| Driving
Prada Marfa roadside attraction

Ever seen a gator-duck? The petrified skeleton of a merman? Or the UFO welcome center in someone’s backyard? Then you haven’t seen anything yet. Grab some snacks and buckle up. We’re about to take you to 11 of the strangest roadside attractions in the middle of nowhere.

1. Abita Mystery House (Abita Springs, Louisiana)

Unless you take a wrong turn on your way to New Orleans, you likely won’t find the Abita Mystery House. That’s because Abita Springs, Louisiana, is a little off the beaten path.

But you’ll have to find your way to this oddities museum to see “Airstream vs. Aliens” — an old-school Airstream trailer that appears to be the final resting place of a crash-landed flying saucer. Other exhibits at the Abita Mystery House include Buford, the bassigator — a terrifying alligator-bass fish hybrid, and the swamp ghost — an all-white fish sculpture said to have mystical powers.

2. Carhenge (Alliance, Nebraska)

A celestial calendar? Ancient burial site? Performance venue? Even today, scholars and skeptics alike have yet to determine why — and how — Stonehenge came into existence.

Carhenge, however, is a different story! The purpose of this massive display of buried and elevated automobiles jutting toward the sky is simple — to convince folks on a road trip to stop by Alliance, Nebraska. And even though Carhenge is not a World Heritage Site, if you’re out to visit America’s quirkiest pit stops, you can’t miss it!

3. Ponyhenge (Lincoln, Massachusetts)

If you’re traveling through New England, you can check out Ponyhenge. This small field is home to a wild pack of rocking horses. Mysteriously, this herd of toy ponies seems to move and reproduce without apparent cause. Is Ponyhenge the work of some bored locals? Perhaps. But it could also be aliens. We may never know! Either way, it’s an excellent stop for a quirky photo with your boo or the little ones. Yeehaw!

4. Harvey the Rabbit (Aloha, Oregon)

Surprisingly —or perhaps not, considering that we’re talking about roadside attractions here — Buford, the bassigator isn’t the only hybrid creature on our list. Harvey the Rabbit is a 26-foot-tall statue of a man with a rabbit’s head in Aloha, Oregon. However, no one will blame you if you choose to skip a visit to Harvey. After all, the thought of seeing a giant rabbit-man hybrid is exciting and nightmarish at the same time!

Since we’re on the topic of nightmares, make sure your next automotive emergency doesn’t strand you alone in the dark with nowhere to turn! With roadside assistance and an emergency protection plan, you can be ready in case your car starts acting weird on the road!

5. National Trout Memorial (Kalkaska, Michigan)

If you’re after something truly unique, Kalkaska, Michigan, has an 18-foot trout statue you need to consider. The statue is so big it’s actually similar in size to a Great White Shark. This little landmark is perched in front of the Kalkaska Historical Museum. The museum resides in a restored train depot that was rebuilt after a fire destroyed the original structure in 1910. And if the site of this giant freshwater fish makes you hungry, stop by Trout Town Tavern for fish & chips, smoked trout pate, or a picky-eater-approved grilled cheese sandwich.

6. Prada Marfa (Valentine, Texas)

You’re driving down the road in the middle of nowhere and see a gas station, an old barn… and a high-end luxury retail store? Hold the phone! In 2005, artists Elmgreen and Dragset constructed a faux Prada boutique full of the brand’s luxury goods in the middle of the West Texas desert. It’s meant to be a “pop architectural land art project” that serves as a surrealist commentary on Western materialism. Fashion addicts might be disappointed about not being able to go inside, but it’s worth a visit to this almost surreal sight! To get there Take Route 90 west out of Valentine for about 1.4 miles.

7. Cadillac Ranch (Amarillo, Texas)

This colorful Texas attraction has been around since 1974 when a group of San Franciscan artists in the Amarillo area received a grant for some unusual public art. Located smack in the middle of Route 66, Cadillac Ranch consists of 10 old-school Cadillacs (models range from the 1949 Club Sedan to the 1963 Sedan de Ville), buried headlights-down in a dirt field. Originally meant to display the evolution of the Cadillacs’ tailfins, the cars of Cadillac Ranch have been decorated, repainted, and graffitied over the years by visitors to the site. Stop by Cadillac Ranch during your road trip to make your own mark!

8. World’s Largest Twine Ball (Cawker City, Kansas)

In 1953, Frank Stoeber started winding up a ball of twine. Flash forward about seven decades, and Stoeber’s creation is now proudly displayed in Cawker City, Kansas, weighing an eye-watering 20,000 pounds and measuring more than 41 feet in circumference. There are actually several twine balls that have been competing for the “World’s Largest” title over the years, according to the Atlantic, so you might have to journey elsewhere to see the official record holder depending on if people get busy wrapping twine again in the near future. But the Cawker City ball is a sight to behold.

9. Bigfoot Discovery Museum (Felton, California)

Bigfoot believers will find a kindred spirit in Michael Rugg, creator of the Bigfoot Discovery Museum. Rugg has been interested in Bigfoot since childhood and opened his museum in 2005 to showcase mythical, biological, and paranormal categories of Bigfoot research. Admission is free, so visit and view plaster footprint casts, years’ worth of Bigfoot memorabilia, Rugg’s Bigfoot research library, and much more.

10. House on the Rock (Spring Green, Wisconsin)

Opened in 1959, Spring Green’s House on the Rock is a bizarre display of architectural design run amok. Self-guided tours lead visitors through the house and its series of displays featuring a 269-character carousel, a sea skirmish between a giant squid and a 200-foot-long sea monster, and a room full of Santa Clauses. Filled with the eclectic collections of the house’s creator Alex Jordan, the House on the Rock will capture your imagination.

11. Foamhenge (Centreville, Virginia)

This Virginian roadside attraction is exactly what it sounds like: a to-scale replica of Stonehenge, made from foam. This Styrofoam masterpiece was built by Mark Cline, a fiberglass sculptor and owner of Enchanted Castle Studios. He says it’s the only American exact replica of Stonehenge. Foamhenge is located at Cox Farms.

Add Getting Roadside Assistance to Your To-Do List

No matter how cool the roadside attraction is, the middle of nowhere is the wrong place for car trouble. Get roadside assistance and an emergency protection plan from Direct and get peace of mind wherever your travels take you! Call, click, or come in today to learn more.


Featured image attribution: TX Prada by Kacee Carter is licensed under a Creative Commons

Attribution 4.0 International License. Based on work Mobilus In Mobili