- Phone:765-724-4088 Admission:Free
IOWA- Riverside, Ia, Future Birthplace of James T Kirk- If you are a Trekkie, this is a must see! A local councilman was a Trekkie, and he read in Gene Roddenberry’s book, Making of Star Trek (1968) that Kirk would be born in a small town in Iowa. The book didn’t name the town. The councilman thought, “Why not Riverside?” At the next council meeting (March 25, 1985) he proposed that Riverside declare itself the Future Birthplace of James T. Kirk. The motion passed unanimously. And this roadside attraction began!
- Future Birthplace of James T. Kirk:51 W. 1st St., Riverside, IA, US Hwy 218 exit 80. Drive west on Hwy 22/E. Hickory St. for 1.8 miles into town. The birthplace is on the right, behind the small hair salon building; you reach it through an alley. Look for the Captain Kirk banner on the light pole next to the street.
- KANSAS-Cawker City, Ks- World’s Largest Ball of Twine– Probably one of the most well known American Oddity is the World’s Largest Ball of Twine. You can not go through Kansas without seeing it and adding some twine to the ball. Make sure when you go you do not forget to sign the guestbook in the mailbox!
- Ball of Twine: Wisconsin St., Cawker City, KS, On the south side of Wisconsin St./Hwy 24, a half-block west of Lake Drive.
KENTUCKY- Paducah, Ky- Carved Giant Indian Head– Chief Paduke, sculpted by Peter “Wolf” Toth in 1985 from a local red oak. The historical marker names him “Wacinton” (way-cheen-too) honoring the Chickasaw people. Part of his elaborate headdress fell off in a storm in Nov. 2015. Toth arrived in July 2016 to repair it.
Bob Noble Park, 2915 Park Ave., Paducah, KY, Just west of US Hwy 45 on the north side of Park Ave.
LOUISIANA- New Orleans, Grave of Marie Laveau, the Voo Doo Queen- If you are a fan of American Horror Story, you’ll remember the character of Marie Laveau. Madame Laveau was a real person and Voo Doo Queen. You can visit her grave, ask her for a favor and leave an offering like thousands do each year. I recommend getting a carriage tour to the cemetery so that you can get a close up view.
Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1, 425 Basin St., New Orleans, LA, On the north edge of the French Quarter, on the north side of Basin St. between St. Louis and Conti Sts.
MAINE- Bangor, Me, 31 Foot Tall Paul Bunyan– Bangor makes claim to be the birthplace of Paul Bunyan as well as the lumber industry. Minnesota, also makes this claim. However, with all the statues and monuments that Minnesota has, this Paul Bunyan in Bangor is the biggest weighing in at 3700 lbs, not including his ax and peavey and standing at 31 feet tall.
Bass Park, 519 Main St., Bangor, ME, I-395 exit 3 and drive north a block or two. On the west side of Main St., opposite the Hollywood Slots Hotel.
MARYLAND- National Harbor, Prince George County, Md- The Awakening Sculpture– This incredible sculpture portrays a giant embedded in the earth. The sculpture covers 72 feet. A favorite stop by any roadtripper!
National Harbor, 137 National Plaza, Oxon Hill, MD, Where I-295 meets I-95/I-495 south of Washington, DC in Maryland. Follow the exit signs for National Harbor Blvd. Bear to the right, following the water. The Awakening is buried in the fake beach next to the National Harbor marina.
MASSACHUSETTS-Ipswich, Ma, Devil’s Footprint– Legend insists, in 1740, an old preacher threw the devil off the steeple, and when the devil landed, his footprint burned into the rock.
1 Meetinghouse Green, Ipswich, MA ,:South side of the First Church of Ipswich, next to N. Main St., the Methodist church steeple across the street is visible from the exposed rocks. Paint marks the spot.
MICHIGAN-Ishpeming, Mi, Da Yoopers Tourist Trap– This is one of those goofy gift shops that you must stop at! Along with the gift shop and museum on location, the outside is loaded with fun photo ops.
490 N. Steel St., Ishpeming, Head west out of Ishpeming on US Hwy 41, between Ishpeming and West Ishpeming on the south side of the highway.
