5 Strange Roadside Attractions to See This Summer
Summer is the perfect time to pack up the kids and head off to find adventure in the far reaches of the United States. You could simply fly to your vacation destinations—OR you could consider taking a classic family road trip. We urge you to try the latter. Granted, it takes longer to go anywhere by car or RV, but is that a bad thing? A drive can show you so much of America’s quirky roadside culture that your journey may become more fun than your actual destination. To prove it, we’ve listed a few of the weirdest roadside attractions you could encounter on your next trip.
Tower of Filing Cabinets—Burlington, Vermont
Built in 2002, the tower has 38 drawers and serves as an artist’s commentary on bureaucratic delays. The artist also claims his work is the tallest filing cabinet in the world, although that hasn’t been verified. But, it’s still a unique sight to see when traveling through New England.
Artist Jim Reinders constructed this replica of the famous prehistoric monument, Stonehenge, as a memorial to his father. But instead of using stones like the original structure, he built it with cars. He used 39 automobiles to construct trilithons in the same proportions as Stonehenge, and he painted them gray to resemble rock. It was a mammoth task, and the results now leave tourists with a lasting impression.
World’s Largest Ball of Twine—Cawker City, Kansas
You can’t make a list of American roadside attractions without mentioning a verified World’s Largest Thing. So, we give you The World’s Largest Ball of Twine. The ball currently weighs more than 20,000 pounds and gets bigger every year as tourists add their own lengths of string. If you stop by, you can become a part of the Cawker City tradition and help the ball grow!
Cadillac Ranch—Amarillo, Texas
The Cadillac Ranch is a must-see for Route 66 enthusiasts. It’s an art installation consisting of 10 cars planted hood-down in the arid, Texas soil. Located about 10 miles outside Amarillo, this work of art features wild, colorful designs created not by the original artists—but by the many passersby who have visited the installation since it opened in 1974.
Winchester Mystery House—San Jose, California
As one story goes, Sarah Winchester—widow of rifle mogul William Winchester—built her house in a labyrinthine fashion because she feared the spirits of those killed with Winchester rifles. She believed the strange layout of her home would confuse them and prevent them from haunting her. So, she built a house that’s pretty confusing to ghosts and living alike. It’s full of stairs that lead nowhere and doors that have no purpose. It covers 24,000 square feet and boasts 160 rooms, 2,000 doors, 47 stairs and fireplaces, and 6 kitchens. Your family will love touring the wacky space and marveling at every oddity the house has to offer.
Of course, this is just a sampling of the many unusual attractions you’ll find traveling down America’s highways. So, maybe skip the airport this year and take an RV on the road instead. Just make sure you’ve got the right insurance before pulling out of the driveway.