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The Weirdest Tourist Attraction in Every State Gallery

These would be the perfect spots to hit on your next road trip
dinosaur
Dreamstime

The Weirdest Tourist Attraction in Every State

Dreamstime

If you’re planning a trip and want to skip the usual ho-hum tourist spots, consider this list mandatory reading. With this catalogue of the weirdest tourist attractions in every state, you will avoid the trap of long lines and underwhelming monuments in favor of some of the lesser-known but no less incredible back road sites throughout America.

Begin thinking of Instagram captions now, because visiting any of these attractions is going to give you crazy good content and a wild story to tell your friends. People will delight in hearing about your adventure to North Dakota’s Enchanted Highway. They’ll revel in your tales of California’s Cabazon Dinosaurs. No one will believe your wild story that there is an Elvis Memorial Chapel in Arizona unless you go and take photos or come back with wacky souvenirs.

So, go for it! Take the road less traveled on your next journey and visit these roadside oddities, enormous ordinary items, and buried bits of history from the weirdest tourist attractions in every state. Everyone gets bored hearing about The Bean in Chicago or M&M’s World in New York anyway.

Alabama: Big White Shirt, Andalusia

Map data ©2018 Google; Right: istockphoto.com

Andalusia, Alabama, is the white dress-shirt capital of America, and this highly photographed enormous white shirt sign is a reminder of that. According to Roadside America, the tie is changed seasonally.

The Best Food and Drink in Alabama 

Alaska: Giant Tattoo Needle, Anchorage

If you’re a big fan of tattoos, you’re definitely going to want to snap a pic in front of Anchorage’s giant tattoo needle. On display in the parking lot of a tattoo parlor, this needle is truly eye catching.

The Best Food and Drink in Alaska

Arizona: Elvis Memorial Chapel, Apache Junction

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You wouldn’t ever think Elvis Presley would have a place in Arizona, but “the King” lives on in Apache Junction. The Elvis Memorial Chapel survived the devastating fires at the former Apacheland Movie Ranch and has since been reconstructed at the Superstition Mountain Museum. Guests can see tons of Elvis memorabilia as well as exclusive photos and props from when he filmed the 1969 movie Charro! on the Apacheland Movie Ranch grounds, grounds, including some scenes filmed in this very church.

The Best Food and Drink in Arizona 

Arkansas: Snake World, Berryville

Left: Map data ©2018: istockphoto.com Right: Dreamstime

The next time you’re in Arkansas, be sure to stop by Snake World! Owner Dale Ertel claims that the tourist attraction houses over 70 snakes, which is even more than the Little Rock Zoo. The reviews on Trip Advisor are all glowing, and warn visitors not to be dissuaded by Snake World’s sketchy exterior.

The Best Food and Drink in Arkansas

California: Cabazon Dinosaurs, Cabazon

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In the middle of nowhere, California, stand the Cabazon Dinosaurs. There are two dinosaurs, and they are glorious — not to mention highly photographed by tourists on their way to vacation in Palm Springs. These dinosaurs are also known for their appearance in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. The long-necked dinosaur also houses stairs and a kitschy toy shop inside its body.

The Best Food and Drink in California 

Colorado: Largest Fork in the US, Creede

Creede, Colorado, is home to the largest fork in the United States. The enormous sculpture by Ted Yund is over 40 feet long and weights over 600 pounds, breaking the record of the previous world’s largest fork, which was in Springfield, Missouri.

The Best Food and Drink in Colorado

Connecticut: Avery’s Beverages, New Britain

This tiny soda factory is also the oldest bottling plant in New England and has been around for almost 100 years. Tours of Avery’s Beverages are highly coveted, as visitors get to make three bottles of their own soda! Be sure to call in advance before your tour to make sure they are bottling the day you go.

The Best Food and Drink in Connecticut 

D.C. : Owney the Stuffed Dog Postal Mascot

Andy P./Yelp

You can see the unofficial postal system mascot, Owney, at the National Postal Museum where he sits wearing a vest decorated with honors for his travels assisting postal professionals. The little dog died in 1897 but has been displayed at the Post Office Headquarters in Washington, D.C., the St. Louis World’s Fair, and the Smithsonian before arriving at his final resting place, where visitors can see him today.

