Strangest Roadside Attraction in Every State

March 21, 2018 by Mike Sauter

Source: Louis Vest / Flickr
Even as the advent of air travel cut down on the need to travel long distances by automobile, the great American road trip remains a cultural touchstone. Hundreds of thousands of Americans each year pack into a car with their friends or family on a trip to reach the opposite coast, or an amusement park in a nearby state, or a beachside resort.

And the country’s long, dull stretches of road have begotten another tradition that for many is as important to the traveler as the destination — the roadside attraction.

These curiosities range from unusual museums to Guinness World Records to strange memorials. Giant statues of beavers, an enormous moose made out of chocolate and a jolly green giant are just a few of the sights that can take your mind off the road and give you a chance to stretch your legs.

Click here to see the strangest roadside attractions in every state.

Whether it’s a giant talking penguin, or a museum dedicated to hammers, or the spot where a Soviet satellite crashed, every state has interesting, quirky, unusual, and just plain wacky places to visit, and 24/7 Wall St. took the time to find the strangest one in each state. Here’s one site for each state that’s worth getting off the exit for. They’re not the most famous or popular attraction, just ones that will make you say, “Huh, never knew that.”

The famous Route 66 was riddled with such curiosities, and they can be found all across America to this day, from famous trip routes like the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Pacific Coast Highway to the back roads and scenic routes you might take just to see an unusual sight.

Sometimes, these attractions and museums were specifically designed to be tourist traps, with no historical context for their presence. Others are sites of unusual, famous, and often infamous events in local history. In one case, the event that has not even happened yet — and probably never will.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this piece incorrectly referred to the large hammer in front of the Hammer Museum in Haines, Alaska as a ball-peen hammer. 

Source: dcwriterdawn / Flickr

1. Alabama
> Strangest attraction: Unclaimed Baggage Center
> Year built: 1970
> Location: 509 W Willow St, Scottsboro
> Closest city: Huntsville

Ever wonder what happens to luggage that never gets picked up from the airport carousel? It ends up here, in the Unclaimed Baggage Center, and so do nearly a million annual visitors who come to comb through the contents of the bags — sorted ahead of time into departments for easy shopping. At 2:30 p.m. each day, one customer gets to open a bag and see what’s inside. Previously discovered items include a suit of armor, a 5.8-carat diamond, and a live rattlesnake.

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Source: Sean Hoyer / Flickr

2. Alaska
> Strangest attraction: Hammer Museum
> Year built: 2002
> Location: Main St., Haines
> Closest city: Skagway

It’s hammer time all the time at the world’s first museum dedicated to preserving the history of the world’s first tool. More than 2,000 hammers are on display at any given time, ranging from modern tools to old ones such as hammers from ancient Egypt, and from tiny hammers two inches long to as big as 20 feet. If you can’t find it while driving through Haines, just look for the giant hammer in the front yard.

Source: The Library of Congress / Flickr

3. Arizona
> Strangest attraction: Flintstones Bedrock City
> Year built: 1972
> Location: S Hwy 180, Williams
> Closest city: Flagstaff

What began as a six-acre tourist attraction, including theme park and replicas of the Flintstone and Rubble residences (furnished with props), is now on the market. Flintstones Bedrock City today also doubles as an RV campground and parking site. This ode to the ‘60s classic cartoon has a large metal slide resembling a brontosaurus so you can recreate the opening credits. Yabba-dabba-doo!

Source: Granger Meador / Flickr

4. Arkansas
> Strangest attraction: Gallows of Hanging Judge Parker at Fort Smith
> Year built: 1873
> Location: Fort Smith National Historic Site
> Closest city: Fayetteville

The gallows at Forth Smith is where hard justice in 19th century hard justice was meted out. Fort Smith was where the Lawless West met the Civilized East. For 21 years, Isaac “Hanging Judge” Parker held the bench of the U.S. Court for the Western District of Arkansas and sentenced 160 people to death. The gallows that stands today is a reconstruction.

