March 31, 2021

Five Can’t-Miss Roadside Attractions for Your Next Road Trip

Five Can’t-Miss Roadside Attractions for Your Next Road Trip

Once you embark on the great American Road Trip, it’s important to not only make pit-stops out of necessity but you should also plan to “stretch your legs” at some truly unforgettable roadside attractions, like these that were curated by Country Living.

Road trips are an undeniable travel resource that allows you to get to your desired destination at your own pace. Sure, you may have a set window in which you should arrive at Point B, but it’s in the transitional aspects of transit that the truest memories are forged. However, it’s not likely that you’ll select gas station #8 to reminisce about once it’s all said and done. This is exactly why every roadtripper should make it a point to include at least one of the following roadside spectacles on that travel itinerary on their next cross-country voyage. As always, be sure to check recent CDC recommendations and travel restrictions before you pack up the car.

Lucy the Elephant

Standing guard in front of Margate, New Jersey is a 65 ft. tall elephant statue named Lucy. Since being built in 1881,Lucy has served as a spectacle and tourist attraction, tavern house, summer residence, and she is the 12th tallest statue in the United States as well as the oldest surviving roadside tourist attraction in America. In fact, Lucy became an official National Historic Landmark in 1976, joining the ranks of such notable United States Landmarks as the Hoover Dam and Statue of Liberty, and not only can you visit Lucy, but for a small fee, you could even take a guided tour through the gigantic architectural marvel yourself! 

Prada Marfa

Despite its name, this bizarre art project that resembles a Prada boutique stands isolated in Valentine, Texas. Created in 2005, this permanent land art project was a co-production between Ballroom Marfa and the Art Production Fund, and it stands as a testament to pop art, fashion, and baffling juxtaposition. While you can’t enter the shop and peruse the luxury goods from Prada’s 2005 fall collection at this roadside attraction, Prada Marfa will make any picture in which it’s in the background truly unforgettable.

The Parthenon

You know the saying, if you can’t make it to Greece, Nashville’s the next best thing! Proudly located as the centerpiece of Nashville, Tennessee’s premier urban park, Centennial Park, is this full-scale replica of the Athens original. Inside the structure, the architectural focus is on a 42-foot statue of the goddess Athena, just as the original Parthenon.  In addition to this architectural feat, the Parthenon also serves as Nashville’s art museum, housing a permanent installation of 63 paintings by 19th and 20th-century artists. Be sure to add this to your list of roadside attractions if you are passing near the area.

World’s Largest Mailbox

Don’t trust a roadside attraction list if it doesn’t feature a notorious “World’s Largest” entry. This mailbox stands over 5,700 ft. high, overlooking Casey, Illinois where more “World’s Largest” attractions can be found. Though the mailbox holds one of the nine Guinness World Records for “largest things in the world,” but to receive that honor, it needed to be fully functional. So, guests are invited to visit the mailbox, climb the staircase, send a letter of their own, and raise the red flag to signal a mail carrier to deliver it. This attraction is a no-brainer when it comes to a possible photo opportunity, as it’s a perfect sight from the ground-level or within its metal structure.

Carhenge

Rounding out the list is a reliable roadside attraction with an appeal that’s immediately understandable; it’s a replica of the world-famous Stonehenge, but it’s constructed with cars instead of stones. This truly unique sight was constructed in 1987, and it’s open to the public for free during the daylight hours in Alliance, Nebraska.

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