The Best Food and Drink in Washington DC

Delaware: Fountain of Youth, Lewes

Left: Map data ©2018 Google; Right: istockphoto.com

Although many states claim to have a Fountain of Youth, Delaware’s was discovered in 1631, making it one of (if not the) oldest. Unfortunately, the fountain is now dry. Only a small gazebo and a sign marks the spot where the magic waters once were.

The Best Food and Drink in Delaware

Florida: World’s Largest ‘Gone With the Wind’ Collection, Plant City

Left: Map data ©2018 Google; Right: Employee(s) of MGM/Wikimedia Commons

If you’re a big fan of Gone With the Wind you’re going to want to stop by the world’s largest Gone With the Wind collection. It also houses the world’s largest gift shop dedicated to the movie. Originally a part of Cypress Gardens (the home meant to resemble Tara from the film), the memorabilia attraction closed only to be reopened in Plant City.

The Best Food and Drink in Florida

Georgia: White House Replica, Atlanta

Wikimedia Commons

Want to see the White House without having to go to D.C.? Consider traveling to Atlanta, where they have a replica three-quarters the size! The mini White House used to offer tours of its replica of the Oval Office and the Lincoln bedroom, but now it’s a private home. However, it’s still frequently photographed by on-lookers, because… it’s basically the White House.

The Best Food and Drink in Georgia

Hawaii: World’s Most Scenic Urinal, Kealakekua

Kona Hotel/Yelp

The Hotel Kona is home to the world’s most scenic urinal and they are proud of it. Men using the facilities get to enjoy a gorgeous view of the ocean and the green terrain while they relieve themselves. The pink exterior-ed hotel’s manager told Roadside America that she is very proud of her hotel’s bathroom’s inclusion as an odd attraction.

The Best Food and Drink in Hawaii

Idaho: Giant Abraham Lincoln, Boise

Left: Dreamstime; Right: istockphoto.com

You can take a funny picture with an absolutely enormous Abraham Lincoln in Boise, Idaho. People have enjoyed posing with this comically large statute since its unveiling in 2010.

The Best Food and Drink in Idaho

Illinois: First Kiss Spot of the Obamas, Chicago

Left:istockphoto.com; Right:Dreamstime

There is a plaque on one of the rocks in front of a Subway restaurant (that used to be a Baskin Robbins) in the Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago where Barack and Michelle Obama had their first date and subsequently, their first kiss. Whatever you feel about the Obamas, you must admit this is a pretty adorable memorial. There’s even a quote from Barack that reads: “On our first date, I treated her to the finest ice cream Baskin Robbins had to offer, our dinner table doubling as a curb. I kissed her, and it tasted like chocolate.” Major swoon!

The Best Food and Drink in Illinois

Indiana: World’s Largest Egg, Mentone

Left: Map data ©2018 Google; Right: istockphoto.com

Mentone is known as “the egg basket of the Midwest” — and they have the world’s largest egg to prove it. No, it’s not real, but this enormous cement egg is still well worth taking a photo next to.

The Best Food and Drink in Indiana

Iowa: Mini Statue of Liberty, Des Moines

Left: Dreamstime; Right: istockphoto.com

If you can’t make it to New York to see the real thing, try road-tripping it to Des Moines for a shot with the mini Statue of Liberty. Located on the east side of the Iowa State capitol, this replica isn’t green like the Lady Liberty we know and love on the East Coast but rather a ghostly white.

The Best Food and Drink in Iowa

Kansas: Teacher’s Hall of Fame, Dodge City

US Department of Education/Wikimedia commons

Kansas really knows how to appreciate its teachers. The Kansas Teachers’ Hall of Fame is a must-see kitschy attraction for anyone who wants to show their admiration of the people who taught us to read, count, and spell. There is even a room in the museum devoted to school artifacts like old wooden desks, mimeograph machines, chalkboards, and a piano!

The Best Food and Drink in Kansas

Kentucky: Funny Town Welcome Sign, Hartford

Left: Map data ©2018 Google; Right: istockphoto.com

Clearly the town of Hartford has a good sense of humor. "Home of 2000 happy people and a few soreheads," reads the iconic welcome sign. Definitely Instagram that!

The Best Food and Drink in Kentucky

Louisiana: Grave of Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen, New Orleans

Left: istockphoto.com; Right:Flickr/Mark Gstohl/CC BY 4.0

Visit Marie Laveau’s grave… if you dare. The notorious Louisiana Voodoo queen may have died in 1881, but it’s still widely believed that her spirit will help you with whatever you need should you leave the right combination of offerings or draw three X’s on her tomb. Unfortunately, due to tons of grave-defacing, the only way to visit her final resting place is by taking a tour with a licensed tour guide.

