Image source: Flickr - Louis Vest
America is world-renowned for its wild and quirky roadside attractions. In the beginning, these attractions were aimed at getting tourists to stop for a quick photo as well as spend a little cash at the nearby souvenir shops. However, over time, these over-sized and quirky roadside attractions became quite popular. Today, they can be found in almost every state and have become unique attractions with large followings.
For many families and individuals, visiting these strange monuments has become somewhat of a tradition. Believe it or not, many road trippers plan their entire trip based on seeing these unusual sights.
So come along. Let's take a look at some of the funniest roadside attractions that are spread across America.
Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska
Imagine driving down the highway, sun shining, windows down and the wind flowing through your hair while enjoying the beautiful Nebraskan landscape.
Suddenly you see something off in the distance. Squinting your eyes, the shapes come into focus, and you start to see what appears to be a circle of old cars painted completely gray and resembling large boulders. For a brief second your mind stops. "Wait, where am I? Nebraska, right? Yes, I'm sure this is Nebraska."
This is Carhenge. Carhenge, located in Alliance, Nebraska, is a circle of cars replicating Englands ancient stone circle, Stonehenge. Carhenge is a fun and quirky monument that residents and tourist find amusing.
The best part is that Carhenge is free to visit!
The World's Largest Fish - Hayward, Wisconsin
We have all heard fish stories: the longest, the biggest, the one that got away. Well, this fish will surpass them all. Over 16 stories tall and longer than a Boeing 747, this impressive Muskie is a major attraction for anglers of all ages.
It houses an impressive museum and a tourist-friendly stairway that leads you right into the Muskies open mouth.
The World's Biggest Ball of Twine in Cawker City, Kansas
What started as a hobby for one man, has grown into the largest ball of twine in the world. If that sounds a little strange to you, then get this. Having the biggest ball of twine is more competitive then you think and many states and even countries vie for the title.
However, with over 7 million strings and sisal twine, this enormous ball of weighs in at 19,000 pounds, making Cawker City the undisputed champion.
Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas
Cadillac Ranch might be the most famous roadside attraction on this list. As you pull up to the ranch located just outside Amarillo, you see ten colorful Cadillacs planted halfway into the ground, each car a different model from the golden age of Cadillac (1948-1963). One reason this attraction is so popular is because roads trippers are actually encouraged to get in touch with their artistic side and leave their unique mark on them with spray paint. How often do you get permission to spray paint someone elses property!?
World's Largest Dogs, Cottonwood, Idaho
These massive wood carvings are of two beagles named Toby and Sweet Willy. These dogs are 12 and 30 feet respectively. Sweet Willy also doubles as a bed and breakfast. Yes, you heard that right. You can spend the night in the world's largest dog.
One of the rooms is located in the muzzle, but I think I would opt for the one that lies deep in the belly. The dogs are a popular site to see and are actually on the list of The Top 20 Most Fun Places To Stay.
World's Largest Talking Cow, Neillsville, Wisconsin
Her name is Chatty Belle, and she may not be the biggest cow in the world in size, but she is certainly the world's largest talking cow. She and her Holstein son stand in a meadow in Neillsville, Wisconsin, talking with visitors.
She has become so popular that sometimes her voice gives out as if she has a case of laryngitis. She measures in at 16 x 20 but don't be too alarmed; she is known to be a friendly cow.
Spaceship - Mars, Pennsylvania
People from Mars, Pennsylvania, are sympathetic to the mysterious, red planet. In honor of their fellow Martians, they built an impressive flying saucer.
This attraction is not only impressive because of it size but also because it is mobile. It can be seen moving around town with an inscription "May peace prevail on Earth" written on the ship in several different languages.
Green Giant - Blue Earth, Minnesota
You might remember those old Jolly Green Giant commercials that encouraged us to eat our corn and green beans. Those commercials aren't as popular as they once were, but the Niblet King hasn't lost any of his fame.
Just off of Interstate 90 stands the massive 55 foot statue of the Jolly Green Giant. Today many people driving through Minnesota make a stop to visit and pose for a few pictures with the Giant. More than 10,000 visitors visit him and the museum each year.
These roadside attractions may all be unique, but one thing they all have in common is the endearing sense of humor and love that Americans have for things odd and quirky.
When planning your next road trip, take a detour; venture out from the usual sights, get off the beaten path and see some crazy roadside attractions.
What are your favorite roadside attractions and where are they?