Nothing says gaudy or weird better than America’s roadside attractions. Over the years, these incredible and oddly placed spots, jutting out like old museums between gas stations and coffee houses, are becoming increasingly rare, but there are still some gems that can’t be missed during a road trip. Many truckers have their favorite roadside attractions. Here are some of ours:
• The World’s Largest Ball of Twine. Tucked underneath a large awning in Cawker City, Kansas, the world’s largest ball of twine was wound by Frank Stoeber starting in 1953 and finished with his death in 1974. It weighs nine tons and is 40 feet in diameter.
• South of the Border. This colorful roadside attraction in Dillon, South Carolina, features a giant statue of mascot Pedro wearing a sombrero, Mexican-themed shops, a huge fireworks shop, and, of course, an amusement park in the middle of nowhere.
• Lucy the Elephant. This giant manmade elephant once served as a real estate sales tool back in 1882. Located in Margate, NJ, she has since been made into a summer home, a bar, and an office. At 65 feet tall, Lucy the Elephant, bedecked in a bright red coat that adorns her back, is hard to miss.
• Devil’s Rope Museum. This McLean, Texas, museum is actually a tribute to barbed wire. It commemorates the wire’s contributions to ranching, warfare, and security. There are literally thousands of strands on display, as well as demonstrations on how to make your own.
• UFO Landing Port. This extraterrestrial landing pad in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Highway 29 was created by Bob Tohak. Covered in stars and satellites, and featuring a welcome sign for aliens, this port was crafted from scrap iron and empty fuel tanks.
• Fields of the Woods. Located 18 miles west of Murphy on NC-294, this Biblical theme park features the largest Ten Commandments on a hillside, a 50-foot-wide wooden Bible, and an 80-foot altar.
• Largest Ball of Paint. Why not, since we have the world’s largest ball of twine? In 1977 Mike Carmichael started with one drop of paint and has been layering more paint on his multicolored blob ever since. The ball, located in Alexandria, Indiana, weighs over 1,300 pounds and has 20,000 coats of paint.
• Giant Chocolate Moose. Lenny the life-sized moose, crafted meticulously from 1,700 pounds of milk chocolate, sits inside a cool room in Scarborough, Maine. He is the mascot for candy store Len Libby and the subject of hundreds of photographs over the years.
• The Thing. In Dragoon, Arizona, on I-10, a mysterious yellow building advertises “The Thing?” For a dollar, guests can walk through the building and follow a set of yellow footprints to find out what “The Thing” really is.
• Foamhenge. Strange artistic creations abound on highways all over America, and Foamhenge is one of those oddball attractions. Created by artist Mike Cline to mimic the original Stonehenge, this attraction in Natural Bridge, Virginia, is an exact replica built from Styrofoam.
Can’t get enough of these roadside marvels? Wikipedia has compiled a list from several countries claiming to have the largest example of a certain, item, such as the world’s largest oyster and the largest potato. Click here to see an entire list.
What are some of your favorite roadside attractions? Let us – and your fellow truckers – know below!