Americans have been amazed by the quirkiness of roadside attractions since the 1940s. Businesses took to the appeal, creating fantastic over-sized objects to catch the eye of travelers. Famous Route 66 held a plethora of roadside attractions as business owners yearned for seasonal income. The World's Largest Ball of Twine in Cawker City, Kansas, invites you to add a strand to the surplus of string. It seems nearly every southwestern state shouts from roadside billboards that you must stop to see the mysterious THING! You never know when your road trip will take an unusual turn. Here are the four weirdest roadside attractions in the U.S.:
Hole N" The Rock, Moab, Utah
Albert and Gladys Christensen carved their 5,000-square-foot dream home from Utah's sandstone. The 14-room home was not yet complete when Albert passed away in 1957 but Gladys continued his legacy with ongoing development of the property. Gladys welcomed visitors to tour her home and browse an added gift shop. After Gladys' passing in 1974, Hole N" The Rock remained a roadside attraction for travelers along US Route 191. Today visitors can admire Albert's artwork and Gladys' doll collection while marveling at the home's interior. Entrance fee of $6.50 applies to visitors five years or older.
You can also visit the animals at the site's Exotic Zoo. Enjoy a refreshing snack at the General Store or shop for locally made Native American crafts at the Trading Post.
Admire several of Lyle Nichols' sculpted works of art at Hole N" The Rock. If you enjoy his collection, you might want to add a few other stops along your road trip to visit Mike the Headless Chicken in Fruita, Colorado, and Dolly the Holstein in Westminster, Colorado.
Leila's Hair Museum, Independence, Missouri
Leila's Hair Museum preserves an eclectic collection of wreaths and jewelry crafted with human hair. Owner Leila Cohoon is reviving centuries-old hair art forms. Her museum is a testament to her passion for this art form, housing over 600 hair wreaths and 2,000 pieces of hair jewelry.
Although difficult to imagine without seeing the pieces firsthand, hair art is delicate and intertwined with other forms of media. Hair wreaths tell a family history, and hair from multiple family members is intricately woven with over 30 various techniques. Brooches contain locks of hair from lovers lost, some with engraved sentiments. Neckpieces adorned with scenes painted with pulverized hair act as memorials to the beloved.
Dinosaur Kingdom II, Natural Bridge, Virginia
Steer your road trip back through time as you embark on a wilderness adventure at Dinosaur Kingdom II. You will enter a crazy world where the Civil War Era collides with the Mesozoic Era and hilarity ensues. Created by nationally renowned theme park developer Mark Cline, Dinosaur Kingdom II is an unconventional yet wittingly entertaining blend of history and science. Gasp in awe as Stonewall Jackson battles a spinosaurus. The roadside attraction is open rain or shine. The entrance fee of $12 applies to visitors 13 or older, with children 3 to 12 paying $8.
Jimmy Carter Peanut, Plains, Georgia
A grinning peanut welcomes travelers to Jimmy Carter's hometown. An odd monument to the 39th president, the 13-foot peanut was erected by the Democratic Party as a campaign gimmick during the 1976 election. In the likeness of Jimmy, a toothy smile was aptly added to the peanut to generate local appeal. Jimmy took the lead from voters across all counties of Georgia, helping to result in a victory against Gerald Ford. Travelers stop to pose with the peanut and shine their pearly whites for photos with Jimmy Carter Peanut.