America's Best Roadside Attractions 2021 - The Ultimate Guide
Updated: Aug 17, 2021
The American road trip is back and better than ever for 2021 and we’re giving you the ultimate guide to eye-catching attractions, unique experiences & photo ops across all 50 states.
We personally can’t wait to visit as many of these attractions as we can!
Although Hurricane Sally damaged this giant lady who used to bathe herself in the Bayou La Launch, this sculpture made our list because she was a unique, must-see attraction while in Alabama.
Repairs to Lady in the Lake are TBD according to roadsideamerica.com & the sculpture is currently in storage.
Located in, you guessed it, the North Pole.
Well North Pole, Alaska that is. At this Santa Claus House it’s Christmas everyday & guests can browse Christmas decor & ornaments, keepsakes & unique toys. Visitors can also enjoy delicious holiday favorites such as fudge, cookies & candy.
There’s no shortage of photo ops here! Sit in Santa's sleigh, or take a picture in front of the world's largest Santa.
Their hours are located on their website (including Santas hours!) https://www.santaclaushouse.com/visit.asp
This monument allows you to be in 4 places at once!
This is the only place in the United States where visitors are able to stand in 4 states at the same time including Arizona, New Mexico, Utah & Colorado.
One of Route 66’s many tourist destinations (including Route 66 itself) is Bedrock City. Located just 25 miles south of the Grand Canyon, travelers will find the nostalgic cartoon character Fred Flintstone waving to them.
Inside the city, you can expect a nostalgic experience with bright colored Paleolithic creatures, buildings & the shows classic cars with rocks as wheels.
A lover of Budweiser, David McMahon Sr, commissioned Earl Harris to paint one of the silos on his farm to resemble a giant Budweiser can.
Fun fact: On the label, it's stated that this “can” of beer holds 8,734,902 fluid ounces of Budweiser.
A classic roadside attraction in America, you may remember the world's largest dinosaurs from the cult classic: The Wizard.
These larger than life Dinos are a site to definitely stop and see while in Cabazon, CA. If you want to go inside the dinosaurs you can! There is a small fee to enter the T-Rex while the Apatosaurus (formerly known as the brontosaurus) is free.
One of the more colorful attractions on our list, this man-made mountain is also one of the most unique stops for travelers.
There is a theme of love & religion here which the artist, Leonard Knight, meant as a tribute to God.
Another unique addition to our list, Bubblegum alley is a living & ever-changing attraction.
We don’t want to think about how gross this amount of chewed gum kind of is but instead focus on how cool it looks & how unique it is.
Passing through or going to Colorado? Don’t leave Herkimer, the World's Largest Beetle, off of your site-seeing list!
Terrifying? Maybe. But we think Herkimer is cool and we’d go to Colorado just to see him.
A monument to following your dreams, Jim Bishop has been constructing this castle for nearly 60 years.
The three story castle includes a grand ballroom, towers & bridges but most importantly, a fire-breathing dragon.
Want your chance at seeing an alien? This roadside attraction in Colorado allows travelers to try and spot one.
The location of this attraction has been a hotspot for UFO sightings throughout the years.
You may be wondering: Is this the same 4 Corners Monument mentioned 3 states ago?
Well you’d be right.
Just a reminder that this is the only place in the United States where visitors are able to stand in 4 states at the same time (hence why you’re seeing it again).
The states include Arizona, New Mexico, Utah & Colorado so be prepared to see this 2 more times.
Officially known as the Thread City Crossing, this bridge connects Routes 66 & 32.
The ornamental frogs reside on the bridge because of the city of Windham's famous Frog Fight (Fright) in June of 1954.
Summed up, this “Fright” happened during a drought, residents could hear a loud scream-like noise and in the morning they realized that instead of their worst fears, the noise was actually frogs fighting for the last bit of water available.
Read more about the Frog Fight here: https://connecticuthistory.org/bridge-ornaments-help-tell-the-legend-of-the-windham-frog-fight/
Dover International Speedway, home of “The Monster Mile”, is also home to their mascot Miles the Monster. Miles can be seen coming out of a circular base with a racecar in hand.
Fun fact: the racecar is real & the monster's base is lined with plaques of the winners of every Dover NASCAR race.
The search for eternal youth has been talked about all throughout history.
The Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine, FL can be traced back to 1513 and since then has attracted those in search of living forever.
Well actually between 1513 and the early 1900s people came to look at the flowers growing there. But after Luella Day McConnell acquired the land and placed a gazebo over the well which is said to be The Fountain of Youth, tourists come from near and far in hopes of staying young forever.
Was the castle built by someone with supernatural powers? We may never know!