MINNESOTA-Austin, Mn, SPAM Museum– Unlike the other attractions that I have listed here, this is an actual museum. One nice thing about it, is that it’s FREE. Whether you like SPAM or not, this is a great place to stop, enjoy the break while learning about ham products, Hormel, as well as trying your hand at the production canning line.
SPAM Museum, 101 3rd Ave. NE, Austin, MN, Downtown, at the corner of Main St. N. and 3rd Ave. NE, HOURS Winter: Tu-Sa 10-5, Su 12-5, closed M; Summer: M-Sa 10-6, Su 12-5
MISSISSIPPI- Port Gibson, The Windsor Ruins– These ruins are what is left from an antebellum mansion owned by Smith Coffee Daniell II. The incredible architecture can still be seen even with just the columns that are left.
The Windsor Ruins:Rodney Rd, Port Gibson, MS, From the north: US Hwy 61 south to Port Gibson. Turn right at the gas station onto Carroll St., which becomes Rodney Rd. Drive 10 miles. You’ll see the brown entrance sign on the left. From the south: US Hwy 61 north to Lorman. Exit onto Hwy 552 toward Alcorn State University. Follow Hwy 552 for 10 miles, then continue another mile on Rodney Rd. You’ll see the brown entrance sign on the right.Hours: Gated at sunset.
MISSOURI-Bonne Terre, MO, Giant Animal Cluster– Blackwell Motors is a car dealership that uses Giant animals as an advertising trick, but it is a GREAT way to get lots of photos with a bunch of different Giant animals. They welcome you on property to take pictures with elephants, steers, with glasses, polka dots and without.
Giant Animal Cluster: Blackwell Motors 1001 Hwy K, Bonne Terre, MO, Exit US Hwy 67 at Bonne Terre. Turn west onto Hwy K, then make a quick left at the first stoplight. You’ll see the animals ahead on the left.
MONTANA-Fort Benton, MT, Forever Faithful- Old Shep– In the summer of 1936, a sheep herder fell ill and headed to Fort Benton for treatment. His dog, Shep, came along. When the herder died a few days later, his body was crated and sent back east to relatives. Shep followed the box to the Fort Benton train depot, and watched as his master was put on board and taken away. He followed the train a short way, then came back to the station. No one remembers the name of the herder.
But everyone remembers Shep. Because for the next five and a half years, Shep maintained a vigil at the station, greeting the four trains that arrived each day, waiting for his master to return. Unfortunately in 1942 Shep passed away . Then in 1994, the town unveiled a larger than life Shep bronze, both front feet on a train rail, down at one end of its historic levee (Lewis and Clark are on the other end).
Forever Faithful – Old Shep: Cemetery Rd, Fort Benton, MT, The grave is north of town, on a hill overlooking the train depot. Drive north on Hwy 387, up the hill, then turn right at the brown sign onto Cemetery Rd. The path to the grave will be straight ahead when the road bends to the left. There’s also a statue downtown on Front St., just north of Hwy 80, in the park across from the Grand Union Hotel.
NEBRASKA-Alliance, Ne, Carhenge- There are a couple really great car art installations across the US. Carhenge is just one. Like the others this one was created by someone with an idea and some gumption. This is a MUST SEE!
Hwy 87, Alliance, NE, On the east side of Hwy 87, three miles north of town. Midway between Logan and Madison Rds.
NEVADA-Boulder City, Toilet Paper Hero of Hoover Dam-In 2007, Boulder City commissioned local artist Steven Liguori to immortalize “Alabam,” one of the unsung workers who helped to build nearby Hoover Dam. Alabam was a specialist. His job was to clean the outhouses of the vast construction site: sweeping refuse, tossing lime into holes, and restocking the always-diminishing supply of toilet paper.Steven sculpted Alabam as he looked in old photos from the 1930s. The eight-foot-tall bronze statue — mixed with copper salvaged from the Dam’s electrical grid — shows Alabam wearing a fedora, overalls, and thick gloves, with a broom slung over his shoulder like a combat rifle, and a large bandolier of toilet paper rolls strapped across his chest. The man definitely had a sense of style.
