America has always had an affinity for the open road and a good ole road trip. With our windows down and wind in our hair, Americans have traveled from coast to coast in search of something. As more and more people hit the road, businesses set up shop on highways offering services and entertainment to travelers, like gas stations, restaurants and roadside attractions.
Roadside attractions have become sort of a thing in the United States that all travelers take for granted and expect to see during or at the end of their trip. Here are some of the many American Roadside attractions we’ve selected for you.
World’s Only Corn Palace
Mitchell, South Dakota
Stop by the World’s Only Corn Palace to see uniquely designed corn murals and mazes that commemorate South Dakota’s title of largest corn producer in the country! Located in Mitchell, South Dakota, the Corn Palace is a community center that offers a variety of clubs
and events for locals. It even has its own basketball court where high school basketball games are held!
What the World’s Only Corn Palace is most notably famous for is its corn murals and art. On the palace’s walls are murals made entirely out of corn! Every year, artists submit their ideas to see if their art would be featured. It truly is a sight to see!
Jolly Green Giant
Blue Earth, Minnesota
The Jolly Green Giant statue is the mascot of the Green Giant company, an American frozen and canned vegetable chain. Construction of the statue began in 1979, when Paul Hedberg, a radio host, decided that a large statue was the only way to help his guest speakers find his studio. Drivers can stop along the highway to take photos in front of the giant. The
Green Giant company has since gone out of business, but their memory lives on through this Jolly Green Giant.
Cadillac Ranch is a permanent art installation located along Route 66, a famous American highway. This roadside attraction features 10 Cadillac cars with their front ends buried, nose first, into the desert ground.
Built by an art group called The Ant Farm with the support of billionaire Stanley Marsh 3, the Cadillac Ranch will forever baffle, confuse and surprise drivers and encourage them to get out of their cars to take a closer look. Visitors are allowed, even encouraged, to deface the Cadillac with graffiti and paint. So drive by with a friend and don’t forget to take a photo in front of the beaten up Cadillacs.
Gaffney, South Carolina
The Peachoid is a giant water tower in the shape of a peach that you cannot miss from your car window. This attraction is part of an ongoing dispute amongst two states, Georgia and South Carolina, on which state has the best peaches. South Carolina’s response to this claim is to build a 135 ft (41m) high water tower to settle their dispute with their neighboring state.
Salvation Mountain is a colorful oasis and playground amid a lifeless desert. According to Leonard Knight, the creator of Salvation Mountain, its purpose is to spread his message, “God is Love”. This mountain is a haven that celebrates love, creativity, and togetherness. 28 years in the making, the mountain is man-made and made using adobe clay, straw, and incredibly large amounts of paint.
All throughout the mountain, people see Knight’s message of “God is Love” and various other motivational quotes about love. Photographers and visitors are encouraged to take photos and spread Knight’s message of love.
World’s Largest Ball of Twine
Cawker City, Kansas
Ever wonder what a large ball of twine looks like? Well, in Cawker City, Kansas you can do just that. The World’s Largest Ball of Twine started off as a hobby for Frank Stoeber. It grew and grew until 1953 when Stoeber’s hobby became a full-fledged roadside attraction.
Ever since then, the town has capitalized on this large ball by creating the Twine-A-Thon. The Twine-A-Thon is a town-wide festival where they celebrate the annual tying of an additional string of twine to the already growing ball of twine.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Zoya Schmitt is an upcoming senior in High School and plans to study Communications and Graphic design in College. She is an avid reader and enjoys learning more about the English language. In her free time, she designs stickers and plans to open up her own sticker business in the future.