But whether or not Ed Leedskalnin was a secret superhero or not it’s safe to say that the castle he built has a supernatural effect on its visitors.
The Coral Castle is a mystery but a beautiful one, this site is definitely a must-see.
Some say that this 13-foot tall peanut was the reason Jimmy Carter won the 1976 presidential election. While it may not have won him the entire election, there’s no doubt that it helped him win his home state of Georgia where peanuts are popular.
If you find yourself on a post-apocalypse road trip and you need to know how to conserve mankind or if you just need to know the date, the Georgia Guidestones is the roadside attraction for you. Also known as America’s Stonehenge, these Guidestones stand 19 feet high and include a how-to on conserving humanity for future generations in 12 different languages (just in case). Fun fact: Every day at noon you can see that day's date when the sun shines through a hole in the stones.
HAWAII (Off the Mainland)
The world's largest maze stretching over 3 acres and one of the only botanical mazes in America. While in the maze try to find the 8 secret checkpoints to complete the challenge and finish the fastest to win a prize & have your name recorded at the maze's entrance.
If you’re a dog lover you’ll love this stop along your road-trip. Affectionately dubbed “Sweet Willy” the 30 foot beagle-house was created after the 12-foot beagle attraction brought more visitors than expected to the artists studio.
Need a place to stay for the night? The world's largest beagle also serves as the world's largest beagle bed & breakfast! You can stay at the Dog Bark Park Inn in Cottonwood, Idaho starting January 10th 2022.
The Niagara of the West sits at the edge of Twin Falls in Idaho. A truly breathtaking site at 212 feet (higher than the Niagara Falls). If you’re looking for a scenic stop on your road trip this summer, this is your sign to stop at Shoshone.
Get a picture of yourself holding up the Tower of Pisa without leaving America? Maybe too good to be true but Illinois has an alternative for your photo op! Built as a cover-up for Ilgair Parks’ water tank, the Leaning Tower of Niles is half the size of the Leaning Tower of Pisa (94 feet tall and 28 feet in diameter) and is a great alternative for those who haven’t made it to Pisa, Italy yet.
Fun fact: The village of Niles began a sister city pact with Pisa, Italy in 1991.
Whether you refer to it as catsup or ketchup, this ode to Americana stands 170 feet tall and was originally built as a water tower for a catsup bottling plant. Visiting this roadside attraction is almost guaranteed to make you crave a burger & fries.
Hanging from an industrial hook in Alexandria, Indiana is the world's largest ball of paint. In the center of the 2.5 ton paintball is a baseball that was painted by the artist's son. The ball has over 25,000 layers of paint and is protected in the Ball House.
Fans of StarTrek may be familiar with this roadside attraction. The captain of the Starship Enterprise is to be born in Riverside, Iowa 207 years in the future on March 22nd, 2228.
A fan of the series brought this fact to his town council meeting in 1985 and from there the town of Riverside, Iowa declared itself the future birthplace of James T. Kirk and changed their town slogan to: “Where the Trek begins”.
Want a one-stop shop to see all the world's largest things? If you’re passing through Lucas, Kansas you can see the world’s largest collection of the world's smallest versions of the world’s largest things. We don’t know for a fact if this is the world's longest name for a roadside attraction but we think it could be.
Want to be a part of the world's largest ball of twine? If you’re passing through Cawker City, Kansas make sure to make arrangements ahead of time to add your twine to the ever-growing ball!
This ball of twine has been growing since 1953 and now weighs over 13 tons.
Where else would the world's largest baseball bat reside other than the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory? The giant bat is an exact replica of Babe Ruth's Louisville Slugger.
Looking to cross off another Stonehenge recreation on your list? Check out Kentucky's Stonehenge, created by local Chester Fryer who found every large rock in over 1000 acres to build this recreation.
History buffs & movie lovers unite! Located in the very building that was the last place Bonnie Parker & Clyde Barrow visited before their deaths, is the museum that tells their story. The once cafe-turned museum was (up until 2016) owned by the son of one of the policemen responsible for the deaths of Bonnie & Clyde. In the museum, you can see Bonnie's red hat, some glass from the shattered windshield of their car & more.
A scene straight out of a storybook, this roadside attraction celebrates Maines iconic fruit: the wild blueberry in a “blue-tiful” way. Visit the museum to learn more about the blueberry, 1 of 4 fruits native to America, check out the bakery & gift shop for sweet & savory treats.
If you’re in need of one size 410 rubber-bottom boot, stop at L.L. Beans flagship store in Freeport, Maine.
The 16-foot tall boot is a great photo-op stop.
