Weird and Wonderful: Our Guide to Bizarre Roadside Attractions

salvation mountain roadside attraction

Ever dreamed of taking the Great American Road Trip? Why limit yourself to visiting scenic national parks and historical landmarks when you can visit the bizarre and obscure like the world’s largest iron skillet and Foamhenge.

While some of these weird roadside attractions might not be worth a special trip, it might warrant a slight detour for a chance to take the ultimate selfie.

Cadillac Ranch – Amarillo, TX

cadillac ranch roadside attraction

Located along the famed Route 66 just west of Amarillo stands 10 Caddies half buried nose down as a tribute to the evolution of the Cadillac tail fin. In 1974, a group of art-hippies drove the ten models ranging from 1949 to 1963 and supposedly buried them at the same angle facing west as that of the Great Pyramids of Giza.

Foamhenge – Natural Bridge, Virginia

foamhenge courtesy flickr user steve freeman

There’s an alternative this summer to visiting England to see the famed archaeological monument. Built in 2004 and made completely out of Styrofoam, Foamhenge is a full-size replica of Stonehenge.

Hole in the Rock – Moab, Utah

hole in the rock roadside attraction

Located just south of the outdoor mecca of Moab, lies a 14 room, 5,000 square foot home hand carved into the side of a cliff. Begun in the 1940s, Albert and Gladys Christensen worked on the project until Albert’s death in 1957 at which point Gladys continued to operate a café and gift shop for another seventeen years. Today, large painted white letters announce its presence in the desert landscape.

World’s Largest Chest of Drawers – High Point, North Carolina

World’s Largest Chest of Drawers High Point, North Carolina

The “home furnishings capitol of the world” is home to not one but two giant chest of drawers. The original was built in the 1920s by the city’s chamber of commerce to serve as the Bureau of Information. While the original 38-foot icon remains as homage to the city’s place in the furniture industry, a local furniture store has a added its own 80-foot version to its storefront.

Lucy the Elephant – Margate, New Jersey

lucy the elephant roadside attractions

Built in 1881 by a real estate developer, Lucy weighs over 90 tons and is covered in more than 12,000 square feet of sheet tin. This six-story tall pachyderm is a national Historic Landmark and has served as a real estate office, tavern and a summer home. By the late 1960s, Lucy was abandoned and on the verge of collapse until the citizens raised the necessary funds to prevent her extinction. Today, the giant pachyderm is open to the public and visitors can peruse her structure and gift shop.

Mammy’s Cupboard – Natchez, Mississippi

mammy's cupboard

This giant Aunt Jemima inspired roadside diner harkens back to an era before political correctness. Built in the late 1930s and inspired by the iconic film Gone With the Wind, Mammy’s has undergone numerous color phase enhancements in recent decades. After falling into disrepair in the 1970s, she was saved from demolition and has been restored to once again serve southern inspired home-style meals to foodies of all ages.

Salvation Mountain – Niland, California

salvation mountain roadside attractions

In 1985, Leonard Knight began painting his message of ‘salvation’ onto the hillside in Southern California and continued painting (and repainting) until his death in 2014. The 50-foot high and 150-foot wide ‘mural’ serves as one man’s quest to share his message to the world that God is Love through art. The adobe clay hill is adorned with religious scriptures and colorful artistic creations including a giant red heart at its center. A public charity was established that continues to support and preserve Knight’s vision.