Have you ever passed by somewhere on a road trip and wondered about the story behind it?
We certainly have, and we’re ready to unpack 5 strange roadside attractions that are definitely worth your while. Consider stopping by some of these attractions on your next road trip.
1. The Glass Outhouse Art Gallery – Twentynine Palms, California
Nestled in between Joshua Tree National Park and Clerghorn Lakes Wilderness Area, this gallery is home to a number of unusual art installations. Perhaps most unusual is the main attraction: a glass outhouse covered in one-way mirrors. Ever the quirky attraction, the gallery also features a revolving lineup of other works of art. Definitely a spot to check out in between hiking excursions!
- Cadillac Ranch – Amarillo, Texas
Located just outside Amarillo, Texas, the Cadillac Ranch is home to a public modern art installation that has been around since 1974. The art piece features 10 halfway-buried Cadillacs covered in spray paint and rust. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own spray paint and add to the installation with some spray paint art of their own. Get there on a Friday in the summer to enjoy the Cadillac Ranch Food Truck Friday festivities.
3. Fossil Cabin – Carbon County, Wyoming
The story behind this attraction is quite fascinating – there was a cattle rancher in Wyoming who was baffled by the number of dinosaur bones he kept stumbling over on his land. He started to collect the fossilized bones to make a skeleton, until he had the idea to make something much larger – an entire cabin! Built in 1932, this 29-foot-by-19-foot cabin is made out of over 5,800 dinosaur fossils. Originally advertised as “The Building That Used to Walk”, Fossil Cabin was featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not.
4. Lucy the Elephant – Margate City, New Jersey
In 1881, James V. Lafferty commissioned a Philadelphia-based architect to create a structure that would lure tourists. The result was Lucy the Elephant, a 65-foot tall wooden elephant that over the years has featured a tavern, offices, a restaurant, and most recently, an Airbnb. After Lucy’s massive success, several other wooden elephants were made on the Jersey shoreline, but now only Lucy remains. Lucy is the oldest remaining example of a “zoomorphic” structure and also happens to be the oldest roadside attraction in America!
5. World’s Largest Collection of the World’s Largest Objects – Casey, Illinois
The town of Casey, Illinois is a small town located between St. Louis and Indianapolis. The town is so small that it only features a single traffic light, however the town is famous for having multiple objects listed in the Guinness World Book of Records as the World’s Largest. Among these items are the world’s largest golf tee, rocking chair, mailbox, teeter totter, gavel, and truck key. All of these attractions are a part of a campaign by a Casey native called “Big Things, Small Town,” which has got to be the most accurate name for a campaign ever.
Those are our 5 weird roadside attractions that you should definitely check out on your next road trip. There are many more curious roadside attractions out there worth visiting so be sure to include them as you plan your next big road trip!