A Tour Of America’s Roadside Attractions – Part 1

By Elijah Bates
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Carhenge (Credit: http://www.carhenge.com)


Alliance, Nebraska
Why visit the world’s largest time capsule or the birthplace of Kool-Aid when there’s a clunker-infused turn on Stonehenge living in the same state? Surprisingly (or perhaps not so much), Carhenge is but the first of many Stonehenge tributes within the US.


Topeka, Kansas
Yet another homage to Stonehenge, Truckhenge is a bit more yokel-ized than Nebraska’s take, but still definitely worth a visit. Kansas also stakes claim to the “largest ball of twine,” though their hold on that title is debatable (see Minnesota).

ok route 66 A Tour Of America’s Roadside Attractions   Part 1

Credit: Thinkstock

OK County 66

Arcadia, Oklahoma
For a time, Route 66 laid across the land as the foremost path for Americana at its finest. And while times have changed, as has the US infrastructure, OK County 66 still celebrates the past and the quirky visuals that once dominated the Main Street of America.

World’s Largest Twine Ball

Darwin, Minnesota
Of all ideas that a state could find pride in, it’s baffling that “world’s largest twine ball” is one of them. In Minnesota’s mind, such a claim can only be made if the ball were rolled by one man. Pay an ironic visit to the town of Darwin to take a gander.

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Credit: HIEU PHAM/AFP/Getty Images

Future Birthplace of James T. Kirk

Riverside, Iowa
If Star Trek were real, then some “unstoppable” force should have arrived from the future to destroy this pop cultural landmark. And perhaps they have already, but were forced to get menial jobs after losing their starship to the Riverside Casino…

Precious Moments Inspirational Park

Carthage, Missouri
For those seeking inspiration, or perhaps just nightmares for the rest of their lives, visit Carthage. This town has turned their zest for dead baby angels into a life-sized rendition of Precious Moments, the number-one collectible in the United States.

Birthplace of Wal-Mart

Bentonville, Arkansas
Eventually, the search for America’s best roadside attractions will begin and end with the piece of Americana that killed it altogether: Walton’s, aka the first Wal-Mart. The small department store has since turned into a museum, since it otherwise would have been destroyed by the monster it helped create.

Tiger Truck Stop

Gross Tete, Louisiana
Cartoon mascots from cereal boxes and sports teams can’t hold a candle to the real-life Tony, a living, breathing tiger raised by the owners of the Tiger Truck Stop. Stop for a pic before animal rights activists inevitably place Tony into a more natural environment.

Ready to continue the journey through America’s roadside attractions? Be sure to check out part two! Also, if there’s a roadside attraction we missed, let us know in the comment section below.

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When he’s not pumping out pieces for CBS Local, Elijah Bates provides creative direction for a social media company in Venice Beach. Otherwise, you’ll find him surfing up and down the California coast, evading stingrays like trips to the dentist.


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