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Source: Kārlis Dambrāns / Flickr

5. California
> Strangest attraction: Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch
> Year built: 2000
> Location: National Trails Highway, Oro Grande
> Closest city: San Bernardino

On a stretch of old Route 66, Elmer Long, who is often on site, created his Bottle Tree Ranch. Long welded together a forest of metal so-called trees and hung dozens of colorful glass bottles from each one. And atop each tree he placed a found object such as a sewing machine, guitar, rifle, and various signs.

Source: Larry Lamsa / Flickr

6. Colorado
> Strangest attraction: UFO Watchtower
> Year built: 2000
> Location: 2.5 miles north of Hooper
> Closest city: Alamosa

It makes sense that a UFO sighting hotspot would have a watchtower. The San Luis Valley has more UFO sightings than anywhere else in America, according to paranormal experts. The tower has a 360-degree view, so you can look all around as well as up. In addition to the observation platform, there’s a campground and gift shop.

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Source: Jimmy Emerson, DVM / Flickr

7. Connecticut
> Strangest attraction: Frog Bridge
> Year built: 2000
> Location: South St., Willimantic
> Closest city: Hartford

Officially, it’s the Thread City Crossing, but it’s known as the Frog Bridge because of the four copper frogs on each end of the steel bridge over the Willimantic River. The frogs commemorate 1754’s The Battle of the Frogs, a story about a large-scale death of frogs fighting over the last water in the middle of a drought. The frog deaths were loud enough to convince residents that the French and American Indians coming to town to slaughter them. The invaders never came, and the frog battle became a part of Willimantic history.

Source: Alberto_VO5 / Flickr

8. Delaware
> Strangest attraction: Miles the Monster
> Year built: 2008
> Location: Dover International Speedway
> Closest city: Newark

The Dover International Speedway, a racetrack known as “The Monster Mile,” is proud of its monster mascot. He’d been the mascot since 2000, so when the track got a makeover beginning in 2007, a huge 46 feet tall “Miles the Monster” creature/statue was erected just outside the track. You can find Miles also on the winner’s trophy, tickets to the races, t-shirts, as action figures, and other memorabilia.

Source: Chuck Coker / Flickr

9. Florida
> Strangest attraction: World’s Smallest Police Station
> Year built: 1963
> Location: U.S. Highway 98, Carrabelle
> Closest city: Tallahassee

The World’s Smallest Police Station that stands on U.S. Highway 98 is a replica of the original phone booth that served as department’s call box. Remember, those were pre-cell phone days, and calls would come to one location. The previous phone was bolted to the outside of a building. Standing inside the booth provided protection when it rained.

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Source: ajmexico / Flickr

10. Georgia
> Strangest attraction: Georgia Guidestones
> Year built: 1980
> Location: Guidestone Road, Elberton
> Closest city: Athens

Sometimes referred to as America’s Stonehenge, the Georgia Guidestones granite monument consists of five slabs, astronomically aligned, and and a capstone lying atop of them. A message consisting of a set of 10 guidelines or principles for humanity and Earth is engraved in eight different languages: English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, and Russian.

Source: ErgoSum88 / Wikimedia Commons

11. Hawaii
> Strangest attraction: Pineapple Garden Maze
> Year built: 1999
> Location: Wahiawa, north shore of Oahu
> Closest city: Honolulu

Located on the Dole Plantation, the world’s largest maze features 14,000 colorful Hawaiian plants, has nearly 2.5 miles of paths, and covers more than three acres. In the maze, the goal is to locate the eight secret stations.The fastest finishers win a prize and get their names recorded on a sign at the maze’s entrance.

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Source: Alan Levine / Flickr

12. Idaho
> Strangest attraction: Experimental Breeder Reactor No. 1 (EBR-I) Atomic Museum
> Year built: 1951
> Location: Arco
> Closest city: Idaho Falls

Ever wanted to touch the instruments in a nuclear reactor control room or try to use the mechanical arms used to hold radioactive materials? You can at the Experimental Breeder Reactor No. 1, or EBR-1 for short, which made history on Dec. 20, 1951, when it became the first plant to generate usable electricity from atomic energy.