600 Nevada Way, Boulder City, NV,From US 93 turn onto Nevada Way and drive into downtown. North side of the street, at corner of Nevada Way and Ash/Wyoming Sts. During the day an American flag flaps on a pole across the street
NEW HAMPSHIRE-Concord, 92-Foot-Tall Mercury Redstone Rocket Replica– Alan Shepard, a New Hampshire native, became the first American to fly into outer space on May 5, 1961. Nearly fifty years later, in 2009, the state erected a life-size perfect replica of the Redstone rocket that launched Shepard skyward. The rocket stands in front of the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, an upscale planetarium. The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center is co-named for Christa McAuliffe, New Hampshire’s other famous astronaut.
McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, 2 Institute Drive, Concord, NH, The rocket stands outside of the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, a half-mile northeast of I-93 exit 15W
NEW JERSEY-Wood-Ridge, Nj, Bronze Statue of Rosie the Riveter-During World War 2, American women went to work in droves, ramping up wartime manufacturing and filling the void left by men fighting in two hemispheres. “Rosie the Riveter” posters of a brawny lady welder were part of the worker recruitment and morale-building campaign; ultimately over six million women were employed, many in construction positions. InJune 2012a lifesize statue of “Rosie the Riveter” was unveiled. Artist John Giannotti sculpted a color bronze rendition of Rosie wearing a polka-dot bandana and wielding an industrial rivet gun. Her bronze lunch pail and coke bottle sit on a granite block with text about and photos of female war industry contributions.
100 Rosie Square, Wood-Ridge, NJ, In the public square at the entrance to Wesmont Station/AvalonBay, a new apartment/retail development. The entrance is on the south side of Passaic St./Terhune Ave., roughly midway between the Boulevard traffic circle to the east and Main St. to the west. On the site of the old Curtiss-Wright factory.
NEW MEXICO-Las Cruces, NM, Recycled Roadrunner– The giant recycled roadrunner — 20 feet tall and 40 feet long — has been an icon of Las Cruces ever since artist Olin Calk built it in 1993. Back then it stood at the city landfill, and was made exclusively of items salvaged from it: Olin’s way to call attention to what he called, “consumption, recycling, and just looking at stuff we throw away.”The roadrunner is now also perched atop a fake rock, which Olin hopes will discourage souvenir-hunters and the occasional idiots who in the past would “ride” the roadrunner. As far as we know the rattlesnakes are still there, too, so watch out.
I-10, Las Cruces, NM,In a rest area on the south side of I-10, just west of Las Cruces and just east of the Picacho Ave. exit, between mileposts 134 and 135. Only accessible from the eastbound lanes.
NEW YORK– Flanders, NY, The Big Duck– The Big Duck was built in 1931 when having a large object shaped buildings was big commercially. This duck still has a shop inside it today. During the holidays, The Big Duck is decorated in lights and Santa comes to visit. However, you don’t need to wait until Christmas, The Big Duck is awesome to see at all times of the year!
1012 Flanders Rd, Flanders, NY, I-495/Long Island Expressway, Exit 71. Turn right at CR-94 East/Edwards Ave/RT-24 East for 4.3 mi. At traffic circle, take the 3rd exit onto Flanders Rd/RT-24 East 2.4 mi. Duck is on the left.
NORTH CAROLINA– White Plains, NC, Chang and Eng’s Grave– Chang and Eng Bunker, the original Siamese Twins, are an American success story. Sure, they became famous as sideshow sensations, appearing in P.T. Barnum’s show and traveling widely. But they also married, sired 21 children, and retired as rich tobacco farmers and slave owners to North Carolina. When Chang died on January 17, 1874, Eng — who was healthy — quickly followed.
White Plains Baptist Church, 614 Old US Hwy 601, White Plains, NC, On the west side of Old US Hwy 601 just south of I-74, between exits 11 and 13.
NORTH DAKOTA-New Salem, ND, Salem Sue, World’s Largest Holstein Cow-A free brochure available at the gas station explains that Sue’s “primary purpose is to honor and advertise the dairyman of our area … the hardworking, persistent, and informed dairyman who is an asset to his community, church, the economy, and his family.” Also honored are New Salem’s champion cows of year’s past: “Indi Pens Suprize,” who produced milk for 14 years, and “Aggie Wayne Segis Pontiac,” who produced 1003 pounds of butterfat in a 12-month span. Sue stares north, over a flat quiltwork of grass, clover, and hay that stretches to the horizon, doing her job.
