The end of summer is a traditional time for families to pack up the car and head out on the nation’s highways for a good, old-fashioned road trip vacation. Perhaps grandma’s house is the final destination, or perhaps it’s Wally World, or just a relaxing jaunt down Route 66, but millions will be traveling the nation’s highways this summer. And depending on where one’s travels take them, folks may even pass a few of the strange and wonderful roadside attractions that have dotted the landscape of rural highways over the last century. Today, we thought we would take a look at some of these classic spots that have lured more than a few families to make a quick detour on the way to grandma’s house.
First up is the Cabazon dinosaurs, their prehistoric heads looming high about Interstate 10 on the journey from Los Angeles to Palm Springs. Instantly recognizable to any fan of Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, their odd placement in the middle of a desert has turned the heads of many drivers over the years. Here’s a close-up look at Dinny and Rex:
Next up is Paul Bunyan and his big blue ox, Babe. While there are plenty of towns around America that pay homage to this mythical hero, Bemidji, Minnesota claims to be the first. And to prove it, they say that a local lake was made from the footprints of the beloved giant. Take a look for yourself:
Now, while it may not stack up historically to its European predecessor, one needn’t travel all the way to the United Kingdom to get a good hedge fix. Just travel to Alliance, Nebraska to witness the marvel that is Carhenge! A video is worth a thousand words:
And finally, what discussion of roadside attraction discussion would be complete with honorable mention to the world’s largest ball of twine, located in Cawker City, Kansas.
These are but a few of the many roadside attractions across the country that have lured us off the beaten path over the years. Do you have a particular favorite, perhaps a local one that you hold dear to your heart, or just one that you happened to visit during a long summer vacation with your family? Share your favorites with us in our comments section as we pay tribute to these quirky landmarks at Retroland.