Source: Silly America / Flickr

13. Illinois
> Strangest attraction: The Super Museum
> Year built: 1993
> Location: Market Street, Metropolis
> Closest city: Paducah, Ky.

It’s a bird! it’s a plane! No, it’s a Superman museum. Located on Superman Square in the Man of Steel’s official hometown, Metropolis, the two-story building features more than 20,000 items from longtime Superman enthusiast Jim Hambrick’s collection, including the only remaining George Reeves costume from the original TV series.

Source: Pilcrow / Wikimedia Commons

14. Indiana
> Strangest attraction: United States Vice Presidential Museum
> Year built: 1993
> Location: Warren St., Huntington
> Closest city: Fort Wayne

Officially known as The Quayle Vice Presidential Learning Center after the 44th vice president, the two-story former church building showcases the history of all the vice presidents, including memorabilia and a theater. Did you know Mike Pence is the sixth VP from Indiana, following Schuyler Colfax, Thomas Hendricks, Charles Fairbanks, Thomas Marshall, and Dan Quayle?

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Source: Peter Zillmann / Flickr

15. Iowa
> Strangest attraction: Future Birthplace of James T. Kirk
> Year built: 1985
> Location: Riverside
> Closest city: Iowa City

The town of Riverside, incorporated in 1882, is best known for an event that won’t occur for 210 years. That’s when James T. Kirk, future captain of the USS Enterprise, will be born. A plaque commemorates the upcoming event, and an annual Star Trek festival is held in the town that claims Kirk as its own after creator Gene Roddenberry wrote that the captain was born in Iowa.

Source: Duncan Rawlinson - Duncan.co - @thelastminute / Flickr

16. Kansas
> Strangest attraction: Giant Van Gogh Painting on World’s Largest Easel
> Year built: 2001
> Location: Cherry Ave., Goodland
> Closest city: Hays

Kansas is the Sunflower State, so it makes sense that Canadian artist Cameron Cross pitched Goodland for his third and so far last giant recreation of a famous Van Gogh work. The 32-by-24 foot “Sunflower” recreation rests on an 80-foot tall easel a half-mile off I-70. If you’re curious, the other two are in Altona, Manitoba and Emerald, Australia.

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Source: 5chw4r7z / Flickr

17. Kentucky
> Strangest attraction: The Vent Haven Museum
> Year built: 1973
> Location: West Maple Ave., Fort Mitchell
> Closest city: Cincinnati

Hey, dummy, did you know this is the only museum in the world dedicated to ventriloquism? Housing more than 900 dummies used by ventriloquists from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, the dolls are from founder W.S. Berger’s collection. Berger was not a professional ventriloquist. He retired as president of the Cambridge Tile Company.

Source: Public Health Image Library

18. Louisiana
> Strangest attraction: National Hansen’s Disease Museum
> Year built: 1999
> Location: Carville Historic District
> Closest city: Baton Rouge

Located at the former National Leprosarium, it’s a museum that honors the once quarantined on site leprosy patients and the medical staff who took care of them. The hospital began as the Louisiana Leper Home in 1894 before becoming one of two leprosy hospitals in the U.S.

Source: Amy Meredith / Flickr

19. Maine
> Strangest attraction: Lenny the Chocolate Moose
> Year built: 1997
> Location: U.S. Route 1, Scarborough
> Closest city: Portland

Located in Len Libby Candies, a store that sells handcrafted chocolate and ice cream, Lenny is is a 1,700-pound solid milk chocolate moose. He resides in a pond of white chocolate tinted with food coloring. The self-proclaimed “World’s Largest Chocolate Animal Sculpture” is eight feet tall and over nine feet from end to end.

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Source: Ron Cogswell / Flickr

20. Maryland
> Strangest attraction: National Museum of Civil War Medicine
> Year built: 1993
> Location: East Patrick St., Frederick
> Closest city: Hagerstown

The National Museum of Civil War Medicine is dedicated to demonstrating how techniques developed on the battlefields of the Civil War contributed to modern medicine. If you like gore, this could be your place. More arms and legs were cut off during the Civil War than in any other war in U.S. history, according to the “Ammunition and Amputations” display.

