The Strangest Roadside Attraction in Every State
As you travel our great country to see some of its most beautiful sights, don’t miss these offbeat attractions you’ll find along the sides of roads and just off the interstates around the United States.
On Alabama’s Gulf Coast, you’ll find not only plenty of beaches, but some unusual attractions, as well. Bamahenge, one of several oddities at Elberta’s Barber Marina, will give you not just a reason to go boating, but an opportunity to see Alabama’s version of Stonehenge, made out of fiberglass. While you’re there, don’t miss The Lady in the Lake sculpture and an assortment of dinosaurs in the woods. Sounds like a place even the kids will love—as are the places on our list of the best family vacation destination by state.
Alaska: Reliable Sheet Metal Wizard of Oz Statues
Courtesy Reliable Sheet Metal
Fans of The Wizard of Oz will definitely want to stop at this sheet metal fabricator in Juneau, which has dedicated its roof to the characters of the classic flick—all made of sheet metal, of course. While they vary in size, the Tin Man stands at more than 9 feet tall. The company says they built the statues as a way to draw attention to their business.
Arizona: Golf Ball House
Courtesy Nige Levanterman
Once a 1970s restaurant and nightclub, this eye-popping structure in Yucca is known to locals as the “giant ping pong ball” or the “golf ball house.” The 40-foot-diameter geodesic dome, called Area 66, draws many tourists and passersby, who spot it from the road. Unfortunately, you can’t peek inside.
Arkansas: The Raven
Courtesy Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
You can’t miss this 12-foot tall statue of a raven when passing through the town of Ravenden Springs. Made of cement and stucco, the statue’s base reads “The raven was the first bird sent from the ark in search of land,” and “the raven has the reputation for divine or magical powers.” This town mascot even appeared in an episode of the TV series King of the Hill.
California: Salvation Mountain
This colorful site outside Palm Springs, California, is a man-made mountain featuring a cross and painted with brightly-colored art and messages, including “God is Love” and “Love is Universal.” Salvation Mountain has been featured on Ripley’s Believe it or Not and on the Discovery Channel.
Colorado: UFO Watchtower
The San Luis Valley of Colorado has a reputation as a hot spot for alien activity with many unidentified flying objects supposedly spotted here. The UFO Watchtower in Hooper has little to no light pollution, making it all the easier for you to spot your own UFO… or just enjoy a little stargazing. Don’t miss the best free tourist attraction in every state.
Connecticut: Essex Steam Train
Catch an old-fashioned steam train chugging along the Valley Railroad in Essex. Essex Station was built in 1892 and is the home base for a 12-mile loop of tracks. You can see the station, as well as the steam engine and vintage coaches working their way through the nearby towns of Deep River and Chester.
Delaware: Our Lady Queen of Peace Shrine
Courtesy John Watson
Check out this 33-foot stainless steel statue of the Virgin Mary in the art gallery at Holy Spirit Church in New Castle. The church says the Our Lady Queen of Peace statue, which was designed and sculpted by Charles Parks, was built “to remind us of Mary’s love for all Her children and to offer us hope for peace throughout the world.” The statue is visible to those traveling along the Delaware Memorial Bridge and Interstate 295.
Florida: World’s largest seashell factory
Known as the shelling capital of the world, it’s only fitting that Fort Myers would be home to The Shell Factory, which claims to be the largest seashell retailer in the world. In addition to shells, visitors will find the largest taxidermy collection in North America and changing displays like the “Year Round Christmas House.” There’s also a restaurant, trampoline, zip lines, and bumper boats on the 18-acre property. Find out the most iconic bucket list adventures in each state.
Georgia: Georgia Guidestones
Located seven miles north of the city of Elberton on Highway 77, these 19-foot tall granite stones proclaim a message about the conservation of mankind in a dozen different languages. No one knows who built the Georgia Guidestones, which are also known as “America’s Stonehenge.”