50 Of The Biggest, Weirdest, Quirkiest, And Strangest Roadside Attractions In America (Part 1 Alabama-Missouri)

boy in tire of world's largest truck
Biggest Truck In The World

Big, silly, quirky, and oddball things are great diversions for summer road trips.

Kids get bored quickly, we know that, so breaking up the monotony of mileage with something out of the ordinary should always be well received.

Last summer, my sons were wowed by the World’s Largest Truck. It was a roadside attraction in the old mining down of Sparwood, BC. The truck was as advertised, and the break was a nice chance to have a pee, a snack, and take some fun pictures during our 6 hour drive home from our Montana vacation. Actually, the trip down had a nice break too, as we saw the World’s Largest Purple Spoon in East Glacier, MT.

With the Memorial Day Long Weekend signalling the unofficial start of the summer season, I visited to gather up a list of 50 Roadside Attractions (one in each state) you should try and take a break at this summer.

Why not visit the mini Statue of Liberty in Alabama or the mini White House in Atlanta? Ask your kids how a car got stuck on the side of a building in Miami, or why there’s a phone booth on a roof in Illinois. Looking for a ball of stamps, ball of twine, or a ball of paint?

They’re all on the list. Check the first half after the jump and add your big roadside recommendations in the comments. (You can find Montana through Wyoming here)

  • Birmingham, Alabama 1 of 25
    Birmingham, Alabama
    The Statue of Liberty - Okay, maybe not the Lady of Liberty, but rather a copy of the famous statue in New York. Like the one in NY's harbor, this statue was also founded in France. It's one of the biggest replicas in the world, and has a real flame burning. Unlike NY's Lady, however, you cannot climb inside.

    Image Credit
  • Cantwell, Alaska 2 of 25
    Cantwell, Alaska
    Igloo City - Originally intended to be a hotel, this igloo shaped building never opened for business. Still, dozens of people riding the Alaska Highway pull over every day to take their picture in front of this odd structure.

    Image Credit Xah Lee
  • Carefree, Arizona 3 of 25
    Carefree, Arizona
    America's Largest Sundial - If the big hole in the ground doesn't get the kids all excited, maybe they'll be amused by this time telling device. The sundial is a copper arm stretching 62 feet towards the North Star. And yes, it does tell the right time.

    Image Credit Mickey Perreaud
  • Redfield, Arkansas 4 of 25
    Redfield, Arkansas
    Mammoth Orange Drink Stand - This snack shack in the shape of an orange was built in 1966. It was originally named the "Big Orange," which was later upgraded to "Mammoth Orange." Judging by the size of Gary in his photo, the orange may be big, but dubbing it mammoth is a bit of a stretch.

    Image Credit Gary Epperson
  • Barstow, California 5 of 25
    Barstow, California
    Giant Fire Helmet - Kids love firemen, and this roadside attraction will tickle them and also present a learning opportunity. The Barstow fire department erected this large fiberglass FDNY fire helmet replica next to the Barstow Fire District Headquarters. The number 343 on the shield represents the number of fire fighters who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.

    Image Credit saxxon
  • Hooper, Colorado 6 of 25
    Hooper, Colorado
    The UFO Watchtower - Originally opened as a bit of a joke, (there is a separate Guestbook for aliens), oner Judy Messoline is now a believer after having had 2 dozen sightings herself. The watchtower is little more than a platform on top of a building, but it is in San Luis Valley, a UFO mecca according to enthusiasts.

    Image Credit
  • Bristol, Conneticut 7 of 25
    Bristol, Conneticut
    Lake Compounce Amusement Park - This is America's oldest home of thrill seekers. First opened in 1846, it's been operating for more than 165 years. The rides, however, are much newer. We're talking a $40M play place that's more than just a bathroom break, you could make this the highlight of the summer.

    Image Credit
  • Stanton, Delaware 8 of 25
    Stanton, Delaware
    Huge Doctor's Bag and Stethoscope - Located outside the Apex Medical Center. It's a little old school, but a good camera break to "play doctor."

    Image Credit Roadside Wonders
  • Miami, Florida 9 of 25
    Miami, Florida
    Car On A Building - This used to be the American Police Museum, but it up and moved to Titusville. Now that it's a Medical Center, the car on the side of the building doesn't make much sense, but it's still there. Ask the kids how they think it got stuck.

    Image Credit City Noise
  • Atlanta, Georgia 10 of 25
    Atlanta, Georgia
    White House Replica - Fred Milani built his dream as a 3/4 replica of the home on Pennsylvania Avenue. Back in 2009, after nearly foreclosing twice, he was forced to sell it for a $10M asking price.