Source: museumofbadart.org

21. Massachusetts
> Strangest attraction: The Museum of Bad Art
> Year built: 1994
> Location: Somerville Theatre, Somerville
> Closest city: Boston

One man’s trash becomes an art fancier’s dream. Antique dealer Scott Wilson started the collection after showing a painting he had recovered from the trash to some friends, who then suggested the idea. The pieces in the Museum of Bad Art range, according to the museum’s website, “the work of talented artists that have gone awry to works of exuberant, although crude, execution by artists barely in control of the brush.”

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Source: petlawninc.com

22. Michigan
> Strangest attraction: Hoegh Pet Casket Co.
> Year built: 1966
> Location: Railway Ave., Gladstone
> Closest city: Escanaba

The tour at Pet Casket Factory starts in a showroom, where a complete pet funeral seems to be in progress — with casket, floral arrangements, candles, and velvet paintings of mournful, large-eyed puppies. It concludes at the model pet cemetery outside. And there’s a brass plaque on the crematorium: “If Christ would have had a little dog, it would have followed Him to the Cross.”

Source: sfgamchick / Flickr

23. Minnesota
> Strangest attraction: Jolly Green Giant
> Year built: 1979
> Location: South Nicollet St., Blue Earth
> Closest city: Mankato

The 55.5-foot Jolly Green Giant statue grew out of a local radio station owner’s “Welcome Travelers” program. As he interviewed people who passed through town, he gave them Green Giant vegetables (canned in a local factory) at the end of each show. The guests would sometimes ask, “Where’s the Green Giant?” An idea and a monument were born.

Source: Xceleration Media / YouTube

24. Mississippi
> Strangest attraction: Devil’s Crossroads
> Year built: 1938
> Location: Corners of Highways 61 and 49, Clarksdale
> Closest city: Oxford

If you’re a blues fan, you might be familiar with the legend of blues icon Robert Johnson selling his soul to Satan at this crossroads in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Legend aside, this busy intersection is hard to miss thanks to a signpost with giant guitars sitting atop. Nearby, learn more about Johnson at the Rock ‘n Roll and Blues Heritage Museum.

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Source: National Register of Historic Places / Wikimedia Commons

25. Missouri
> Strangest attraction: Jesse James Home Museum
> Year built: 1881
> Location: S 12th St., St. Joseph
> Closest city: Kansas City

In the Jesse James Home Museum you can see the infamous bullet hole in the interior wall made after Robert Ford pulled out his .44 caliber Smith & Wesson pistol and shot the legendary outlaw behind his right ear on April 3, 1882. After James’s body was exhumed in 1995, it was determined that the bullet that killed him never left his body.

Source: Nmpls / Flickr

26. Montana
> Strangest attraction: Talking Penguin Statue
> Year built: 1989
> Location: Glacier Gateway Inn, Cut Bank
> Closest city: Great Falls

Cut Bank, a town of 3,000 considers itself to be the coldest spot in the nation. To back up its claim it has a 27-foot tall talking penguin made from 10,000 pounds of concrete over a metal frame, which talks (when its speaker works), bleating out the slogan, “Welcome to Cut Bank, the Coldest Spot in the Nation!”

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Source: Amy Meredith / Flickr

27. Nebraska
> Strangest attraction: Kool-Aid: Discover the Dream exhibit at the Hastings Museum
> Year built: 1927
> Location: Hastings Museum, Hastings
> Closest city: Omaha

Kool-Aid, the flavored powdered drink mix, is the creation of Edward Perkins, who came up with the concoction in his mother’s kitchen. The Hastings Museum’s Kool-Aid: Discover the Dream exhibit explores the life of Perkins, whose other creations included Nix-O-Tine Tobacco Remedy and M, a gasoline additive.

