Let’s face it, summer at home last year sucked. It’s time to make up for lost time and get out there! Nothing gets you out like an awesome summer road trip with the whole family. For us, the best part of a road trip are the unique roadside attractions that you’ll see along the way. Here are a few of our favorites:
Winchester Mystery House – San Jose, Ca
Is this the most haunted spot in the United States? Some think so. The Winchester Mystery House was all built under the guidance of Sarah Winchester, the widow of firearms magnate William Wirt Winchester. She believed that the ghosts of those killed by the guns her husband made were haunting her. So to confuse those ghosts she built this house with stairs to nowhere and doors that opened to a brick wall. Even if ghosts aren’t your thing, you’ll be fascinated by the architecture of this unique home.
Peggy Sue’s Diner – Yermo, Ca
We’re all familiar with the road to Las Vegas, so of course we must start there. Since I was a kid we always made sure to stop at Peggy Sue’s for some food and to wander their amazing gift shop. It’s your basic diner food but the staff really ads the magic to this place. I’ve spent hours playing the triangle peg game that is at every table.
Terrible’s Roadhouse – Jean, Nevada
One more Last Vegas attraction because we can’t not talk about this. Everyone talks about Eddie’s World on the 15 (which is great), but for us Terrible’s is the best gas station beats it. It’s MASSIVE with a ton of food perfect for the car including a White Castle! Plus, the bathrooms there might be the cleanest ones you will ever be in. Last time I was there I spent an hour just exploring all it has to offer. Once you are done there, don’t head back on the freeway! Take Las Vegas BLVD from there so you can visit the Seven Magic Mountains.
The World’s Only Corn Palace – Mitchell, South Dakota
This is probably my favorite roadside attraction on this list because it is so random. Built in 1892, this building is completely covered in REAL corn. Inside, you can find themed murals made entirely out of corn that are changed out every year. The best part – it is totally FREE! That’s right, you can take a guided tour of this attraction all for free. If you are headed across the country this is a must see.
Wall Drug Store – Wall, South Dakota
It’s hard to miss Wall Drug in South Dakota as the signs for this attraction are everywhere. Seriously. There are signs for Wall Drug in Morocco, London and more places across the globe. The spot gained popularity in the 30s as a place you could get free ice water, which really came in handy on a long dusty road. Now the spot is so big it includes a massive gift shop, restaurant and even some animatronics.
The Hole N” The Rock – Moah, Utah
Sometimes the name says it all. This is literally a whole in the rock along US Highway 191. This started as a home that was built into a massive red rock and expanded to a gift shop, petting zoo and much more!
Marsh’s Free Museum – Long Beach, Washington
If you are into oddities and unique collections, than Marsh’s Free Museum is a must-see for you. They have everything from seashells, two-headed calves, tapeworms and antique baseball games. But their claim to fame is being the final resting place of Jake the Alligator Man. This creature was a big feature of Weekly World News as a half-man/half-alligator. You can learn all about Jake’s strange history and see his mummified body at the museum… if you dare!
The Leaning Tower of Niles – Niles, Illinois
So you might not make it to Italy this year, how about the next best thing? The Leaning Tower of Niles is a half-scale replica of the famous tower in Pisa. Just like it’s famous counterpart, you can also take a cheesy picture of yourself holding up the tower here.
World’s Largest Collection of Smallest Versions of Largest Things – Lucas, Kansas
Once again, the name of this museum tells you exactly what to expect and might be the ultimate roadside attraction. The museums creator, Erika Nelson, travels the country and takes pictures of unique attractions she sees along the way. She then uses those pictures to re-create tiny versions of those attractions. So if you can’t make it to the biggest ball of twine or the largest tea kettle, visit the World’s Largest Collection of Smallest Versions of Largest Things and it will be like you visited them all!