Off The Wall Road Trip Stops

Readers share the strangest stops in the weirdest corners of the good ole US of A.

On Interstate 94 between Milwaukee and Chicago, there is a sign for "Bong Recreational Area Exit 340." There are always guys pulling over and taking their picture in front of it. —David Fockel

I live in a little town in Oklahoma called Beaver. Beaver is the "Cow Chip Capital of the World." Every year there’s a contest where people compete to see who can throw a cow chip the farthest (I’ve NEVER done it!). Along Main Street (you can see all of Main Street in about five minutes or less!) there’s a big beaver holding a cow chip. The only problem is, the city of Beaver isn’t really on the way to ANYTHING. —Joseph Riffe

Tahlequah, Okla., is the home of Mr. Ed’s grave. Yes, that lovable TV horse is buried right in my backyard. —Adam Palmer

In Santa Cruz, Calif., check out “the mystery spot.” —Katie Meier

Definitely stop at Wall Drug in Wall, S. D. They have billboards for hundreds of miles, and it’s kind of in the middle of nowhere. We live in Seattle, and I’ve seen bumper stickers here that say, "Where the heck is Wall Drug?"—a joke because you couldn’t miss it if you’re anywhere near South Dakota. —Justin Baeder

There’s always the world’s largest ball of twine in Darwin, Minn. It’s quite the spectacle. —Joe Cullen

Mentone is a tiny little town in northern Indiana and is not much in and of itself, but in it resides one of the world’s largest eggs. The Mentone Egg was first created to promote an egg festival they have, and now they even have T-shirts to celebrate the famed egg. It apparently sits on E. Main St. in front of a bank. There’s something about a 3,000 pound egg to make any road trip less boring for a minute or two. —Jeffrey Wiggs

The world’s largest McDonald’s is located in my hometown, Vinita, Okla. It’s northeast of Tulsa by about 60 miles. I hear there’s some big controversy with some Russian Mickey D’s that claims the title, but I’m pretty sure we’re still #1! —Jessica Winderweedle

There are some giant dinosaurs—two to be exact—in Cabazon, Calif., off the 10 freeway. These dinosaurs are featured in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. Have fun. —Scott T. Schlatter

Less than five miles northwest of downtown Jerusalem, Israel, is the most absurd, off-the-wall, roadside stop I have ever seen. In the parking lot of a tourist shop stands a 20-foot statue of the king of rock and roll. Yes, you guessed it—Elvis. The locals explained (probably for the sake of us American tourists) that it is "the" official Elvis Shrine. The icon stands outside the Holy City, adorned in his famous white jumpsuit. It was pretty comical to me, especially considering the fact that we were on our way to see the very city streets where Christ Himself walked. A 20-foot Elvis in at Graceland would seem somewhat appropriate. A 20-foot Elvis outside the very city where Christianity was born continues to be the biggest visual oxymoron of my traveling history. —Glen G. Van Cise

The world’s largest cow sits on the side of the interstate in New Salem, N. D. —Joe Cullen

When you fly in a 747 or get the large pack of paper towels, do you ever wonder where the word "Jumbo" came from? Come to St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, between Detroit and Toronto to see the life-sized statue commemorating Jumbo the Elephant, who was killed when struck by a train Sept 15, 1885. —Ken DeVries

There is a giant pyrogy in the village of Glendon in Alberta, Canada. As it turns out, Alberta also has the world’s largest Easter egg in Vegreville and the world’s larges chuck wagon and Dewberry. Another fun Albertan stop is Vulcan, which has a model of the USS Enterprise. Andrew, Alberta, has the world’s largest goose. There’s also a big whale in British Columbia; Mac the Moose in Moosejaw, Saskatchewan; Huskie the Muskie in Kenora, Ontario; and the Canada Goose in Wawa, Ontario. In Ottawa there’s a sea monster in the Ottawa River. In fact, Okanagan Lake in BC has Ogopogo—a relative of the Loch Ness Monster, apparently. In Toronto there’s the Bata Shoe Museum that looks like a shoebox. And the best yet—here’s a town in Saskatchewan called Urine. —Matthew Hoskin

