10 incredible roadside attractions in the U.S.

Scenic roads near Death Valley in California
Scenic roads near Death Valley in California / Anadolu/GettyImages

The roads of America are filled with attractions in one form or another. Some of us like counting cows on a trip, while others prefer to play "I Spy," One thing is for sure, there is no shortage of highly usual and often comic roadside attractions. This list is by no means complete or even near completion. This collection of attractions caught our creative eye and begged to be written about.

1. Trees of Mystery - California

While meandering your way along the trail of the trees of mystery, you may notice some really unusual and unique-looking trees, one of which is a giant redwood tree you can drive through. It is a really cool place that lets you stretch your legs and explore some unusual nature along your road trip. There is also a Skytrail and the Redwood Canopy Trail, both amazing ways to experience the mega-sized trees while cruising as high as a bird through the forest.

2. Carhenge - Nebraska

The Total Eclipse of the Sun crossed the entire United...
The Total Eclipse of the Sun crossed the entire United... / SOPA Images/GettyImages

Carhenge is an interesting "American" take on Stonehenge in England and is downright neat. It is open for visitation year-round from sunrise to sunset. There is also a quirky store with an assortment of interesting artifacts for the vehicular enthusiast in your life.

3. Cadillac Ranch - Texas

Van Life - Road Trips During The COVID-19 Pandemic
Van Life - Road Trips During The COVID-19 Pandemic / Josh Brasted/GettyImages

Cadillac Ranch is one of the coolest things seen in a Texas desert. Located on Route 66 in Amarillo stands the very colorful work of art created by some creative hippie-types out of San Fransisc called Ant Farm. Their project was funded by billionaire Stanley Marsh III. The Cadillacs all arrived at Marsh's property on the summer solstice and were promptly buried at a 60-degree nose-down angle. Why the 60-degree angle, you might ask. Marsh wanted the art piece to have the same angle as the Great Pyramid of Giza. Stranger and stranger yet.

4. World's largest chest of drawers - North Carolina

A local favorite in High Point, North Carolina, the World's Largest Chest of Drawers sits on the roadside to greet travelers to the furniture capital of the world. The piece is a 36-foot-high Victorian-themed chest of drawers with the extra large colorful socks peeking out, which is there for a reason. Annually, High Point and Thomasville gear up for the yearly furniture market. It brings spectators, artists, and buyers from all over the world. This quirky piece of art sits just off the road to draw the attention of travelers to the furniture capital of the world.

5. House on the rock - Wisconsin

USA - The House On The Rock museum
USA - The House On The Rock museum / Neville Elder/GettyImages

The House on the Rock Museum has drawn many people over the years, including the famous. Built-in 1945 and opened to the public in 1960, the house belonging to Alex Jones started as one man's dream home and slowly became something he wanted to share with the world. It is a unique place where you can drink at a rotating bar but watch your step leaving. There is also a House on the Rock Resort where visitors can play 27 holes of golf, enjoy the spa, and stay in one of the 80 spacious two-room suites. You will need to spend quite a bit of time looking over every inch of the house because there is so much to take in the experience. From the Infinity Room to the sea monster and over to the massive, intricately detailed carousel.

6. PistachioLand - New Mexico

PistachioLand sounds interesting, but it is so much more than that. On the expansive property, you will encounter the pistachio farm and winery, have some ice cream while taking a break, then head off on the open-air tour ride and enjoy the 44-year-old pistachio orchard. There is a gift shop on site that carries pistachios, farm souvenirs, wine from the winery on-site, delicious salsas, and other trinkets. It naturally has the world's largest pistachio on-premises, looking noble and inviting from the road. You have no idea what you've been missing until you've tried pistachio-flavored ice cream!

7. Hartman Rock Garden - Ohio

Driving past the Hartman Rock Garden in Ohio has got to be challenging to do, even if you've been to the rock garden many times. It's a place oozing with peace and tranquility among the rock sculptures. Ben Hartman created every piece on the property between 1932 and 1944 out of wood, rock, glass, and metal. He made this work of art to portray his ideals and opinions to the world around him from within his safe space. Sadly, he passed away in 1944 from a lung disease. His wife, Mary, cared for his most special space for 53 years. Now, the Kohler Foundation keeps the Hartman Rock Garden going year after year.

8. Jimmy Carter Smiling Peanut Statue - Georgia

Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter: A Champion And Son Of Rural America / Win McNamee/GettyImages

This goofy-looking peanut has quite the story that goes along with it. Back in 1976, the mysterious peanut arrived during Jimmy Carter's presidential campaign and was erected for the Democrat Dinner that year with Jimmy Carter as the guest of honor. Before the dinner could begin, the Secret Service agents had to cut a hole in the back of the peanut to ensure it did not contain a bomb. It was funded by the Indiana Democratic Party. The Jimmy Carter Smiling Peanut Statue is across the street from none other than a peanut field. For those in the dark, Jimmy Carter was once a peanut farmer in Georgia on his father's farm, now known as The Boyhood Farm.

9. Garden of Eden - Kansas

The Garden of Eden in Kansas is strange, unique, and curious. It has been deeply drenched in religious and political statements by the creator, Sam Dinsmoor. The Garden is the oldest intact folk art environment in the United States and lies just off I-70. Dinsmoor was a strange and eccentric character and refused to leave his Garden of Eden, even in death. He rests in the mausoleum in the backyard. The mausoleum can be opened, and you will be greeted by a slightly dusty Sam Dinsmoor, with his beard and all. Dinsmoor believed in the Populist movement and stood firm on his religious convictions. Throughout the Garden, visitors will see many sculptures made from cement. There are roughly 113 tons of cement on the property. Everything was sculpted on-site by Dinsmoor. The Kohler Foundation takes care to keep his Garden in tip-top shape.

10. Lucy the Elephant - New Jersey

Lucy The Elephant 139th Birthday And Street Naming Ceremony
Lucy The Elephant 139th Birthday And Street Naming Ceremony / Donald Kravitz/GettyImages

Lucy the elephant symbolizes a town coming together to save one beloved elephant. The six-story tall elephant was going to be torn down since she was weathered and falling apart. The locals refused to accept that and came together to raise money to save Lucy and have her registered with the National Park Registry of Historical Landmarks, so she would never be destroyed. Long ago, in 1881, the sweet roadside attraction was first erected to attract homebuyers to the small beach town outside of Atlantic City. In her time, Lucy was a bar and later a summer home for a British doctor. She is very well-loved by her Jersey Shore followers and every traveler who has spent a moment gazing at her.