Forget the Washington Monument and the Statue of Liberty. The United States is littered with thousands of incredible historic and cultural landmarks but what about those off the beaten path? Some of the strangest and most interesting landmarks in America are where you’d least expect to see them. Hop in the car and check out a few of these hot spots.
12. Lucy the Elephant – Margate, NJ
Perched seaside in Margate, NJ, Lucy the Elephant has been a permanent landmark for well over 100 years. Lucy has served as both a restaurant and a house, but is now only open for visitors and tours. According to some, Lucy was used to signal ships to shore during times of Prohibition by changing the color of the lights in her eyes. Today, Lucy provides children and their families and incredible view of the ocean and surrounding shore towns.
11. The Floating Wedding Chapel – St. Petersburg, Florida
Giving the world’s floating pools a run for their money is the floating wedding chapel in St. Petersburg, Florida. Weddings on the Water hosts quaint dream weddings on their 60-foot long chapel, which is complete with stained glass windows and a separate preparation room for the bride. The chapel actually sits on a barge and is certified as safe by the United States Coast Guard.
10. Pensacola Beach Sign – Pensacola, Florida
A sign is a sign, you may be thinking. And, we’d be inclined to agree if this beacon of light didn’t rank right up there with the Great Wall of China. It’s illuminated, animated, and bright. So what makes it so special? You can see it from outer space!
9. Gravity Hill – Bedford County, Pennsylvania
Here’s one for the books. Gravity Hill sits at the end of some of the nicest and most calming country roads on the planet. We guarantee you’ll never forget putting your car in neutral only to find that you’re rolling uphill instead of down!
8. Carhenge – Alliance, Nebraska
We sincerely doubt Carhenge was created by any sort of mystic event, but there it is. In reality, a man by the name of Jim Reinders created Carhenge by planting 38 vintage automobiles in the ground in an attempt to replicate Stonehenge. Take a close look at pictures of both and you’ll be surprised at the similarities in structure.
7. Extraterrestrial Highway – Nevada
The Extraterrestrial Highway can be found just off of Nevada State Route 375. Situated near the unofficial site of the supposedly nonexistent Area 51, the highway has been the site of several undocumented UFO sightings. The residents of Rachel, the down right up the road, swear they’re real, though. You’ll just have to go see for yourself.
6. The Largest Beagle in the World – Cottonwood, Idaho
The largest beagle in the world isn’t just for show. The 30-foot high beagle found in Cottonwood, Idaho is part of bed and breakfast. You can even sleep in his muzzle. The smaller beagle standing nearby is just for show, though.
5. The World’s Largest Ball of Twine – Cawker City, Kansas
The world’s largest ball of twine is situated snugly in Cawker City, Kansas. The ball of twine was started back in the early 1950′s by Frank Stoeber. Cawker City was given the ball about a decade before his death, and they hold an annual festival that includes a twine winding, ensuring the ball will always continue to grow!
4. Tree Spirits – St. Simons Island, Georgia
On St. Simons Island in Georgia you’ll find a series of oak trees with faces carved discretely into their sides. Keith Jennings is a sculptor who was commissioned to carve one face for every sailor who died on board a ship built from the oak taken from the island.
3. The Neon Sign Graveyard – Las Vegas, Nevada
Where do you think the lights go when the city of lights is done with them? To the Neon Sign Graveyard, of course! The graveyard is actually an extension of the Neon Museum, but gives visitors a rare glimpse at the way neon signs have changed over the years.
2. The World’s Largest Thermometer – Baker, California
The largest thermometer in the world is measured at just about 134 feet tall. It was constructed to commemorate the hottest day ever recorded in the United States. Keep your eyes peeled for the thermometer the next time you’re in Mojave Desert. It’s not just a mirage!
1. Bishop’s Castle – Pueblo, Colorado
They say that no one man can build a house on his own, but that’s exactly what Jim Bishop did when he built his castle. The 130-foot tower has taken over 30 years to build and it still isn’t finished, but it’s considered the largest single-man construction project in the country!
Keep your eyes peeled, no matter where you go. Strange, odd, and just plain wacky landmarks are littered across the entire country. You might be surprised at what you find!