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Odd Roadside Attractions

Road trips can be a fun time to reconnect with the family, play cheesy road games, or even make random stops along the way. When I hit the road in RedBugg, I always like to seek out the bizarre and kooky roadside attractions that can still be found along America’s highways and byways.

One site I use to help me find those crazy places is Roadside America, a guide to uniquely odd tourist attractions. Travelers can find sights by state or city and can then read updates by recent visitors. Here are a few of my favorite roadside attractions.

Rock City -This is a classic stop in Chattanooga, TN that has also been a favorite of my family for generations.

The Cadillac Ranch – Who knew that colorful Cadillacs could be found sticking out the ground in the middle of a field near Amarillo, TX.

Mammy's Cupboard copyright 2008 Shannon Hurst LaneMammy’s Cupboard This place is sooo not politically correct, but this Natchez, MS stop has been featured on the Travel Channel and also dishes up lunch Monday through Friday.

Museum of Appalachia – Yup. We spent hours at this Clinton, TN stop and couldn’t seem to stop looking at things such as a Ukeweewee (Banjo made out of a bed pan) or the morbid collection of death items.

The International UFO Museum and Research Center – We made a stop in Roswell on a road trip and ate at the space ship shaped McDonalds. The street lights have alien heads on top that lead to the museum. This place is for hard-core UFO researchers and doesn’t offer too much for kids, except a really big gift shop with a lot of alien paraphernalia.

Old Sparky – The Louisiana State Penitentiary (Angola) has a museum just outside the prison gates where visitors can see “Old Sparky”, which is a decommissioned electric chair. The museum is free and also showcases homemade prison weapons confiscated over the years. If you want to scare the you-know-what out of your kids to keep them in line, this wouldn’t be a bad stop to consider. I wouldn’t bring little kids, though, as there are some pretty gruesome photos inside.

Hole N’ The Rock – This Moab, UT cliff dwelling took 12 years to complete. A couple operated a diner out this 5,000 square foot home. It is now a gift shop and museum. Don’t forget to check out the two story outhouse while you’re there.

This list could go on and on, but shows what crazy things one can discover in the USA on a road trip. So, what are some of the kooky places you’ve seen along your travels?

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  1. I’m a sucker for Route 66 road-side attractions. It’s a shame how many are gone.

  2. Interesting that most of your stops are in the Southern part of the country. Hey- the rest of the US, where are your kooky attractions that we can visit!

  3. Minnesota has bunches! I really liked the big fish restaurant near Bena. Too bad it is no longer operating and looks like it’s falling apart. Cool shape for a building, though.

  4. Love quirky roadside attractions! I’ve got a “See Rock City” birdhouse in my basement, and we just came back from a trip in eastern Ohio where we saw another Old Sparky chair at the Ohio Reformatory (the old prison where they filmed the Shawshank Redemption, among other flicks) and snuck over the border into West Virginia to check out the “World’s Largest Teapot”!

  5. Wacky and offbeat attractions are our favorites, especially when they’re the world’s largest, longest, or tallest! Just last weekend we saw the world’s largest pancake griddle in Penn Yan, NY. Also here in NY, we have the world’s largest kaleidoscope and the former world’s largest garden gnome.

    One of my personal faves was the world’s largest bowling pin in Tampa, FL

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