If you are planning a ‘safecation’ and doing a road trip keep your eyes peeled for these oddities along your chosen route. Some are historically revered and others have grown and expanded into the local icons that they are today.
Admittedly there is plenty to break up the 2,448 miles of Route 66 and two of the most famous are Cadillac Ranch near Amarillo and the Milk Bottle Grocery in Oklahoma City. Also off the beaten track is ‘Carhenge‘ in Nebraska. (Click the links to read earlier posts on these)
So if you on the open road here are some of the most popular other attractions.
New Jersey – Margate – Lucy the Elephant
This elderly elephant arrived in New Jersey in 1881 and was built to promote tourist attractions and real estate. She stands 6 stories high and was saved from demolition in the 1970s. She reopened in 1974 and in 1976 was designated an Historic Landmark. In 2016 on her 135th birthday she announced her candidacy to run for President of the United States – really Fake News. Currently and most recently rooms were offered via Air BnB at $138 for two guests. Air BnB listing for Lucy the Elephant Read more here
Massachusetts – Boston – World’s Largest Milk Bottle
Built in 1930 this 40ft giant milk bottle sits next to the Children’s Museum across the Fort Point Channel. The Hood dairy company agreed to purchase the abandoned bottle in 1977 and donated it to the museum. Today it is a snack bar and ice-cream stand. Hood milk bottle location and visitor information.
Ohio – Newark – Worlds largest basket building
The Longaberger Company are a manufacturer of maple wood baskets and this attraction on route 16 in Ohio was the company’s corporate headquarters before it fell into liquidation. There is rumour that the 7 story building might become a hotel but currently it is on the market.
California – Baker – Worlds tallest thermometer
This steel electric sign was erected to celebrate the highest recorded temperature on earth of 134 degrees at nearby Death Valley in 1913. It stands at 134 feet and appeared for the first time in 1991. On 16 August it seems the record at Furnace Creek, Death Valley exceeded the record by a fraction.
Baker is the gateway to Death Valley and a popular stop on route to Las Vegas. See more here
South Dakota – Mitchell – Corn Palace
Nearly 500,000 people stop and visit the Corn Palace in South Dakota. The building is decorated with murals entirely built of corn and other grains. The designs change annually unless there has been a drought or poor corn harvest. Built in 1892 to showcase the harvests of the farmers of South Dakota. Located within easy reach of I-90 it is free to visit. Today it is a entertainment venue amongst other things. History of the Corn Palace
Illinois – Collinsville – World’s largest Catsup Bottle
South of Collinsville, Illinois on next to Route 159 stands the world’s largest Catsup (Ketchup) Bottle. It is actually a water tower built in 1949 for the G.S Suppiger Catsup bottling plant. The company bottling Brooks old original rich and tangy catsup. Saved from demolition in 1995 it has been restored to it’s original appearance. It proudly stands at 170ft.
Washington – Seattle – Fremont Troll
Underneath the George Washington Memorial Bridge also known as Aurora Bridge is the Fremont Troll. In fact it is at the end of Troll Avenue North. The Troll is a sculpture that was funded by the residents of Fremont who decided that the area needed an injection of humour. The Troll of Norwegian Folklore is clutching an actual VW Bug as if it has swiped it from the road above.
North Dakota – Gladstone to Regent – Enchanted Highway
Running along a 32 mile stretch of I-94 is the Enchanted Highway. It consists of scrap metal sculptures Dakota scrap metal sculptures along a 32 mile stretch of highway. It starts (or terminates) in Gladstone, ND and ends (or starts) in Regent, ND. All sculptures have a parking area and kiosk with the exception of ‘Geese in Flight’. The gift shop in Regent has miniatures of all sculptures for sale and there is Enchanted Castle Motel to grab a meal.
South Dakota – Wall – Wall Drug
The Wall Drug Store known simply as Wall Drug, is a roadside attraction and popular tourist stop located in the South Dakota town of Wall. Located adjacent to Badlands National Park on I-90. All the stores at Wall Drug operate as a single entity not as a department store. Established in 1931 it offered free iced water to weary travellers. Today it is famous for it’s homemade donuts and buffalo burgers. Approximately 2 million visitors visit Wall every year.