Visit the world’s largest thermometer in Baker, Calif. —Erick Bieger

Check out the Prehistoric Forest in Marblehead, Ohio. Visitors follow a path through the woods where a bunch of mechanical dinosaurs with cheesy sound effects can be found. (The woolly mammoth even sprays water as you pass by.) This road trip is not complete without a stop at the adjoining Mystery Hill. This tiny cabin in the woods is a total trip for the brain, yet still maintains the cheesy ambiance. At Mystery Hill, you can find water running uphill, see a ball refuse to roll downhill and have gravity mess with your head. You must see it to truly appreciate it. —Sarah Schneider

Stop at Concrete World near Lynchburg, Va. —Matthew Shaughnessy

The Former Heritage USA is the Christian amusement park created by now defunked televangelist, Jim Bakker, and PTL. It’s located off of I-77 just south of the South Carolina border off the same exit as Paramount’s Carowinds. It’s about 22,000 acres of abandoned hotels, attractions and overgrown roads. Although a company still leases some of the existing condos, the park and much of the property is off-limits. Across the man-made pond is an unused convention center, a dried up water park, a giant castle which was supposed to be the world’s largest Wendy’s and a highrise condo building. It’s totally "Scooby-Doo.” As I walked in sight of the creepy surroundings, my friend quietly exclaimed, "Oh, how the mighty have fallen." Security is tight, so you can’t roam the park itself, but there are some public and commercial areas to perch from and see enough. —Garrett Curry

On Rt. 66 in Albuquerque there’s a very large lumberjack … not too crazy except for the fact that he’s standing above a Vietnamese restaurant. (Great photo op … the word "Vietnamese" on the side … or maybe below … this HUGE lumberjack). I suppose they sold the country food restaurant to a Vietnamese joint.

As you’re driving along US 70 from Kansas into Colorado, along the highway on the north side just inside the Colorado border, you’ll see a huge sign on a factory of some sort that reads (I believe I’m quoting) "Life is a crock full of beans."

The Osceola cheese factory in Osceola, Mo., on Highway 13 is great … you don’t see them make the cheese, but you can sample about 70 unique flavors. —Matt Wilkie

You all should definitely include Country Junction in Leighton, Pa., in your list interesting/zany road stops. It bills itself as the “world’s largest general store.” It’s in the middle of Nowheresville, Pa., and is a piece of kitschy Americana. —Torrey Babson

See Also

Here in Amarillo, Texas—smack in the middle of I-40—the best weird places to stop are the Cadillac Ranch (a bunch of old Cadillacs buried nose first in the ground like a modern Stonehenge, within view of I-40 on the west side of town) and the Big Texan

restaurant, where you can famously get a 72-ounce steak free if you eat it—plus all the trimmings—in an hour. —J.B.

The Grotto in Dickeyville, Wis., is about the tackiest thing you will ever see in your life. —Alicia Bonjour

The world’s largest cow in North Dakota and the world’s largest buffalo in Wyoming are two very interesting stops. —Ian DeGraaf

In Kansas is actually the World’s Largest Prairie Dog, and it’s outside of Oakley, about two hours east of the Colorado border. —Karen Huber

On a trip across country, we thought it would be fun to stop at the Continental Divide since there were signs telling us it was coming up for hundreds of miles. When we got there, it was just a sign, and much to our dismay, the water didn’t go in opposite directions. In fact, the sign was surrounded by a giant mud puddle. Maybe you could put this in the over-rated list. —Joanna Kenney

Check out the Spam Museum in Austin, Minn. -Tara Fetterhoff

"The Egg" in Albany, N.Y., is a “serious” group of buildings, which were inspired in the ’70s by the then-governor of New York, Nelson Rockefeller. His plan had a “plaza” of state government offices built next to the capitol building. Unfortunately, the architect was singularly uninspired, and the result produced a plaza with a notable performing arts center locally called (in polite circles) “The Egg” and in less polite circles “God’s toilet bowl.” —J. Johnson

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