Source: rubbertrampartist.com

28. Nevada
> Strangest attraction: Toilet Paper Hero of Hoover Dam
> Year built: 2007
> Location: Nevada Way, Boulder City
> Closest city: Las Vegas

Can you imagine cleaning latrines for 7,000 men in 120 degree heat? That was the inspiration for Steven Liguori for his statue to “Alabam,” who worked at the nearby Hoover Dam construction site. Alabam cleaned the outhouses, an thankless job that Ligouri honored with this statue.

Source: Casey Bisson / Flickr

29. New Hampshire
> Strangest attraction: The Redstone Rocket
> Year built: 1971
> Location: Water St., Warren
> Closest city: Concord

Warren, a small town of less than 1,000 people in the middle of the state, stands out for its 66-foot Redstone rocket shell. This type of rocket was used to launch the first American satellites and astronauts. The Rocket stands upright on top of a cement block in the center of town between the Methodist church and the municipal building.

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Source: Fotograf R. B. Boyer / Wikimedia Commons

30. New Jersey
> Strangest attraction: World’s Largest Light Bulb
> Year built: 1938
> Location: Christie St., Edison
> Closest city: Edison

It shouldn’t be a surprise that atop the Edison Memorial Tower at the Thomas Edison Center at Menlo Park, named for the man who developed the practical electric light bulb, there’s the world’s largest light bulb. It’s 14 feet tall, weighs eight tons, and crowns the 12-story tower.

Source: Chuck Coker / FLickr

31. New Mexico
> Strangest attraction: Very Large Array
> Year built:1980
> Location: 50 miles west of Socorro
> Closest city: Albuquerque

You probably don’t know its name, but you’ve see it in movies such as “Contact,” and “Independence Day.” The Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array consists of 27 25-meter radio telescopes deployed in a Y-shaped array. Astronomers have used the VLA to observe black holes and protoplanetary disks around young stars.

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Source: Lucy Gray / Flickr

32. New York
> Strangest attraction: Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum
> Year built: 1996
> Location: West 3rd St., Jamestown
> Closest city: Buffalo

Once known as the Furniture Capital of the World, Jamestown is most proud of its best-known daughter, Lucille Ball. There’s a lot to love here, including meticulous recreations of the “I Love Lucy” sets used for Lucy and Ricky’s apartments in New York and Hollywood.

Source: Allen Forrest / Flickr

33. North Carolina
> Strangest attraction: World’s Largest Chest of Drawers
> Year built: 1926
> Location: Hamilton St., High Point
> Closest city: Winston-Salem

The World’s Largest Chest of Drawers is 38 feet high and was built to call attention to High Point as the Furniture Capital of the World The original chest was a 20-foot tall building-with-knobs and served as the local bureau of information. In 1996, it was completely renovated and converted into a 38-foot tall Goddard-Townsend block front chest.

Source: Bobak Ha'Eri / Wikimedia Commons

34. North Dakota
> Strangest attraction: Tommy the Turtle
> Year built: 1978
> Location: Tommy Turtle Park, Bottineau
> Closest city: Grand Forks

Turtles and winter are not a combo that comes to mind — certainly not a snowmobile-riding turtle. But the 30-foot tall Tommy the Turtle is the largest turtle of its kind in the world and straddles the largest snowmobile in the world (34 feet long) while guarding the entrance to Bottineau’s municipal tennis courts. He’s meant to be a symbol for the nearby Turtle Mountains.

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Source: matthewmohr.com

35. Ohio
> Strangest attraction: As We Are exhibit
> Year built: 2017
> Location: Greater Columbus Convention Center
> Closest city: Columbus

It may be the ultimate headshot. The new exhibit, the As We Are exhibit, contains a photo booth capable of taking 3-D pictures. The pictures are then displayed on a construct of a head made from ribbons of ultrabright LED screens. The head is 14 feet high, weighs more than three tons, and displays the faces of everyday people 17 times larger than life.