Ever dream of living in a house of art? A. Clarke Bedford did and so he created the Vanadu Art House. Located in a quiet suburb in D.C. is Clarkes art home which he has been adding to since 2007. Unlike the modern aesthetic of simplicity and minimalism, Clarke enjoys and aims for a maximalist look that will overwhelm the senses.
When most people think of Salem Massachusetts they think of witches, halloween and fall so it’s only right that we include The Witch House of Salem on our roadside attractions list. This house is the only building in Salem that you can visit that has direct ties to the Salem Witch trials of 1692. It was home to Judge Jonathan Corwin and his family who took part in the trials.
Built as an homage to his late fathers friend, Stephen Salisbury III created Bancroft Tower for George Bancroft. This castle-lite is made of boulders and cobblestones and stands 56 feet tall. When it’s not being used for a haunted house or as a rest-stop for Santa, the tower is usually locked up but visitors can still get a great photo out front!
Fun fact: George Bancroft delivered the eulogy at Abraham Lincoln's funeral.
Ponyhenge in Lincoln, MA is a recreation of the original mysterious Stonehenge located in England. The collection of ponies is always mysteriously growing and is a unique experience if you're in the area!
Once a World’s Fair ferris wheel now a must see and stop for passersby, the Uniroyal Tire in Allen Park, Michigan is an 80 foot tall car tire that is a great photo op for travelers and car lovers alike.
Fun fact: The firm that designed the tire also designed the Empire state building.
Said to be the second most photographed statue in America, these two massive figures are inspired by North American tales from the early 20th-century logger industry.
What better way to convince your kids to eat their vegetables than a stop at the Jolly Green Giant statue?
The 55 foot tall Green Giant in Blue Earth Minnesota was financed in just one week by local businesses! If you're traveling through in the summer you may catch their annual summer festival, Giant Days! Or if you happen to pass through in the winter, you may see a giant red scarf keeping the Jolly Green Giant warm.
All that is left of a grand mansion in Port Gibson, Mississippi after an accident at a party that caused the mansion to burn down in February of 1890. Before the fire, the mansion was used as a Union hospital and observation post during the civil war.
This stop is definitely for those who love American history & architecture!
Created by J. Seward Johnson, Jr in 1980, each piece of the sculpture is buried to give the illusion of a giant attempting to free himself from the ground.
At 70 feet in length, this may be one of the most original and awe-inspiring stops on our list!
A whole new meaning to "fork in the road" this fork placed in front of an office building was built originally for a restaurant but now sits at the firm, Noble & Associates.
If you find yourself in Missouri, take your picture in front of the largest fork!
Dedicated to women & mothers everywhere this attraction is the third largest statue in America and stands at 8,500 feet above sea level.
The story behind the statue is an honorable one, A man whose wife had beat cancer wanted to show his gratitude and honor women all around the world.
Easily one of our favorite "Henges" this remake of Stonehenge is a unique experience that is open to the public year-round.
When asked why make a recreation of Stonehenge with cars? Jim Reinders, the artist behind Carhenge simply responds with "Why not?".
We can see why Carhenge was the Travelers' Choice award winner for 2020! Not only a great place for photos but also quirky and unique experience for visitors.
One of the most popular installments at the Goldwell Open Air Museum is the Last Supper. This sculpture located near Death Valley was created by Albert Szukalski in 1984. This recreation of Leonardo DaVinci's original Last Supper was successful in matching the ghostly representation with the emptiness of the desert.
Alongside this massive Last Supper sculpture, there are 6 other installments that are just as outstanding and worth the visit.
One of the most colorful roadside attractions on our list, the Seven Magic Mountains was created to represent the human presence in the desert.
People from all over come to take in the sight of these massive painted boulders stacked on top of one another. If you're passing through Nevada, this installment should definitely be a stop along your way!
A fitting addition to America's Roadside Attractions, The Neon Museum is a tribute to an Americana & travel classic - the neon sign. When you think about road trips (especially in Nevada) you picture neon lights and signs pointing you to a variety of hotels and motels, diners and other attractions along your way.
This museum is a tribute to those signs, their history and their creators. If you love Americana and history this is a must-see for you!
Created as a research submarine, the USS Albacore was used to experiment new features for modern submarines.
Stop by this attraction and take a look through the periscope or listen to recordings from former crew members!
The oldest surviving roadside attraction in America and the oldest surviving form of "zoomorphic" architecture, Lucy the Elephant is truly a worthy addition to any roadside attractions list.
Built in 1881 and visited by Presidents & royalty, this historic structure is a must-see if you find yourself in New Jersey!
