As Ralph Waldo Emerson has reminded generations past and will continue to remind generations probably for the rest of time, it’s never about the destination, but more about the journey. While these wise words were spoken about life, we happen to think the same can be said about traveling. Oftentimes our happiest, fondest memories that we’ll remember for years to come occur on the journey. So whether that odd roadside attraction is on the way, or about an hour east off the path, we highly recommend stopping for experiences, memories (and photos!) that will last a lifetime. Here is our list of 7 unique roadside attractions.
Alligator Farm and Museum, Hot Springs, Arkansas
has been around since 1902, even serving as a roadside attraction to those visiting Arkansas to bathe in the hot springs way back in the day. Today, you can still visit this petting zoo and feed animals such as pygmy goats, emu, and sheep; and don’t forget to give the museum portion of this attraction a visit where you’ll find all kinds of oddities, including their famed merman.
Britney Spears Museum, Kentwood, Louisiana
Okay, so it’s not a whole museum dedicated to the queen herself, but you’ll find a pretty amazing tribute inside the Kentwood Historical and Cultural Museum to this pop sensation. First, you’ll be transported to the late 1990’s (okay, not really) but it will certainly feel like it with all the Britney promo ads, calendars, and magazine shoots. A favorite display at the museum is an exact replica of Britney’s childhood bedroom (you know the one, it landed on the cover of Rolling Stones magazine in 1999) and the coolest part is, it’s 100% authentic. Spears’ family donated every last piece of furniture.
The Enchanted Forest, Turner, Oregon
This amusement park in Turner, Oregon is properly named as it is a handmade amusement park inspired by fairytales that first opened its doors in 1971. Visitors enjoy the Big Timber log ride and the Ice Mountain bobsled roller coaster, but it’s really the folksy art that draws folks’ attention; walk around and you’ll discover Humpty Dumpty, psychedelic mushrooms, a giant witch face, and so much more. You can make a day of this theme park enjoying shows, games, and topping it off with a stop at the gift shop.
Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, California
This house was once home to Sarah Winchester, heir to the Winchester firearm fortune. Now Sarah was a little different and when she built this house, she built it with the intention of throwing off all the spirits that had died at the mercy of her family’s firearms. So a tour of this house results in narrowing hallways, stairways that lead nowhere, decoy toilets, and windows that overlook other rooms. You can learn more about this house by checking out the many paranormal shows it has made appearances on as it is considered one of the ten most haunted houses in America.
Oddporium, Arden, Delaware
Do you long to ogle at vintage electroshock therapy kits, embalming pumps, jewelry made from skulls, bone collections, and old medical devices? The Oddporium in Arden Delaware has got you covered then; in fact, this attraction is accurately described as “the gallery of the peculiar and bizarre”.
World’s Largest Ball of Paint, Alexandria, Indiana
We would consider this a classic roadside attraction. What was once a mere baseball is now a 4,200 lb. ball of paint, which took roughly four decades and 24,000 coats of paint to achieve. So yeah, it’s worth a snapshot in our opinion.
The Museum of Everyday Life, Glover, Vermont
Hear us out, a museum full of everyday, mundane things with exhibits that explore ordinary objects such as paper clips and safety pins. Well, that is exactly the museum experience you’ll get at the museum of everyday life in Glover, Vermont. We don’t see anything wrong with celebrating the mundane and making some memories as you do so.