    Image Credit Jaunted
  • Hilo, Hawaii 11 of 25
    Hilo, Hawaii
    King Kamehameha - It's Hawaii, for crying out loud. There's no reason your kids should be bored here. But, the names of places in Hawaii are fun to say, and King Kamehameha's name is too. He is recognized as having created the Kingdom of Hawaii.

    Image Credit Wikipedia
  • Castelford, Idaho 12 of 25
    Castelford, Idaho
    Balanced Rock - The top of this wind carved rock is 55 feet, the middle of the formation is just 3. It's a short hike from the highway to see this thing that will have the kids asking if they can run up and push it over.

    Image Credit Visit Idaho
  • Lincoln, Illinois 13 of 25
    Lincoln, Illinois
    Phone Booth On A Roof - Weather spotters would climb up on the roof of this building and then phone reports to news media. Of course, before cell phones we all used phone booths to make phone calls, so this one on the roof makes perfect sense. If the kids find this Route 66 sideshow boring, check out Lincoln's Watermelon Monument.

    Image Credit rasher
  • Alexandria, Indiana 14 of 25
    Alexandria, Indiana
    World's Biggest Ball of Paint - What happens if you paint a baseball repeatedly over 30 years? Michael Carmichael has been doing just that, applying more than 23 000 layers to his creation that now weighs more than 3 500 pounds.

    Image Credit Ball of Paint
  • Sac City, Iowa 15 of 25
    Sac City, Iowa
    World's Largest Popcorn Ball - This is corn country. There are many corn-y things to see in Iowa, this is the one the state may have the most pride in. Sac City lost their big ball title at one point, so they sac-ed up and built another one in 2009. 😉

    Image Credit sacoo
  • Cawker City, Kansas 16 of 25
    Cawker City, Kansas
    World's Largest Ball of Twine - This is a classic. Frank Stoeber started this ball in 1953 as a way to keep his string organized. It hasn't stopped growing since. You might want to plan your Cawker City trip for the third weekend in August, when they have their Twine-A-Thon.

    Image Credit Cawker City
  • Louisville, Kentucky 17 of 25
    Louisville, Kentucky
    Happy Birthday To You - Louisville is the birthplace of the song the world knows. Sister Mildred Jane Hill and Patty Smith Hill created the tune in 1893. The plaque is easy to find, it's on the same street as the World's Largest Baseball Bat

    Image Credit Eccentric Roadside
  • Newellton, Louisiana 18 of 25
    Newellton, Louisiana
    Giant Mailbox - In the middle of flat farm fields, stands Ben Burnside's huge mailbox. It's been there since 1956. It should be easy to find, it's on Mail Box Road.

    Image Credit Phlash Phelps
  • Scarborough, Maine 19 of 25
    Scarborough, Maine
    Lenny The Chocolate Moose - LenLibby is home to the world's only lifesize chocolate moose standing in a white chocolate pond. If you were thinking about sneaking a bite, think again - the figure was unveiled in 1997.

    Image Credit Bear Creek Journal
  • Berlin, Maryland 20 of 25
    Berlin, Maryland
    Shark From Jaws - Meet Bruce, one of the fiberglass sharks used in the movie Jaws. A nice rowboat is perfectly placed for an awesome photo op.

    Image Credit Phlash Phelps
  • Greenfield, Massachussets 21 of 25
    Greenfield, Massachussets
    Tree Stump ATM - Money may not grow on trees, but you can get some from this stump.

    Image Credit FlickRiver
  • Allen Park, Michigan 22 of 25
    Allen Park, Michigan
    World's Biggest Tire - This tire was originally a ferris wheel at the NY World's Fair for tire manufacturer Uniroyal. It now stands on I-94 near the Detroit Metro Airport.

    Image Credit Uniroyal
  • Blue Earth, Minnesota 23 of 25
    Blue Earth, Minnesota
    Jolly Green Giant - Ho Ho Ho.. If you're having a tough time getting your kids to eat their veggies, bring 'em to the giant. They'll fall in love with this 55' brute, see he's real and reach for the bag of peas with his picture on it.

    Image Credit Wikipedia
  • Onward, Mississippi 24 of 25
    Onward, Mississippi
    Birthplace Of The Teddy Bear - While on a hunt in 1902, Teddy Roosevelt refused to shoot a bear chained to a tree. Teddy's Bear was born, and millions of kids have had an easier night's sleep with a stuffy ever since.

    Image Credit MuseTrek
  • Branson, Missouri 25 of 25
    Branson, Missouri
    Celebrity Mount Rushmore - John Wayne, Elvis, Marilyn, and Oliver Hardy stand in for Presidents in this Branson knock off.

    Image Credit Life at 55MPH

Follow Buzz on Facebook or @dadcamp

Read more at DadCAMP or The Blog According to Buzz.

Get more DadCAMP on Kid Scoop:

Article Posted 4 years Ago

Videos You May Like