The Best Food and Drink in Louisiana

Maine: Giant L.L. Bean Boot, Freeport

If this isn’t the most Instagrammed spot in Maine, it should be. The L.L. Bean flagship store has a 16-foot-tall rubber boot in front of it, perfect for posing with however you choose.

The Best Food and Drink in Maine

Maryland: Ouija Board Inventor’s Tombstone, Baltimore

Something Original/Wikimedia Commons

The inventor of the Ouija Board has the coolest tombstone ever. Carved into the back of Elijah Jefferson Bond’s tombstone is a Ouija Board with the traditional “yes” and “no” in the left and right corners. It’s the perfect spot to snap a cool Instagram or build your Tumblr aesthetic. Recently, someone left a crying-eye planchette on the Ouija Board part of the headstone. Would you dare try to communicate with Mr. Bond?

The Best Food and Drink in Maryland

Massachusetts: Turtle Boy, Worcester

Daderot/Wikimedia Commons

This statue of a naked boy with a sea turtle is a big (and weird) tourist attraction for its possibly unintentionally suggestive nature. According to Roadside America, the sculptor died before he could complete the statue. We wonder what the finished design was supposed to be.

The Best Food and Drink in Massachusetts

Michigan: Man-Killing Clam, Cheboygan

Located inside Sea Shell City, this enormous man-killing clam is totally kitschy-cool- plus there are kooky signs for it on the road the closer you get. Although the clam is admittedly pretty large, it’s more silly than scary, and it’s one of the most photographed items inside Sea Shell City!

The Best Food and Drink in Michigan

Minnesota: World’s Largest Paul Bunyan, Akeley

This Paul Bunyan statue stands out because you can sit in his huge palm and take the perfect road-trip vacation photo. Although the crouching figure is currently not technically the tallest Paul Bunyan statue in the U.S., his creators say that if he stood upright he would be about 60 feet fall, making him officially the largest Paul Bunyan.

The Best Food and Drink in Minnesota

Mississippi: Town Named Hot Coffee, Hot Coffee

Left: Map data ©2018 Google; Right:istockphoto.com

There is a town named Hot Coffee in Mississippi, but if you blink you might miss it. The teeny tiny town is now just a green highway sign and an abandoned grocery store. People often stop to take photos that reaffirm their love of java.

The Best Food and Drink in Mississippi

Missouri: 1950s Gas Station With Dummies, Clarence

Left: Map data ©2018; Right: istockphoto.com

This Missouri curiosity is an old MFA oil service station that appears to be busy with cars. Upon closer inspection, the cars turn out to be full of mannequins. According to one reviewer, the stuffed monkeys in the taxi cab are rumored to be from the Barnum and Bailey’s Circus!

The Best Food and Drink in Missouri

Montana: The Sip ‘n Dip Lounge Mermaids, Great Falls

Sandra J./Yelp

The O’Haire Motor Inn boasts one of the greatest attractions for people who love mermaids! In their Sip ‘n Dip Lounge is a window that looks into an indoor swimming pool where six “mermaids” entertain tiki-drink-sipping guests by swimming by.

The Best Food and Drink in Montana

Nebraska: Spinning Yellow Giant, Omaha

Russell Speeders Car Wash/Yelp

Only in Omaha can you see a 20-foot-tall man wearing a yellow rain coat, rotating in front of a car wash (and in multiple locations). These car washes are also staffed by much smaller animatronic mannequins, all wearing similar yellow raincoats, to delight and terrify you throughout your car wash experience!

The Best Food and Drink in Nebraska

Nevada: E.T. Fresh Jerky, Hiko

Bryan W./Yelp

If you love aliens, this is a must-see roadside attraction. E.T. Fresh Jerky, formerly known as “Alien Fresh Jerky,” is a kooky shop with fun alien murals, U.F.O. signage, alien souvenirs, and, yes, jerky that is simply out of this world.

 

The Best Food and Drink in Nevada

New Hampshire: Hot Dog Man, Winchester

He’s a little creepy, because he appears to be carved out of a dead tree, but he’s also kind of cute! What’s not to like about an enormous hot dog by the side of the road wearing nothing but a baseball cap, a tasteful smear of mustard, a bun, and a charming smile?