Source: Rocky's Postcards / Flickr

36. Oklahoma
> Strangest attraction: Big Beaver Statue
> Year built: 1970
> Location: Beaver
> Closest city: Oklahoma City

Beaver is known for its annual World Championship Cow Chip Throwing Contest in April. To commemorate the festival, there’s a statue of a big beaver holding a large piece of cow poop. The beaver’s home is a mobile trailer that moves around town at different times of the year. FYI: the record cow chip toss was set in 2015 with one turd flying 188 feet, six inches.

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Source: Yvonne L. / Yelp

37. Oregon
> Strangest attraction: World’s First Riding Mechanical Corndog
> Year built: 2016
> Location: S.Highway 101, Rockaway Beach
> Closest city: Salem

The Pronto Pup — a wiener on a wooden skewer that’s dipped in cornmeal batter and deep fried — was created by George Boyington in the 1930s. It’s honored today with a restaurant that is topped with a 30-foot fiberglass corndog as well as a mechanical, rideable corndog out front that’s a quarter for a ride.

Source: Jimmy Emerson, DVM / Flickr

38. Pennsylvania
> Strangest attraction: Haines Shoe House
> Year built: 1948
> Location: Shoe House Road, Hellam Township
> Closest city: York

The Haines Shoe House was built by Colonel Mahlon Nathaniel Haines, the flamboyant “Shoe Wizard” for advertising purposes. It is 25 feet tall and has five stories. The living room is located in the toe, the kitchen is located in the heel, two bedrooms are located in the ankle, and there’s an ice cream shop in the instep.

Source: Garret Voight / Flickr

39. Rhode Island
> Strangest attraction: Green Animals Topiary Garden
> Year built: 1872
> Location: Cory’s Lane, Portsmouth
> Closest city: Newport

Among the more than 80 pieces of topiary in the Green Animals Topiary Garden are teddy bears, a camel, a giraffe, an ostrich, an elephant, and two bears made from sculptured California privet, yew, and English boxwood. There are also pineapples, a unicorn, a reindeer, a dog, and a horse with his rider. Green Animals is the oldest and most northern topiary garden in the United States.

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Source: DTMedia2 / Wikimedia Commons

40. South Carolina
> Strangest attraction: Mars Bluff Crater
> Year built:1958
> Location: Florence
> Closest city: Fayetteville

On March 11, 1958, a U.S. Air Force plane accidently dropped an unarmed 7,600-pound atomic bomb on this small community. The bomb created a crater 35 feet deep and 70 feet wide. The incident and the crater, which is now overgrown and on private property, are marked by a nearby historical marker.

Source: Tim (Timothy) Pearce / Flickr

41. South Dakota
> Strangest attraction: Center of the Nation Monument
> Year built: 2008
> Location: 5th Ave., Belle Fourche
> Closest city: Sioux Falls

The Center of the Nation Monument — a massive map of the United States enclosed in a compass rose, designed by a local artist and made of 54,000 pounds of South Dakota granite — isn’t technically at the center of the country. The center, which is 21 miles north of the monument, is marked by a small metal pole stuck into a pasture, off of a gravel road behind a ditch.

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Source: Madison Berndt / Flickr

42. Tennessee
> Strangest attraction: Titanic – World’s Largest Museum Attraction
> Year built: 2010
> Location: Parkway, Pigeon Forge
> Closest city: Knoxville

Surprisingly, landlocked Tennessee is home to the largest permanent Titanic museum in the world. Half the size of the original ill-fated ocean liner, the museum lets “passengers” experience what it was like to walk the hallways, parlors, cabins, and grand staircase, while surrounded by more than 400 artifacts directly from the ship and its passengers.

Source: George Thomas / Flickr

43. Texas
> Strangest attraction: Cadillac Ranch
> Year built: 1974
> Location: 10 miles southwest of Amarillo
> Closest city: Amarillo

This Route 66 landmark features 10 Cadillacs facing west in a line, all half-buried, nose-down in the dirt. From the 1949 Club Sedan to the 1963 Sedan deVille, the Caddies’ tail fins are held high. Created by The Ant Farm, a group of art-hippies, had a silent partner — Amarillo billionaire Stanley Marsh 3, who wanted a piece of public art that would baffle the locals.

