Saturday, April 4, 2020 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

Weirdest US Roadside Attractions

From kitschy to creepy to downright weird, these US roadside attractions are worth stopping for on your next long roadtrip. The United States has thousands of miles of highway but, somehow, long road trips are never boring. You could say this is due to the many incredible monuments and natural wonders along the way, but it’s probably actually because of the really weird roadside attractions you can find! No matter which state you’re in, you’ll be bound to come across a few of these. Here are some of my personal favorites!

1    Lost Luggage Store: Scottsboro, Alabama

This store, Unclaimed Baggage Center, is a place where you can purchase stuff that was left at the airport and never claimed. It’s like a huge second-hand store, but with a lot of extra suitcases! Come find some travel treasures and more.
Lost Luggage Store Scottsboro, Alabama
2    The Thing: Arizona, along Interstate Ten

What is The Thing? I don’t know. I’ve lived in Arizona for about twenty years and seen all the billboards, but I’ve never gone to visit The Thing. If you want to know, you’ll have to take exit 312 and see for yourself.
The Thing: Arizona, Along Interstate Ten
3    Collection of Diseased Brains: New Haven, Connecticut

The Cushing Brain Collection at Yale may sound disgusting (and it sort of is), but it’s pretty fascinating. Who knew there were so many brain diseases?
Collection Of Diseased Brains: New Haven, Connecticut
4    Miles the Monster, Delaware

Along Delaware’s highway, you can check out this freaky boogeyman with glowing red eyes. Why is it there? No clue. It does offer a great photo op, though.
Miles The Monster, Delaware
5    Abandoned Greyhound Racing Track: Cave Green and Goodyear, Arizona

There are actually two of these in Arizona, located a couple hours from each other. Since greyhound racing is now (thankfully) illegal, these facilities have fallen into total ruin. Both have been used in movie scenes, however! You can go check out the graffiti-covered walls when you stop for a visit.
Abandoned Greyhound Racing Track: Cave Green And Goodyear, Arizona
6    Biggest Plant Maze in the World: Wahiawa, Hawaii

Hawaii has more than just great beaches. The Dole Plantation botanical maze is a cool thing to try! It’s actually really tough, but your efforts will be rewarded at the end with a bowl of delicious, fresh Dole pineapple.
Biggest Plant Maze In The World: Wahiawa, Hawaii
7    World’s Biggest Beagle: Cottonwood, Idaho

You can visit the world’s biggest beagle, which doubles as a hotel! Dog Bark Inn is one the strangest places you’ll ever stay. You might even feel a little bit like you’re part of the Siege of Troy.
World’s Biggest Beagle: Cottonwood, Idaho
8    Gold Pyramid House: Wadsworth, Illinois

If you love “Despicable Me,” you probably remember how that insidious Vector stole the pyramid. Well, looks like someone has taken it a step further; not only are these pyramid models huge, but they are actually plated in gold and surrounded by a moat. Wow. Believe it or not, this is a private home!
Gold Pyramid House: Wadsworth, Illinois

9    Ostrich Farm: Arizona

Yet another strange Arizona roadside attraction is the Ostrich Farm. Located on the highway between Phoenix and Tucson, this place is pretty much in the middle of nowhere.
Ostrich Farm: Arizona
10    Carhenge: Nebraska

There are a lot of Stonehenge copycats around the United States, but this one takes the cake. Made from old, wrecked cars, this work of … um … art is a fun thing to Instagram.
Carhenge: Nebraska
11    Wall Drug: South Dakota

Wall Drug is basically a glorified drugstore with a big gift shop, but it has risen to infamy due to its many roadside billboards. If you’re driving through South Dakota, you’ll start seeing these billboards hundreds of miles away. There are even a handful of them scattered around the world.
Wall Drug: South Dakota
12    Corn Palace: Mitchell, South Dakota

Another weird and wonderful roadside attraction in South Dakota is the Corn Palace. This building is covered inside and out with corn, which is arranged to form new murals every so often.
Corn Palace: Mitchell, South Dakota
13    Fossil Cabin: Medicine Bow, Wyoming

Speaking of roadside attractions built out of odd materials, you can’t miss the Fossil Cabin if you’re driving through Wyoming. It’s a house built in 1932 with locally-sourced dinosaur bones!
Fossil Cabin: Medicine Bow, Wyoming
14     Shoe House: Pennsylvania

In case you’ve ever wished you could visit the Old Lady Who Lived in the Shoe, your stars have finally aligned! The Haines Shoe Company built this shoe house as an advertisement, and now it’s a fun place to take a tour (and a few photos as well).
Shoe House: Pennsylvania
15    Shell Oil Clamshell Station: Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Long ago, Shell Oil used to build clamshell-shaped gas stations. However, this didn’t work out so well, probably they were ugly as all get out. Eventually, all of them were ton down… all of them, that is, except one. The North Carolina station was abandoned in the 1950s, and now it’s just another weird roadside attraction.
Shell Oil Clamshell Station: Winston Salem, North Carolina
16    The World’s Largest Bureau: High Point, North Carolina

The World’s Largest Set of Drawers is an iconic sight in High Point, North Carolina. This town styles itself the “Home Furnishings Capital of the World,” and it boasts the largest set of drawers around as well as the former largest bureau. The new champ is an 80-foot-tall dresser that could fit the wardrobe of even the most passionate fashion addict.
The World’s Largest Bureau: High Point, North Carolina
17    Bedrock City: Williams, Arizona and Custer, South Dakota

Leave it to South Dakota and Arizona to offer yet another strange roadside attraction! Visit the hometown of the Flintstones at either of these stone-age, cartoon-inspired towns. While the park in Arizona is still (just barely) maintained, the South Dakota park is closed. You can still visit it, however, and enjoy the now-empty Flintstones buildings.
Bedrock City: Williams, Arizona And Custer, South Dakota
18    Evel Knievel Muse: Topeka, Kansas

Remember that crazy and adventurous daredevil, Evel Knievel? There’s actually a whole museum dedicated to this guy! Come learn about his stunts, see memorabilia, and be wowed at this interesting roadside attraction.
Evel Knievel Muse: Topeka, Kansas
19    Get Crowned by Miss America: Atlantic City, New Jersey

Receive the highest honor in the pageant industry! In Atlantic City, you can visit Boardwalk Hall to see the statue of Miss America. Stand beneath the crown in her outstretched arms and you, too, can be a beauty queen. This surely wins a prize for the best photo op in the state.
 Miss America
Strange? Yes. Cheesy? Maybe. Fun? Absolutely. Stop at any of these weirdest roadside attractions in the US for a slice of Americana on your next road trip.

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