The Best Food and Drink in New Hampshire

New Jersey: Death Rock of Alexander Hamilton, Weehawken

Left: Map data ©2018 Google; Right: Theornamentalist/Wikimedia Commons

If you’re a Hamilton fan, this is a must-see. The actual rock where Alexander Hamilton rested his head after he lost his duel with Aaron Burr is now a monument! Plus it’s seriously close to the Lincoln Tunnel, so you could always see the Broadway show, hop in a cab, and go!

The Best Food and Drink in New Jersey

New Mexico: UFO Crashed Here, Aztec

Left: Map data ©2018 Google; Right: istockphoto.com

Supposedly a UFO crash landed on this site in 1948. Now all that remains is a plaque with the gory details of the crash and some rocks gathered into the shape of an alien’s face.

The Best Food and Drink in New Mexico

New York: Ghostbusters Headquarters, New York

Joi Ito/Wikimedia Commons

The Tribeca firehouse Hook and Ladder Company 8 was used as the Ghostbusters headquarters in the film Ghostbusters and it’s still around and super easy to get to. This New York City attraction is right off of a subway line and full of nods to its film history. According to Roadside America, when actor Harold Ramis died in 2014, fans set up a memorial on the sidewalk outside of the fire house.

The Best Food and Drink in New York

North Carolina: Plastic Flamingo Petting Zoo, Cedar Point

Left: Map data ©2018 Google; Right:istockphoto.com

Ever wanted to pet a flamingo? You can pet the birds without the fishy smell or the worry of getting pecked at this plastic flamingo petting zoo in North Carolina! Located in the front yard of a tourist information center next to the highway, this is an incredible Instagram opportunity just waiting to happen. The flamingos aren’t just for petting and photos — they can also be adopted (purchased).

The Best Food and Drink in North Carolina

North Dakota: Enchanted Highway, Regent

Dreamstime

You may think that there is a whole lot of nothing in North Dakota, but you would be wrong. The Enchanted Highway, a creation by retired school teacher and metal sculptor Gary Greff, features fantastical sculptures along an empty road in Regent, North Dakota. Visitors can see enormous birds, grasshoppers, deer jumping fences, fish, seaweed, and even more incredible designs. Greff has also opened the Enchanted Castle Hotel, where guests can stay while taking in his creative constructions, because other hotels may be hard to find. It truly is in the middle of nowhere.

The Best Food and Drink in North Dakota

Ohio: Frankenstein’s Grave, Canton

Left: istockphoto.com; Right:Universal Studios/Wikimedia Commons

This grave is rumored to belong to Dr. Frankenstein. According to one post on Roadside America, “Rumor has it that a Timken family member in Germany wrote to his successful cousin in America and told him how the grave site of Victor Frankenstein was being defaced and spit upon in their small town. The American Timken and founder of Timken Roller Bearings paid for the remains of the body to be flown to Canton to give Dr. Frankenstein a peaceful resting place.” While the more likely explanation is that the tombstone marks the plot of a family of nineteenth-century immigrants who happened to share the same name as Mary Shelley’s mad scientist, the monument definitely says “Frankenstein.”

The Best Food and Drink in Ohio

Oklahoma: World’s Largest Peanut, Durant

istockphoto.com

The best and weirdest attractions are always large versions of everyday things. Durant’s “World’s Largest Peanut” is no exception. Although the hefty peanut was taken down in 2010 because college kids kept stealing it, it is now back on its pedestal, looking enormous as ever.

The Best Food and Drink in Oklahoma

Oregon: The Dave Vail Memorial Toilet, Estacada

Left:Map data ©2018 Google; Right:istockphoto.com

According to one reviewer, “The funny thing about the Memorial Toilet, according to my mom who lives in Estacada (and it's where I grew up), is that the guy it was named for was alive when they built the ‘memorial toilet’ in his honor.”

The Best Food and Drink in Oregon

Pennsylvania: Coffee Pot-Shaped Building, Bedford

Jeff Kubina/Wikimedia Commons

There is truly an enormous coffee pot-shaped building in Pennsylvania that people like to pose by. Formerly a 1920s luncheonette, it was restored in 2003 and includes a gift shop next door.