Source: penjelly / Flickr

44. Utah
> Strangest attraction: Hole N’’ The Rock
> Year built: 1952
> Location: 12 miles south of Moab
> Closest city: Moab

Hole N’’ The Rock began as a home that was dug, carved, and blasted out of the rock beginning in the 1940s. Today, you can tour the 14 rooms arranged around huge pillars. A fireplace with a 65-foot chimney drilled through solid sandstone, a deep french fryer, and a bathtub built into the rock are among the attractions. There’s also a petting zoo with a zebra.

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Source: Jimmy Emerson, DVM / Flickr

45. Vermont
> Strangest attraction: Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard
> Year built: 1997
> Location: Waterbury-Stowe Rd., Waterbury
> Closest city: Montpelier

On a hill in back of the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream plant, beyond the bulk milk tanks, are grave markers to dearly departed flavors such as Ethan Almond and Bovinity Divinity. It’s a good final stop after a 30-minute guided tour of the ice cream factory. After sampling the still-living flavors, you can pay your respects to those no longer there to give you a brain freeze.

Source: Howard Ignatius / Flickr

46. Virginia
> Strangest attraction: The Great Stalacpipe Organ
> Year built: 1954
> Location: Cave Hill Road, Luray
> Closest city: Harrisonburg

The Great Stalacpipe Organ is located inside the Luray Caverns near Shenandoah National Park. Instead of using pipes, the organ is wired to soft rubber mallets poised to gently strike stalactites of varying lengths and thicknesses. Leland W. Sprinkle created the organ by finding and shaving appropriate stalactites to produce specific notes; it can be heard anywhere within the cavern.

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Source: Avi / Flickr

47. Washington
> Strangest attraction: Nutty Narrows Bridge
> Year built: 1963
> Location: Olympia Way near Civic Center Circle, Longview
> Closest city: Longview

Everyone’s seen dead animals along the side of the road. After seeing a deceased squirrel with an acorn still in its mouth, Amos Peters also decided to do something about it. The result was a bridge to give squirrels a way to cross busy Olympia Way without getting flattened by passing cars. Today, there are five such bridges throughout the city.

Source: Tom Hart / Flickr

48. West Virginia
> Strangest attraction: The Mystery Hole
> Year built: 1973
> Location: Midland Trail, Ansted
> Closest city: Charleston

The Mystery Hole bills itself as a gravity-defying wonder. It includes attractions such as balls that roll up hill and a Volkswagen Beetle, chopped in half, seemingly crashed into the side of the building. Original owner Donald Wilson “discovered” the hole’s mysterious powers in the 1970s and set up a kitschy tourist attraction that fell on hard times in the 1990s, but new owners are restoring it.

Source: AltioraPeto / Wikimedia Commons

49. Wisconsin
> Strangest attraction: Sputnik Crashed Here
> Year built: 1962
> Location: Eighth Street, Manitowoc
> Closest city: Manitowoc

People remember when satellites and rockets go up, but not so much when they come down. On Sept. 6, 1962, a 20-pound smoldering piece of the Soviet Union’s 5 ton Sputnik IV satellite fell from the sky and embedded itself three-inches deep on Eighth Street, in Manitowoc In front of the Rahr-West Art Museum. The spot where it landed is now marked on the street, although the fragment is no longer there. The museum has hosted an annual Sputnikfest since 2007.

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Source: travelwyoming.com

50. Wyoming
> Strangest attraction: Cody Dug Up Gun Museum
> Year built: 2009
> Location: 12th St., Cody
> Closest city: Billings, Montana

Take the name — Cody Dug Up Gun Museum — literally. Almost all the weapons on display here were dug up. Some were found by metal detecting, some were spotted sticking out of the ground, others were lying in dry streambeds, and some were salvaged from battlefield dirt. The collection includes a revolver dropped in a creek during a Civil War battle and a rifle that exploded in a homesteader’s hand.