8th Ave. N, New Salem, ND,I-94, 34 miles west of Bismarck, south side, New Salem exit 127.
OHIO-Kent, Oh, Homemade Star Wars X-Wing Fighter– this full size replica sits outside a college town bar and grill. It is perfect for the Star Wars Fans! It is located in the parking lot, so you can get up close!
Mikes Place, 1700 Water St., Kent, OH, South edge of town. I-76 exit onto Hwy 43 north. On the southwest
OREGON-Albany, OR, Big Possum– This possum is 10 feet tall and stands outside Possum Auto Body Shop. A tree at the same location has three hanging baby possums as well.
175 9th Ave. SW, Albany, OR, Downtown, in front of Possum Auto Body. Pacific Blvd/Hwy 20, turn right at 11th Ave, quick turn right at Ferry, quick turn right onto 9th Ave. On right.
PENNSYLVANIA– Hershey, Pa, Hershey’s Chocolate World– Pennsylvania, being such a large state, has so many oddities and attractions that you need to see, and the fact that I live in PA, it was hard to pick just one, but Hershey’s Chocolate World is one place that you must see before you die. It is easily located enext to Hershey Amusement Park. Chocolate World is FREE to enter and includes a free chocolate tour ride, gift shop and chocolatey good food court. There are also activities that you can pay to do, like see the 3D Show or make your own candy bar, but most of us locals only visit for the free ride to help entertain ourselves and kids when we need something to do, but don’t want to spend a lot of money.
251 Park Blvd., Hershey, PA, :From Hersheypark Drive turn south at the traffic light (big Hershey Park sign) onto Park Blvd. Get in the left-hand lane and bear left when the road splits. Drive a half-mile. Turn left at the small sign into the parking lot for Hershey’s Chocolate World (The tour is inside Chocolate World). Parking in the lot is free for three hours.
RHODE ISLAND– North Kingstown, RI, Fighting Seabee Statue– The Mascot of the Naval Construction Battalion stands at the Seabee Museum and Memorial Park, site of the original Naval Construction Battalion in World War II.
21 Lafrate Way, North Kingstown, RI, :I-95 North to exit 8A to Route 2 south, get into the far-left lane and turn left at first traffic light. Follow signs for Route 4 south. Turn right at the second light and merge onto Route 4 south. Take exit 9, first exit on the right, onto Route 403.
SOUTH CAROLINA-Bishopville, SC, Pearl Fryar’s Topiary Garden– Pearl Fryar purchased his home he was in his 40’s. He had never owned a home before and never gardened, but decided to take up the hobby of topiary. His property original were old corn fields so over the past 35+ years he has brought in hundreds of bushes and has created an amazing topiary garden.
Pearl Fryar’s Topiary Garden, 165 Broad Acres Rd, Bishopville, SC, I-20 exit 116. North on US Hwy 15 one-half mile, then left at Pearl Fryar sign onto Broad Acres Rd.
SOUTH DAKOTA– Mitchell, SD, Corn Palace– You can not drive through South Dakota without stopping to see the amazing artwork that is changed yearly entirely made of corn. The entire building is covered in whatever them they chose for that year. You can also entire the building where there is a convention center with even more corn artwork and corn displays. We had a blast here!
Corn Palace: 604 N. Main St., Mitchell, SD, I-90 to Mitchell. North on Hwy 37 (Burr Street). Left on Havens Avenue. Right on Sanborn Boulevard. Left on 7th Avenue for three blocks; free public parking.
TENNESSEE-Nashville, Tn, Parthenon and Statue of Athena– If you can not get to Greece, Nashville may be the next best thing. Located in Centennial Park is an exact replica of te Parthenon and the Statue of Athena. Nashville was once known as “The Athens of the South” and they have the monuments to prove it!
Centennial Park, 2600 W. End Ave., Nashville, TN, I-440 exit 1. Drive east on West End Ave., then turn left at 26th Ave. into Centennial Park.