The Best Food and Drink in Pennsylvania

Rhode Island: Mrs. Potato Head Statue, Westerly

What’s cuter than Mr. Potato Head? Mrs. Potato Head. This version stands 6 feet tall in her bikini and sunglasses at the Westerly State Airport greeting visitors. She is certainly one hot potato!

The Best Food and Drink in Rhode Island

South Carolina: Luke Skywalker’s House, Sullivan’s Island

This house became a hot spot for photos as it looks just like Star Wars character Luke Skywalker’s home on Tatooine. Don’t forget to bring your lightsabers!

The Best Food and Drink in South Carolina

South Dakota: Corn Palace, Mitchell

Corn Palace_Parkerdr/Wikimedia Commons

South Dakota’s Corn Palace is a magnificent building covered in creative murals made out of corn to resemble various themes. 2016’s theme, which coincidentally was 2017’s theme (for monetary reasons) happened to be “Rock of Ages” and included corn depictions of the likes of Elvis, Willie Nelson, and John Travolta.

The Best Food and Drink in South Dakota

Tennessee: Chicken Wire Minnie Pearl, Centerville

Left: Dreamstime; Right: Denny-Moeller terms Talent, Inc./Wikimedia Commons

A local artist from the town of Centerville made various Minnie Pearl statues out of chicken wire. His first, an 8-foot-high chicken wire bust of the Grand Ole Opry and Hee Haw actress, was donated to the town of Centerville once completed.

The Best Food and Drink in Tennessee

Texas: Wax Last Supper, Fort Worth

istockphoto.com

Fort Worth is home to a life-size wax recreation of da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” that you can walk up to and take a photo of. The statues are complete with real human hair. Think of it as a more religious Madame Tussaud’s.

The Best Food and Drink in Texas

Utah: Nursing Home Stonehenge, American Fork

Left: Map data ©2018 Google; Right:istockphoto.com

Strangely, there is a mini replica of Stonehenge on the front lawn of a nursing home in Utah. It was built in 2012 and has become a tourist attraction just because it’s impressive and a little odd.

The Best Food and Drink in Utah

Vermont: Grave With a Window

The grave of Timothy Clark Smith was outfitted with a little window because Mr. Smith feared being buried alive. Although it’s hard to see through the window (the man was buried in 1893) it is still worth a trip to see it (just for the pure spookiness).

The Best Food and Drink in Vermont

Virginia: Love Butt, Charlottesville

Mai P./Yelp

This 10-foot-tall, 1,600-pound piece of artwork was originally featured on a comedy show pilot but is now a permanent fixture in Charlottesville, Virginia. Big, pink, and embarrassing, it’s the perfect road trip attraction for using the “I’m just pulling over to use the restroom” excuse.

The Best Food and Drink in Virginia

Washington: Where Kurt Cobain Lived in a Refrigerator Box, Aberdeen

Devoted Kurt Cobain and Nirvana fans have made pilgrimage to the former home of Dale Crover (the Melvins drummer who was also the first drummer of Nirvana) to take pictures of the enclosed entryway where Cobain lived in a refrigerator box. Come as you are.

The Best Food and Drink in Washington

West Virginia: Pope John Paul II Outside a Restaurant, Wheeling

Left: Map data ©2018 Google; Right:Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States/Wikimedia Commons

A 6-foot-tall statue of Pope John Paul II holds his arms open outside Generations Restaurant and Pub in West Virginia. The statue was commissioned by restaurant owner Mike Duplaga Jr. after seeing the impressive 45-foot-tall version in Poland.

The Best Food and Drink in West Virginia

Wisconsin: Forest of Chainsaw Totem Poles, Medford

Left: Map data ©2018 Google; Right: istockphoto.com

If you’re looking to be terrified and impressed, look no further than the forest of “chainsaw totem poles” in Medford, Wisconsin. Don’t be too fearful — the hundreds of old chainsaws are “mounted” into roadside poles (according to one reviewer).

The Best Food and Drink in Wisconsin

Wyoming: Pit of Buffalo Bones, Vore

Jeff the quiet/Wikimedia Commons

Hunters once drove herds of bison off the neighboring cliff into this pit to kill them, and over roughly 300 years of use, the site accumulated the remains of between 10,000 to 20,000 buffalo. Visitors and archeologists are welcome, but only 5 percent of the bones have been excavated, so who really knows what could be under there! In the mood for a road trip now? Here are the best places to eat and drink in every state along the way.

The Best Food and Drink in Every State

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