In addition to Stonehenge recreations & giant fiberglass statues, there is another thing that is a staple to Americana: Aliens.
What better place for believers to visit than the site of The Roswell Incident? While there, check out the International UFO Museum!
The McGinn family has been growing award-winning pistachios since 1988 so what better way to celebrate that success than to build a giant pistachio?
What was supposed to be a tribute has since turned into a wildly popular roadside attraction in New Mexico.
We've arrived at our 3rd reminder of this very cool experience!
If you are traveling through New Mexico this is your chance to stand in 4 states at the same time.
The 4 states you can stand in are: Arizona, New Mexico, Utah & Colorado.
A great stop for families traveling through New York, Eternal Flame Falls may be eventful to get to but the destination is worth the trip if you love science or nature!
Originally created to attract passersby in to buy ducks, the now tourist information center also serves as a gift shop where you can purchase novelty duck-a-bilia and also as a great 20-foot tall photo-op.
Created by artist Casey Riordan, this sculpture is truly unique to our list and worth the visit to grab a photo if you're in the area.
A combination of art and science, this attraction started on Vollis farm where people had already begun to visit to see the "whirligigs". Now 30 whirligigs have their own park for people to admire them.
The World's Largest Holstein Cow and the most popular roadside animal sculpture in North Dakota. This 38-foot tall cow is visible for 5 miles and is dedicated to the dairymen of the area.
If you find yourself traveling on 1-94 near Gladstone, watch out for exit 72 where the Enchanted Highway begins. For 32 miles you will enjoy sculptures including Geese in Flight, Worlds Largest Tin Family, Teddy Rides Again, Pheasants on the Prairie, Grasshoppers in the Field, Deer Crossing and Fishermans Dream.
For each of these sculptures (excluding Geese in Flight), there are parking areas so you can pull over and enjoy the sights!
Ever wonder what 10 maple trees and 2000 hours of work can get you?
A 23 foot tall Longaberger basket is one example. But this basket is small compared to Longabergers' basket-shaped headquarters that stands 7 stories tall.
Similar to the Neon Museum in Nevada, the American Sign Museum is dedicated to the history and art of sign making. This museum is the largest museum of signs in the country.
This 90-foot tall totem pole measures 9 feet in diameter and was created by Ed Galloway, a premier folk artist in Oklahoma. On the exterior of the totem pole are carved bas-relief designs inspired by nature.
If you happen to be near Foyil, Oklahoma this roadside attraction is a beautiful site to see.
Ever wish you could step into a fairytale?
Thanks to Roger Tofte, you can! If you're traveling near Salem, Oregon you can visit the amusement park that now has 10 rides and 7 attractions that will make you feel like you've walked into a storybook.
One of the strangest places on earth and a scientific anomaly, the Oregon Vortex is truly a unique experience. In this place, things seem to move and stand differently.
Fun fact: horses refuse to walk into the affected area.
Known as the drainpipe of the Pacific, Thor's Well is a natural wonder that seems bottomless (but is really about 20 feet deep). Although it is a beautiful site to see, if you choose to visit this site please do research beforehand and be cautious as it is extremely dangerous.
Built in 1948 and modeled after a high-top work shoe, the Haines Shoe House is a worthwhile stop for shoe lovers!
Inside are 5 different levels that contain 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms a kitchen and a living room.
There's not a picture that does this colorful attraction enough justice. Easily one of the most colorful and vibrant places in Pittsburgh, PA, Randyland is bound to make you happy.
If you're a fan of art or great photo-ops this roadside attraction is worth the trip!
Also known as the Mystery Tower of Newport, there are many theories as to who built this tower and when. According to a local Newport museum, the tower was just a base of a windmill built by settlers. But many question as to why they would build a 450-ton windmill base.
One of the most popular theories is that Vikings built the tower around 1150.
Are you a fan of sweet tea?
If you're traveling through South Carolina, the quaint town of Summerville may be a refreshing stop along your way. This 15-foot tall sweet tea jar is bound to make you thirsty for the traditional southern drink and is also a great place for a photo-op!
One of the most photographed water tanks in the US is located in Gaffney, South Carolina also known as the "peach capital of South Carolina".
The 135-foot Peachoid water tower depicts the type of peaches that are grown in Cherokee County.
In Cactus Flats, South Dakota stands a 12-foot tall Praire Dog statue. The artist, Harold Zundell, etched his name and the date July 1st 1959 into the base of the statue.
The largest outdoor sculpture in Tennessee, stretching about one acre and standing 125 feet high was built by Billy Tripp starting in 1989.
The sculpture contains salvaged metal and is certain to catch any observer or passerby's eye.