TEXAS– Amarillo, Tx, Cadillac Ranch– Seriously one of my favorite car art installations in the country. In order to get to it you need to walk through a large field, but what is waiting in the middle is worth it. If you are feeling artsy, you are welcome to bring your own spray paint and leave your mark.
I-40, Amarillo, TX, :Just west of the Amarillo city line. I-40 exit 60. Follow the frontage road on the south side of I-40 (old Route 66) east for one mile. Cadillac Ranch will be on the right (south) side; just park your car along the shoulder and enter the pasture through an unlocked gate. Visitors are encouraged; dog friendly
UTAH- Vernal, Ut, Dine-A-Ville Pink Dinosaur– “Dinah” was built by George Morrill in 1958 to advertise his Dine-A-Ville Motel. When it closed in 1999 the pink dinosaur was moved to a hilltop on the east end of town, where she began a second career as a welcome sign for Vernal.
US Hwy 40, Vernal, UT, East side of town near US 40 on a hill.
VERMONT-Leicester, Vt, Gorilla Holds Aloft A VW Beetle– Another PR statue for a local business, this gorilla stands holding a VW bug and and the other hand is outstretched so you can sit in it and get your photo taken.
Pioneer Auto Sales, 2829 US Hwy 7, Leicester, VT, On the northbound side of US 7, about a mile south of Leicester.
VIRGINIA– Fredricksburg, Va, The Gravesite of Stonewall Jackson’s Arm– Southerners thought so highly of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson that his chopped off arm was buried in a cemetery and given its own tombstone
Ellwood Manor, 36380 Constitution Hwy, Fredericksburg, VA, I-95 exit 130B. Drive west on Hwy 3 for 12 miles. Turn left at the stoplight onto Hwy 20. Drive a half-mile. On the left you’ll see a sign for Ellwood. Turn and drive up the gravel road a half-mile to the parking area (During non-business hours, park at the Ellwood Manor gate just off on Hwy 20, then walk the half-mile from the gate to the grounds). When you reach the house, bear right. You’ll see a small “Cemetery” sign and a path between some hedges. Follow it, walk down a small flight of stairs, and you’ll see the small cemetery straight ahead.
WASHINGTON– Seattle, Wa, The Fremont Troll– The Fremont Troll was sculpted by 4 sculptors in 1990. It is located under the Aurora Ave. Bridge. It is an awesome photo op!! If you can, go see it at Halloween time, when they celebrate the Troll with a big party.
N 36th St., Seattle, WA, Under the Aurora Ave. Bridge — sometimes called the George Washington Bridge — at N. 36th Street. NOTE-he Fremont Troll is not under the nearby Fremont bridge.
WEST VIRGINIA– Point Pleasant, WV, Mothman Statue– In 1966-67, it is believed a Mothman Monster landed in Point Pleasant frightening the residents. In 2001, a movie was made featuring the Mothman, which made him a celebrity. However, if you ask residents they will tell you he is much more monster and terrifying than the movie created him.
Fourth St., Point Pleasant, WV, Corner of Main and 4th Sts. Main is one block west of Hwy 2, and 4th is four blocks north of the Hwy 2 bridge.
WISCONSIN– Phillips, Wi, Fred Smith’s Concrete Park– Fred Smith, born 1886, began building his own folk art out of concrete around the age of 50. In the 1950’s he realized that his artwork had become a roadside attraction. The Park is filled with 230 concrete folk art statues which when Fred died were donated to the county.
N8236 S. Hwy 13, Phillips, WI, One mile south of Phillips, on the east side of Hwy 13.
WYOMING– Buford, Wy, Tree in the Rock– Wyoming is another one of those states that just has too many great things to see before you die, but my families favorite is the Tree in the Rock. This tree was found growing in the rock when men were laying the railroad in 1886. They left it alone and moved the railroad over to let it grow. It has been there ever since. The Limber Pine can live to be 2000 years old and the highway now splits around it.
Interstate 80, Buford, WY, Midway between Laramie and Cheyenne, in a wayside rest in the median of I-80 at mile marker 333.
Road trips are the best family vacations. Even the times when you all can’t stand each other or you think the boredom won’t go away are remembered with nostalgia and joy.
If you want to find more Oddities in whatever state you are visit, check out http://www.roadsideamerica.com, one of my go-to sites for planning our family trips!