A "must-Tennes-see" was the home of one of the greatest and most well-known musicians to live, Elvis Presley.
Among his home you can visit shops, hotels and other Elvis-themed venues that are unique to the area.
Built in 1982 for the World's Fair and standing 26 stories tall is the one-of-a-kind Sunsphere. Although this roadside attraction is temporarily closed for renovations, when it re-opens it will be a great stop for anyone.
Inside the observation deck there is a gallery of images and information about Knoxville while also providing a 360-degree view of the city.
Fun fact: Each panel on the sphere is made with 24-karat gold and cost around $1000 each at the time it was made.
Dedicated to the golden age of the American automobile, Cadillac Ranch contains 10 Cadillacs covered in graffiti and is truly a unique sight to behold.
The ever-changing art on the Cadillacs is just one reason many go to visit and add their own graffiti to the classic cars partially buried in the ground.
Looking to purchase Prada while in the middle of the desert? If you're in Texas, you're in luck. That is if you are in the market for only right-footed shoes and bags without bottoms.
Although the pieces in Prada Marfa are not for sale, the installation alone is worth the visit for a photo-op and potentially an alien sighting (as some conspiracies say).
As a commentary on Western materialism, Prada Marfa is made of a biodegradable substance that will allow it to slowly melt back into the earth. Prada Marfa was built by the artistic team Elmgreen & Dragset.
Would it be Texas without at least one giant statue of cowboy boots?
Everything's bigger in Texas including Bob "Daddy-O" Wade's 40-foot tall cowboy boots created to resemble ostrich skin.
Make sure to get your own cowboy boots on for this photo-op!
Once more on our list, the Four Corners Monument. Here you can stand, sit or lay in multiple states at once.
Feel like visiting Colorado, Utah, Arizona & New Mexico all at once? This is the roadside attraction for you!
What started as a home for the Christensen family turned into an engineering masterpiece and is now a stop along Highway 191 in Southwestern Utah for passersby to marvel at.
While visiting, travelers will be stunned at the excavation effort that went into making this 14 room home inside of a rock.
A hauntingly sweet tribute to the Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavors that have passed on.
If you happen to be traveling to or through Vermont, check out the Flavor Graveyard to see which flavors have kicked the bucket (or rather, pint).
The graveyard overlooks the Ben & Jerry's factory where each gravestone is made of granite and contains the name and an epitaph of the dearly departed dairy.
Included in several "Seven Natural Wonders of the World" lists, the Natural Bridge in Virginia is just that, a natural bridge.
The limestone gorge carved out by Cedar Creek creates the bridge that you see when visiting. But although the bridge is an amazing sight to see, there are also forests and meadows with hiking trails nearby making your visit that much better.
A full-sized replica of the original Stonehenge stands in Centerville, Virginia. Although it may look just like the original, this Foamhenge is made up of styrofoam instead of rocks. So if you can't make it across the pond to see Stonehenge just yet, give Foamhenge a visit!
After an art competition launched to rehabilitate the bridge where the Fremont Troll now resides, Steve Badanes and his team designs and constructed the Fremont Troll after being inspired by the folktale Billy Goat's Gruff.
What was once a dumping ground is now a popular tourist attraction.
Although the real name of these metal pieces of art is Grandfather Cuts Loose the Ponies, it is more commonly referred to as the Wild Metal Horses Monument.
Best seen from a distance to take in the full beauty of the life-sized galloping horses but if you do decide to get up close you'll also get a great view of the Columbia River.
Experience the laws of gravity like you've never seen them before!
Not for those with heart ailment or vertigo, this strange place can cause confusion and sometimes dizziness for those that enter.
Tour this top-secret space and experience the White House in upside-down form.
His story originated in Holland & Belgium, the patron figure of brewers, King Gambrinus guards the World's Largest Six Pack in Wisconsin.
A truly unique experience, Devils Tower was declared the first national monument in 1906 by President Roosevelt. How was this great rock formed? Scientists agree that lava became rock formations that cooled and eroded over time.
This site is sacred to the Lakota and many other Plains Tribes.
Congratulations on making it through our guide!
We hope that this inspires you to travel this summer/fall & all the seasons to come. You deserve it.
Here are some things we learned that America loves after making this list.
1. Remaking Stonehenge (Seriously we couldn’t believe how many remakes there were of this & we didn’t even include them all)
2. Dinosaurs (Are other countries like this?)
3. Large remakings of really anything (especially food-related things)
4. Aliens (Again, is this just us?)
5. Fiberglass statues (So. Many. Statues.)
6. Neon Signs (This is a personal favorite of the writer)